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J.D. Bouwman and Cornelius Kiesel

Zimmermann Designs Custom Milling Machines for Large Moldmaker

For a short video on this collaboration between Zimmermann and Commercial Tool & Die, please see:

Zimmermann Milling Solutions, a leading global high-tech supplier of portal milling machines recently designed three custom milling machines for Commercial Tool & Die (CTD).

CTD is a family-owned and operated business with a long-standing reputation of building exceptional and extremely large plastic injection molds. Markets served include automotive, truck cab bodies, construction equipment and others. They have been successfully using Zimmermann machinery since 2018, so when a need arose for new milling machinery, they went directly to Zimmermann. “We reached out to Zimmermann that we needed a world-class milling machine, because that is what they have,” said Darin Hall, Plant Manager, Commercial Tool & Die.

Machining plastic injection molds has specific requirements and Zimmermann worked with CTD for over three years to design and build machines that met those needs.  “We went the extra mile because we knew that this was what Commercial Tool was looking for and we wanted to be the right partner,” said Cornelius Kiesel, President, Zimmermann. The final result was machines with the unique Zimmermann head design with multiple cutting axis to enable CTD to complete projects by speeding up production and improving accuracy without an excessive number of setups.

When J.D. Bouwman, President, Commercial Tool Group, was asked about the collaboration between the two companies and his favorite thing about the new machines, he replied, “We’ve challenged Zimmermann and they’ve really done a great job of responding to those challenges. Our Zimmermann’s have really helped us bring our machining to the next level. We’re able to achieve unattended numbers that we’ve never had before in the shop and that’s really a testament to our relationship with and the quality of the machines and just the overall build quality of the Zimmermann. It’s just a super, super solid machine.” He added, “I know that if we’re looking for a big machine in the future, we’re definitely going to be turning to Zimmermann.”

For more information, please contact:

30587 Century Drive
Wixom, MI 48393
Phone:  248-956-8511
Ms. Lena Kiesel, Marketing Manager

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Zimmermann FZ40c is cutting and spraying away extra metal shavings

Zimmermann partners with two moldmakers to help them go “big”

Four large FZ40c portal millings machines providing significant changes to business strategy at Commercial Tool & Die and Franchino Mold & Engineering in Michigan

Zimmermann FZ40c milling machines enabled both moldmakers to grow their business in their home markets of automotive injection molds and die cast diework, in a unique partnership for each moldmaker

It began in 2017, when Commercial Tool & Die (CTD), a division of Commercial Tool Group in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area, contacted Zimmermann at a mold show and IMTS.  This 68-year-old company, founded by the grandfather of the current president, JD Bouwman, was heavily leveraged in automotive and off-highway injection moldmaking, but was seeking to grow into new markets with larger machining capacity.  Meanwhile, over in Lansing, Michigan, Franchino Tool & Engineering was prospering in automotive molds and die cast diework but was seeking to increase their 5-axis machining capability, travel and speed.  The short version of this story is that CTD ended up with three new Zimmermann machines, while Franchino bought the first CTD stock machine from Zimmermann, as it fit their needs quite well, according to Franchino President Mike Heatherington.  

Commercial Tool & Die Looking To Grow

As Plant Manager Darin Hall explains, “We had reached out to Cornelius Kiesel, president of Zimmermann Inc. in Wixom, Michigan, at a mold show and then again at IMTS.  We were impressed with their large CNC 5-axis machines.  CTD had four goals we were seeking to accomplish with our new machine capability.  Namely, we wanted reliability, efficiency to run unattended, rigidity to hold accuracies across a long travel and surface quality to meet our very high standards for automotive products.”  He notes the FZ compact line of Zimmermann appeared to have the essentials they sought at CTD, though some modifications would be needed. 

Company President JD Bouwman elaborates.  “We found in Zimmermann the combination of a great machine with a flexible team who was willing to expand their horizons and ours.  Although the basic version of the FZ40c is an excellent machine, in the end, we made 31 changes that were specific to CTG’s needs, including increased ram, with a goal to purchase three machines for our increased production.”  Bouwman further comments how this enhanced capability would allow CTD to move into new markets and increase share in their home market of automotive.  Today, that process has already yielded positive results, as the company is producing injection molds of much larger size than in the past, thereby opening new segment of automotive, off-highway and commercial building products. 

After the initial investigation, the decision was made to lease an FZ40c to trial the machine.  This portal mill has a work envelope of 197” W x 118” D x 59” H with a feed rate to 2362 ipm.  As the trials proceeded over the one-year lease agreement, according to Darin Hall, “We quickly saw that the machine was very solid and would allow us to strategize differently in our approach to production.”  Concurrently, CTD was realizing their market and manufacturing needs would require some significant changes to the machine, especially the ram height, for use on molds in the off-highway, construction equipment and building products market segments CTD was seeking to penetrate. 

He continues, “We also realized we had a great partner in Cornelius and the team at Zimmermann, both in Wixom and in Germany, where we visited a number of times, as they did here.  These folks were open to our suggestions and worked diligently to affect them.”  Hall notes this lease arrangement was the first in the 68-year history of the company.  “I guess you could say we knew where we wanted to go but weren’t quite sure of the machine design that would get us there.”  The CTD and Zimmermann teams thus began a collaboration that would run nearly three years, culminating in today with three FZ40c gantry mills on the floor at CTD, each with an enhanced rigidity and cast mono-block fork head with unique process cooling for high precision machining, especially on models and molds.  The FZ40c has a base x-axis of 236”, giving CTD the additional size they needed.  Among the changes made to the machine design was an increased ram.

In the end, JD Bouwman concludes, “We had a big machine concept in mind to get us to our goal and the three modified FZU machines were the answer.  Day to day, the machines give us much higher unattended machining numbers, a real testimony to the quality.  Zimmermann has allowed CTD to quote new projects, bigger workpieces and enter new markets, exactly where we wanted to go.”  He expressed a “big thank-you” to Cornelius Kiesel and the Zimmermann team, citing the dedication on both sides over a three-year period resulted in machines “…that simply allowed us to go to a new level as a company and that’s very exciting.”  A future goal between the companies is to build an even bigger machine with increased capacities to reach even higher levels of market participation. 

“Our relationship with Zimmermann is based on true collaboration and we’re mutually assisting the other to accomplish our goals.  That’s as good as a business partnership can be,” concludes Bouwman. 

One additional change to the FZ40c as requested, according to Cornelius Kiesel, and it presented a unique challenge to Zimmermann, he jokes.  “The CTD company color is gold and they requested we paint the machine heads that color for them.  We are machine tool engineers and builders but we took up the challenge and found the right paint for this challenging application.  Looks nice, doesn’t it?” 

Franchino — right place at the right time

That’s an old expression but it’s true in this case.  About an hour east of CTD sits Franchino Mold & Engineering in Lansing, Michigan.  According to company President Mike Hetherington, “Our business is currently about half in automotive injection molds and half in die cast diework for a variety of industries, including construction, stormwater and septic management.  During this recent period in business, with all its challenges, we’ve been flexible in seeking new jobs in various industries and it’s paid off, resulting in a sizable increase in our sales volume.” 

The connection between Franchino and CTD requires a bit of explanation, as Hetherington notes.  “We were on a business trip to Germany, seeking new machine concepts.  We had occasion to tour the Zimmermann factory and, while there, we saw the FZ40C portal milling machine being built for Commercial.  We were looking for that type of machine and had our checklist.  The FZ40C began to check off the boxes and we knew it was the machine for us.  As it happened, we learned the machine was being leased to Commercial down the road from us in the Grand Rapids area and we’d known them for years.  We don’t often directly compete, so we made some contacts and decided to wait for their lease to expire, then we purchased their machine and it was shipped to our facility in Lansing.”  He also mentions several particulars.  The machine needed to work both steel and aluminum molds, be a true 5-axis mill, be able to efficiently rough, semi and finish all in one setup, have an HSK spindle, run 1400 ipm and be up for two shifts reliably.  The FZ40c was found suitable on all these points, according to Hetherington. 

On one job, he notes with a smile, the shop took a roughing cycle from 16 hours to 3 hours, due to the machine’s rigidity, speed and accuracy.  As a bonus, the Heidenhain CNC onboard the Zimmermann machine provided a monitoring capability that enabled the Franchino Machining Supervisor, Chris Cook, to learn the status of the machine remotely. 

Cook cites another example of the company’s use of the Zimmermann FZ40c.  “We run molds for huge septic tanks and the Zimmermann is currently at 3000 hours of run time at 2000 ipm with no issues.”

Hetherington adds the machine purchased from CTD recently ran for two months solid at 90% capacity.  “Looking back, I’d say we were definitely in the right place at the right time, discovering this machine on our trip to Germany.  It’s been a very valuable investment for Franchino, providing reliable production on big workpieces.  It will open up more opportunities for our company in various existing and new markets.”  Hetherington has been president at the company since December, 2020, having gone, as he says, “…from mowing the lawn as a school kid to coming to work here with my engineering degree to engineering manager to VP of operations and now president.”

Franchino Mold & Engineering was founded in Lansing in 1955 by Richard Franchino, whose son and recently retired president Bob began as the first employee, sweeping the floor for $0.25 an hour.  Mike Hetherington is currently working on the construction of an additional 60,000-square foot facility with an 80-ton overhead crane to handle the massive workpieces produced at this shop, which produces molds & dies plus does considerable repair work for its customers nationwide. 

About the company

Zimmermann is based in Swabia (Germany) and is a leading global high-tech supplier of portal milling machines. These are characterized by huge workspaces, substantial machining dynamics and cutting performance. The company, founded in 1933 by Friedrich Zimmermann, now has over 200 employees worldwide. With its product range, our innovative company has one goal above all: to offer the right solution for our customers and thus to be able to guarantee high economic efficiency. “Quality made in Germany and supported locally” is our motto. The company’s special machines are used worldwide in the automotive, aerospace, moldmaking and mechanical engineering sectors.  The company has its North American headquarters in Wixom, Michigan, near Detroit, where it operates a full tech center offering engineering assistance, commissioning, parts and retrofit services, as well as multiple machines for demonstration purposes.  Zimmermann Inc. is headed by President Cornelius Kiesel. 

For more information, please contact:

30587 Century Drive
Wixom, MI 48393
Phone:  248-956-8511
Ms. Lena Kiesel, Marketing Manager

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1.) Large scale CMM providing a full dimensional layout report

Exact Metrology Completes First Job with Its CMM in Moline

Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company and a comprehensive 3D metrology service provider and hardware sales company, just used their new Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) at their Moline, IL facility.

Large scale CMM providing a full dimensional layout report

Douglas Machine & Engineering, located in Davenport, Iowa, is a manufacturer of fixtures, broaches, reamers, straighteners, vises, pliers, cutters, burnishers, plugs, spindle nut presses and grinders. They also offer custom manufacturing including welding, EDM machining, fabrication, turning and milling. The company serves the aerospace, defense, construction, agricultural, robotics, food grade packaging and pharmaceutical industries.

Recently, they machined an aluminum plate that will become a locating fixture for the military. Per the military contract, Douglas Machine & Engineering had to provide a full dimensional layout report before shipping the plate. Unable to measure in-house, they discovered that Exact Metrology had this CMM capability in Moline and sent the part there.

The higher accuracy specification of this CNC coordinate measuring machine gives it more than double the effective measuring range in terms of accuracy-guarantee capability. Combining high speed and high acceleration, measuring time is greatly reduced.  Thus, Douglas Machine & Engineering achieved a quick turnaround on their part.

They were very pleased with the results, having used Exact Metrology services in the past. Nick Roman, the President of Douglas Machine & Engineering said, “The communication is always top notch and the end result it always what we look for when doing business with a company.  Exact always goes above and beyond to come on site or get things done when needed.”

Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company, is ISO9001, AS9100 Certified as well as ITAR Registered. 

Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company, with facilities in Cincinnati, Ohio, Moline, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, plus affiliated offices throughout the country, is a comprehensive metrology services provider, offering customers 3D and CT scanning, reverse engineering, quality inspection, product development and 2D drawings. The company also provides turnkey metrology solutions, including equipment sales and lease/rental arrangements.   

For more information, please contact: 

Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company
Dean Solberg
20515 Industry Avenue 
Brookfield, WI 53045 
Local: 262-533-0800

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Cerin SpA, a pioneering Italian cutting tool manufacturer is pushing what is possible, exploring exotic nickel alloys to set the future of tool technology

Cerin invested in ANCA technology to take on these challenges and succeed – achieving precision, repeatability and stability in their grinding

Ivan Cuscov, Plant Director started at Cerin SpA ten years ago as a mechanical engineer and today is responsible for production. Ivan said, “Cerin was founded in 1971 by Mr. Cerin and my father joined the company a few years later. We were one of the first Italian companies to work with solid carbide and today serve many industries, from aerospace to construction, shipbuilding, energy and automotive.”

“Half our sales are in Italy and the other half abroad, mainly exporting to Germany but also Russia and Japan, China and England. Our customers choose to work with us because we manufacture a good product. If you ask our customers to say something about CERIN, they will only say, ‘A Cerin tool is a good tool.’ And that’s what I think is what makes us successful.”

“From the beginning we never worked with high speed steel as we had a feeling that solid carbide was the technology of the future and so we tried to make the biggest step possible into the future. It was very challenging at the time as there was limited knowledge on how to use solid carbide. Many people in the industry didn’t know of diamond wheels and thought of diamond as a jewel and not a grinding material!”

“We were a pioneer with many challenges working in unknown territories, but on reflection, I would say that taking on this challenge was key to our success.”

Cerin continues to invest in their pioneering culture to stay ahead of technology change

“At Cerin we try our best to understand our customers production requirements. If the customer has a problem, we look at their machining process — how the machine works, how the workpiece is placed on the machine, and what are the critical issues, vibration and so on. We have even built a Development Center to try new materials and new machine technology.”

“Currently we are looking into the exotic nickel alloys or otherwise called high temperature alloys – which are still niche materials, but we think it’s important to understand given the increasing requirement for energy efficient engine performance. For these applications, high performance requires higher thermal mechanical properties and that is driving tool technology.”

“These materials are particularly critical mainly for heat generation and elastic to plastic transition. Cutting those materials requires specific coating and sometimes a specific combination between solid carbide coatings and dedicated geometries.”

Tool makers must consider the entire development life cycle

“A good tool is the combination of elements. The right geometry and the combination between carbide and coating. Developing a new tool might require a few weeks to many months. The first technical work is designing and testing a basic tool of a certain length and diameter, which fulfills the initial targets. After that you need to organize the whole commercial offer, extend the tests to the rest of the product family, and of course create the stock availability.”

“Over the weekend we mainly produce standard tools and in some areas with unmanned shifts which helps us contain costs, increasing our capacity. Our operators create optimal production conditions, looking at correct machine and grinding wheel set ups. Our attention to detail when setting up processes means we can guarantee quality.”

“Our quality control department is responsible for checking tools during and after production. We have the complete traceability of our production batches and at any time can retrieve design information, even look at the raw materials.”

ANCA technology offers precision, repeatability, and stability – all essential for lights out manufacturing

“In our machine center we have a MX7, MX7 Linear, FX7 Linear, GX7, TX7 and even a TG7.   At the moment we are mainly using ANCA machines for standard and cylindrical endmills and we keep the FX7 and one MX7 linear for mixed production of endmills and drills.”

“Precision, repeatability and stability are two advantages of using ANCA machines and over the years we have found ANCA machines to be thermally stable with a wide range of technology offered. A stable grinding machine is very important for unmanned shifts to keep tolerances and tool dimensions under control. In fact, repeatability means that we have the grinding process under control and can be confident with the quality of the end product we deliver to our customers.”

iGrind is a very good software package mainly because of flexibility and because it allows you to do many different things easily. iGrind is great for cylindrical grinding to profile tools and especially with tool segments where you can split the tool operations as much as you want. We also use ANCA’s
ToolDraft in combination with AutoCAD.“

“We have been recently using iView with a camera for profile tools and it looks promising because it is a good way to control the tolerance of a complex tool all along the profile. If a profile is being controlled at a single point it is too difficult if you are trying to keep a whole profile within a certain tolerance to a few microns. For that you need a specific device and iView is very interesting.”

“Our operators are happy with the Wheel Probe which references the grinding wheel directly on the machine. The benefit using the probe is that you don’t need to waste any time with an external preset and can make your measurements directly on the machine. And you don’t need to mount and dismount the wheel before and after measuring because that of course might change the basic reference a little bit. So you’re going to measure the wheel in the same place where the wheel will work.”

For further information, please contact:

Johanna Boland
Group PR and Communications Manager, ANCA
M: +61 407799779

ANCA is a market leading manufacturer of CNC grinding machines. It was founded in 1974 in Melbourne, Australia where the company still has its global headquarters. ANCA has offices in the UK, Germany, China, Thailand, India, Japan, Brazil and the USA as well as a comprehensive network of representatives and agents worldwide.

ANCA CNC grinders are used for manufacturing precision cutting tools and components across a diverse range of competitive industries including cutting tool manufacture, automotive, aerospace, electronics and medical.

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FEF Alumni Shares Her Experiences in Metalcasting

Emily Shedlarski, a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, discussed her interest in metalcasting, involvement with FEF, career path and the importance of participating in FEF

Emily Shedlarski, FEF alumni

On her first day of class at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Shedlarski was given the choice of either writing a paper or working in the foundry as punishment for disrupting class. Although she didn’t know what a foundry was, Emily quickly fell in love with it, especially after seeing her first metal pour. She went on to graduate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, with a degree in Materials Engineering and later, a Masters in Information Engineering Management.

Emily’s involvement with FEF started during her sophomore year, thanks to FEF Key Professor Charlie Monroe. She went on to participate in casting competitions, toured foundries and steel mills. Needing to pay her living expenses, Emily started working at steel mills in Birmingham, while also working on the on-campus foundry with Dr. Robin Foley. Emily received several FEF scholarships that helped her pay for summer classes. After attending an FEF College Industry Conference (CIC) in 2013, she knew that she couldn’t see herself working in the steel industry anymore. Emily commented, “FEF activities really helped me develop a strong baseline, so when I started to look for a job in the competitive market it was easy for me to get my first job as a foundry manufacturing engineer.”

Shedlarski’s career in metal casting started with the help of Dr. Berry Andrews. He helped her find her first job at Nucor Steel in Birmingham, Alabama as a Metallurgical Engineer. She started in the melt department, working in the laboratory, then moved over to the QA lab. When moving to the company’s Memphis, Tennessee plant, Emily worked in claims with an SEM and destructive testing/analysis.  

Upon graduation with her bachelors, she joined Hubbell Power Systems in Leeds, Alabama as a foundry Manufacturing Engineer. Working there for 3.5 years, she was the Project Manager for a multi-million dollar foundry replacement project. This project gave her the opportunity to expand her skill set, since she worked closely with the lawyers of the company to develop the quotation and legal contractual agreements between companies, international shipping, safety and corporate finances. She was also the Project Manager for smaller projects such as: rebuilding core machines, crucible furnaces and an antiqued  sand/metallurgical lab.

Her next career move took her to Mueller Water Products in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where she worked as a Process Engineer. In her role, Emily worked with different departments to engineer solutions for production concerns and other objectives that were negatively impacting the process and the bottom line. While there, she was promoted to Project Engineer and she managed a metal recovery project that recovered over a million pounds of iron in 7 months. Another project, worth approximately one million dollars, involved Shedlarski replacing the furnace controls in a customer’s plant. Lastly, she acted as a technical liaison, going to different facilities to troubleshoot problems and managed cost savings projects to achieve corporate objectives.

In November of 2019, Emily presented at CIC, where the CEO of Simpson Technologies Corporation saw her and offered her a position as Regional Account Manager for the Southeast. The company is based in Aurora, Illinois and Shedlarski lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She does marketing, account management, makes sure the customers get the parts they need and helps them with updates to their machines. She’s also heavily involved in growing the customer base and increasing sales. In the next six months, Emily will make the transition to Product Manager. This means she will be responsible for all US customers, as well as international ones.

Besides being on the FEF board, Emily is a member of the Fund Enhancement Committee, helping to organize the FEF Fitness Challenge. The challenge involved FEF students, alumni and friends forming teams and raising funds by logging in miles. Prizes included cast iron skillets and socks. She is passionate about this, believing it is important to continue to fund FEF schools and help students who don’t have the financial means to complete their degree. Regarding student engagement, Emily is involved in student chapters and frequently drops by FEF schools. In addition, she gives presentations as requested by different schools.

When discussing student involvement with FEF, Shedlarski pointed out that FEF program accreditation carries a lot of weight in the industry and these programs supply students with basic skill sets that allow them to grow in their career. The biggest benefit Emily got from FEF was attending CIC because it changed her life.  She credits it with students making friends with others who share their passion and becoming a big family.  “They have the opportunity to see how invested the industry is in the future, which really is the students.” Furthermore, she mentioned the endless possibilities that metal casting offers people from various backgrounds.   That’s why it’s imperative for students to become involved and meet people who are going to lead the industry. 

Emily concluded, “Arguably, FEF has done more for me than I could ever imagine. Even to this day, I am so grateful for it because I have a job I love in an industry I’m passionate about and I’m surrounded now by lifelong friends.”

For more information, please contact:

Brian Lewis
Executive Director
Foundry Educational Foundation
Office: (847) 490-9200

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Large machining parts (inside Strohwig)

Exact Metrology Provides Scanning and Training to a Forging Company and a Machine Shop

Strohwig Industries is a large, family-owned tool and die, injection mold and custom machining shop that helps turn the ideas of engineers into reality.   The company was founded in 1978 by Mr. Wolfgang Strohwig and his brother-in-law Larry Glass in Polk, Wisconsin. The initial location had only 600 square feet of space and a single Lucas Boring Bar. Located today in Richfield, Wisconsin, Strohwig Industries has 180 employees with a 225,000 square foot facility. With 56 horizontal and vertical CNC machines and the ability to handle over 100 tons, Strohwig is well equipped to handle large machining.

Brad Bucholtz, the company Quality Technician, explained Strohwig’s mission as, “The design, manufacture and repair of medium to large forging dies, plastic injection molds and metal die casts, as well as the manufacture of custom contract parts and/or components.” They machine a variety of steel (H-13, stainless steel, castings, forgings) and aluminum components. The company serves various markets including aerospace, automotive, mining, defense, building assembly, oil and gas, energy, marine, etc. This is why they decided to use Exact Metrology equipment for their inspection needs.

Brad said they’ve worked with Exact Metrology for over ten years. Initially, the company provided metrology services. He added that before 2010, there was no need for metrology as company employees manually inspected jobs that needed it. Working with Exact Metrology, Strohwig bought a Hexagon Romer Arm in 2016 and Leica Tracker in 2019. When the Romer RS6 scanner was released Exact Metrology offered a trade in on the older Romer arm. The productivity increase was so great it was easy to justify the investment of the new arm/scanner. This equipment came in handy when Strohwig received a request from a major Midwestern forge that has a long-standing relationship with them.  

This metal forging company in Illinois has a 126-year history and specializes in open die forging and rolled ring forging. The company was using Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM) but needed to upgrade their equipment. A new job required precise measurability of a large forged part with complex geometry. Dean Solberg, Exact Metrology co-president suggested that they invest in scanning technology. Thus, the company purchased a Leica tracker, as well as PolyWorks software. Leica Absolute Tracker AT960 features an all-in-one integrated design, single-box probing system and smart connectivity. Additional features include continuous measurement, entry-level probing with T-probe and 2 Handheld laser scanners. One is an 8” line scan and another is a 24” line scan to capture huge amounts of data quickly.   The System is IP54 Certified for protection against dust and other contaminants.  PolyWorks|Inspectorwas used to verify the quality of the part through the use of high-density point clouds and contact-probe datasets. The scan was performed in a working environment, not a traditional lab, which meant that personnel were doing this while forging occurred. In the past, Strohwig machined various parts for them.  Now, this forge had Strohwig test for compliance vs. non-compliance in one of their forged parts.  

To do this, Strohwig used the Hexagon Romer Arm and the Leica Absolute Tracker. The portable measuring arms allowed company personnel the flexibility to measure on the machine shop or the floor. It featured no honing procedures, simplicity of operation and reliable 3D measurements. The Absolute Arm 7-axis delivers tactile probing and laser scanning in a uniquely ergonomic package. Once this was completed, they used PolyWorks|Inspectorto verify the quality of the part by using a color map. In the future, the company is looking to purchase additional Exact Metrology products.

Leica Absolute Tracker

Strohwig was able to coordinate with the company as they use common platforms to communicate and shared daily emails and PowerPoint presentations with their results. Brad Bucholtz used data mergers to combine the Romer and Leica data sets into one report.

Since using Exact Metrology, Brad said, “We are able to provide detailed reports to our customers. Also, we’re able to perform in-process inspections to validate specific processes.”  He further commented that Exact Metrology allowed them to supply a superior product and their deliverable to the customer has greatly improved.

When referring to the benefits of working with Exact Metrology, Brad noted, “Training only goes so far. After initial training, there are many stumbles and Exact is always there to make sure we get the knowledge we need. Onsite or offsite, they go above and beyond the call to make sure we can provide our customers with the data they need.”

Exact Metrology is ISO, AS9100 Certified as well as FFL and ITAR Registered.

Exact Metrology, with facilities in Cincinnati, Ohio, Moline, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, plus affiliated offices throughout the country, is a comprehensive metrology services provider, offering customers 3D and CT scanning, reverse engineering, quality inspection, product development and 2D drawings.   The company also provides turnkey metrology solutions, including equipment sales and lease/rental arrangements.  

For technical information regarding these companies, please contact:

Strohwig Industries
Brad Bucholoz
Quality Technician
3285 Industrial Rd.
Richfield, WI 53076
Phone: 262-628-4477

Dean Solberg
20515 Industry Avenue
Brookfield, WI 53045
Local: 262-533-0800

SIDEBAR:  In a short video, Brad Bucholoz, Strohwig Quality Technician, describes Strohwig as company in business for 43 years that specializes in plastics and die cast molds and large contract machining parts. Tasked to test for compliance vs. non-compliance of a forged part by a Midwestern metal forging customer, Bucholoz highlighted that Strohwig uses the same hardware and software as their customer to communicate more accurately with them.  This included the use of  PolyWorks|Inspector™  Leica Absolute Tracker AT960MR and the Hexagon Romer Arm. The Absolute Tracker was used in conjunction with the Leica Absolute Scanner LAS-XL and T-probe.  Bucholoz mentioned that Exact President, Dean Solberg and the Exact team have always been to help and that he sees this relationship continuing into the foreseeable future.

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ZEISS METROTOM 6 scout Now Available at Exact Metrology

Exact Metrology, a comprehensive 3D metrology service provider and hardware sales company, has recently installed a ZEISS METROTOM 6 scout, formally known as a GOM CT, scanner at their facility in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

Considered the powerhouse of resolution for CT inspection and metrology, the METROTOM 6 scout digitizes complex parts including the internal geometries at the finest level of detail. Users obtain a complete 3D image for GD&T analysis or nominal-actual comparisons. The metrology CT excels in digitizing small plastic parts.

The combination of a 3k detector and 225 kV X-ray enables ZEISS METROTOM 6 scout to provide high contrast, high-resolution measurement results and exceptional sharpness of detail. As a result, even the smallest defects in the part become visible and can be analyzed to the last detail.

To showcase the ability of Exact Metrology’s CT scanning services, powered by the METROTOM 6 scout, a scan was done on a medical stent. This medical stent, with a diameter of only 1 millimeter, was measured within a 5 Micron resolution. Thus, Exact Metrology inspectors were able to evaluate critical features with amazing precision.

CT scanning provides several benefits including being the only way to get 3D views inside a part and the only way to obtain accurate dimensional data without cutting up and destroying an object. In addition, CT scanning requires very little time to capture data and troubleshoot parts and also offers multiple uses with one scan (void analysis, inspection, volume, porosity, reverse engineering, etc.). In contrast to conventional tactile coordinate measurement techniques, a CT acquires all surface points simultaneously —on even the most complex objects. This includes all hidden features like undercuts which are not accessible using other non-destructive measurement methods.

Due to its ability to see data layer by layer, CT scanning permitted Exact Metrology inspectors the ability to see any possible defects/details on the stent. This is crucial for any medical device, especially something as small and essential as a stent that goes into the human body.

Exact Metrology is ISO, AS9100 Certified as well as FFL and ITAR Registered.

Exact Metrology, with facilities in Cincinnati, Ohio, Moline, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, plus affiliated offices throughout the country, is a comprehensive metrology services provider, offering customers 3D and CT scanning, reverse engineering, quality inspection, product development and 2D drawings.   The company also provides turnkey metrology solutions, including equipment sales and lease/rental arrangements.  

For more information, please contact:

Dean Solberg
20515 Industry Avenue
Brookfield, WI 53045
Local: 262-533-0800

To see optimized part positioning with ZEISS Metrology, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ch3JuozfqYU&list=PLvaO705pqbydFVDs_K_f0qrZgm1tQ8F9b

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Exact Metrology Helps Restore Sandstone Finials on Cincinnati Music Hall

Exact Metrology, a comprehensive 3D metrology service provider and hardware sales company, is proud to be a part of the restoration of Cincinnati Music Hall’s sandstone ornaments in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The restoration includes ten finials atop gables and a sandstone lyre. 

Partially deteriorated ornament

This project was undertaken by Friends of Music Hall, a volunteer-driven organization whose mission is to preserve, improve, promote and provide education about Cincinnati Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark. Thea Tjepkema, board member and historic preservationist is leading this restoration project on behalf of the Friends of Music Hall.

When the architect Samuel Hannaford designed Cincinnati Music Hall in the High Victorian Gothic style, he included a Gothic fleuron, or finial, on each of the eleven gables.  Over the past 140 years, the original carved sandstone has deteriorated to the point that only portions of these important decorative elements remain.

Exact Metrology scanned the extant ornament pieces using the Artec 3D Leo scanner in HD mode. Produced by Artec 3D, a world-renowned developer and manufacturer of professional 3D scanners and software, Artec 3D LEO has a 3D reconstruction rate of 80 frames per second. This makes it the fastest professional scanner on the market. With its large field of view, Artec LEO can scan and process large objects and scenes quickly and accurately. In addition, the scanner features data acquisition up to 4 million points/second, with a working range of .35-1.2 m.  The 3D resolution on this scanner is up to .5 mm and 3D point accuracy up to .1mm. Artec LEO can scan in sunlight, as well as capture dark and shiny objects. It uses advanced hybrid technology and texture tracking, so users can point at an object and shoot without needing to stick targets.  With no need to connect to a computer or to plug in to a main power source, users can hold the scanner and walk around freely, scanning without the worry of wires or additional equipment.

Arya Design, a Cincinnati based custom casting company, specializing in historic restoration and architectural products, used Exact Metrology’s scanned images to create complete 3D models of the finials and lyre.

Restoring the ornament

The company focuses on custom mold making with exact parameters to meet the design and color that was once there. Their proprietary formulas increase overall compression strength, while replicating the look and feel of historic carved stone. Arya also makes additional architectural cast pieces for new construction for the exterior and interior of commercial and residential buildings.

Chris Lafferty of Exact Metrology commented on this project saying, “Exact Metrology used a handheld  Artec LEO 3D scanner with high definition software to capture images of Cincinnati Music Hall’s sandstone ornamentation. Pointing the scanner at the existing finials and lyre, it used a grid of structured light technology to document their shape. Light bounced back at three million points per second, documenting even the chisel marks.”

Chris Rose of Arya Design concluded, “We are proud to partner with the Friends of Music Hall in creating the pieces needed as the literal “crown jewels” of an amazing historic preservation project.”

Restored sandstone ornament

Exact Metrology is ISO, AS9100 Certified as well as FFL and ITAR Registered.

Exact Metrology, with facilities in Cincinnati, Ohio, Moline, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, plus affiliated offices throughout the country, is a comprehensive metrology services provider, offering customers 3D and CT scanning, reverse engineering, quality inspection, product development and 2D drawings.   The company also provides turnkey metrology solutions, including equipment sales and lease/rental arrangements.  

For more information, please contact:

Steve Young
11575 Goldcoast Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45249
Local: 513.831.6620
Toll Free: 866.722.2600

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Exact Metrology Helps Vintage Car Owner

Exact Metrology, a comprehensive 3D metrology service provider and hardware sales company, recently scanned a unique car model. Exact personnel from the Brookfield, Wisconsin office used reverse engineering to help its owner design the car’s windshield.

Scanning of Speedster Coupe
Scanning of Speedster Coupe

Robert Smith is the owner of a one-off design car — a 1933 Speedster Coupe.  The car needed a special sized windshield which is no longer produced by any glass manufacturers. Smith contacted Curved Glass Creations, in Pompano Beach, Florida, to find out if they could supply him with the windshield. While the company wasn’t able to help, they did reach out to Exact Metrology with this special request.

Joe van der Sanden from Exact Metrology completed the scan at the client’s location using a Hexagon Absolute Arm 8525 with an RS6 scanner. The Hexagon Absolute Arm 7-axis delivers tactile probing and laser scanning in a uniquely ergonomic package. It is ideal for high-end portable measurement applications. The articulating arm offers ease of movement and ease of measurement.  The Hexagon RS6 laser scanner is designed for high-speed and accuracy scanning.  It scans up to 1.2 million points/sec with a scan rate of 300 Hz. The RS6 also has a wider laser stripe of 150 mm at mid-range and a visual guide that provides real time feedback for stand-off distance.  Built using SHINE technology (Systematic High-Intelligence Noise Elimination), it allows users to easily scan 99% of parts without touching the scanner exposure. With the Hexagon Absolute Arm 7-axis, the scanner can be removed if necessary and replaced without need for calibration.  Furthermore, with the arm mounted scanner, it is easier to measure due to less preparation, less set up, less settings and scans with full frame, with full line width, all the time.

Exact Metrology scan data
Exact Metrology scan data

Once the scan was completed, the file format was agreed to and delivered to Curved Glass Creations.  They were able to make the custom windshield. Robert Smith commented that he had a unique experience reaching out to the 3D image industry to ensure the accuracy of the glass created for his Alloway Speedstar. He was pleased that the scan was completed on-site and that Exact Metrology explained the process well to both him and the glass manufacturer. Smith concluded,” I never suspected my car built at “Speedy’s Rod and Kustom’s” would require such high technology! I can’t thank Exact Metrology enough for their involvement and making it look easy.”      

Exact Metrology is ISO9001, AS9100 Certified as well as FFL and ITAR Registered.

Exact Metrology, with facilities in Cincinnati, Ohio, Moline, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, plus affiliated offices throughout the country, is a comprehensive metrology services provider, offering customers 3D and CT scanning, reverse engineering, quality inspection, product development and 2D drawings. The company also provides turnkey metrology solutions, including equipment sales and lease/rental arrangements.  

For information, please contact:

Dean Solberg
20515 Industry Avenue
Brookfield, WI 53045
Local: 262-533-0800

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Siemens and Ingersoll Machine Tools expanding Digital Enterprise partnership

Robotic fiber placement and 3D printing enable disruptive breakthroughs in today’s manufacturing processes thanks to the advantages promised by Industry 4.0, the Digital Twin, higher robotic intelligence and complex motion control.

Siemens and Ingersoll Machine Tools have expanded their decade-long partnership to support the Rockford, IL-based machine tool company of Camozzi Group on its digital journey of creating digital twins of its products and expanding into new markets. Based upon extensive experience in heavy machine tool building, Siemens cutting-edge technologies in hardware complement Ingersoll Machine Tools’ successful journey into the new market of additive manufacturing and have pushed the boundaries for industrial robots for the aerospace market with its entry-level robotic platforms MasterPrint Robotic™ and MasterPrint Continuous Filament™

For example, Ingersoll developed the mammoth 3D printer MasterPrint™, the world’s largest device that prints with thermoplastics. The MasterPrint  at the University of Maine — included in the Guinness Book of World Records — is able to  3D-print objects up to 100 feet long, 20 feet wide and 10 feet tall. It is designed mainly to make tools for the aerospace, space and marine industry. MasterPrint™ cuts cost and streamlines the manufacturing process. Large parts are printed and then machined to final their shape with the same machine. Manufacturing costs can be reduced by 75% and lead times shortened from months to days.

“As a key supplier of high-tech manufacturing equipment to all the major players of the aerospace industry, Ingersoll has strategic technology goals that push CNC products capabilities and performance beyond their OEMs’ intentions, conception and scope in term of accuracy, reliability, ease of integration and seamless programming experience. Ingersoll has found a CNC and software partner in Siemens who is willing to develop and encompass these advanced capabilities into their products and to enable Ingersoll to achieve its strategic goals and service the needs of our customers by shortening their time-to-market and increasing their profitability”, said Piergiorgio Assandri, Business Director, Ingersoll Machine Tools.

“Ingersoll Machine Tools’ ambitious plans for becoming a leading digital enterprise in the machine tool market are impressive. Their successful additive manufacturing and industrial robot products are a proof point for this. Ingersoll Machine Tools’ entrepreneurial spirit and innovative approach has pushed us to the limits, what our technology is capable of and inspired us to go even further”, said Rajas Sukthankar, Vice-President of Siemens Digital Industries Motion Control Business (US). 

Ingersoll Machine Tools is using cutting-edge CNC automation hardware and software from Siemens to transform their business for the digital age. With the Siemens Virtual NC Kernel (VNCK), the company was able embed the real CNC kernel into a virtual machine, allowing Ingersoll Machine Tools to completely emulate real machine tool control and directly import the commissioning archive of the actual machine. That helped Ingersoll Machine Tools to save time with faster commissioning and to get the machine to their customers faster. From an end-customer perspective, users will be able to simulate the manufacturing of their product and shorten their time-to-market while increasing their production quality.    

“Composite production processes such as the increasingly popular robotic applications can have quite complex machine motions and tight manufacturing tolerances, as well as the ever present need to reduce production times.  Having a virtual version of the CNC kernel directly integrated within the programming and simulation software environment allows a customer to more reliably validate their production processes and timing before physically running anything on the machine.” said John Dreher, Software Engineering Manager, Ingersoll Machine Tools.

To handle the complex machining applications, Ingersoll Machine Tools chose the modular, scalable and open Sinumerik 840D sl CNC system from Siemens, which is considered to be
the control of choice in high-end machining segments like aerospace. High CNC machining performance, along with flexibility and openness, represent the basis for almost every machine tool concept.

Engineers from aerospace and other large-part industries come to Ingersoll Machine Tools
to collaborate on breakthroughs in additive and subtractive manufacturing

The promised advantages of digitalization are being implemented by Ingersoll Machine Tools.
Having removed the boundaries to large-format robotic fiber placement and 3D printing,
expectations now rise toward making breakthrough improvements across the entire part
production process.

Run MyRobot is a key feature on the Siemens Sinumerik 840D sl CNC, bringing precision control to the robotic machines at Ingersoll.

Contact for journalists:

John Meyer
Phone: +1 847 952 4158
E-mail: john.meyer@siemens.com

Follow us on Social Media:
www.twitter.com/siemens_cnc_us            www.facebook.com/Siemens.CNC.US  

Siemens Digital Industries (DI) is an innovation leader in automation and digitalization. Closely collaborating with partners and customers, DI drives the digital transformation in the process and discrete industries. With its Digital Enterprise portfolio, DI provides companies of all sizes with an end-to-end set of products, solutions and services to integrate and digitalize the entire value chain. Optimized for the specific needs of each industry, DI’s unique portfolio supports customers to achieve greater productivity and flexibility. DI is constantly adding innovations to its portfolio to integrate cutting-edge future technologies. Siemens Digital Industries has its global headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany, and has around 75,000 employees internationally.

Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of power generation and distribution, intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems, and automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries. Through the separately managed company Siemens Mobility, a leading supplier of smart mobility solutions for rail and road transport, Siemens is shaping the world market for passenger and freight services. Due to its majority stakes in the publicly listed companies Siemens Healthineers AG and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Siemens is also a world-leading supplier of medical technology and digital healthcare services as well as environmentally friendly solutions for onshore and offshore wind power generation. For more than 160 years, the company has innovated and invented technologies to support American industry spanning manufacturing, energy, healthcare and infrastructure. In fiscal 2018, Siemens USA reported revenue of $23.7 billion, including $5.0 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Ingersoll Machine Tools Inc is a leader in advanced manufacturing processes and a global supplier of additive and subtractive machine tools for the aerospace, defense, energy and all heavy industrial sectors. The Ingersoll product lineup includes MasterMill™, PowerMill™ and SuperProfiler™ for accurate, reliable, high-speed milling and trimming of large, complex-geometry parts made of aluminum, titanium and hard metals; Mongoose™ and Mongoose Hybrid™, for the composite manufacturing of aircrafts’, rockets’ and vessels’ structures; MasterPrint™, the largest existing thermoplastic 3D printer, capable to produce extra-large, hollow, parts in a single piece for the aerospace and the marine sectors. Ingersoll runs these very same machines at its Development Center to manufacture key-components for many aerospace and defense programs. Together with Innse-Berardi (Lombardy, Italy), Ingersoll is part of the Camozzi Machine Tools division of the Camozzi Group. With 30 subsidiaries in 75 countries, 2600 employees, 5 operating divisions and 18 production sites, the Camozzi Group is a global leader in the supply of components and systems for industrial automation and operates in other strategic sectors: Automation, Manufacturing, Digitalization and Textile Machinery

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