Jeff Immelt, previous CEO of manufacturing giant GE recently stated about Artificial Intelligence, “Companies need to become digital to survive - We must turn information into insights and insights into outcomes.”
That implies we have something to think about:
Manufacturing is changing, which isn’t a bad thing. But technology will become difficult to keep up with if we don’t keep an open mind. Though we embrace new technology in some parts of our shop, one trend in particular should be on our radar:
It will dramatically change our industry. However, coming to terms with that fact can be intimidating. This is often due to a lack of awareness, or a fundamental misunderstanding of AI.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
Simply put, artificial...Read more
Quality is the backbone of your business – without it, you wouldn’t have the reputation in the industry as a quality manufacturer. So, once you have your quality standards set, it’s time to expect the same from your suppliers.
While quality standards will vary, the importance of quality, especially in manufacturing, is a universal requirement. Customers need to be able to trust your brand. To gain that trust, the first thing you need from your suppliers are quality products.
Here are some tips on how to get the quality that you and your customer are depending on.
1. Decide on your own quality standards first.
First and foremost, establish exactly the quality you’re looking for. Have a list of materials and standards that you’re willing to compromise on, and those that you’re not. Is price more...Read more
Your organization spends hours working with suppliers to find the optimal balance of price and material grade. You negotiated, compromised, sent RFQ’s and placed PO’s. In the past, many companies didn’t communicate with their suppliers until the next order or delivery was needed.
Not anymore. Surveys tell us that the attitude toward supplier relationships has changed over the past decade. Companies are now realizing the importance of leveraging strategic relationships with their suppliers. In a poll taken in 2016, 63% of procurement professionals had improving collaboration with suppliers as one of their top KPIs for the year.
In today’s competitive market place, I would argue that on some occasions your supplier choice is as important, if not more important than your material choice.
Knowledge is...Read more
Robert Fothergill, EDM Applications Specialist with Poco Graphite, recently published an article in Mold Making Technology discussing that understanding all the electrode parameters can improve EDM efficiency. I can’t agree more.
As discussed, sinker EDM machining technology has improved significantly over the years. These changes effect the processes and decisions an EDM machinist will face when running the machine. But, some performance factors remain the same even with the advanced technology:
• Machinability - a balance between easy to machine and resilient enough to withstand the machining process
• Metal Removal Rate – achieving the proper electrode material/work metal/application combination rate so the MRR can be maximized
• Wear Resistance – maximizing the electrode to produce and maintain detail related to its wear and...Read more
Anyone who has ever purchased graphite materials knows that the physical properties of the material are important. You want to use the right product for the application. But in efforts to promote less expensive products, and compete on price, many distributors are focusing on the density of the material. They are presenting density as an indicator of enhanced quality. I would argue that particle size is by far more important than density when choosing the quality of a product.
All EDM Graphites are evaluated using the following physical properties:
• Particle Size
• Apparent Density
• Flexural and Compressive Strength
• Electrical Resistivity
EDM Graphite is made from petroleum coke, a manufactured carbon product. The petroleum coke is pulverized into small particles and mixed with a...Read more
Copper impregnated graphite is a material with the qualities of both graphite and copper. It is a graphite material manufactured with a controlled amount of interconnected porosity which is then infiltrated with copper by capillary action in a furnace.
The impregnation process is performed at 2400 degrees F (1300 degrees C) in a controlled atmosphere to eliminate oxidation. The graphite must be heated first and then completely submerged in molten metal. Once completely surrounded by molten copper, several hundred atmospheres of pressure are applied to force the metal into the pores of the graphite. After the pores are fully infiltrated, the excess metal is removed and the graphite is allowed to cool.
Shops generally use copper to make electrodes when they have a need to provide a better surface finish and better flushing. They generally use graphite when they...Read more
Many of our customers are inquiring about the benefit of using CFC Materials in their Vacuum Furnace and other Heat Treat applications. While there are many benefits, from increased furnace capacity to quicker turnaround time, there are 5 main benefits that deserve attention:
1. CFC Materials provide High Strength while Light Weight
Thanks to their special fiber structure, CFC is very low weight and robust, especially when it comes to the behavior of fracture and mechanical resistance. Racks and workpieces made of CFC are 8 to 10 times lighter than classical racks. Consequently, they facilitate processes and working cycles and even contribute to the prevention of accidents. With high strength and low weight, CFC jig assemblies are used for vacuum heat treatment and brazing of turbine blades, oil coolers, stainless steel brazing and sintering.
The manufacturing industry of a country is directly proportional to its gross domestic product (GDP). In the US, every dollar spent on manufacturing contributes $1.32 to the economy, and manufacturing supports more than 17 million workers.
Over the next decade, the US manufacturing industry is facing a serious crisis, the skills gap. More than 3.5 million jobs will need to be staffed with 2.7 million manufacturing workers retiring. With the skills gap growing larger, it is presenting several groundbreaking manufacturing opportunities.
With 40% of the students who begin a 4 year college program not finishing, and the mounting college debt crisis, it is prime time for our society to start embracing the value of vocational education. We have spent a generation telling our children that everyone should go to college…..that only a college...Read more
This past October 7th was National Manufacturing Day, 2016. A day set aside as a celebration of modern manufacturing, meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Although Manufacturing Day officially occurs on the first Friday of October, I think that every day should be National Manufacturing Day.
Do you remember when you had shop class in Jr. High or High school? It was a chance to work with your hands and create something. And, it was a break from abstract book study and allowed you to work with materials and think outside the box. It also showed kids how an idea could become a commodity they could sell, and...Read more
Modern manufacturing has come a long way in employing rigorous quality initiatives, but when a defective part slips past the quality initiatives, customer perception can make the situation go from bad to worse very quickly.
It isn’t always easy to get quality right given the current manufacturing environment. Shorter delivery times, increasing competition and elevated customer expectations; it is no wonder that quality is once again front and center.
Customer expectations matter, more so than ever. The new view of quality has expanded. Quality has always had two sides one could argue: actual quality and perceived quality. Often the latter takes longer to...Read more