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Weekly Update 11/26/2008

Nov. 26, 2008
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Editor's Message
Most shops still have manually operated machines in their arsenal, and those machines rarely gather dust. So why not take a quick look at some of the ways those machines can be used more productively and profitably?
Generate NC Tool Paths with Microsoft Excel
Many parts require you to do repetitive calculations to create a tool path. If you’re programming manually, that can be a daunting and time consuming task with a large potential to make errors. Many shops opt to use a CAM system or parametric programs, but not every machine or shop has these capabilities. With Microsoft Excel, you can set up arrays to complete the calculations, and with a few tricks, you can use that program to produce the actual lines of code. Read the full story here

Microsoft Excel Tips
Microsoft Excel tips to creating an NC toolpath. Read the full story here

Affordable Alternatives
Two recent innovations offer job shops affordable alternatives to manual machine tending and highpriced custom automation systems. The first is the DS 1200-MTL system from Distech Systems Inc., and the second is the JobShop Cell from Methods Machine Tools. Both systems provide the same productivity and labor-saving advantages as custom systems, yet with job shop flexibility. Read the full story here

Manual Shops Crank Out The Work
There is no way to deny that machines driven by computer numerical controls are the most productive tools available to a shop, but there are many managers and owners who say that manual machines still have a place in shops, and there are some shops that use nothing but manual machines and continue to be profitable. Read the full story here

NC programming may become a one-button process
Intelligent NC captures the user's knowledge of the machine process and recognizes the appropriate machining strategies. Read the full story here

Isn't it Time to Teach CNC to Students?
An email from a reader implied the question of whether anyone who continues to use manual machine tools is making money. Read the full story here

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Case Studies
Case Studies / WhitepapersSponsored case studies provide real-world accounts of what's happening in the machining industry. They chronicle the events faced by business owners and managers who had to deal with changes in the competitive environment, and plots the owners' or managers' response which usually entails a change in their business strategy.Latest case studies:
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Digital Edition
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