VIP, April 2005

April 1, 2005
April 28, 2005 Your newsletter for tips on selecting manufacturing technology. In this Issue... Sponsored by Verizon Wireless and Scientific Cutting Tools (SCT)  Question ...
April 28, 2005
Your newsletter for tips on selecting manufacturing technology. In this Issue... Sponsored by Verizon Wireless and Scientific Cutting Tools (SCT)
  • Question of the month - a happiness index for manufacturers?
  • Tips on selecting - the right EDM
  • Hot products
  • Manufacturing education and training - filling demand for certified NX specialists in China
  • Reader's gallery of shop photos - Connecticut's oldest machine tool builder
Newsletter sponsorVerizon Wireless
Push to Talk from Verizon Wireless Connect with the push of a button. No dialing, no phone tag, no hassle. Use it to connect coast to coast. Make regular calls on the same phone with the same number. Learn more about Push to Talk Question of the monthA happiness index for manufacturers?
Tom Grasson, associate publisher and editorial director, finds it absurd that the British government is trying to measure how happy its citizens are with a "happiness index." He thinks our elected officials can make people happy by tackling corporate tax reform, tort litigation, and regulatory compliance. Do you agree? Please e-mail Tom your opinion, questions, comments, or suggestions. Newsletter sponsorScientific Cutting Tools (SCT) Scientific Cutting Tools leads the way into the new millennium with "cutting edge" cutting tools. Look for our NEW premium line of Diamond Tipped CBN and PCD boring bars available later this year. Scientific Cutting Tools offers standard and custom cutting tools made from compressed submicron carbide and high-speed steel.
Visit SCT's website

Tips on Selecting
The right EDM
In shopping for an EDM, shops should find out:

  • The machine's weight and casting materials.
  • If features such as glass scales (for enhanced positioning accuracy) are standard or optional, and if options are retrofittable.

Shops should also:

  • Look for machines that provide easy access for cleaning and maintenance.
  • Purchase from EDM builders using only high-quality components.
  • Consider a modular-design EDM with integrated structural components to take up less floorspace.
  • Purchase machines with rigid, vibration-dampening designs.
  • Select between conventional ballscrew and linear-motor technology. Linear motors eliminate backlash and provide smooth movement.
  • Have OEMs demonstrate a machine's top cutting speed (without wire breakage) for 1 or 2-in. D2 material using 0.010-in.-diameter brass wire.

Shops should look for EDM controls that will let them:

  • Remotely monitor the machine control.
  • Program on-line and network the machine.
  • Handle software updates.

Additionally, shops may want an OEM that uses the same control on both its wire and sinker EDMs, reducing the leaning curve for operators.

Shops should look for controls that:

  • Are integrated into Windows operating systems.
  • Contain functions that speed machine setup, such as assist programs that find part edges or probing systems that program wire angles.

For wire threading, shops should look for a reliable and low-maintenance automatic wire-threader (AWT).

Wire EDMs use deionized water as a dielectric medium and sinker EDMs use oil. Shops need to find dielectric systems that reliably filter out machining debris and maintain a clean spark gap.

For sinker EDMs, shops should locate dielectric oils with high flash points, such as food-grade oils.

For reliable automation of EDM systems, shops may want to consult EDM OEMs partnered with automation-equipment manufacturers. Most automation experts recommend modular machines that let shops start out small and add units as workloads increase.

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Hot Products
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Sunnen Products Company is the global leader in the manufacture and distribution of bore-sizing and finishing equipment.
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Manufacturing Education and Training
Filling demand for certified NX Specialists in China
UGS, which provides product-lifecycle-management (PLM) software and services, and YanCheng Institute of Technology (YCIT) in Yancheng, China, are establishing an independent UGS college at the institute. The college will use UGS software in its undergraduate mechanics students' curriculum. UGS is providing the institute with an in-kind grant of its NX software and technical support.

YCIT has been an authorized UGS training center since 1999 and has already provided training on NX software to more than 1,000 engineering and technology professionals.

Dr. Liu Defang, professor and deputy principal at YCIT, says, "Our teaching and scientific research will benefit significantly from using UGS software in our courses. Students and researchers can develop real-world products and learn the latest PLM processes. We expect graduating students who pass the NX Certification Examination to have numerous job opportunities in the Chinese auto industry with major OEM companies."

The grant to YCIT is through UGS' Global Opportunities in Product Lifecycle Management
(GO PLM) initiative

Newsletter sponsorFanuc Robotics America Inc. Fanuc Robotics America Inc., Rochester Hills, Mich. has launched an industry initiative urging North American manufacturers to use automation and robotics as an alternative to moving jobs offshore.
how automation can save U.S. jobs. Reader's Gallery of Shop Photos The Grant Manufacturing and Machine Co., Bridgeport, Conn., is Connecticut's oldest machine tool builder and reportedly the world's oldest riveting machine manufacturer. Take a look at its ad reprinted from American Machinist, October 4, 1923.Coming in May's issue:AMERICAN MACHINIST will focus on small businesses. Find out how small shops can wring out a profit in today's global economy.

For questions or comments, e-mail Leslie Gordon. To learn how to reach this newsletter's thousands of qualified readers, e-mail Christian Webb or call him at 216.931.9501. To subscribe send a blank email. To unsubscribe send a blank email. © 2005 Penton Media Inc., 1300 E. 9th St., Cleveland, OH 44114. Read our privacy policy.