By: Christina M. Fuges 30. October 2014

Good Ol' Boy Making a Difference

Cardinal Manufacturing is an in-school manufacturing program teaching students real life
skills and showcasing educational and career opportunities in manufacturing. The program has attracted national attention because of its accomplishments. MMT and our sister publications and events have featured Craig and his successful training model.
The school is holding open house for visitors to tour the facilities, meet the students and help support the operations of Cardinal Manufacturing. From 4:30-8:00pm the doors will be open to the public with prizes, food and demonstrations. Major raffle prizes will include a crossbow, Black Powder rifle, laptop, chicken grills, and much more.
A special guest during the event will be singer and actor Tom Wopat from the Dukes of Hazzard, along with the famous General Lee. Autographs and photo opportunties will be from 5:30 to 7:30pm followed by a concert at 8:15pm at Central Auditorium (tickets $5.00).
Lastly, Nexen, a leading manufacturer of precision motion control components, power transmission and web tension control products, is promoting its $37,500.00 Challenge to help earn a new CNC machine for Cardinal to expand its manufacturing capabilities.
Cardinal Manufacturing Open House
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014
4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
At Eleva-Strum Schools
W23597 US Highway 10, Strum, WI 54770

By: Matthew Danford 29. October 2014

Laser Welding Earns its Keep

All three companies use their welders to lay beads measuring only 0.005 inch, often along sharp edges or intricate features without marring highly finished or textured portions of the surface. In the application shown here, an apprentice at Hoffer Plastics welds the ID of a chrome-plated AMPCO core.

A typical MoldMaking Technology application story details only one manufacturer, but in one recent case, I just had to expand the net. Three different providers of mold repair and maintenance services had essentially the same story to tell—a story that, I thought, would be far more convincing as a single narrative. That story involves the reasons for and benefits of bringing laser welding in-house. Read the article here.

Although I don’t have any hard evidence to suggest a trend beyond the experience of these three manufacturers, I wouldn’t be surprised to find other companies making a similar transition. For one, all three companies covered in the article do enough laser welding to justify handling it themselves rather than relying on outside suppliers. This has much to do with accuracy and the fact that the process generates little heat, an advantage that reduces the risk of deforming the surrounding workpiece material. The three companies' welding systems, all from O.R. Laser, are also easy enough to use that in all three cases, apprentices are among the primary operators. Finally, the shops cite annual savings in excess of $20,000, enough to pay off their units within only a year of use. Read the article to learn more.

By: Christina M. Fuges 28. October 2014

Going to Mexico

Gardner Business Media President Rick Kline Sr. announced the launch of Modern Machine Shop MEXICO, a print magazine and integrated media platform. The intent is to connect buyers and sellers of metalworking technology in Mexico to help them maintain world-class competitiveness in the global marketplace. Rick Kline Sr. said of the launch, “Mexico is a natural area of interest to us. It is our next door neighbor. It is a member of NAFTA. Mexico is a gateway to key markets to the south and a vital supplier to those in the north. Mexico has a strong manufacturing base and is experiencing some of the fastest growth in the world. We are developing a brand that will give metalworking professionals in Mexico a new source of insights into mainstream and advanced manufacturing technology.” Kline added that the new publication will also report on successes of local shops and plants that can be emulated by others in the country. The new business represents an international extension of Modern Machine Shop, which has served the metalworking industry in North America since 1928.

The first issue of Modern Machine Shop MEXICO will appear as a January/February edition that will be distributed in January 2015. Its reach will include a dedicated audience of selected production managers, engineers and manufacturing technicians engaged in the major manufacturing sectors of Mexico such as automotive, aerospace and medical.

Modern Machine Shop MEXICO is led by Gardner Business Media Metalworking Group Publisher Travis Egan, who formed a team of experienced media professionals united by their passion for and expertise in the metalworking market to develop and launch the new venture. The team includes Claude Mas (of MoldMaking Technology), who has been appointed as Publisher, and Eduardo Tovar, (formerly of Metalmecanica) who has been named as Editor-In-Chief. This pair represents more than 30 years of experience in the metalworking marketplace. Commenting on the brand, Egan said, “At Gardner Business Media, we are constantly pushing ourselves to develop the best product and process related content in the most effective format. Modern Machine Shop MEXICO is born from these efforts and is squarely aimed at promoting the strength and competitiveness of the metalworking market in Mexico.”


Claude Mas, Publisher
Modern Machine Shop MEXICO 
(856) 854-1715

Eduardo Tovar, Editor-in-Chief
Modern Machine Shop MEXICO 
(772) 419-8922

By: Matthew Danford 27. October 2014

Easy Fixes for Tough Undercuts

Seescan, which specializes in utility locating and inspection equipment, used this tulip ejector to release an undercut on a mold for a watertight camera seal.

The right off-the-shelf component can make life a lot easier for any mold manufacturer, even one with a laser-like focus on doing as much as possible in-house.

"Do it yourself" is certainly the modus operandi for Seescan, a San Diego-area OEM that judges success in large part by how quickly it can get new products to market. To that end, the operation recently added more than $1 million worth of new equipment that provides new options in terms of manufacturing strategies—options that have eliminated the previous problem of new product designs being constrained by in-house capabilities (read this article to learn more). When mold shop manager Kirk Joy cited the use of a tulip ejector (shown above) to release a difficult undercut as an example, I assumed this component had been made entirely in-house, too. As it turned out, however, the company had purchased the tulip ejector from CUMSA, a Spanish manufacturer of mold components with U.S. headquarters in Michigan.

That’s not to say Joy was wrong when he cited the use of the tulip ejector as an example of how new equipment has unlocked new capabilities. On the contrary, the hole visible toward the bottom of the core was burned on a sinker EDM, a piece of equipment the shop didn’t have before. My mistake was assuming he’d manufactured the entire component. Given the relatively complex construction and moving action of the ejector, purchasing the component was no doubt the far better option. (Check out the video on this page to see how the tulip ejector works.)

Some off-the-shelf components can even eliminate the need for more sophisticated equipment. In one example, Mid Missouri Tool and Die constructed a mold that uses Cumsa’s DH Series lifters (shown below) to release a series of undercuts. Featuring a design that supplies all angular motion within a straight, vertical plane, the lifters eliminated the need to machine angled channels into the mold. That was ideal for the shop, which otherwise would have had to outsource the work or invest in a wire EDM or five-axis machining center. Read this article to learn more.

By: Christina M. Fuges 24. October 2014

Moldmakers Working for Funding to Support Manufacturing Training

Raymond Coombs is not only president of Westminster Tool, Inc. of Plainfeld, Connecticut, he also serves as the president of the Eastern Advanced Manufacturing Alliance (EAMA), established to help beat the labor crunch by investing in the future manufacturing workforce.

EAMA is an aggregate of 34 manufacturers from three states (Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts) that work closely with two local community colleges: Three Rivers Community College and Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC) to provide direction for curriculums that will benefit the future of manufacturingFor example, QVCC offered its first Advanced Manufacturing certificate program in the fall of 2013, from which two Westminster Tool employees graduated, and in which two more employees are currently enrolled.

And now, QVCC and TRCC were awarded funds from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant.

Since first covering EAMA earlier this year, the organization has expanded into North and South Chapters to accommodate the growing membership and fulfill specific needs.
1. The South Chapter members had a specific need for sheet metal fabricators and a training program that would produce fabricators. This was not something that either community colleges that EAMA works with offers. 
2. TRCC and QVCC applied for the grant under the umbrella of Connecticut Advanced Manufacturing Initiative (CAMI), which comprises 12 community colleges in Connecticut and some of the technical high schools.
3. TRCC won grant funds to start a sheet metal fabrication training program.
4. QVCC won grant funds to support of its ongoing Advanced Manufacturing Certificate Program.
It's very motivating to hear about the various efforts across the country honing in on our workforce dilemna in such a successful way.  Please consider contacting me to share yours.

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