MMT Blog

Ever have that relative whose profession was a mystery growing up? Heck, my dad was an electrical engineer for a vacuum pump systems manufacturer who loved being out on the shop floor, and I didn’t know that until I was an adult. Little did I know that a few years later, I’d be covering the trades in the manufacturing media and then unexpectedly bump into my father at a local tabletop trade show. Too funny.

Well, it happened to me again. This time more recently with my late Aunt Jo (or as most referred to her, Sister Raymond Mary Cline, a Sister of Mercy). In 1973, she began 35 years of service to Mercy Vocational High School where she taught business education and computer technology. In 1999, she made a move into the career services department as an assistant to the director of cooperative education.

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Ever have that relative whose profession was a mystery growing up? Heck, my dad was an electrical engineer for a vacuum pump systems manufacturer who loved being out on the shop floor, and I didn’t know that until I was an adult. Little did I know that a few years later I’d be covering the trades in the manufacturing media, and then unexpectedly bump into my father at a local tabletop trade show.  Too funny.  

Well, it happened to me again. This time more recently.  And, I want you to understand that I come from a big family who always got together, but I guess I grew up in an age where the adults didn’t sit around talking … or complaining … about work stress like we seem to do today (at least that’s what my nieces and nephews tell me). So, not having a clue what relatives did for a living was pretty common.

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Wes Byleveld has gotten used to working backward in his sales pitches. The bottom line, he tells Exco Engineering’s automotive customers, is that additively manufactured die cast components can provide a distinct competitive edge. He shows how 3D-printing conformal cooling channels close to the surface of these tools creates a thermally balanced die, and how the benefits cascade into decreased cycle time, lower scrap rates and lower labor costs. And yes, he goes on to say, the mechanical performance of inserts and water jackets printed with maraging steel, which is suitable for sintering via the powder-bed fusion (PBF) process, equals or exceeds the performance of H13 tool steel. Using thermal stress simulations and real-world testing, he presents years’ worth of research that backs up his claims.

It’s a pitch that Byleveld has made with a good deal of success for Exco, where he serves as director of additive manufacturing (AM) for the largest high-pressure die cast tool builder in North America. Exco’s top customers are are the Detroit Three automakers, but the list extends to just about every major automotive brand known to the United States.

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By: Jack Burley 2/14/2020

Tips for Mitigating Chatter and Vibration

Vibration can be a common problem faced by shops. A resonance frequency issue, vibration happens as a tool is trying to move out of its designed path or center. As it does, the tool starts to deflect, which causes chatter. This can have an adverse impact on machining: tool life is negatively affected, spindle bearings take up vibration which affects their life, lost productivity from slowing the process down, and out-of-tolerance workpieces.

There are a few ways to combat vibration. One is to identify tool deflection as the root cause of the problem. This can take several forms, from cantilever deflection to holding being done with a pulling element. Since deflection is based on the amount of force, the higher the force, the greater the deflection.

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Moldmaking Business Activity Generally Unchanged for Second Month

The Gardner Business Index (GBI): Moldmaking moved only slightly in January with a 20-basis point decline to 49.6. Index readings above 50 indicate expanding activity while values below 50 indicate contracting activity. The further away a reading is from 50 the greater the magnitude of change in business activity. January’s reading being so near to 50 indicates that business activity was little changed for a second consecutive month. Despite the slight decrease in the total Index, survey participants indicated expanding activity in new orders and production. The Index -calculated as an average of six components- was pulled lower by supplier deliveries, employment, exports and backlogs.

 

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