From: Aerospace Manufacturing Magazine
by : Mike Richardson, September 2018
How JJ Churchill is using Blue Photon Workholding Technology to meet their manufacturing needs.
Mike Richardson meets JJ Churchill’s executive chairman, Andrew Churchill to hear about the latest developments of its aerofoil blade machining techniques with the help of a new workholding concept called Blue Photon.
A first-tier expert in the production of gas turbine blades from forgings, castings and solid billet, JJ Churchill says it has halved machining operations on specific critical parts using Blue Photon technology – which is marketed in the UK and Europe by NCMT.
Blue Photon technology enables engineers to realise benefits not possible previously with mechanical fixtures alone. JJ Churchill has utilised the Blue Photon technology in an innovative way to deliver huge productivity benefits for its customers.
Here, the technology is applied to a titanium aluminide aerofoil blade component which is an extremely difficult material to fixture and machine. Blue Photon fixes the component to the workholding fixture with an adhesive, which when cured under UV light, is strong enough for the most rigorous machining techniques including 5‐axis CNC. The process is a replacement for encapsulation, providing reduced fixture complexity.
“You can often see real value by looking outside your sector at the typical technologies used on the products you make instead of just within your supply chain – it’s what I call horizontal innovation,” begins JJ Churchill’s executive chairman, Andrew Churchill. “Workholding is a classic example, i.e. how well a company can drive its process and quality performance is directly connected to how well it can repeatedly, robustly and rigidly hold the workpiece it is machining, otherwise it will never achieve a process-capable machining solution.
“We’re very interested in how we can best hold aerofoil blades. They possess a beautiful, sinuous shape, but are very difficult to clamp efficiently. Conventionally, a blade is secured using hard-point fixturing and a clamping solution which is expensive to make and has numerous drawbacks. Alternatively, the blade can be encapsulated by being placed in a mould and adding a low melting point metal or resin alloy, which takes it from a sinuous aerofoil shape to a solid block. This is expensive, and the design of the encapsulation fixturing is complex because it requires cooling water channels and electrical contacts, as well as moving parts and a decontamination at the end of the process.”
"A technique derived from prismatic machining, when exposed to UV light, the plastic polymer cross-links and sets. We pick up the datum points on the blade forging which allows us to use Blue Photon plastic glue to adhere a new set of datum points through a metal fixture with sapphire waveguides onto the blade. And because it’s a square shape, it can be clamped much more efficiently. After blade machining, the glued-on metal datum block is simply removed and the finished blade product is washed off with warm water. It’s a radical approach – we’ve taken Blue Photon’s licensee, NCMT’s intellectual property and developed the know-how for aerofoil manufacturing applications.
“In terms of benefits, we no longer need to design a complex and expensive encapsulation fixture, we can machine more faces of the blade, we’ve removed the slow-melting alloy encapsulation and part decontamination processes. Combined with other novel manufacturing processes such as additive manufacturing removes substantial amounts of lead-time from the new product introduction (NPI) process. Typically, we remove a quarter of the lead-time and about a quarter of the cost of NPI on a blade using the combination of Blue Photon and additive manufacture of coordinate measuring machine (CMM) fixtures. It’s incredibly powerful because if you can respond rapidly to NPI, you stand a better chance of getting the volume work of an aero engine programme.”
Time to meet your maker
Once the blade root and tip have been machined, the workpiece is transferred to one of JJ Churchill’s Starrag LX051 5‐axis machining centres. The workpiece is held in specifically‐developed fixturing for the fast and effective complete machining of the aerofoil from forged blanks that are, at most, 5mm oversize.
“We’ve had Starrag machines for well over ten years, but we work with a relatively small number of top-notch, global machine tool suppliers. It’s really important to develop a deep relationship with those suppliers. We will visit them at least once a year to get involved with their R&D activities, so that we understand what is coming through as potential opportunities. We could wait and see what the large OEMs are pushing in terms of technologies – or we can get aggressively involved, help them solve some of their problems and get the opportunity to be partner with them on some of the technical developments going forward. We’ve done this very successfully in a number of areas.
“We usually get two years of advance notice of winning volume production contracts on any given programme. Volume production means building a bespoke cell, which requires investment and poses the question: in terms of single-piece flow, what is the best technology to drive global cost-competitiveness and process capability for this specific customer? We have a shortlist of potential machine tool suppliers where we can form a partnership, sign a non-disclosure agreement and put the supplier alongside our engineers to develop a proposal. This can form the basis of a long-term contract. We will then build the production cell and deploy it.”
Machines talk to machines
ll this talk of the potential volume production hints at product process capability and robust process stability. How much importance does Churchill place on Industry 4.0, automation and the advent of ‘smart tools’ in general?
"We produce gas turbine blades for engines that will be in service for decades. If we’re still making them the same way whilst competitor economies like Germany continue to drive the application of Big Data and Industry 4.0 as a productivity advantage, then the UK will eventually lose out.
“More in the ‘here and now’ is automation. The use of robotics in a high labour cost economy will have its place – and the UK is a high labour cost economy. We’re looking at how we can link together our VIPER grinding centres and CMMs and automate them. The first step is a ‘pick and place’ robot: a robot arm and end-effector selects a turbine casting, places it on the grinding machine, removes it on completion and places it on the CMM. This offers some advantages but it’s not really earth-shattering.
“The real value is gained with closed-loop adaptive machining. The robot does what I’ve just described, but when it gets to the CMM, the CMM talks to both it and the grinding machine and says for example, ‘this is a nonconforming blade, there is a material-on condition, so we need to re-program and postprocess back to the grinder and remove more material from these features’. Completely without human intervention, this closed-loop output from the CMM is fed back to the CNC grinder, regrinds that blade and re-measures it to establish that it now conforms.
“This is adaptive machining. Even more exciting is where there are upper and lower feature control limits. If that feature is beginning to drift inside the upper and lower control limits, the operator will either take action or simply wait and see. However, in a closed-loop adaptive environment, if the feature begins to drift, the output from the CMM data linked into the VIPER grinding machine can adjust accordingly to make minute incremental offset changes and nurse it to hit closer to nominal all the time. This is what we will be doing and we’ve already designed a cell which is ready for the robots and designed with closed-loop adaptive machining in mind.”
Adept at adaptation
Churchill then poses a relevant question: what does this mean to employment? After all that has already been discussed, it doesn’t surprise me to hear him say that as a rapidly growing business, JJ Churchill will be re-deploying its employees internally and re-skilling them accordingly.
“Companies will need to accurately plan a growth curve so that they can redeploy their labour. We want to take the experience our workforce has gained over the years and keep it, but retrain and augment it with the kinds of skillsets that will be needed to get the most out of digital manufacturing.
“We will also be looking to ensure our apprentices join us with ‘digital-ready’ skills. We’ll need people with grinding skills and those of being able to interact with robotics and programming, whilst operators with lower skillsets can be employed to ensure the cell is fed with raw material. It will require huge changes in our industry’s skillsets and it’s one that we’re eyes wide open to, but it will be a challenge for our sector as a whole in moving forward.”
Weldon Tool has announced a running change to the appearance of all Weldon Premium carbide endmills regarding raised land transition area from the back of the clearance face to the flute.
This design change also provides an appearance more consistent with most all tungsten carbide endmills.
Weldon further states: "This is only a functional appearance change. Both internal and customer field tests have confirmed that users will still experience the same outstanding performance of Weldon Premium carbide endmills as they have in the past."
Here's a short guide on understanding Cut Tap Chamfers. This is an excerpt from Allen Benjamin's Technical Tap Guide Engineering Data.
A tap chamfer is the tapering of the threads to distribute cutting action over several teeth. The type of hole to be tapped has much to do with the chamfer style of that tap that’s best suited.
Some holes go all the way through. Some, while not through-holes, are relatively deep. Some are quite shallow (a little deeper than diameter).
Each of these three kinds of holes - through, deep-bottoming blind, and shallow bottoming - has a tap chamfer best suited to specific threading requirements.
This style, with a 7-10 thread chamfer, has the longest chamfer of the three to distribute action over the maximum number of teeth; and the taper also acts as a guide in starting the cutting action in the hole. Taper style taps start the thread square with the workpiece. Taper taps are commonly used in through holes and in materials where a tapered guide is necessary.
This style, with a 3-5 thread chamfer, is most widely used in through holes and where there is sufficient room at the bottom in blind holes.
Semi (or Modified) Bottoming Taps
This style, with a 2 to 2.5 thread chamfer, should be used when-ever possible in difficult material applications in blind holes, when threads are not required to the bottom of the hole
This style, designed with a 1 to 2 thread chamfer, is made with just enough chamfer for starting in the hole; as the name implies, it is designed to thread blind holes to the bottom.
PLEASE NOTE: Taper, plug and bottoming taps as a set, in a given size (for example: 1/4-20 NC) are identical as to size, length and vi-tal measurements; the difference is in the chamfered threaded portion at the point. As a rule, such taps when used by hand are furnished in sets of three of a given size...namely, taper, plug and bottoming (and should be used in that order)
Tech Tips: Dorian Tool
Installing a turret can give a real productivity boost for shops. With a CNC turret, more tools can be carried at one time.
The lathe is one of the oldest and most versatile machine tools. Few shops can do without the processing capability offered by the CNC lathe. Long before automatic toolchangers were applied to milling machines, the lathe had a multiple-tool configuration. The tool post gave lathe users the ability to select from several mounted tools and index them as needed during a turning cycle.
Many CNC lathes are still offered with the manual tool post design. Shops can generally purchase these machines at very reasonable prices. Some shops have found a need to increase the flexibility of these lathes by adding an indexable turret in place of the manual tool post.
Installing such a turret can give a real productivity boost for shops running on Colchester, Harrison, Nardini, Bridgeport, Southwest Industries and other popular combination CNC lathes. With a CNC turret, more tools can be carried at one time. Programming the turret brings the right tool into the cut at the right time automatically. No stopping the machine to index a manually operated tool post is needed so cycle times are reduced for applications that use more than one tool.
For many turning applications a manual tool post has sufficient capacity. But any shop that is looking for a through-put gain in their turning operation without a major investment in new machine tools, can benefit by considering installation of a CNC turret.
The issue is more about processing efficiency than tool capacity, says lathe accessory maker, Dorian Tool (East Bernard, Texas). A turret configuration allows the machine tool to carry tools mounted in operation sequence. Sometimes turret tool capacity is sufficient for more than one job to run without a tooling setup in between. But significant production time is saved by the ability to automatically index the tool turret as part of the lathe's part processing program.
The turret offered by Dorian Tool is a bi-directional unit. Indexing therefore takes the shortest part from one tool station to another. It's operated by a three-phase 220/380 volt 50/60 hertz electric motor through an anti-backlash gear drive. Tool position is controlled by an absolute encoder which tracks actual position of the tool station. The working position of the turret can be right or left hand depending on the unit location ahead of or behind the lathe's spindle axis.
A proximity switch detects tool position and verifies turret lockup before a go signal is sent to the CNC. A three-piece Hirth-type coupling is used to hold the clamped turret radially. The turret indexes, station-to-station under one second. Fast index is achieved by not lifting the turret face. The entire indexing mechanism is housed in a Meehanite grade casting that helps damp cutting induced vibrations.
Four standard sizes of turrets are available. They are 100, 120, 160 and 200 mm respectively. Toolholding capacities of eight or 12 stations are available in ID, OD or combined tooling configurations.
Tool capacities range from 12 to 32 mm (1/2 to 1-1/4 inches). A VDI turret disk is available. Both turret disks have an integral coolant delivery system.
Simple electrical and coolant connections easily interface with the lathe. If an indexable turret is the difference between a CNC lathe and a CNC turning center, then this accessory is a cost effective way to up-grade your lathes.
This article about Blue Photon Technology and Workholding Systems LLC originally appeared in Modern Machine Shop magazine.
Written by Derek Korn
Precision Grinding and Manufacturing uses an atypical means to fixture thin parts that are prone to flexing when conventional workholding clamps are used: adhesive cured by UV light.
Operators must take care not to distort such parts while tightening clamps, otherwise the parts will spring back to their natural state once the clamps are removed after machining.
Vibration can also be an issue for parts like these if they aren’t rigidly fixtured, meaning a quality surface finish might be tough to achieve and cutting parameters might have to be dialed back, extending cycle times. Finding a way to effectively fixture complex, contoured parts can be just as difficult.
Ray Bray says Precision Grinding and Manufacturing (PGM) fought these problems in the past. Mr. Bray is a project engineer for the Rochester, New York, contract shop that specializes in complex, short-run, often repeating work for industries including aerospace, automotive, medical, military, optics, photonics and telecommunications.
Bray says PGM has employed a variety of unconventional methods to more effectively secure relatively thin workpieces for machining over the years, going so far as to use clay, lead and sandbags to supplement conventional mechanical clamps in an effort to minimize vibration.
You won’t find those types of workholding workarounds being applied there today. Instead, the shop uses an advanced, albeit atypical technology that is particularly effective for fixturing flexible parts.
In short, this technology uses adhesive to temporarily bond a workpiece to numerous cylindrical grippers installed in a fixture plate. Once the adhesive is cured via ultraviolet (UV) light, the workpiece is securely held at a known datum location in an undistorted, freestate condition.
After machining, the adhesive bonds between the grippers and workpiece are easily broken and any excess adhesive is removed from the completed part via a quick, steamcleaning wash.
"A workholding solution that uses adhesive cured by ultraviolet light enables PGM to accurately fixture thin parts such as this magnesium casting without causing them to flex, which can happen when conventional mechanical clamps are used."
Mr. Bray says that while this workholding technique isn’t appropriate for every job that runs through the shop, it has opened opportunities to win work that, in the past, PGM might not have considered bidding on due to the inherent fixturing challenges. It has also enabled PGM to improve existing fixtures the shop uses for jobs that regularly repeat.
William Hockenberger established PGM in 1967. The shop is now led by his son Mike, who is president and CEO. Business has been good over the years, and PGM has recently completed a 20,000-square-foot facility addition, bringing total floor space to 68,000 square feet.
PGM has a wealth of CNC equipment, including machining centers, turning centers and grinding machines. Milling represents the bulk of the work performed there today, for which the shop uses VMCs with four- and five-axis capability as well as HMCs with pallet pools.
William Hockenberger’s son Todd, PGM’s coporate vice president, explains that because a good portion of that milling work involves thin and complex workpieces, the shop has continuously looked for more effective ways to secure those types of parts for machining.
A few years ago, PGM learned about photo-activated adhesive workholding (PAAW) technology that was developed at Penn State University, which looked to be well-suited for such troublesome parts. PAAW technology was invented by Professor Edward De Meter, who was awarded two patents covering it. In 2012, Professor De Meter and others formed Blue Photon Technology and Workholding Systems LLC to market the technology to industry end users.
Mr. Bray says the fixture design process using the PAAW system is similar to other more conventional fixtures. In many cases, the shop will create a fixture plate with three hard datum points for a part to rest upon so its location is known in space. (Temporary pins can be used to ensure that the part is installed correctly on the fixture plate.)
PAAW grippers are positioned at various locations, and oftentimes a gripper is used at each hard datum point. The number of grippers used largely depends on the size of the part and its geometry. The threaded grippers install in the top of the fixture plate and require a through-hole to enable the UV light to pass up and through the gripper to cure the adhesive.
The photos below show the process for fixturing and removing a workpiece using the PAAW system:
The photos above demonstrate the process for fixturing and removing a magnesium casting that PGM machines on a four-axis VMC using the PAAW system. With the fixture plate installed on the machine’s rotary table, operator Alan Jedik dabs the top of each pin with a bit of adhesive. He then installs the casting onto the fixture, which rests on the three hard datum points, and inserts the UV light source’s light guide into each of the three grippers located at those datum points. It typically takes 30 seconds for the UV light to cure the adhesive on each gripper. Mr. Jedik rotates the fixture for easier access to the remaining six grippers and cures the adhesive at each of those points. The part program can begin once the table is rotated back to its proper position.
After machining is completed, a T-handle wrench is used to back off each gripper, twisting the element and shearing the adhesive bond with the workpiece. The workpiece can then be taken off the fixture and a subsequent cleaning operation using a portable steam cleaning device is used to remove any cured adhesive that remains on the workpiece. Adhesive must also be scraped off of the tip of each gripper using a metal scale or straightedge before a subsequent workpiece can be fixtured for machining.
The gaps between the workpiece and grippers (thus, the thickness of the adhesive) can range from 0.010 to 0.125 inch depending on the flatness of the part. The uncured adhesive, which is non-toxic, is sufficiently viscous that it won’t run off grippers regardless of orientation. Axial holding force depends on gripper size and can range from 250 to 800 pounds when using Blue Photon’s BlueGrip S1 adhesive.
Grippers are made from hardened, corrosion-resistant stainless steel and have a black oxide finish. For repeat jobs, PGM will commonly leave the fixtures intact with the grippers still installed and store them for later use. Otherwise, the grippers can be removed and installed in other fixtures created for new jobs. The latter is most often the case for PGM, because new work continuously flows through the shop.
PGM has found that the PAAW system can be used in conjunction with conventional clamps, too, as evidenced with the part shown above for the printing industry. The shop had fixtured this long, relatively skinny part using only mechanical clamps on a tombstone for op. 10 and op. 20 work on one of its pallet-pool HMCs.
However, it was challenging and time-consuming for operators to mechanically secure either end of the part without causing it to twist about its longitudinal axis.
This long, thin part, which is machined on one of the shop’s pallet-pool HMCs, is secured via conventional mechanical clamps and PAAW grippers. Mechanical clamps were previously used on either end of the fixture, but they tended to cause the part to twist as the clamps were tightened. These were replaced with the grippers, which eliminated the twist issue. For this part, an op. 20 milling operation removes any adhesive that might remain after the op. 10 fixturing, as shown in the photo on the right.
Rather than completely revamping the original fixture, Mr. Bray retained the mechanical clamping elements for the middle section of the part, but added two PAAW grippers to either end of the fixture.
Operators clamp the middle section of the part as they always have, but use the PAAW system to secure the ends of the part so these ends remain in a free state and there’s no chance of causing the part to twist.
After op. 10 work, the part is flipped and refixtured, and an op. 20 milling operation removes whatever cured adhesive remains from the op. 10 fixturing. Therefore, it’s only necessary to steam clean adhesive left behind from the op. 20 fixturing in this case.
Thus far, PGM has used the PAAW system for a couple dozen jobs in materials including aluminum, magnesium and stainless steel. Blue Photon says the PAAW system can also be used with composites and ceramics. The shop currently has three portable UV light source units that can easily be transported to machines throughout the shop.
The system will be used to a greater extent for production as well as toolroom work and CMM part inspection as PGM gains more experience with it and experiments with BlueGrip adhesives. Todd Hockenberger says it sometimes serves as a selling point for customers that are either having problems with other part vendors or readily recognize how tough their new design will be to fixture.
The shop has a good chance at winning those types of jobs once the customers understand how the system can be applied to their applications. In addition, it can help shorten product design cycles because fixture design is no longer the challenge it once was when mechanical clamps seemingly were the only option.
"This is big," Mr. Hockenberger says, "because PGM tries to get involved as early as possible in each customer’s new product design cycle to offer design for manufacturability (DFM) advice to minimize production time and cost, and get the product to the market faster."
Precision Grinding and Manufacturing: call 585-458-4300 or visit pgmcorp.com.
A short history about deburring from E-Z Burr.
Burrs may be the last concern that an engineer or machinist wants to think about in designing a new part focusing on tolerances and production rate. However, the problem remains and calls for attention to develop a quality product. It was nearly a century ago that a solution was discovered and the first deburring tool went to market.
Today’s tools offer many solutions to accommodate the many varieties of applications and materials. Looking at the technical aspects of each application, material and individual customer’s goals, E-Z Burr has taken the process of deburring to the next level.
Since 1960, E-Z Burr has been providing innovative and versatile deburring solutions for customers. Over the last 5 years they have introduced and expanded their Carbide Series of deburring tools to produce successful results on hard to machine materials and higher production volumes. “From the very start, our goal has been to provide tools that are durable, dependable, easy to use and maintain, while offering our customers a fair and reasonable price,” says Bill Robinson, President of E-Z-Burr. “We are always looking for new, innovative ways to meet the needs of our customers.”
Getting a good understanding of the definitions of the parts of a tap will help you to better understand the functions of tap designs. Special thanks to Allen Benjamin for letting us share their short and simple explanations!
Minimum clearance between two mating parts; the prescribed variations from the basic size.
ANGLE OF THREAD
The angle included between the sides of the thread measured in an axial plane.AXISThe imaginary straight line that forms the longitudinal centerline of the tool or threaded part.
A gradual decrease in the diameter of the thread form on a tap from the chamfered end of the land towards the back which creates a slight radial relief in the threads.
BASE OF THREAD
The bottom section of the thread; the greatest section between the two adjacent roots.
The theoretical or nominal standard size from which all variations are derived by application of allowances and tolerances.
The tapering of the threads at the front end of each land of a tap by cutting away and relieving the crest of the first few teeth to distribute the cutting action over several teeth; Taper taps are chamfered 7-10 threads; plug tapsare chamfered 3-5 threads; semi-bottoming (or modified bottoming) taps are chamfered 2-2.5 threads; bottom-ing taps are chamfered 1-2 threads; taper pipe taps are chamfered 2-3.5 threads.
The gradual decrease in land height from cutting edge to heel on the chamfered portion, to provide clearance for the cutting action as the tap advances.
The top surface joining the two sides or flanks of the thread; the crest of an external thread is at its major diameter, while the crest of an internal thread is at its minor diameter.
The leading side of the land in the direction of cutting rotation on which the chip forms.
The longitudinal channels formed in a tap to create cutting edges on the thread profile, and to provide chip spaces and cutting fluid passages.
The edge of the land opposite the cutting edge.
HEIGHT OF THREAD
The distance, measured radially, between the crest and the base of a thread.
The angle made by the advance of the thread as it wraps around an imaginary cylinder.
The undercut on the face of the teeth.
The inclination of a concave cutting face, usually specified either as Chordal Hook or Tangential Hook.
INTERRUPTED THREAD TAP
A tap having an odd number of lands with alternate teeth along the thread helix removed. In some cases alternate teeth are removed only for a portion of the thread length.
The part of the tap body which remains after the flutes are cut, and on which the threads are finally ground. The threaded section between the flutes of a tap.
The axial distance a tap will advance along its axis in one revolution. On a single start, the lead and the pitch are identical; on a double start, the lead is twice the pitch.
Commonly known as the “outside diameter.” It is the largest diameter of the thread.
Commonly known as the “root diameter.” It is the small-est diameter of the thread.
PERCENT OF THREAD
One-half the difference between the basic major diam-eter and the actual minor diameter of an internal thread, divided by the basic thread height, expressed as a percentage.
The distance from any point on a screw thread to a cor-responding point on the next thread, measured parallel to the axis and on the same side of the axis. The pitch equals one divided by the number of threads per inch.
On a straight thread, the pitch diameter is the diameter of the imaginary co-axial cylinder...the surface of which would pass through the thread profiles at such points as to make the width of the groove equal to one-half of the basic pitch. On a perfect thread this occurs at the point where the widths of the thread and groove are equal. On a taper thread, the pitch diameter at a given position on the thread axis is the diameter of the pitch cone at that position.
The angular relationship of the straight cutting face of a tooth with respect to a radial line through the crest of the tooth at the cutting edge.
RELIEF (or Thread Relief)
The removal of metal from behind the cutting edge to provide clearance and reduce friction between the part being threaded and the threaded land.
The bottom surface joining the sides of two adjacent threads, and is identical with or immediately adjacent to the cylinder or cone from which the thread projects.
A flute with uniform axial lead in a spiral path around the axis of a tap.
The angular fluting in the cutting face of the land at the chamfered end; formed at an angle with respect to the tap axis of opposite hand to that of rotation. Its length is usually greater than the chamfer length and its angle with respect to the tap axis is usually made great enough to direct the chips ahead of the taps cutting action.
A flute that forms a cutting edge lying in an axial plane.
In producing a tap to given specifications, tolerance is: (a.) the total permissible variation of a size; (b.) the differ-ence between the limits of size.
Tech Tip: Dorian Tool
Double Tracking means that the knurling wheels are not tracking properly.
In this situation, the wheels will create a different pattern than what the design was originally made for. There are two main causes of this scenario:
Dorian Tool Developed a “Knurling Calculator Spreadsheet” that can calculate all of the parameters to avoid double tracking. Request an electronic copy by emailing us at: email@example.com
You may not be familiar with U.S. Manufacturing Technology Order Report, also referred to as the "USMTO Report" but you should check it out. It's basically a monthly scorecard of how our metalcutting industry is doing on a monthly basis.
The February report was recently released and has some interesting data that you can find below.
What we wanted to share with you is some data that you may not realize. If you take closer look at the maps and number belows, you'll see that the market area the F&L Technical Sales manages for our principals is nearly 23% of the entire US Market. Metalcutting manufacturing has certainly grown in the past two decades since we started F&L Technical Sales, Inc adn we would like to think that we've helped in the regions competitiveness and growth.
Modest fall in December Orders Offset by19% Gain in Annual Total over 2017
For Immediate Release: February 11, 2019
Contact: Amber Thomas Director - Advocacy & Communications, AMT 571-216-7448 or athomas@AMTonline.org
McLean, Va., (February 11, 2019) - U.S, manufacturing technology orders posted $443 million in December, down two percent from November and six percent from December 2017. The year-end order total for 2018 was $5.5 billion, up 19 percent from the annual sum for 2017. The November to December drop was only the fourth time in the program’s 23-year history that a year didn’t end with an uptick in orders from November.
“We finished a fantastic run up in manufacturing technology orders during 2018, with most analysts looking for good growth in units and modest growth in revenue in 2019,” said AMT President Doug Woods. “While our market looks healthy now, there are concerns that trade issues and slower manufacturing technology markets abroad will create headwinds in the U.S. later in the year.”
December orders fell by a modest amount which negatively impacted most industries. Aerospace and Engines and Turbines placed a third or more orders than in November. The Forging and Stamping industry had a very good second half of 2018 posting month-on-month increases in orders for the last three months. Surprisingly, Government and Defense orders were also up in December, perhaps in anticipation of a prolonged government shutdown evenly spread across almost all industrial sectors.
Geographically, the Northeast and West were the strongest markets in December, each posting single-digit gains over November levels. Aerospace and Engines and Turbines held up marketlevels in what would have been a lackluster month for the Northeast region otherwise. The West held on to a gain in December thanks to the Auto and Stamping and Forging industries. The Northcentral East continues to generate the most orders, but its share has dropped significantly in the past three years. The Northcentral West is the second largest region by dollar volume followed by the Northeast.
If you would like to read the entire report you can see it below. You can also check out the USMTO website each month for updates.
Tech Tip: Hannibal Carbide
Hannibal Carbide has compiled this guide to inform you of some basic technical knowledge regarding reamers. Following these guidelines will reduce overall set-up time, while increasing productivity.
Selecting the right tool, proper stock removal and correct speeds and feeds are all important and covered here in the Hannibal Carbide Reamer Guide.
"Ream it right the first time with Hannibal"
Best suited for non-chip forming materials, i.e. cast iron, bronze and free cutting brass. Preferred hole condition would be a thru hole.
Right Hand Spiral
Designed to pull the chip out of the hole in a blind hole application.Due to aggressive flute geometry, a right hand spiral may cut slightly oversized.Effective in bridging interruptions, such as keyways, cross-holes, etc.Excellent in highly ductile materials.
Left Hand Spiral
Excellent in thru holes, as the flutes tend to push the chips out ahead of the reamer.Effective in bridging interruptions, such as keyways, cross-holes, etc.Good for reaming hard materials.Should provide the very best size and finish.
Designed for high production runs in abrasive materials, when size or finish can be rapidly lost.Expand the diameter by turning the screw clockwise.The tool is now ready to be reground back to its original diameter and resharpened.This process should produce like new tool performance.
Center Fed Coolant (axial)
Center fed coolant design is used for blind hole reaming.Combine center fed coolant with right hand spiral for maximum chip clearing ability in highlyductile material.
Flute Fed Coolant (radial)
Flute fed coolant design is used for thru hole reaming.Effective in a cavity large enough for chip clearance.Flute fed coolant will flush the chips ahead of the reamer, providing the best hole size and finish.
OPTIMUM OPERATING CONDITIONS
While developing optimum conditions will require some investment in time, it will be beneficial by reducing cycle times and getting the best possible tool life. There are several elements to evaluate in this section. These elements are key to maximizing tool efficiency
This is where we publish technical articles, applications stories, tip and tricks, new product announcements and press releases.