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5 Ways to Reduce the Cost of Machining Unleaded Brass

Posted on Tue, May 21, 2013

Thanks to tougher state and pending federal regulations, if you machine brass parts that will be used to deliver potable water you are either preparing to or already in the process of machining these parts from no-lead brass. Moreover, it’s expected that in the near future lead will no longer be used in any ferrous or non-ferrous alloys. So CNC machine shops that traditionally work with leaded brass face new challenges as they switch to unleaded material.

The reason lead has traditionally been added to brass is that, because of its softness and lubricating properties, it enables CNC machines to operate at higher spindle speeds. Therefore, machining no-lead brass can mean slower speeds and feeds plus higher material and perishable tool costs. All of which can increase cost-per-part by 50% or more. With this in mind, Gosiger applications specialists offer the following suggestions to reduce the cost of machining unleaded brass:

  1. First and foremost, the CNC machine tools used to cut leaded brass may not have the torque, rigidity or other characteristics necessary to successfully machine unleaded brass, so you may need to modify or refurbish your current equipment, or upgrade to more capable machines. Depending on the nature and volume of parts you produce, it may also make sense to consider multi-function machine tools that can perform several operations in one setup. Gosiger applications engineers can advise you of your best course of action.
  2. Unleaded brass is harder to cut and generates greater heat. Therefore
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Topics: machining, Machining Challenging Metals, Exotic Metals

Considering Medical Parts Machining? Ask Yourself These 7 Questions

Posted on Thu, May 16, 2013

It’s no secret that there are vast numbers of medical products being manufactured for a wide variety of applications. These products may be as simple as a hand-held instrument, as complex as a computer-based imaging device and as unique as a custom-fit prosthesis. One thing they all have in common is that they impact the lives and wellbeing of millions of people. Therefore the machining of the parts that make up these devices must be held to extremely high standards, including zero defects.

Another commonality is that medical products companies typically contract with CNC machine shops to produce various parts, so there is a great opportunity for shops that would like to expand their business. As always, with opportunities come challenges, and breaking into the medical machining market is no exception. With that in mind, here are 7 questions to ask yourself as you consider this opportunity:

  1. What kinds of medical machining are you best suited for? Some of the most common types are:
  • Micromachining of tiny, highly-precise implants
  • Custom machining of replacement joints, prosthetics and other items that must be adapted to an individual’s body
  • High volume machining of turned parts like dental implants or injection needles
  • Prototype machining of new medical products
  • Producing small runs of large families of parts
  • What certifications are required? Manufacturing most medical parts require following and carefully documenting procedures including providing part identification for traceability. Once you determine the kinds of medical machining services you wish to provide, you’ll need to determine and acquire the appropriate certifications.
  • Do you have expertise with exotic materials? Many medical parts are made from titanium or sophisticated alloys. If you don’t have experience working with these types of materials, you’ll need the help of applications experts.
  • Is your equipment capable? The demands of dealing with exotic materials, tight tolerances and zero-defects means that you must have CNC machines and peripherals designed for these tasks. Much like machining for the aerospace market, and depending on the nature of medical parts you plan to produce, you need to have equipment that will enable you to make the parts as accurately and efficiently as possible. In Gosiger’s Aerospace Machining White Paper (Part 1) we discuss critical CNC machine considerations including spindle horsepower and maximum RPM, Tool changer capacity, through spindle coolant and many others, that are also applicable to machining medical parts.
  • Do you have multi-axis capabilities? Medical parts machining is a highly competitive business. Successful shops strive to complete machining operations on one machine with the fewest setups and fixtures. Horizontal Machining Centers (HMC), including those that provide true 5-axis machining, are often the best answer.
  • Does your CNC machine control provide adequate documentation? The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) issues strict regulations for manufacturing medical devices. A recent development is a new FDA focus on auditing smaller shops that supply components to the OEMs. Therefore it’s a great advantage to have a CNC control, like the open format, PC-based Okuma OSP, that is well suited for documenting setup, quality control and adherence to standards.
  • Do you have an equipment provider that understands the medical market? Gosiger specialists can help you select the right CNC machine tools and accessories, provide expert applications assistance, and call on years of experience dealing with exotic materials, appropriate cutting tools and much more. Plus, Gosiger can provide everything you need for medical parts machining including a wide range of multi-function machine tools, laser marking equipment, Swiss machines, chip and coolant management systems, bar loaders, pallet systems and robotic-based factory automation. All backed by industry-leading technical service and customer support. Contact Gosiger today for all the facts.
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    Topics: Gosiger, machining, Medical

    Mobile Apps Save Manufacturers Time & Money

    Posted on Wed, Feb 06, 2013

    By now virtually all businesses have discovered the value of mobile devices to their daily operations – and manufacturing is no exception. Manufacturing-related apps for smart phones and tablets continue to proliferate for iPhones, iPads, Android-based and Windows-based devices. Here are just a few manufacturing apps that have recently come to our attention.

    Gosiger Mobile Service App,(iTunes App StoreAndroid Market) this custom app from Gosiger allows customers to request Gosiger's premium service 24/7 remotely, watch training videos, ask questions, take photos of their machine, keep track of machine specifications, and keep up-to-date on current news and events all from the convenience of their mobile device.

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    Topics: Productivity, Preventative Maintenance, machining, Manufacturing strategy

    4 Success Secrets of The Most Profitable CNC Machine Shops

    Posted on Mon, Nov 26, 2012

    Gardner Research recently completed an in-depth study of CNC machine shops to better understand what separates high-performance shops – those that excel at income, profit and growth – from average ones. The study found that the characteristics of these higher performing CNC machine shops included gross sales that were 14% higher than other shops, and median net income margin of 12.9% versus 5.9%. Moreover, the average growth rate for high performing CNC machine shops was 51.6% while the other shops averaged only 25.1% growth.

     

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    Topics: CNC Machines, machining, CNC Machining Center

    Hard Turning Machining Success

    Posted on Tue, Aug 21, 2012

    Machining success depends largely on component rigidity, the geometry to be turned, lathe rigidity, and vibration damping characteristics. Rigidity is critical for successful hard turning. The rigidity of tooling, workholding, and the machine tool itself are all crucial elements that will affect your ability to successfully hard turn. Hard turning is a technology-driven process, dependent upon:

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    Topics: Productivity, machining, hard turning

    Hard Turning : The Ideal Machine For the Job

    Posted on Thu, Aug 16, 2012

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    Topics: Productivity, machining, hard turning

    11 Ways Hard Turning Reduces Your Costs

    Posted on Thu, Aug 09, 2012

    Grinding does–and likely always will–have a place in manufacturing, as all components can not be hard turned due to tolerance requirements and the surface integrity of the part.

     

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    Topics: Productivity, machining, hard turning

    What is Hard Turning & When Should You Consider It?

    Posted on Thu, Aug 02, 2012

    Hard turning is defined as the process of single point cutting of part pieces that have hardness values over 45 Rc.

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    Topics: machining, hard turning

    Airbus and Boeing Develop New Manufacturing Strategies

    Posted on Fri, Jul 13, 2012

    Due to delays in production,  aviation juggarnauts Airbus and Boeing have been involved in a production race, working with suppliers to develop more effecient manufacturing processes. What does their race and creation of new processes mean for the manufacturing world?

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    Topics: Manufacturing, machining, Manufacturing strategy

    Tips For Machining Titanium

    Posted on Tue, Jun 26, 2012

    The popularity of titanium alloys as a material for structural and other parts has grown exponentially in the past few years. Unfortunately, many manufacturers find that working with titanium is challenging due to the physical characteristics of the metal and its chemical composition. For example, titanium is a poor conductor of heat and more heat is generated when machining titanium than many other metals.

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    Topics: Gosiger, machining, Machining Challenging Metals, Exotic Metals