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7 Reasons CNC Machine Shops Should Invest In Employee Training

Posted on Fri, Dec 05, 2014

One of the key findings of the annual Top Shops surveys conducted by Gardner Business Media is that the higher performing CNC shops invest more in employee training than their counterparts. Like any other business CNC machine shops must invest in continuing education to stay abreast of current manufacturing practices and technologies. Here are 7 reasons to invest in employee training:

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Topics: Productivity, Training, Managing Employees, CNC shop management

7 Ways To Handle Problem Employees

Posted on Fri, Nov 21, 2014

One of the most unpleasant tasks a manager or shop owner faces is dealing with problem employees. In a more perfect world we’d all come to work with the desire to do our best to help our companies succeed. In fact, most employees do just that. Sure, we all have those days when we’re not at our best, but most of us take pride in our work, so long as it’s appreciated.

Unfortunately, there are exceptions:

  • The Prima Donnas who think they’re better than their co-workers and should be treated “special”
  • The Drama Queens who throw tantrums whenever something goes wrong
  • The Specialists whose mantra is “That’s not my job”
  • Houdini – the worker who has mastered the art of disappearing from his or her work area and magically reappearing just before quitting time
  • Mr. or Ms. Innocent who is never at fault, never takes responsibility, but always finds something or someone to blame when things go wrong
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Topics: Productivity, CNC machine shops, Employee, CNC shop management

7 Reasons To Rethink Parts Washing

Posted on Thu, Dec 19, 2013

1. Improve Productivity. There’s more to maximizing manufacturing efficiency than installing the latest-and-greatest machine tools. It also involves looking at the entire process and making sure that each step is as streamlined as possible. This includes assuring that the cleanliness of a part meets the customer’s expectations.

2. One solution won’t clean all parts. If some parts you produce have simple geometry while others are more complex with blind holes, cross-holes and ID threads, for example, you may need different cleaning methods for each. Simple parts can be cleaned with water-based solutions while more complex parts may need solvent-based cleaners.

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Topics: Productivity, Gosiger

Technology Showcase Presents the Latest Productivity Tools For CNC Machine Shops

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

From December 10 – 12, 2013 Gosiger partner Okuma presents the latest technology tools and strategies to help CNC machine shops maximize productivity and profitability.

The event takes place in the Partners in THINC & Okuma Headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. The 3-day event includes cutting demonstrations on a variety of CNC machine tools, educational “demonars” addressing such important topics as 2-Axis vs. 4-Axis, Exotic Metal Cutting, Gear Cutting, and THINC Apps, plus technology presentations by Okuma and its 40+ partner companies. There will also be opportunities for facility tours.

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Topics: Okuma, CNC machining technology, Productivity

7 Reasons Why the Boss Needs to Walk the Shop Floor

Posted on Tue, Oct 29, 2013

Owners and managers of CNC machine shops are typically hands on people. They often get started by running jobs themselves, and some never stop. As the business grows, however, many get bogged down in administrative duties, meeting with customers (extremely important), and putting out fires. All of which may keep them from spending time on the production floor.

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Topics: Manufacturing Managers, Productivity, Gosiger, Managing Employees

CNC Machine Shops Tell Their Stories to Okuma

Posted on Thu, Aug 29, 2013

Dayton, OH – Earlier this year Gosiger, Inc. OEM partner, Okuma America Corporation, extended an invitation to users of its CNC machines to “Tell Your Okuma Story.” The CNC machine shops were asked to submit a brief description of their success stories and best practices for consideration to be included in “Go Beyond” video productions to be placed on the Okuma Web site.

According to Okuma, the stories will reflect how CNC machine shops have achieved greater efficiencies and productivity in their CNC machining processes with such Okuma machines as CNC lathes, CNC controls, vertical and horizontal machining centers, 5-axis machines, milling machines, and CNC grinders.

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Topics: Okuma, Productivity, Gosiger, CNC Machine Tools

You’ve Increased Your Shop’s Productivity, But What About Yours?

Posted on Tue, Apr 23, 2013

Congratulations! You’ve invested in new CNC machine technologies, added robotic automation and made sure your workforce has the training and technical support they require. Productivity is at an all-time high, yet the bottom line is still not where you thought it should be. Why is that? One possible answer may be closer than you think. As cartoon character Pogo Possum said: “We have met the enemy…and he is us.”

I know. Nobody works harder in your business than you. It seems as though the boss’s job is never done. You always work more than 40-hours a week and seldom take a vacation. The problem is you get buried in minutia and caught up in “getting stuff done,” while losing sight of the big picture. Could this be you? Do you see yourself in any of the following scenarios? 

  • The Mechanic. Your operator runs into a setup problem on a new job. You take a look and realize what needs to be done, so you dive in, finish the setup and run the first part yourself. Meanwhile, your operator stands idly by while you do his job. You wanted to get the problem solved quickly and production under way. However you didn’t take the time to educate your machine operator on how to solve the setup problem. You just did it. Mission accomplished. Or is it? How likely is it that this operator will come running to you the next time a similar situation develops?
  • The Errand Runner. The bank deposit needs to be made and the mail picked up. Everyone else seems to be busy, so you jump in your car and take care of it. Pretty soon it becomes a habit and you may even look forward to taking an hour or two to run these errands. After all, it helps break up the day. The problem is you’re a bit high-paid to be an errand boy.
  • The Distracted Worker. You sat down at your computer to attack a specific task. Hours later you’ve accomplished little, if anything. Why? Emails popped up that you were compelled to respond to. The phone rang and you had to answer. People were constantly poking their heads into your office to ask a “quick question.” You went on the Internet to search for an important piece of information but got sidetracked as some interesting, but unrelated, search results appeared.
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Topics: Productivity

6 Ways to Demystify CNC Programming

Posted on Tue, Apr 16, 2013

Whether you’re brand new to CNC machine programming or working with a new machine tool control system, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and even a bit intimidated. Gosiger applications engineer and CNC programming instructor Kevin Chandler has taught scores of machine operators over the past 20 years, so we asked him to share a few basic programming thoughts.

  1. Simplicity — First, realize that CNC programming looks more complicated than it really is. It’s simply a logical process that uses numbers and letters to represent what you want the machine tool to do. If you read the program one line at a time, you will see that it’s a step-by-step process. And like anything that seems complex, if you break it down into its component parts, it’s much easier to understand.
  2. Templates — When you’re new to programming or when programming a control that is new to you, I suggest looking at an existing, proven program for that machine. This will act as a template for your first programs. Using this programming template as a guide helps you make sure you don’t skip a step or overlook an important part of the process.
  3. Consistency — In the same way, establish a programming format that allows you to follow the same procedure every time you program. For example, you might always list axes in alphabetical order and G and M codes in numerically ascending order.
  4. Repetition — One mistake some people make is to try and memorize all of the G and M codes. It’s enough to know that G codes tell the machine how to move and M codes turn spindles, coolant and other items on and off. You can always look up what a specific G or M code does. After a while you’ll learn, rather than memorize, the codes through using them on a regular basis.
  5. Meaning — Don’t be intimidated by the alphabet soup of letters used in CNC programming. Everyone is familiar with the X-, Y- and Z-axes. The other common programming letters relate to these three axes and indicate some sort of action, such as rotation, and follow an alphabetical pattern that looks like this:

    X I U A
    Y J V B
    Z K W C

    In most program formats, the letters in each horizontal row are related. “A”, for example, generally relates to the X-axis, while “C” relates to the Z-axis.
  6. Time — Don’t get discouraged. Like many activities, learning CNC machine programming takes time. The more programming you do, the better you get at it. In addition, CNC machine control technology continues to expand the machine tools’ capabilities. I’ve been doing this for more than 20 years, and I still learn something new every day. I also have the opportunity to work with an experienced staff of other applications engineers here at Gosiger. We collaborate daily to help customers improve their CNC programming so they can make their parts better and more efficiently.
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Topics: Productivity, Gosiger

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

Women in Manufacturing Roundtable Convenes at Gosiger Dayton Campus

Posted on Tue, Jan 22, 2013

Gosiger Dayton recently hosted the Women in Manufacturing Roundtable, welcoming 25 members to the employment-focused event.

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Topics: Productivity, Manufacturing, Machining nickel-based alloys