The biggest manufacturing event of the year is just around the corner, so come and explore the latest innovations in machining technology at IMTS 2022. We're excited to finally be back at IMTS and help you discover technologies and inspiration that will be your catalyst for a productive 2023!
Gosiger now sells and supports a new CNC machine tending platform that enables any size shop to add robotic part loading and unloading to their production process. The result is lower cost-per-part and increased productivity.
Plant Manager Steve Masters oversees an 86,000 square foot facility with over 100 machine tools that perform precision manufacturing of parts for aerospace, medical, power distribution and automotive industries.
A universal goal of the more than 130,000 visitors to IMTS 2018 (September 10 – 15) was improving the performance of their manufacturing operations. Much of what they saw had a common theme: The continuing evolution from focusing on discrete machines to bringing together various manufacturing technologies, such as traditional subtractive, laser, additive and digital connectivity.
Making components for aerospace applications presents a number of challenges for CNC shops that want to expand into the markets for civil, commercial and military aircraft. Dealing with harder-to-machine materials, tighter tolerances and traceability requirements may require adding more advanced manufacturing technologies and new skill sets.
Although water-based solutions may effectively clean simple parts machined with water-soluble coolant, you need powerful solvents to properly clean parts exposed to oil-based cutting fluids that have blind holes, cross-holes, ID threads and other complex features.
You’re getting ready to run a job and your CNC machine broke down. The cause is a routine maintenance part that should have been replaced weeks ago. Well, your shop is busy and sometimes things just slip through the cracks.
All CNC machines and other manufacturing equipment require service from time-to-time, either for routine maintenance or when something unexpected happens. Regardless of the cause, downtime is a dirty word in any shop. That’s why Gosiger wants to get you back up and running as soon as possible.
A few years ago, getting a loan to expand your CNC shop could be an arduous task. Banks and other lenders who were burned when the economy turned ugly were reluctant to fund small businesses. Today, the picture is much different.
With more than 2400 exhibitors, 1.3 million square feet of exhibit space and over 100,000 visitors, the prospect of attending IMTS 2018 can be overwhelming. Of course, the advantages far outweigh any concerns. IMTS is the one place to see all of the latest manufacturing technology, meet with industry experts and attend seminars on the hottest topics.
The 75-year-old, family owned business in this case study distributes testing equipment used by construction, laboratory, food service, pharmaceutical and other industries. A few years ago they decided to create a CNC shop within their facility to make a product of their own.
The traditional approach to a turning process involves cutting from the end of a workpiece toward the chuck. As a result, the entering angle of the cutting tool must be around 90º to enable the tool to reach the shoulder. Although using less of an entering angle would increase the feed rate, such an approach typically produces undesirably long, curved chips.
Okuma Multus series multi-function, 5-axis CNC turning centers enable one-and-done machining of even complex parts. The exclusive Turn-Cut feature is just one of the many ways Multus machines eliminate the need to move a part to a dedicated lathe for specialized operations such as machining surfaces along the z-axis that have varying diameter shapes or, as demonstrated in this video, making ID and OD cuts.
With 95+ years of experience supporting manufacturers, the Gosiger team is in a unique position to evaluate new technologies that can help customers improve productivity. Although additive manufacturing (AKA 3D printing) has been around for a number of years, many manufacturers struggle with how additive can enhance their production process.
Attending trade shows is a great opportunity to see the latest manufacturing technologies and help make better equipment buying decisions. Whether you visit small, local shows or larger events like IMTS, you’ll get more value for the time and money invested by following these 7 suggestions:
Success in manufacturing is often the result of continuous improvements to both business and production processes. Our customers demand increasingly higher quality products delivered quickly and cost-effectively. This means we must constantly seek new methods and technologies to reduce production costs, while maintaining the integrity of our products and meeting tighter delivery schedules.
High-quality CNC turning machines are more reliable and versatile than ever before, which gives users the confidence to perform unattended and lights-out operation.This, of course, requires having the right machine tools, and accessories such as bar feeders and chip conveyors.
No matter how good a job you do for your customers, it’s inevitable that you’ll lose one or two along the way. That’s why it’s important to have an ongoing marketing program in place. The two best sources for new business orders are (1) referrals from customers, suppliers and other contacts; and (2) additional orders from existing customers.
For many small business owners, including those who own manufacturing companies, saving for retirement may not be high on the list of priorities. After all, the cost of day-to-day operations and reinvesting in the business may not leave much for personal retirement savings.
As U.S. manufacturers continue to find ways to make parts better, faster and at less cost, there is always a concern that factory jobs will become extinct. More sophisticated CNC machine tools, robotic automation and alternative technologies such as 3D printing fuel this concern. However, all evidence points to the contrary.
This year’s Gosigerfest – September 20 & 21, 2017 – includes a number of live machining demonstrations captured by video cameras inside the machine tools and displayed on adjacent TV monitors, so you can see all of the details, up close.
With everything else on your mind, being current with the latest manufacturing techniques can be a challenge. That’s the whole idea behind Gosigerfest 2017. It’s an opportunity to learn about developing technologies and production methods that can help you stay ahead of the competition and improve your bottom line.
Gosiger opened its new West Coast headquarters earlier this year, showing off the new 17,500 square foot facility during an open house event in May. Customers toured the new space, participated in technical seminars, and watched demonstrations of the latest CNC machining techniques.
Customers often ask Gosiger applications engineers how to go beyond basic control functions to fit a particular situation. This video from Gosiger’s West Coast facility explains how to set up a home position at the end of a program on the Okuma OSP-P300 control. In this case, the customer didn’t want to use G30 P1 on the control because it delivers all 3 axes to the tool change position. The video shows how to set a new home position for only the Z-axis.
In many high-volume production applications, the customer may demand that parts be thoroughly cleaned of any cutting oil, chips or other debris prior to delivery. In some cases, water-based cleaning agents may suffice. However, many complex parts and those made from metals that don’t react well to aqueous cleaning require the use of hydrocarbon or modified alcohol solvents. These chemicals, of course, can have serious environmental and worker safety issues if not used properly.
Key factors when selecting cutting tools for any machining process are cutting data, tool path, workpiece material and cutting tool geometry. Perhaps one of the most important considerations is the material from which the cutting tool is made.
Gosiger applications engineers created two videos that take you through the process of moving and copying part programs on the Okuma OSP-P200 and -P300 controls, and transferring programs from a remote PC to the OSP controls using a shared folder that eliminates the need for a USB drive or RS232 wired connection.
The Spanish proverb “A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools,” is particularly fitting for CNC shop owners, whether male or female. Running a demanding business with its tight deadlines, employee issues and financial risks takes a toll on even the heartiest of souls. That’s why paying attention to your health is so important.
Rusty Arant of North Carolina’s Northeast Tool is a true believer in applying the latest manufacturing technologies to keep his family business competitive. That includes adding a robotic automation system designed by Gosiger Automation that dramatically reduces time and cost-per-part. You can read the full case study elsewhere on the Gosiger Web site.
In the recent national elections much was made of the loss of American manufacturing jobs (7 million since the peak employment year of 1979). Most politicians place the blame squarely on unfair trade policies and lower offshore labor costs. Although these certainly were contributing factors, according to the Department of Commerce, the reality is this: Despite employing fewer workers, manufacturing output in the U.S. has actually doubled since 1979 to an adjusted-for-inflation $1.91 trillion in 2015.
Using the BlueSwarf tap testing and dashboard to determine end mill cutting parameters, an Okuma GENOS M560V vertical machining center (VMC) is captured on video as it engages in various dynamic machining methods.
There are many compelling reasons to invest in a new CNC machine tool including: replacing an older model that, literally, just can’t cut it any longer, expanding capacity and/or capabilities to take on new orders, and improving productivity. However, before you start comparing speeds and feeds and other performance indicators, step back for a moment to consider the bigger picture. Ask yourself five strategic questions, the answers to which will help sharpen your perspective.
Much is being said about a fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) and what it bodes for the future of manufacturing. To put it in context, each of the preceding three centuries have seen dramatic shifts in the way technology impacts our world:
On January 9, 2017 Gosiger moved its West Coast headquarters from Fullerton, CA to a new, 17,500 square foot building in Cypress, CA, The new facility is approximately twice the size of the previous space with an expanded showroom, training area and replacement parts inventory.
Additive manufacturing, AKA 3-D printing, is clearly becoming more viable in certain production situations. However, additive cannot replace conventional machining in all applications. In fact, the best way to harness the efficiencies of additive today may be to combine it with subtractive manufacturing. In this way, you gain the advantages of both technologies without being restricted to the limits of either method.
A new video from Stratasys, a global supplier of 3-D printing systems, presents new additive manufacturing technologies that enable production of much larger parts used in automotive, aerospace and other applications.
A great deal of research proves what common sense tells us: Retaining an existing customer is far more cost-effective than finding a new one. However, we often overlook the fact that satisfied customers can also be a potent source of additional business. That’s why marketing to your current customers should be at the forefront of your selling efforts.
The cost of energy may rise and fall, but it always has an impact on a CNC machine shop’s profitability. Additionally, conserving energy today helps keep overall costs more stable while insuring we’ll have the energy we need tomorrow. That’s why energy efficiency is one more factor to consider when buying your next machine tool.
When we machine metal of any kind, the chips – or swarf – give us clues about the efficiency of our cutting process. For example, early machinists noted that blue chips indicate heat is being properly dissipated, so the cut was going well. Blue swarf, therefore, were considered “perfect” chips.
Interconnectivity and data sharing, more user-friendly control interfaces, robots as co-workers and additive manufacturing were all well represented at IMTS this year. While it’s expected that the newest technologies will be on display at the every-other-year extravaganza, the significance of these and other recent advancements is that they represent a paradigm shift in the way both manufacturers and suppliers view the industry.
Ever wonder what you’ll see if you visit the Okuma America headquarters in Charlotte North Carolina? This brief video lets you, literally, fly through the facility where you’ll see Okuma CNC machines, the expansive parts warehouse and other customer support areas.
This is the sixth year that Gardner Business Media, has surveyed CNC shops to find the strongest performers and determine what they are doing to rise to the top of the list. As in the past, there are many statistics that reveal a significant difference between how the top 20% of shops operate versus the rest.
Science fiction films dating back to Fritz Lang’s 1927 classic, Metropolis, have long warned that robotic machines may eventually surpass and dominate their human inventors. While there is no doubt that robots and robotic devices are getting smarter, that artificial intelligence continues to evolve, and that driverless cars are becoming a reality, so far we humans are more likely at risk of a Zombie Apocalypse than a robot rebellion.
Whether you have a newbie in your shop or just want to hone your own or your employees’ metal cutting skills, Sandvik Coromant has just what you need: A free, e-learning course that covers both the basics and latest metal cutting techniques.
Additive manufacturing is touted as the next paradigm shift in manufacturing. The concept of building up material to make parts, versus thousands of years of subtracting or forming metal to manufacture these parts is, indeed, an event of seismic proportions.
Just like a car or truck, CNC machines require routine maintenance to keep them in top form. A well maintained machine tool will perform at peak efficiency and reduce costly breakdowns that interrupt production. Performing routine maintenance, as required, will also prolong the life of the machine.
Undetected broken drills or taps are notorious time and materials wasters. Almost as bad is a detection system that interrupts the machining process to check the tools. In this video Gosiger engineers demonstrate how a BK Mikro checking device can be used in-magazine to check for tool breakage outside of the cutting area.
Recently a global supplier of compressors decided to rethink its process for making a series of bearing housings. According to the Production Manager, “After analyzing quality control and machine maintenance data we determined it was time to replace some of our machine tools. However, we didn’t want to simply buy new machines, we wanted to find a better way to make this part. At that time, we were performing two operations on a turning machine, manually moving the part to a horizontal milling machine for two more operations, removing the part to press a babbitt insert into place, and then taking the part to a grinder for two finishing operations.
On the Gosiger web site you’ll find many resources that can help you meet a number of manufacturing challenges. Among these are customer success stories that all have a common theme: The customer was faced with a specific need that required something more than an off-the-shelf product. They needed a partner with deep and broad machine tool and engineering experience to determine the best way to achieve their desired outcomes – both immediate and for the future.
Changes in our everyday life and in manufacturing are happening faster than ever before. In the world of CNC machining it’s not as much about the number of new technologies emerging as it is about the rate of advancement in existing technologies and the cultural changes of a new generation of owners and managers.
You may remember a long running campaign for automotive transmission service that stated: “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later.” The phrase still holds true when it comes to performing preventative maintenance on cars, trucks or CNC machine tools.
Machining titanium and other exotic materials presents a number of challenges, and although there are many conventional techniques that help in this process, this video presents a unique, unconventional approach: Cryogenics.
When making a major buying decision it’s important to consider factors beyond the initial price tag. After all, our goal is to get the greatest overall value. When buying capital equipment, that means getting the right machine for the job and the best return on our investment.
A collaboration between Gosiger Automation, Okuma, Fanuc and Kitagawa work holding produced this robotically automated machining cell that significantly reduces the time and labor associated with part-to-part changeovers.
In the early days of CNC machine controls, setting up programs could be a bit challenging. Okuma changed all of that with the Windows-based THINC OSP control that makes getting started quicker and easier than ever before.
The battle to reduce production costs, improve product quality, and satisfy customer demands is fought daily in the world of CNC manufacturing. One of the most effective strategies facilities of all sizes can employ is robotic automation – whether for a single production cell or an entire factory.
A recently released survey conducted by the Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT – the folks who bring us IMTS every other year) identifies three major trends that have enormous impact on how OEMs, distributors, integrators and end users will function in the future.
There's no doubt that applying robotic automation to part production provides a number of benefits including reduced cost-per-part, better use of machine operator time, increased CNC machine utilization, improved part quality and consistent daily output.
Many CNC applications require a steady stream of coolant to optimize cutting speeds and throughput. This is especially true when machining parts from hard-to-machine steel alloys, titanium, and other metals that often require precisely applied high-pressure coolant to maintain cutting efficiency and to reduce tool wear.
A number of new cars include collision avoidance systems that automatically apply the brakes when sensors detect a dangerous situation. Okuma has been equipping CNC machines with systems that prevent costly downtime and collision damage for more than 10 years.
We all want to get the most out of our CNC machines, but no matter how well they are designed, built and equipped, these tools are only as productive as we allow them to be. Which is to say that there are many possible production procedures, and some are more efficient that others.
Production Machining magazine recently recorded this interview with Gosiger Automation customer Jeff Meyer, co-owner of Toolcraft LLC. The company was primarily a tool & die shop until Tuthill Transfer Systems, a worldwide supplier of pumps and meters, asked them to consider producing one of their key parts. This would mean changing from making one-at-a-time items to running hundreds of parts.
When enough CNC shops engage in a given activity it becomes a trend that others should be aware of. Here are five manufacturing trends identified by recent surveys and discussions with shop owners. They may not all be right for your company, but it’s prudent to consider how they might affect your business.
While typical CNC turning machines require a spindle adapter to install a collet or jaw chuck, many Hardinge products, including the Conquest H51 horizontal turning machine, have a unique collet-ready spindle design that eliminates the need for an adapter. Naturally, this makes changeovers quicker and easier, but the benefits don’t end there. Here are 5 more advantages:
Casey Brown, who presented at the first ever Gosigerfest Executive Session on Wednesday, September 23, presented her knowledge and expertise about strategic pricing using relevant examples of things we buy every day.
Machining aerospace materials can be challenging in a number of ways, especially when dealing with high temperature alloys. This is especially true for CNC shops that traditionally work with more common materials such as carbon steels and non-ferrous alloys. For example, heat-resistant alloys may require both significantly lower cutting speeds and greater tool pressures.
From time-to-time a company may rethink how it takes its products to market. For machine tool OEMs the question is: Should we sell directly to the end user, or work through a distributor? Considering the complexities of selling, installing, training and servicing today’s sophisticated machine tools, it makes good sense for OEMs to form a partnership with an experienced, stable machine tool distributor.
How often are you confronted with a machining issue for which you’d like some expert advice? While searching the Internet can certainly help, nothing beats discussing the situation face-to-face with an industry expert. On September 23 & 24 at Gosiger’s national headquarters in Dayton, Ohio that’s precisely what you can do.
When it’s time to buy a new car most of us are drawn to the top-of-the line model equipped with all the latest bells and whistles. Then reality sets in and we decide which features are really important and those we can live without for the price we want to pay. However we still want excellent performance, reliability, safety, and value for our investment.
Automakers round the world are faced with a serious dilemma: How do you meet various government emission and fuel economy standards while still producing strong, safe vehicles? Reducing weight is a key strategy, of course, and that means moving away from steel to lighter materials. It’s estimated that steel currently accounts for about 60% of an average automobile’s weight. However steel content decreases as automakers incorporate aluminum, plastics, manganese, composites and advanced high-strength, but lighter weight, steel alloys. The most recent example is the venerable Ford F-150 pickup that now uses aluminum for 25% of its curb weight.
Manually loading and unloading workpieces is not only tedious, repetitious work for machine tool operators, it also adds time and labor costs to every part you make. Automating the process using an industrial robot can reduce these costs while giving your shop’s productivity a significant boost. Now Gosiger Automation reduces the cost of robotic automation with its Flexible Pallet Cell (FPC).
Swiss-style sliding headstock CNC machine tools are ideal for high volume output, provided they have the necessary rigidity and accuracy. In this video you’ll see how a Nomura NN20UB8 turning machine equipped with a Quick Load Servo bar loader makes long shafts from blanks with no operator intervention.
For CNC machine shops considering their first move into robotic automation and for many typical part-making applications, Gosiger Automation developed the Modular Drawer Cell (MDC). This compact, lower-cost alternative to custom systems automates up to 2 mid-size CNC lathes, grinders and machining centers to increase efficiencies by up to 50%.
APPs are no longer just for smart phones, tablets and wearable tech. Manufacturers now have a wealth of APPs available that can help improve part quality, reduce costs and increase profitability. Okuma America has developed a number of APPs for the THINC-OSP control that is the heart of Okuma CNC machines.
Okuma’s Partners in THINC brings together over 40 companies dedicated to helping manufacturers improve productivity and solve machining challenges. The Okuma OSP Control, with its open architecture, is at the center of these solutions. Gosiger and Gosiger Automation have been long-time THINC members, applying their expertise to maximizing CNC machine performance for their customers.
SCOUT (System Compatibility Output Utility) enables you to quickly and easily determine which APPs your Okuma CNC machines are compatible with. The utility compares the makeup of your machine to the system requirements for all of the applications available from the Okuma APP Store.
These days business is good for most manufacturers in general, and CNC machine shops in particular. It’s a pleasant feeling after the deep recession we all suffered through. However it’s still a very competitive world and keeping the pipeline filled with orders can be challenging.
Ideal for complex, multi-sided machining, the new MU-6300V Vertical Machining Center (VMC) offers a variety of spindle options to accommodate your most challenging 5-axis jobs. Rear of machine pallet loading enables easy connection to a pallet pool or Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS).
In this video from the “My Okuma Story” series, the father and son owners of Lumar Machining & Manufacturing Ltd., an Ontario, Canada CNC machine shop, explain how they bought a non-CNC machining company in 2005 and transformed it into a fast-growing business. The new owners installed Okuma CNC machinesthat enabled them to go after low volume, complex parts jobs in automotive, aerospace and other industries. As a result the company’s sales doubled in 2012 and they have been growing ever since, expanding into a new, 25,000 square foot space.
Wishing to gain insights into the key issues facing CNC machine shops, Gosiger, Inc. recently sponsored a roundtable discussion among a dozen shop owners and managers in southeast Ohio. The event was held at the Aileron center for business development, north of Gosiger’s Dayton headquarters. Participants also heard a presentation by Gardner Business Media Senior Editor, Derek Korn, about the findings of the most recent Top Shops survey conducted by Modern Machine Shop Magazine.
Don Barth’s CNC shop, Dimension Machine Company located in Cincinnati, makes thousands of precision parts each year for a wide variety of industries including transportation, OEM special machinery and forestry products. In this video Don and his daughter Ruth Ann explain how their 20 Okuma machine tools help them meet customer demands and how Don’s vision keeps them ahead of the competition.
The Okuma GI-10NII high-speed internal grinding machine enables production of a wide variety of parts from jet engine components to bearings. Capable of grinding IDs up to 6”, this model is equipped with extremely rigid, high-speed grinding wheel spindles and Okuma-designed drives and motors for exceptional accuracy, repeatability and throughput.
If you’ve considered the advantages of a Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) for your CNC machining operation but don’t think you have the necessary floor space, Okuma has a solution for you. The company’s newest Pallet Pool System connects select Okuma machining centers, including 5-axis machines, to enable automatic part handling and pallet changes.
The system is extremely flexible:
Various pallet options can be arranged either in line with the Z axis or transversely in line with the X axis to accommodate your process flow
The systems can be retrofitted to select Okuma machines
Compact construction and single level storage system means the systems fit in even tight spaces
Standard load station can be manually rotated around its vertical axis and locked at 90º intervals
The Pallet Pool Control (PPC) fully integrates with the Okuma THINC®-OSP control for error-free operation
All critical information is displayed at the operator load station to save worker time
Women make up 47% of the US workforce, but only 24% work in manufacturing. This amounts to a largely untapped resource for new talent. However misconceptions of both employers and young women may be keeping the number of females in the industry so low.
The interesting thing about clichés is that they wouldn’t exist unless they contained an element of truth. So it is with the old saw “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is especially true in the world of CNC machine tool maintenance.
Making parts for medical applications is a growing field that opens up opportunities – and challenges – for CNC shops of all sizes. Orthopedic parts, like bone screws, are good examples. Although these devices appear to be relatively simple, efficiently producing a bone screw that meets the required standards of quality isn’t as easy as it looks.
In another example of Gosiger Automation designed robot-based factory automation, this video, demonstrates how a Fanuc M-16iB robot services two Okuma Vertical Machining Centers (VMC). Each machining center is equipped with 4-position, 4th axis indexers. Four workpieces at a time are loaded into precision workholding fixtures, and returned to precision pallets for further automated processing. Note how the conveyor system moves the workpieces into position for the robot arm to pick and load them into the machine tool, then flips the fixture around to deposit the machined parts into the pallets. The machined parts are then moved along the conveyor to the next step in the process.
Manufacturers need no longer choose between CAM actuated automatic and CNC multi-spindle machines. U.S. machine tool distributor and factory automation specialist, Gosiger, Inc. has partnered with industry-leading Japanese multi-spindle machine builder Shimada to create the new, ISM B27 hybrid CNC multi-spindle bar machine.
As a CNC factory owner or manager you know the importance of making your manufacturing processes as efficient as possible. To a great extent this means investing in appropriate technology and having a productive workforce. In fact, improving worker productivity should be a continuous activity on every factory floor. However striving to be more productive should not be reserved only for the floor workers. Everyone in the organization from top management on down should be focused on continuously improving personal productivity. So here are 5 simple ways managers can become more productive.
Picture a factory at night, pumping out perfect parts with no one around. No labor costs, lower energy expenses and a customer order ready for shipping the next morning. Is it a dream or reality? Well, with today’s advanced manufacturing and communications technologies, lights out manufacturing can be a reality for everything from the smallest CNC machine shop to the largest factories.
Gosiger software specialists developed this A2P (Application-to-person) messaging system to enable Okuma machine owners to receive text alerts from their CNC machine tools directly to their smart phones. Using SMS technology and Internet access, GO-TextAlert allows multiple phone numbers to receive trouble alarms, status codes and customized data.
Despite all of your efforts to increase productivity through advanced CNC machine technologies, factory automation and smarter machining techniques, unnecessary machine downtime can eliminate everything you’ve gained. That’s why a planned preventative maintenance program (PPM) is so important. And it really isn’t all that complicated. In fact the basics of PPM can be summed up in these 5 actions:
Studies show that human beings are not particularly good and multitasking, despite our belief that we can successfully do more than one thing at a time. That’s why talking and texting while driving leads to so many bad outcomes.
The distinguishing characteristic of a Swiss-style turning machine is the sliding headstock that feeds bar stock through a guide bushing. This feature enables the precise, high volume machining of many parts, especially those with small diameters. Because of the importance of accurate guide bushing positioning and spindle performance, how these components are crafted is vitally important.
Workpieces often leave a machine tool covered with metal dust, dirt, chip remnants and machine oils. Whether these are parts for your own products or components to be shipped to a customer, they typically need thorough cleaning. Doing so manually means increased labor costs, machine downtime and the cost of cleaning agents, as well as their proper disposal, whether solvent- or aqueous-based.
Shortening machining cycle time, reducing labor costs and extending tool life can all play a major role in improving productivity and, thereby, your bottom line. While using the most advanced machine tools is certainly a key component in achieving greater productivity, it’s not the entire answer. It’s equally important to optimize all aspects of a manufacturing operation from raw materials through delivery to the customer.
Two Okuma CNC machines used to make pipe couplings are tended by a FANUC R2000 iB robot in this 2-minute video. The robot uses two sets of grippers to load and unload the parts from each machine tool which greatly reduces mind-numbing, repetitive labor to free the machine operator for other tasks, reduce cost-per-part and keep the process running smoothly.
This video shows a grinding cell incorporating an Okuma GA-47 grinder with a FANUC robot equipped with a vision system and manually adjustable grippers. The Okuma grinder has a flexible, 2-axis configuration for greater versatility and handles parts up to 60” long, weighing as much as 660 lbs.
The cycle time for the operation is reduced by 62%, from the original time of 45 minutes to just 16.8 minutes. In addition to dramatically improving cycle time, one operator can now manage multiple cells, which greatly reduces labor costs-per-part. The new cell also eliminates the need for workers to physically manage extremely heavy parts.
Some manufacturing people think robotic-assisted CNC machining is strictly for high-volume production. In fact, even small production runs can benefit from automating repetitive processes and freeing machine operators to manage multiple workstations.
Just like the online sites you visit to download the latest APPs for your smart phones, tablets and computers, you can now access productivity-enhancing APPs for your Okuma CNC machines from the Okuma APP Store. You can also get a first-hand look at the APP Store in the Okuma booth at IMTS 2014.
A new series of high-accuracy multitasking CNC lathes dramatically reduces the number of fixtures required for complex part machining, thus reducing setup time while increasing machine uptime. Now available from Okuma and Gosiger, the Multus U Series includes the U3000 with a 39.4” bed and the 59.05” bed U4000.
Milling this complex part from pre-hardened 4140 steel (36 Rc) required a combination of a machine tool capable of both high speeds and the ability to precisely control machine movements, an assortment of high-performance cutting tools, and the right CAM software. In this video, the cast of characters includes an Okuma Genos M560V vertical machining center, Sandvik-Coromant tooling and Esprit ProfitMilling CAM software.
Chatter, the vibration created when CNC machine tooling engages a work piece, affects turning, milling, and drilling operations, but is especially troublesome for milling. Even minimal chatter can shorten tool life and impact part quality. Too much chatter can even damage machine tools.
Gosiger High Volume Division provides unique solutions for manufacturers who want to increase throughput, reduce cost-per-part and improve time-to-market. In IMTS booth S-9266 visitors can see these products for themselves and discuss their specific applications with Gosiger technical experts. Product lines represented include:
Aerospace machining represents a great opportunity for CNC machine shops that are searching for new income streams. However there are a number of challenges to overcome and specialized skills required.
Workplace safety is a major concern for the makers of manufacturing equipment and for machine tool distributors and automation specialists like Gosiger. Modern machine tools are equipped with various safety components that prevent users from accessing critical areas while the machine is operating. Likewise, automation systems using robots and other loading/unloading devices employ safety cages with access doors that are locked during machining cycles, light curtains that stop robot or machine activity when the beam is interrupted, and other safety precautions.
It’s no secret that factory automation is one of the keys to improving manufacturing productivity. Of course, the term “automation” includes a number of technologies that can be applied to various manufacturing functions. The trick is to integrate the right components into a seamless automated system that best meets your needs.
Most of us have become addicted to various APPS on our personal computers and mobile devices. They make life easier and richer by enabling us to perform a wide variety of activities at our desks and on the go. APPS also serve us well on the factory floor and when away from our shops so we can monitor activities and improve productivity.
Because the computers and electronics that enable us to program and control CNC machine tools are typically housed in a protective cabinet, we sometimes forget that they are still subject to damage if heat builds up or debris finds its way into the enclosure. In fact, a widely accepted rule of thumb is that the rate of failure for electronic devices is cut in half for every 50º F (10º C) decrease in temperature.
Finding qualified CNC machine operators and other manufacturing personnel today can be challenging and raises questions about future workforce availability. One solution, of course, is to work with local schools to encourage students to consider a career in manufacturing and point them toward appropriate educational opportunities.
According to survey data released by Gardner Business Media, American manufacturers have rebounded from the Great Recession. In fact, the Index of Durable Goods showed that production of durable goods is at an all-time high.
Thanks to a new programming option called Turn-Cut, users of Okuma Horizontal Machining Centers (HMC) can now avoid buying expensive special purpose machines, tooling, fixtures and other add-ons to perform turning operations on large, unbalanced parts. With it you can create bores and diameters including circular and angular features. The system is especially useful for working on valves and manifold-type parts.
In this Gosiger produced video, a Fanuc M-16iB robot unloads and stacks precision aluminum parts. The work cell is designed for long periods of unattended operation of the Okuma sub-spindle lathe that is fed 12’ bar stock by an automatic, magazine bar feeder. The Fanuc robot gripper carefully unloads the parts because the robot is programmed to apply the optimum amount of pressure. This ensures that the highly precise aluminum parts will not be damaged or distorted when removed and placed in the outgoing conveyor.
We’re all looking forward to the promise of another good year for manufacturing in 2014 and, although it may seem far away, we’re also looking forward to IMTS 2014. Early indications are that a record number of exhibitors and visitors will grace the halls of McCormick place next September 8 – 13. Certainly there will be exciting new technologies and sharing of information that will help everyone from the smallest CNC machine shop to the largest mega-manufacturers advance their operations. Here are a few other highlights according to information released by The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT).
The science of ergonomics involves designing and arranging things so that people can use them as efficiently and easily as possible. When ergonomics is applied to CNC machining the primary focus is on improving productivity and safeguarding the machine operators.
This photo gallery depicts the partnership and tells the story of Gosiger Automation and Okuma's THINC technology working together to provide serious solutions. Read and learn more from our white paper that outlines how Okuma Intelligent technology stops crashes, compensates for temperature issues and reduces machine chatter.
Hardinge, Inc. presents a 2-day event for CNC machine shop personnel who want to see the latest machine tool technologies from Hardinge, Bridgeport, Kellenberger, Jones & Shipman, and Usach. Along with these industry-leading turning machines, machining centers, grinders and workholding products, 40 Hardinge Technology Partners, including Gosiger, will display the latest machine tool accessories that can help optimize your productivity.
Machining aluminum alloys for aerospace, electronics, computers, and other applications presents a number of challenges for CNC machine shops. If you’re considering expanding your capabilities to include making aluminum alloy parts, there are a number of important factors to consider:
This video demonstrates how a Fanuc M20iB services a 5-axis Okuma machining center. The robot is mounted on a Robot Transfer Unit (RTU) that enables it to handle multiple machine tools. This clip shows how parts are loaded through a custom side door on the machine tool so operators have access to the both the front of the machine and the machine’s control panel.
Many newer cars have maintenance reminders built in that alert owners when it’s time for routine services like oil changes, which is a great convenience. Surprisingly, having this feature doesn’t keep some drivers from putting off servicing the vehicle until problems arise. True, you still must make the appointment and then either wait, or leave and arrange for someone to take you back to pick up the vehicle. However most of us realize that it’s important to protect this major investment, and that preventative maintenance is less costly and less inconvenient than dealing with a breakdown.
We all know the problem: Manufacturing, especially CNC machining, requires a different set of skills and talents than in the past, and it’s become a challenge to find capable employees. Good, experienced machinists have jobs or can easily find a new one if necessary. That means that the available pool of candidates will most likely need some training before they become productive.
There are some obvious reasons to avoid permanently marking the parts you machine, including equipment cost and adding another step to a manufacturing process. These may be valid reasons if the parts you are making are low-cost commodity items or ones that have no possibility of causing a product failure. However, if the parts you produce fall outside of those parameters, you should give serious thought to encoding them with identifying information for 3 good reasons:
Dayton OH – According to machine tool distributor and factory automation specialist, Gosiger Inc., new software and machine control technologies enable manufacturers to integrate dimensional part inspection within a robotically automated CNC machining cell.
With 2013 winding down, we’re all looking forward to the promise of another good year for manufacturing in 2014 and, although it may seem far away, we’re also looking forward to IMTS 2014. Early indications are that a record number of exhibitors and visitors will grace the halls of McCormick place next September 8 – 13. Certainly there will be exciting new technologies and sharing of information that will help everyone from the smallest CNC machine shop to the largest mega-manufacturers advance their operations. Here are a few other highlights according to information released by The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT).
Investing in a 5-axis CNC machine can open doors to greater productivity, reduced capital investment, lower operator-cost-per-part and the opportunity to accept work from customer previously unavailable to you. How is this possible? Because simultaneous 5-axis machining provides all of these benefits:
Lean manufacturing has been around for quite a while, and many manufacturers have embraced the philosophy of continuously looking for ways to eliminate waste in their processes. However, the true meaning of Lean involves much more than automating an activity or streamlining an operation, as important as those things are. So here are 7 questions to ask yourself about your Lean program.
Robotic-based CNC machine tool automation is proven to reduce operator time and cost-per-part. It also enables unattended and lights-out operation, eliminates human error and improves spindle utilization. All of which greatly enhances productivity. For more on this topic, download the free white paper The Case For Robotic-Based Automation.
CNC machine tool users typically love new technologies. That’s why most have embraced the digital world through computer networks, remote monitoring and reporting, mobile devices loaded with APPs, and online transmission of CAD drawings and other important data.
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.
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.
You may need more than chemicals. Some parts require mechanical cleaning methods along with the proper solutions. These can include high-pressure sprays, agitating the chemical bath, or rotating the basket within a cleaning chamber.
Ultrasound can help. In some cases cleaning is aided by ultra-high sound frequencies that produce thousands of tiny bubbles that implode when they strike the surface of a part. The energy released gently removes contaminants from the part.
Best performed in a vacuum. Vacuuming air out of the cleaning chamber serves 2 purposes: (1) It protects the parts from airborne contaminants, and (2) it removes air pockets from the complex part features to allow the solvents to clean more effectively.
How safe is solvent cleaning? It’s no secret that solvents are harmful to workers and the environment. That’s why they are strictly regulated in many states. To clean safely and effectively with solvent-based chemicals requires a special kind of cleaning apparatus.
Versatility is the key. The ideal parts washer operates in a sealed chamber using hydrocarbons or modified alcohol-based solutions that are internally recycled through a distillation process, and combines spraying, immersion, submerged jets, ultrasonic and vapor cleaning options applied either statically or with oscillation or rotation added.
Long rods and shafts that require multiple operations can be efficiently machined on one Swiss-type lathe – if part of a well thought out work cell. Gosiger High Volume department met this challenge as demonstrated in this brief video of a customer installation.
Workplace violence is not a subject we like to think about and, in a simpler time, was seldom on our radar. However as recent events demonstrate all too clearly, acts of violence in schools, malls, theatres, other public places and, yes, in workplaces is on the rise.
While we all want our employees to be safe in the workplace, the fact is there were close to 3 million reports of nonfatal injuries reported to OSHA last year. Over 900,000 cases involved days away from work. FEMA reports that in 2011 there were 85,400 non-residential fires in the U.S. that caused 80 deaths and 1,100 injuries. The dollar loss from these fires amounted to $2,435,700,000.
For the third year, Gardner Research conducted an in-depth study of CNC machine shops to better understand the reasons some companies perform better in terms of income, profit and growth. The study focused on 4 keys to success:
Gosiger encourages all customers to have in place a comprehensive Planned Preventative Maintenance Plan for all of the equipment in their shop. By performing the regular inspections and service that every machine requires, you can avoid unnecessary downtime, lost production, late deliveries and expensive machine repairs.
Recently a customer asked Gosiger to help reduce the cost of machining complex pump shafts it produces for military and other applications. The CNC machine shop was using 5 machine tools to perform 14 operations on the workpiece, including turning, drilling, milling and hobbing. This required multiple setups, programming, machining cycles, and movement of the part between the 5 machines.
In the world of CNC machining we tend to think of employee training as beginning and ending with “how to” lessons relating to specific machining functions. In fact, companies should be thinking in broader terms and promoting continuous education. Here are 7 suggestions to help you shape an employee education program that works for your business:
It’s no secret that using robots to handle large, heavy, unwieldy parts reduces production time and eliminates many worker safety issues. However even a basic loading and unloading scenario, like the one in this video, requires much more than simply placing a robot arm in front of a machine tool. Gosiger Automation specializes in thinking through the entire manufacturing process to integrate all of the components necessary to achieve optimum productivity.
It’s challenging enough to run a successful CNC machine shop these days without worrying about people trying to steal from you. Unfortunately, it’s a reality we all must face. Certainly, there have always been thieves and con artists, however today’s technologies and the rapid pace of business provide new opportunities for them to get hold of your hard earned dollars. Following are 5 of the most common scams aimed at businesses of all sizes and what you can do to keep the scammers’ fingers out of your pocket.
Dayton OH – Okuma machine tool distributor and automation systems developer Gosiger, Inc. recommends a new, free APP from Okuma that alerts machine users when routine maintenance is required. If properly used, the Scheduled Maintenance APP helps keep machines operating at peak efficiency and reduces downtime and workflow interruptions.
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.
All machine tools and peripheral equipment come with instruction manuals and parts books. These days they may be electronic files in place of or in addition to paper books. The electronic versions are particularly handy as they are easier to store and find. Plus you can usually use them on your PC, laptop, tablet, or other mobile device.
Despite improvements in the overall economy, unemployment in the U.S. remains higher than desirable. Even so there are CNC machine shops that can’t find qualified candidates for available jobs. One reason is that experienced machine operators who are capable of working with today’s advanced manufacturing equipment are hard to find. Another is that many young people have a misconception of what working in a modern manufacturing facility is like. Worse yet, those who have an interest may not have the opportunity to gain experience with today’s sophisticated CNC machine tools and, therefore, are less desirable new hires.
According to a recent survey by Monster.com, nearly half of the employees who responded say they are unhappy in their current jobs and 81% plan to look for a new job this year. That’s a frightening statistic for employers who are likely unaware that they have disgruntled employees.
Dating back to the time when all machine tools were operated manually and part tolerances were more forgiving, the “C” machine design was the industry standard. When CNC came along, dimensional tolerances tightened and manufacturers demanded faster spindle speeds to deal with harder-to-machine alloys, the inherent performance problems with the “C” design became obvious. We asked Jim Endsley, Product Specialist Machining Centers for Okuma, to explain why the company moved from “C” designs to the current double column or bridge design. Here are the facts Jim shared with us:
Dayton, OH – Machine Tool Distributor and Automation Systems Integrator Gosiger, Inc. has developed a new product to enable Okuma CNC machine users to seamlessly integrate a variety of peripheral devices such as bar feeders, high-pressure coolant systems, hydraulically activated fixtures and steady rests through one interface to the machine’s OSP 200 and above control.
Gosiger Controls Specialist Jon Weaver shot this video of a Remote Offset application developed for a Gosiger machining cell customer. Using the Okuma Application Program Interface (API) that enables programmers to create Windows®-based APPs for the Okuma OSP operating system, this program provides the cell operators an easy way to adjust tool offsets from outside the cell.
For most manufacturers investing in any CNC machine tool is a major decision, and well it should be. Operating costs continue to rise while competition and customer demands can drive profit margins down. So investing in new equipment is a serious proposition. Yet sometimes, in an effort to keep the initial investment to a minimum, some shops fail to see the bigger picture. Take 5-axis CNC machining centers for example. Some shops see 5-axis as overkill based on the way they’ve always operated. Yet there are many substantial reasons why investing in a 5-axis machine may be the most cost-effective move you can make. Here are 7 of them:
Most of us first heard the term “horsepower” when we became interested in motor vehicles. As youngsters, the concept was pretty simple: More horsepower meant faster cars. That was before we learned about the other factors that affect automobile performance such as torque and RPM.
Managers and owners of CNC machine shops are always striving for greater productivity through new techniques and technologies. It’s true that more capable machine tools and automating certain functions are keys to improving performance. However, even the most advanced manufacturing facilities need talented, committed people to make the most of these tools. So how do you keep your employees motivated?
Dayton, OH – When a CNC machine shop customer needs parts, technical service, or simply a question answered, they want it handled right now. None of us have much patience when a machine is down or when we need information to keep production moving. That’s why over the past few years Dayton, Ohio based CNC machine tool distributor and automation integrator Gosiger, Inc. has refined its ability to respond to customer phone calls by using Internet Protocol (IP) technology and a new customer response model.
Change is often difficult. We tend to get comfortable in the way we’ve always done things. Then there’s the fear of making a bad decision, which can cloud our judgment. That’s why it’s important to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages when expanding or upgrading your CNC machine capabilities.
CNC machine cutting tools are perishable by nature, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to prolong the life of your cutting tools. Not only are the tools, themselves, an expense but replacing worn tools can interrupt production and add labor costs. Not replacing worn tools in a timely manner can also impact the quality of a workpiece.
As the U.S. economy continues to improve, CNC manufacturers are attempting to add to their workforce. Some of the individuals showing up for these jobs are foreign-born. As we are all aware from the ongoing debates in Washington over immigration reform, there are many unauthorized workers in this country.
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.
The economy is improving but with competition the way it is these days, no CNC machine shop – regardless of size – can afford to stand still. To take your business to the next level you need to invest in quality, high-performing machine tools – without going broke. That’s why, for a limited time, Gosiger is making it possible to step up to an Okuma Genos L300-MY Turning Center for only $99,900.