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shear1

What you need to know before purchasing a shear for metalworking

Written by, Andy Kamashian, AEA Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales, Inc. (MDNA Member Firm) 

shear1Shearing is one of the oldest metal working process available and is usually the first process, and machine that is used when manufacturing fabricated parts. All shears are rated on their capability to cut steel and should be selected according to the capacity required as related to steel.  If your application is Stainless Steel, you should select a shear that is rated for approximately 1.5-2x the material thickness you are using. Should you be shearing Aluminum, a shear sized for 1/2 the amount of material thickness you are working with is likely sufficient.shear2

On the next page of this section we have included a shearing capacity chart for your reference. Note: Although there are small pneumatic, hand or foot operated shears (mostly used in HVAC and the Roofing Industries) and “Alligator” type shears (used in the scrap and recycling industries), this introduction will be focusing mostly on powered shears in the 14 gage (.075″ x 10′) range and heavier, which are found in most fabrication shops across North America.

Process Description:

Shearing sheet or plate steel is very much like that of using scissors to cut paper or cardboard. The blades come together at a minimum distance or offset that we describe as “blade gap” in order to fracture the material into the desired blank sizes for further processing.  The lower blade is fixed into the “Bed” of the shear while the upper blade moves either in a straight up and down “guillotine” fashion or a swinging “rotary” motion.  The thicker or harder the material, the wider the blades must be gapped apart or the blade angles increased (rake angle) in order to reduce the amount of tonnage required to shear (or fracture) the material up to the given rating of the machine.

A quality shear can save many hours on further processes such as bending, welding and assembly so it is important that you ensure you are capable of making quality, clean cuts that are square, accurate and can be repeated quickly.  Some of the key factors in choosing a shear are described below and when selecting a shear, whether new or used, these factors should be considered in the decision making process.

Hydraulic Shears Capacity Chart
Hydraulic Shears Capacity Chart Courtesy of Accurpress America

Components of a Shear:

All shears are made up of the same basic components and they are as follows:

  1. Main Frame:The Main Frame of the machine is what supports all the other components, bed and drive system.  A quality shear has a tough and heavy frame for the material size and rating.  Some lightly built shears are known to be susceptible to having fractured side frames, cracked beds or warped rams due to poor design or abuse.
  2. Bed:The bed is what your operator will be working on as he introduces material to the shear blades.  The bed is the support for not only the material but also the lower shearing blade.  A quality shears bed should be heavy and solid with conveniences for material handling like cut outs for the operator to slip his hands under the sheet of material for lifting and for larger capacity shears, ball transfers to “roll” the material being sheared easier into place.
  3. Squaring Arm: A squaring arm is crucial in ensuring the material being cut is at shear squaring arma square 90 degrees.  In order to achieve proper squareness, a squaring arm is used that has been setup and adjusted to ensure it is perfectly square to the shearing blades.  This squaring arm can also have a measuring scale on it which can help in measuring very short sheared parts from the front of the machine as opposed to using the gage bar as a stop behind the shear blades.  Typically the squaring arm is equal to the length of the shear blades but can be any length that works for the application you are selecting it for.
  4. Hold Downs: “Hold downs” are clamps (multiple or a single bar type clamp) that is located closely to the shear blades and firmly holds the material being sheared to prevent it from moving during the shearing process, and most importantly for tipping up which would introduce the material as a wedge between the upper and lower blades forcing the blades to gap wider. Typically the more force and number of hold downs equates to the sign of a better and higher quality shear.
  5. Blades:The cutting (or shearing) blades are typically tool steel and are hardened for wear resistance and ground for sharpness. They are mounted on the upper moving ram and the lower fixed bed and gapped usually just a few thousandths of an inch apart.  The blades can be “flipped” when worn from progressive use to another side, resharpened or replaced.  Shears typically have blades that have 2 sharp sides or 4 sides for use depending on the design of the machine.
  6. Gaging (Measuring System):  While not specific to every shear, gaging (or a part length stop/measuring system), is on about 95% of the shears on the market today.  Proper gaging is crucial for not only maintaining the correct sheared length, but for allowing the operator to quickly “gage” the next sheared blank and repeat the process very quickly.  Usually these “Gages” (or stops) are at the rear of the shear and commonly are computer controlled, screw driven gage bars for bumping the material up against.  These gages can be manually or electronically (programmed) positioned to provide for multiple sheared lengths as well as repeated use of the same length. A quality gaging system will be strong enough to support material weight equivalent to the the full capacity of the shear for many years to come.
  7. Control:A shear control can be as simple as a hand wheel manually positioning the back gage in conjunction with a foot/clutch pedal, or can be as extensive as a programmable gaging system allowing for precise programmable positioning of the gage system while keeping an accurate cycle count.  While most shear gage controllers are used as a simple “Go Here” positioner, many are capable of much more including shearing “kits” of multiple part pieces and lengths all positioned and counted automatically.
  8. Accessories/Options:A shear can be customized to meet a variety of needs by adding optional accessories that can make the operation of the shear simpler, faster, more accurate and more reliable. Common shear options include:
    • Stacker/Conveyor
    • Hydraulic Cooling Systems
    • Front Gaging
    • Extended Backgages
    • High Speed (Hydraulics Only)
    • Safety Options like light curtains, fencing, etc.
    • Ball Transfers in the Bed
    • Hand Cutouts
    • Scales in the Bed
    • Mitering Squares
    • Special Bed Machining or Tapping for Accessories

Types of Shears

Guillotine

A “Guillotine” design in a shear refers to the upper blades action of motion.  The blade is driven in a straight direction by a mechanism and way system driving the ram and blade straight down and up. Usually this design equates to a bigger heavier design in a shear and is almost always found on designs rated in the 1/2″ capacity or greater.

Swing Beam

A swing beam design shear uses the power of leverage through a cantilevered ram to increase tonnage and thus shearing capacity.  Placing the upper blade on a pivoting mechanized ram, the blade is then forced down by mechanical or hydraulic actuation using the power of leverage.  This design usually equates to a shorter in height machine design and also blades that must be relieved for clearance allowing typically for only 2 cutting edges per blade.  There are also modified versions of this design that are some of the most popular designs sold today.

Types of Shear Drive Systems

Hydraulic

Hydraulic pressure is applied through one or more cylinders to force the ram and upper blade of the machine down. Hydraulic machines can have typically one or two hydraulic cylinders for operation.

Mechanical

A motor spins a large flywheel at high speed the operator then engages a clutch which can be activated via pneumatic, hydraulic or mechanical engagement.  Once the clutch is engaged the moving flywheel is mated to a crankshaft in which the machines ram is attached.  The crankshaft then spins cycling the ram and shear blade up and down.

Other Shear Design Factors to Consider:

Rake Angle: “Rake Angle” is the angle of the upper cutting blade as it is introduced past the lower cutting blade.  This angle of introduction allows for only a small portion of material to actually be engaged with the blades at any given time, thus greatly reducing the forces required to shear long lengths.  Ideally, if the force required to shear a part was of no consideration then a machine would have ZERO rake angle as it would theoretically provide for the straightest sheared part and quickest cycle time. However since shears are typically working with 120-144″ of material length or more, the amount of the force required would be massive and therefore, cost prohibitive.  “Rake” angle is thus necessary in order to minimize the actual force required to “fracture or cut” the material being sheared.

Ideally a quality machine has as minimum a rake angle as possible, typically 1/4″ of angle per foot, as excessive rake angle can cause Twist (sheared part curling) and/or Bow (Sheared part rolling into an arc).

Adjustable Rake Angle: Some shear manufacturers use a mechanism that allows the upper blade to varyterial being cut is at shear squaring arma square 90 degrees.  In order to achieve proper squareness, a squaring arm is used that has been setup and adjusted to ensure it is perfectly square to the shearing blades.  This squaring arm can also have a measuring scale on it which can help in measuring very short sheared parts from the front of the machine as opposed to using the gage bar as a stop behind the shear blades.  Typically the squaring arm is equal to the length of the shear blades but can be any length that works for the application you are selecting it for.

  • Hold Downs: “Hold downs” are clamps (multiple or a single bar type clamp) that is located closely to the shear blades and firmly holds the material being sheared to prevent it from moving during the shearing process, and most importantly for tipping up which would introduce the material as a wedge between the upper and lower blades forcing the blades to gap wider. Typically the more force and number of hold downs equates to the sign of a better and higher quality shear.
  • Blades:The cutting (or shearing) blades are typically tool steel and are hardened for wear resistance and ground for sharpness. They are mounted on the upper moving ram and the lower fixed bed and gapped usually just a few thousandths of an inch apart.  The blades can be “flipped” when worn from progressive use to another side, resharpened or replaced.  Shears typically have blades that have 2 sharp sides or 4 sides for use depending on the design of the machine.
  • Gaging (Measuring System):  While not specific to every shear, gaging (or a part length stop/measuring system), is on about 95% of the shears on the market today.  Proper gaging is crucial for not only maintaining the correct sheared length, but for allowing the operator to quickly “gage” the next sheared blank and repeat the process very quickly.  Usually these “Gages” (or stops) are at the rear of the shear and commonly are computer controlled, screw driven gage bars for bumping the material up against.  These gages can be manually or electronically (programmed) positioned to provide for multiple sheared lengths as well as repeated use of the same length. A quality gaging system will be strong enough to support material weight equivalent to the the full capacity of the shear for many years to come.
  • Control:A shear control can be as simple as a hand wheel manually positioning the back gage in conjunction with a foot/clutch pedal, or can be as extensive as a programmable gaging system allowing for precise programmable positioning of the gage system while keeping an accurate cycle count.  While most shear gage controllers are used as a simple “Go Here” positioner, many are capable of much more including shearing “kits” of multiple part pieces and lengths all positioned and counted automatically.
  • Accessories/Options:A shear can be customized to meet a variety of needs by adding optional accessories that can make the operation of the shear simpler, faster, more accurate and more reliable. Common shear options include:
    • Stacker/Conveyor
    • Hydraulic Cooling Systems
    • Front Gaging
    • Extended Backgages
    • High Speed (Hydraulics Only)
    • Safety Options like light curtains, fencing, etc.
    • Ball Transfers in the Bed
    • Hand Cutouts
    • Scales in the Bed
    • Mitering Squares
    • Special Bed Machining or Tapping for Accessories

 

Types of Shears

Guillotine

A “Guillotine” design in a shear refers to the upper blades action of motion.  The blade is driven in a straight direction by a mechanism and way system driving the ram and blade straight down and up. Usually this design equates to a bigger heavier design in a shear and is almost always found on designs rated in the 1/2″ capacity or greater.

Swing Beam

A swing beam design shear uses the power of leverage through a cantilevered ram to increase tonnage and thus shearing capacity.  Placing the upper blade on a pivoting mechanized ram, the blade is then forced down by mechanical or hydraulic actuation using the power of leverage.  This design usually equates to a shorter in height machine design and also blades that must be relieved for clearance allowing typically for only 2 cutting edges per blade.  There are also modified versions of this design that are some of the most popular designs sold today.

Types of Shear Drive Systems

Hydraulic

Hydraulic pressure is applied through one or more cylinders to force the ram and upper blade of the machine down. Hydraulic machines can have typically one or two hydraulic cylinders for operation.

Mechanical

A motor spins a large flywheel at high speed the operator then engages a clutch which can be activated via pneumatic, hydraulic or mechanical engagement.  Once the clutch is engaged the moving flywheel is mated to a crankshaft in which the machines ram is attached.  The crankshaft then spins cycling the ram and shear blade up and down.

Other Shear Design Factors to Consider:

Rake Angle: “Rake Angle” is the angle of the upper cutting blade as it is introduced past the lower cutting blade.  This angle of introduction allows for only a small portion of material to actually be engaged with the blades at any given time, thus greatly reducing the forces required to shear long lengths.  Ideally, if the force required to shear a part was of no consideration then a machine would have ZERO rake angle as it would theoretically provide for the straightest sheared part and quickest cycle time. However since shears are typically working with 120-144″ of material length or more, the amount of the force required would be massive and therefore, cost prohibitive.  “Rake” angle is thus necessary in order to minimize the actual force required to “fracture or cut” the material being sheared.

Ideally a quality machine has as minimum a rake angle as possible, typically 1/4″ of angle per foot, as excessive rake angle can cause Twist (sheared part curling) and/or Bow (Sheared part rolling into an arc).

Adjustable Rake Angle: Some shear manufacturers use a mechanism that allows the upper blade to vary the angle of rake in order to maximize the shears capacity.  By increasing the angle of rake, the amount of thicker material actually engaged in the blades remains within the shears power “window”.  While these manufacturers advertise this as a “benefit” of their machine, the reality is they are offering a much lighter machine with the capability to shear thicker material through this increased rake angle.  When choosing a shear with variable rake angle, be sure to investigate it thoroughly as to what its capacity is at its lowest, or recommended, rake setting as this is really what the shear was designed to handle and greater thicknesses are only achieved through increase the rake angle and thus increasing the Twist and Bow you can expect in resulting sheared part.

 

Blade Gap Adjustment: In any shearing operation the higher the offset between the upper and lower blades, the lower the force required to break, or fracture the material.  As the blade gap becomes excessive, burring (or tearing) begins to occur on the sheared blanks.  If Blade Gap is set too closely then the force required to break the material can be in excess beyond the shears ability.  Because different materials like Aluminum, Steel and Stainless steel have different fracturing forces they require different blade gap settings to ensure you are getting the best quality sheared part for the given material type and thickness you are working with.   All shears come with the ability to “Gap” the blades either by manual shimming (very slow), Bed/Lower Blade adjustment (slow) or by a quick blade gap adjusting mechanism which also can be powered (fastest).  Depending on the range of material types and thickness you are working with will determine the necessity for a quick blade gap adjustment feature on your shear.  

Common Arguments when Selecting a Shear 

 

Argument 1:  Mechanical vs. Hydraulics- Which is better?
When selecting a shear many people assume that hydraulic operation is a better option as they equate it with a press brake. However shearing is a completely different process and mechanical actuation can actually be preferred in a shear due to the following factors?

  • Speed:Mechanical Shears are faster in full cycle mode
  • Simplicity: Mechanical Shears have simpler mechanisms to maintain and repair making up time longer and downtime shorter
  • Noise:Mechanical Shears are quieter as they do not have the constant running of hydraulics
  • Heat: Without hydraulics mechanical shears run much cooler
  • Green:No hydraulic Oil, No Hydraulic Heat (requiring cooling), No Hydraulic Oil Waste, No Filter Waste

Where hydraulic shears have an advantage is:

  • Variable Stroke Length:Mechanical shears must make the full cycle when shearing whereas hydraulic shears can be set perform quick short strokes useful when shearing material of only a few inches in width.
  • Overload Protection: Protected by a blowout valve a hydraulic shear can stop the blade from getting into a “locked” position with the material as when the hydraulics reach the maximum PSI for the shear a safety valve opens up and dumps the high pressure hydraulics stopping the downward force and thus allowing the ram to backed off and the oversize/hard/obstruction to be removed.

Argument 2: Pit Vs. No Pit – Which is Better?

As shears increase in material thickness capabilities (force/tonnage), or stretch out in width, they may require a “pit”, or more accurately described as a slot in the floor.  The reason this relief in the floor is required is due the mechanical properties of shearing that cause both the bed and ram to deflect under the high tonnage required.  While adding mass to the ram (upper part of the shear) simply makes the machine taller, adding mass to the bed would raise the working height of the machine beyond a comfortable level.  Therefore the easiest and best way to counter these forces is to add more mass to the bed and put that mass below the floor.  By adding this mass the manufacturers have made a stronger, heavier machine that can operate with low rake angle for good quality parts and will not flex under load.  This added mass actually increases the rigidity, part quality, life expectancy and manufacturing cost of the shear and therefore is found in better quality heavier and wider shears.

The best method for keeping the machine and parts straight is to not let it bend in the first place and thus a pit is actually preferred over flush floor mount machines in higher capacities (3/8″ and up) or wider widths (14′ and Wider).

Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales staff are shear experts and can assist you in selecting the best shear for your applications AND budget. You can visit Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales, a Member of MDNA at https://www.southernfabsales.com/ (Article Written by, Andy Kamashian, AEA Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales, Inc.)

For more information on shears or to buy, sell or trade them you can also contact any of MDNA’s machinery dealers, located around the world, by using the Find Members>Search tool on mdna.org  

Newly Elected MDNA President Joe Lundvick

MDNA 76th Annual Convention Re-Cap on what you missed…

MDNA’s 76th Annual Convention & Business Meetings were held on May 4-7, 2017 at Disney World’s BoardWalk Inn in Orlando, FL.   No matter how old or young, attendees of this year’s convention felt the magic in the air around them. The attendees were treated to educational seminars, exciting activities and popular social and networking events.  All of which would not be possible without the strong support of the Convention Sponsors (see below.)

Being at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn gave attendees a plethora of options with the surrounding parks and activities but, for those interested in learning, there were four educational seminars with numerous takeaways.

AMEA conducted an entertaining valuation program that spoofed Hollywood Squares.  Participants matched wits and appraisal knowledge with members of the AMEA Board of Directors hosted by Don Bentley, CEA and Doris Toronyi, CEA.

MDNA presented the following three educational seminars:

Seminar #1 –  John Taucher, CEA, of MDNA Member Firm, Portage Packaging and Neal J. Novak, Regional Vice President of Alex N. Sill Company (North America’s Leading Firm of Loss Consultants & Appraisers), presented a seminar entitled “Are You Prepared For A Disaster?”.  This presentation included a firsthand account by Mr. Taucher of the many hurtles and pitfalls that follow a catastrophic loss to your business and how a firm like the Sill Company can help you navigate the process of rebuilding. Log into to the Member’s Only Back Office to view the PowerPoint that accompanied this presentation and go to >Resources> Presentation Slides 

Seminar #2 – Joint Venture Standards & Procedures Panel Discussion was led by Joe Lundvick, CEA, of Perfection Global LLC, Jack Boecher, AEA, of Raco Industrial Corp., Paul Lashin, of Prestige Equipment, and Troy Clark, of Clark Machinery Sales.  Topics included: When should a joint venture machine be paid for? What are acceptable expenses? What rate should be used for cleaning versus repairing? Is a salesperson’s commission a shared expense? Should overhead be part of the expenses? Should the partner know who the machine was sold to?

Seminar #3 – Exporting and U.S. Government Help was presented by Kenneth R. Mouradian, Director, Orlando U.S. Export Assistance Center U.S. Commercial Service Orlando U.S. Department of Commerce.  He explained many of the services and assistance opportunities available to U.S. businesses doing business abroad.   Log into to the Member’s Only Back Office to view the PowerPoint that accompanied this presentation and go to >Resources> Presentation Slides 

Networking and Social Event Coverage:

Our widely popular social and networking events kicked off with an entertaining Disney tunes sing-along. Thursday night’s welcome party was in an ideal location at Disney’s Atlantic Dance Hall and included all of the keys to success:  a talented band, superb food and beverages, business networking and reacquainting with old friends from overseas as far as England and Germany. To top the night, Micky and Minnie Mouse surprised all with a special appearance!

Friday morning’s rain let up just in time to allow our spouse contingent to take advantage of a private outdoor patio inside of Epcot for their own form of networking, at a special champagne brunch.  Friday night all attendees gathered at this private island for a sumptuous reception and spectacular view of Disney’s Illuminations, fireworks and lasers show.

Saturday commenced with the Awards Breakfast and Annual meeting.  Newly Elected AMEA President Randy Koster, CEA, presented the MDNA Leadership Award to Robert Yeoman, CEA. The Leadership award is presented to recognize exemplary and extraordinary leadership qualities demonstrated by a current member of the MDNA Board of Directors, MIS Executive Committee or AMEA Board of Directors who has made significant contributions to the association or one of its subsidiaries. Traditionally, this award has been given to individuals who have already made significant contributions to the association or its subsidiaries in a leadership role, and are poised to go on to even greater service to MDNA.  In presenting this award Randy said “I could not think of a more deserving person.”  Bob currently sits on both the MDNA and AMEA Boards as a Director and his contributions have been felt throughout the entire organization.  In addition to his service on the two Boards and his stellar performance as Chicago Chapter Chairman, Bob was the chief architect and fund raiser behind the MDNA Chicago Chapter/IMTS Meeting and Dinner, without question the largest Chapter Meeting in the Country.

Newly Elected MDNA President Joe LundvickThe Annual Meeting is also the time when the association elects its new officers.  This year the National Nominating Chairman Paul Lashin, CEA, of Prestige Equipment presided over the introduction of the slate of officers.  And after unanimous consent from the members in attendance Joe Lundvick, CEA, of Perfection Global LLC, was elected MDNA President.  The slate of national officers presented and approved also included First Vice President John Greene, CEA, F L Sales Inc., Second Vice President Craig Ward, CEA, F. P. Miller Co., Treasurer Ed Krause, FH Machinery.  Five Directors at Large were elected; John Butz, ReSell CNC, Troy Clark, Clark Machinery Sales LLC, Dan Wheeler, CEA, Wheeler Machinery Inc., Charlie Winternitz, CEA, Loeb Winternitz Industrial Auctioneers and Robert Yeoman, CEA, Yeoman Machinery Corporation.

Kim Khoury recieves Plaque for her service as MDNA President from newly elected MDNA President Joe LundvickThe celebration continued through to the President’s Banquet where all attendees danced the night away after a program that included a wonderful introductory speech by the newly elected president, who thanked and honored his predecessor, now Past President, Kim Khoury and all who helped mold him into the man and MDNA Member he is today.

On Saturday President of the ADLSF Kristine Conroy and the trustees conducted theMannions dancing annual scholarship raffle drawing and the big winner was sitting at the head table (MDNA First Vice President John Greene of FL Sales, Inc.) This was John’s second time as the big winner.  Other winning amounts included: $2,000 – John Becker of Heat Treat Equipment Co.; $1,500 – Nate Arnold of Arnold Equipment Co., and winner of $1,000 – John Butz of ReSell CNC.

Greene Wins AGAINThe program portion of the evening also included presenting the MDNA Randolph K. Vinson Award to, now retired MDNA Member, Richard Levy.   This award is named in honor of MDNA’s long-time professional staff director (who retired in 1965) and is presented to individuals in recognition of and in appreciation for outstanding and continuous contributions to the advancement of MDNA and the used machinery industry.  After climbing the Rick Levy receives Earl Elmanranks of the AMEA to become President Mr. Levy turned around and served in all of the MDNA officer positions culminating in his service as MDNA President in 2007 to 2009 and remained on the Board until 2015.  In accepting the award, he commented that he was deeply touched and was honored that he had been involved with the MDNA for literally his entire machinery career.

View more photos from Convention here:

Proud Mom and Dad of MDNA Past President Kim Khoury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View Photo candids from MDNA Convention here

Professional Photos from the Presidential Banquet can be found here: www.disneyeventphotography.com (The event name is: MDNAAnnualConvention)

Yoder Sighting

 

Huge Thank You To All Of Our Convention Sponsors!

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edm

Why should I purchase a USED Wire EDM for my Manufacturing Plant?

Written By: Scott Buth, CEA, Alternative Machine Tool, LLC (MDNA Member Firm)

wire edm, usedThe answer is simple. . .because it’s easy. You may have been approached by a customer to add Wire EDM capabilities or you are currently sending out your Wire EDM work, but you no longer need to do so. You don’t know where to start? Here’s a guide to help you.

Wire EDM (Electrical Discharge Machine) is a CNC machine that cuts most conductive materials with high precision. The computer control guides a thin fine brass wire around a predetermined path. Sparks controlled by the machine jump from the wire to the conductive material thousands of times per second, eroding the material away with high accuracy. The cut speed is determined by material type, material thickness and cutting conditions. Uses for a Wire EDM can be as simple as shape cutting of production parts to extreme accuracy and surface finish requirements found in Aerospace and Medical.

The infancy of Wire EDM is over, and the machines have become common placed in many shops. It is no longer considered the “Black Magic” that is was in the Late 80’s. While the machines are still specialized in comparison to purchasing a CNC Machining Center or CNC Lathe, a dealer that specializes in EDM can help you to make your venture into Wire EDM simple and painless.

You should consider the following parameters when shopping for a Wire EDM

  • What is the size of the part that I need to cut? (Both the overall block and the actual cut.)
  • What is the thickness of my part? (This will determine the Z Axis Height required)
  • Do I need to cut a Taper on my Part? (This will determine if you need at least a 4 Axis Machine)
  • Is my part need to be flat on the Top and Bottom? (This will determine if you need a Submerged Tank)
  • Will I be starting my cut inside a start hole or will I come in from an outside edge?
  • Do I need an Automatic Wire Threader to be able to run the machine unattended?
  • How will I program the machine? Will I use my existing CAM software?
  • When I purchase the machine who will install it and train my operators?
  • Is the machine I am considering still supported by the OEM?
  • Where will I purchase my supplies such as Wire and Filters after I buy a machine?

Alternative Machine Tool and it sister companies (Midwest EDM and Desert EDM) are edm3making it easy for manufacturing companies to add a Wire EDM to their capabilities, without braking the bank. We have the people and processes to get you started in or add to your capacity in Wire EDM.

You can visit Alternative Machine Tool, A member of MDNA at http://alternativemachinetool.com/

For more information on USED WIRE EDM’s or to buy, sell or trade them you can also contact any of MDNA’s machinery dealers, located around the world, by using the Find Members>Search tool on mdna.org 

edm2
Scott Buth, CEA, Alternative Machine Tool, LLC (MDNA Member Firm)

 

Sturbridge Mass Meeting   (4)[1]

New England Chapter Meeting – Testimonials/ Recap

On February 16th MDNA’s New England Chapter met in Putnam, CT for a manufacturing tour of Phillips-Moldex Company followed by a chapter dinner meeting with special guests from The Smaller Manufacturers Association of CT: Doug Johnson, President of Marion Manufacturing, Board Member of the SMA, Chairs the SMA Education Committee, Ronald Turmel, Vice President and General Manager, H&T Waterbury, Inc., Board Member of the SMA.

View a full photo album from this meeting on the MDNA Facebook page here

Here’s what some of our MDNA Members who attended had to say about this meeting:

Sturbridge Mass Meeting   (30)
(R TO L) Kevin Brewster, NE Chapter Chairman, President of On Target Machinery; Tim Barry of Phillips-Moldex; Phil Dalrymple, Owner of Northwest Shippers Inc.; Doug Johnson, President of Marion Manufacturing; Ronald Turmel, VP of H&T Waterbury, Inc.

I am so glad we were able to put this meeting together. Invitations went out last minute, because it was difficult to get all the pieces into place. As hard as this was, we could have never pulled this off without the help / support of Nate Smith, Stephen Papillo and Julie Brewster. We have so many to thank for this meeting, our sponsor Phil Dalrymple President of Northwest Shippers Inc., and our company tour guide Tim Barry, Vice President of Phillips-Moldex Company; Doug Johnson, President of Marion Manufacturing, and Ronald Turmel, Vice President H&T Waterbury, Inc.  Both Doug, and Ronald are Board Members of The Smaller Manufacturers Association of Connecticut, SMA-CT.

I think our chapter members had very eye opening experiences as they heard 3 separate manufacturing companies convening the same concerns about the future of manufacturing. I also feel we took big steps to bridge a gap that night between Manufacturing End-Users and MDNA’s New England Chapter. We are on common ground with the fact that we need to cultivate our future incomes. In the process of the night I saw our members realize that this could be achieved by working together to inspire future careers into the trades. We heard several times throughout the night how young tool makers are needed, but do not exist. This is a very valid concern because the average tool maker is in his late 50’s to early 60’s at best. This is a skill that needs to be learned, or it could be lost forever. Helping repair this will insure our future sales income. I definitely will be moving forward to help the technical schools within Connecticut and around the country as much as we can.

–Kevin Brewster President / AEA, On Target Machine Brokers LLC., New England Chapter MDNA Chairman and Board Representative


“Great New England Chapter Meeting the other night. We were introduced to two members of a sister metalworking organization right here in Connecticut that I didn’t know existed. We will be working with them on common goals in the future. Also met a new Premier Vendor freight company, Northwest Shipping, who sponsored the meeting and had a rep fly in from the west coast. Well worth the time and the drive.”

–John W. Conroy, CEA, MDNA Past President, Machinery International Corp.


That was a great meeting.

Really appreciate all of your hard work to put it together. It was very successful. Thanks!

–Kristine Conroy, Machinery International Corp., Austin .D. Lucas Scholarship Fund President


The Boston/NE Chapter of MDNA featured a plant tour of Phillips-Moldex CO in Putnam, CT, 06260 on February 16, 2017.

The tour was led by the VP of Manufacturing, Timothy J. Barry, accompanied by MDNA members and guests. The tour featured late model electrically controlled plastic injection molding machines in operation and they were equipped with robotic pick and place, largely for automotive parts, such as, steering column levers with knob add-ons. The machines and plant were exceptionally well maintained with state-of-the-art plastic fiber dispensing system.

The tour included the entire facility, approximately 50,000 sq. ft. nestled within a modern manufacturing area in a small town…an impressive layout suited for growth of manufacturing in a historic political and economic time in the USA where the political emphasis is bringing jobs back to America. Phillips-Moldex is ready for the challenge.

Kevin Brewster, Chapter MDNA Chairman and Nate Smith, Membership Chairman were responsible for the exciting chapter meeting program with dinner and meeting presentation in Sturbridge Village, MA.

Special meeting guests Doug Johnson, President of Marion Manufacturing and Ronald Turmel, VP H&T Waterbury, Inc., both board members of the SMA-CT gave a presentation to the group.

All who attended had a meaningful tour, learned about the state of plastic injection molding machinery and tooling and had a chance to ask questions and increase knowledge and challenges. Northwest Shippers provided drinks and event sponsorship.

–David Gold, ASA, AMEA, Gold Machinery Group

View a full photo album from this meeting on the MDNA Facebook page here

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Truckers & Riggers and Technical Services Online Directory – Updates now being accepted

The MDNA Truckers & Riggers Directory and Technical Services Directory lists companies recommended by MDNA member firms. This directory is an invaluable resource for member-recommended trucking, rigging, storage, and brokering services and is available on the “Members Only” page of the MDNA website.

Click here to download the Truckers & Riggers Directory Recommendation Form. Please send your TRUCKERS-AND-RIGGERS-COVER- copyrecommendations to MDNA via fax or email. This directory will also list the recommending MDNA member company, so please fill out the form completely.

EVER NEED A MACHINE SERVICED THAT YOU SOLD OUTSIDE OF YOUR AREA? When you are doing business outside of your immediate area and a machine you sold needs service, installation, or inspection in a geographical area that you are not familiar with, The Technical Services Directory is your solution!

The Technical Services Directory features companies recommended by MDNA member firms who specialize in different Technical Services in the machinery industry, such as CNC programming, hydraulics repair, presses, etc.

Your recommendations of companies in your area (including yourself) is what makes up this directory – Technical-Serv.-Cover- copywhich is a valuable resource for all MDNA members.

Each specialty listing is FREE! And to stand out with more exposure in this publication, purchase a display advertisement.

Please click here to download the form and send your recommendations to MDNA via fax or email. This directory will also list the recommending MDNA member company, so please fill out the form completely. We will then contact them and let them know they’ve been recommended by you to be included in the publication.

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Young Guns of MDNA, Meet John Butz

Meet Resell CNC’s CEO and Chairman of the MDNA Southern Regional Chapter, John Butz. John’s hardworking, dedicated work ethic allows him to not only run day-to-day operations of his own business, but also sit on two MDNA committees and the Board of Directors. While being heavily involved in the MDNA and his own business, he manages to set aside time to spend with his wife, Chay Butz, and his two beautiful children, Maiori and Alex.

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John was introduced to the machinery industry early in life when his father worked for Siegler Machine and Tool in Milwaukee, WI and Machinery Systems Inc. in Chicago, IL between the 70’s and 80’s. Although he grew up around machinery, John did not officially enter the business until the early 90’s. As he made the move to Florida, John began working for a Mazak distributor selling new and used machinery.

In 2007, John had a vision and embarked on a new journey with a new purpose, starting Resell CNC. Resell CNC is a full stocking used CNC dealer that provides many different custom solutions including end user sales, online and on-site auctions, service and repair, storage and logistics. Since its doors opened, the company is still growing and continuously invests in its team and technology. Today, Resell CNC is made up of 25 team members in two locations in Phoenix and Orlando, helping serve customers nationwide. With the addition of Resell CNC Auctions and the unique auction platform, the company has become a trusted, reliable source for all manufactures in the industry.

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“At Resell CNC, our mission is to help manufactures solve problems by creating an innovative platform to buy and sell machinery and equipment enabling our customers to be competitive and profitable in the global market.” – John Butz

Most recently, Resell CNC became the only used machinery dealer in North America that can provide used and demonstration machines from Mazak with a factory warranty, installation, and training.

“My years of experience with Mazak have led to us helping Mazak with their loaner, demo, off lease, used and trade-in machines. We are extremely pleased to be working with an industry leader such as Mazak.” – John Butz

John’s schedule is certainly a busy one, but he does enjoy the times during the year that he can take to explore and vacation with his family. Along with traveling, John has a passion for adventure and enjoys physically challenging himself. He recently participated in an Ironman 70.3 in Coeur D’Alene ID where he swam 1.1 miles, biked 56 miles, and ran 13.1 miles. After all his time spent with travels, family, adventure and business, John makes it a must to schedule one exotic fishing trip a year to enjoy with his friends.

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Resell CNC Website

CNC Lathes

Vertical Machining Centers

Horizontal Machining Centers

Accessories

Resell CNC Auctions

Resell CNC Facebook Page

Resell CNC EBay Store 

Who are MDNA’s Young Guns? Learn More here

Cincinnati Hydraulic Press Brakes

Mechanical, Hydraulic, and now Electric Press Brakes. Which is best for me?

Written By: Adam Mattes, V.P. Sterling Machinery Exchange (MDNA Member Firm)

One of the most popular questions we hear at Sterling Machinery Exchange is…

What type of press brake do I need?  Most people are price conscious but want to make sure that they have enough capacity, proper controls and the correct safety gear to do the job.  There are many questions you need to ask yourself when shopping for the perfect press brake. 

There are many different brands to consider with lots of options such as Cincinnati Inc., JMT, US Industrial, Amada, Baileigh, Komatsu, Niagara and Chicago just to name a few. Besides CNC Controls, back gauges, and safety curtains or lasers you must decide on which one of the major styles would be best.

Cincinnati Hydraulic Press Brakes
Cincinnati Hydraulic Press Brakes

The most popular style is a Hydraulic Press Brake.  This style is the safest, most controllable and a bit more expensive than a mechanical brake.  They generally allow for multiple speed changes, for example you can set a Fast Approach Speed, Slow Forming Speed and a Quick Retraction Speed to really increase production time between bends.  Hydraulic also allows you more precision bends allowing for greater control when inching down and setting up for your job.  Another major benefit of the hydraulic brake is that you can reverse your stroke at any time.

The other biggest option is a Mechanical Press Brake.  These have been around for decades and many are still in use.  They are great for more simple jobs with less setup or special punching applications.  A mechanical press brake actuates a few different

Niagara Mechanical Press Brake
Niagara Mechanical Press Brake

ways, with either an air clutch system allowing for an electric foot pedal or a mechanical clutch and foot treadle.  The main difference between a hydraulic press brake and a mechanical press brake is that the mechanical brake cannot retract the ram until the flywheel has completed a full rotation.  This makes it harder to do certain jobs and you will not have the same control as a hydraulic machine allowing for ram retraction at any time.

New to the market is the Electrical Press Brake.  These machines are great for intricate jobs with multiple setups.  They use much less power to run and will give you the exact same bend every time by way of the servos that power the ram.  These are made for super high repeatability and are silent between strokes, great for laboratory or small shop environments.

Cincinnati Electric Press Brake
Cincinnati Electric Press Brake

 

Depending on the job you have you can save tens of thousands on bells and whistles that you don’t need.

You can visit Sterling Machinery Exchange, A member of MDNA at http://www.SterlingMachinery.com to Buy, Sell or Trade Your Machine today.  For thousands of machinery demonstration videos please visit http://www.Machinerytube.com Or
 Call Adam Mattes at Sterling Machinery Exchange 
626-444-0311 to find out what style press brake would be best for your needs. Article Written by:  Adam Mattes, Vice President & Auctioneer of Sterling Machinery Exchange

For more information on Press Brakes or to buy, sell or trade them you can also contact any of MDNA’s machinery dealers, located around the world, by using the Find Members>Search tool on mdna.org

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Here’s what you missed at MDNA’s Chicago Chapter Dinner in Chicago this year…

The MDNA Chicago Chapter/IMTS event was a huge success.  With over 220 attendees it was one of the largest chapter events to date.  Many thanks to all of the sponsors who helped make this event possible.  Please take some time and review this very powerful list of companies who contributed to making this evening one to remember.

Many thanks also to the Chicago Chapter Leadership Committee for working so tirelessly to put on this successful networking opportunity.  The Chicago Chapter Leadership Committee includes Chapter Chairman and Board Representative John J. Myers, Vice Chairman Thomas K. Mowery, Treasurer Ronni Graff, Membership Chairmen Joe Lundvick, Steve Kleba, Robert Yeoman and Past Chairman John A. Josko.

Congratulations to the winners of the Silent Auction!  The silent auction benefited the Austin D. Lucas Scholarship Fund and was arranged by MDNA First Vice President, Joe Lundvick.

And, another congratulation to the successful bidders in the evenings live auction!  Mike Reeves of Automatics & Machinery Co. Inc., was the high bidder on a Chicago Bears Jersey autographed by Mike Ditka, Donated by Wisconsin Metalworking MachineryMike DeRisi of Machinery Values Inc., was the winning bidder on a tour of the Yankee stadium with a photo signed by World Series champion Yankee, Derek Jeter, donated by Perfection Global. John Becker of Heat Treat Equipment Co. was the successful bidder on the MDNA Buyer’s Guide inside front cover ad location and Cesar Damino of Tramar Industries, Inc., won the MDNA Buyer’s Guide inside back cover ad location.

Special Thanks to the many volunteers who helped work the MDNA booth at IMTS 2016 this year! Check out more posts from IMTS 2016 on the MDNA Facebook page here

Rob Kroha, Performance Machine tools
Rob Kroha, Performance Machine Tools

aNGIE, kiM , lISA
Angie Roskelley, Kim Khoury, Lisa Ziccarelli

Craig Ward and Lisa Z
Craig L. Ward and Lisa Ziccarelli

Jim and Jim Graff
Jim Bowman and Jim Graff

 

A very special thank you to our event sponsors below!

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Platinum Plus 

Perfection logo Banner

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Platinum

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Direct Capital logoHilcoIndLogo2013_210

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Myers Technology Company, MDNA member firm PORTAGE

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Gold

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FL SALES TOP LOGO1

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iaac logo

LiquidityLogo

raco logo

Silver

aanda logo Revised Front Logo 4-15-14

abbott machine logo

blumberg

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chicago export

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Contributing Sponsor

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koster

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surplus record USD logo only 300

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MDNA Member Firm, Makes Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, August 31st 2016

Resell CNC Auctions for the third year straight has been on Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies

Orlando, FL – Resell CNC Auctions (Machinery Dealers National Association Member INC5000-september-2016-cover_402[1] copyFirm) for the 3rd year in a row has been named by Inc. 5000. At #3,871, Resell CNC Auctions has had a 77% growth over the past three years. In 2014, the company ranked #155 and the following year earned a spot 47 spots ahead at #108.

“We are very excited to be named on the Inc. 5000 List for the third straight year. Our team is consistently working to remain the most reliable and trustworthy outlet for buying and selling used machinery,” – CEO, John Butz.

Resell CNC Auctions is a full stocking used CNC machinery dealer with offices in Florida, Arizona, and representation in California, Texas and Illinois. Backed by individuals with more than 100 years of combined experience, Resell CNC Auctions has been able to help manufacturers solve problems by providing an innovative platform to buy and sell used Inc500_stacked_goldmachinery, enabling them to be competitive and profitable in a global market.

The auction platform provides manufacturers all over the country with a way to buy and sell used machinery and equipment. The innovative format has allowed Resell CNC Auctions to be among one of the very few auction companies to be named on the Inc. 5000 list. The company has also been completely separated from the rest in the industry as the one and only machine tool dealer to be listed in the last three years.resellcnc_standard_CMYK[1]

Resell CNC Auctions continues to grow and will focus on creating new ideas, methods and products that will better serve their customers and distinguish them from the rest of their industry.

###

Resell CNC Media Contact:

Matt Horn Resell CNC 844.478.8181

matt@resellcnc.com

MDNA Media Contact

Jennifer Gray

jgray@mdna.org

From: Automated Assembly Corporation
Workcell examples: In the manual form(left), two dedicated operators per shift costs $270,000 per year. The automatic form (right) allows for added capital investment and one-eighth of an operator costs $32,000 per year.

Plastics manufacturing automation trends rapidly expanding

By Don Rosato via MultiBrief

Note: This is the first of a three-part series covering plastics manufacturing automation (1)trends, (2) material/process advances and (3) applications.

The business dynamics of plastics manufacturing automation technologies are rapidly advancing. Trends in labor and energy are having a fundamental impact on plastics processors businesses. To effectively compete internationally and defend/expand established markets, high-wage processors must automate production to increase the productivity and economic efficiency of their operations and keep wages in a competitive range.

Even without high production volumes, automation can make for extremely cost-effective production. But automation is much more than simply adopting the use of robots. Instead of a 35-hour workweek, processors have to be prepared to increase processing time to 168 hours per week in fully automated production operations. Small- to medium-sized companies also need to join forces to form cooperatives and centers of excellence, which calls for a willingness to work together.

Considering the complexity and diversity of today’s products, maintaining huge inventories is not a viable option. As Just-in-Time deliveries become the industry standard, having local operations offers significant advantages. Some areas are less prone to having production shipped overseas. One area is medical, with its demands for precision and high quality. Large parts are another area less likely to move overseas, due to logistics. Making large parts offshore does not translate economically because of shipping expenses, a greater rate of product damage, longer supply lines and lead times, and more recurring packaging costs, since returnable packaging is impractical.

To start with, unlike older robotics, automation systems today are multifunctional, reprogrammable materials-handling devices, adaptable to a range of applications. Of robots used in automation, the gantry-style generation of robots increases production speeds but has limited flexibility and is generally dedicated to only one machine/work cell for its entire life. In contrast, newer robots with six-axis capability are user-friendly, price-competitive and versatile. They can rotate 360 degrees and perform additional post-molding operations, such as vision and gauging inspection, multicomponent assembly, trimming and cutting, packing and shipping.

Automated quality monitoring also reduces human error and leads to higher standards. Furthermore, robots provide advantages in direct part transfer, product cleanliness, part orientation, part counts and automatic barcode checking. The use of robots has benefits beyond lower direct labor costs. They also tighten manufacturing costs through more uniform cycles, parts removal validation, longer mold life, and reduced scrap.

Automation is more than an effective defense to overseas competition. It also provides an advantageous ROI, typically paying back in less than a year. To take full advantage of automation, companies need to have multiyear automation plans and track results to ensure effectiveness. Rather than cut jobs as they automate, some processors are creating more secure jobs, retaining full-time employee head counts by growing business and training personnel. Automation and training personnel both eliminate lower-paid, manual-labor positions and provide for better upward movement, bringing employees greater job satisfaction as well as making workplaces less physically strenuous and safer.

Next, energy management will save money and make a business more competitive. To reduce energy usage it is necessary to understand where, when, why and how much energy is being used. The main electrical energy users are motors and drives, heaters, cooling systems and lighting. A simple site energy distribution map will show where energy is being used. The use of submeters can help provide information on the areas of high energy use, which is a key factor in reducing energy costs. Energy use in plastics processing is a combination of the specific energy consumption (SEC) used to process each kilogram of finished product times production volume, and the base load, which is incurred regardless of whether production is taking place or not-it. Reduction in SEC involves improving production efficiency, and reduction of the base load mainly involves switching something off such as idling machines, heaters running with no production, and so on.

Businesses operating injection molding equipment can reduce operating costs and save energy using Powerboss, Somar’s latest motor control technology. Motors are extremely inefficient and use far more energy than they actually need, causing businesses to waste money on power, and puts added stress on machinery as the excess energy is released as heat, vibration and noise.

The Powerboss system assesses the needs of an AC induction motor every 1/100th of a second and dynamically adjusts the power required using microcontroller technology to deliver to the motor the exact power required. Cyclic loads such as injection molding machines are prefect applications. Powerboss is able to generate 15 to 30 percent power savings. Machines using Powerboss are also quieter, cooler and generate less vibration. In addition to injection molding machines such as Sandretto, Arburg, Demag and Toshiba, Powerboss can also be used with auxiliary equipment, like granulators and conveyors.

Continuing, the wireless factory is one area in manufacturing offering considerable future growth potential. The system uses a wireless local area network (WLAN) within a plant together with portable devices, like notebook computers cellphones, and PDAs, to provide real-time operational data.

Enabled by equipment advances and standardization of wireless specifications, the concept goes beyond standalone applications like automatic guided vehicles to extend throughout a plant and replaces wired devices, like computers, sensors and telephones. Using handheld devices to transmit, store and access real-time data on materials management, maintenance, shipping and so on significantly accelerates the rate at which personnel can identify and correct problems or plan for upcoming requirements.

BlueSecure access (L), BlueView ‘WLAN’ management system (R).
BlueSecure access (L), BlueView ‘WLAN’ management system (R).

Initially, the wireless factory was adopted for large manufacturing plants, such as those of BMW, Boeing, and chipmaker Intel, but as the benefits of wireless become evident, it is being adopted for more manufacturing facilities, even for smaller plants. Coming on strong among plastics processors, it is only a matter of time before they also adopt the wireless factory for its benefits in productivity, economy and competitiveness.

One development expected to accelerate the growth of the wireless factory is the push of RFID devices into the mainstream. One benefit of the wireless factory it gets people off the carpet and onto the concrete, bringing personnel out of their offices and into the factory. When fully in place, wireless technology is said to dramatically improve a company’s operational efficiency and profitability.

In wireless networks, compact “gateway” receivers process signals from a company’s e-mail and factory application servers and transmit them to access points in the factory, also compact wireless devices that transmit data to or from the factory floor. Via the access points, personnel are able to receive or transmit data throughout the factory using handheld devices. Using industrial PDAs, for example, employees can download information from a variety of sources, including their offices, view it on LCD screens with computer-like quality, and transmit it through the factory.

Finally, meeting the specialized high-tech needs of specific OEM markets is a promising path for plastics processors of industrialized nations to better compete with the low labor cost regions in the global economy. The stringent demands and specialized requirements of the medical goods market is an excellent example. Well-known quality standards, rigorous documentation and extensive testing are accepted practices in this segment of the plastics processing marketplace.

Syringes, suture guns and other medical devices used in direct patient care applications demand tight tolerances and specific labeling to deliver a precise volume for example, as well as to comply with the processor’s legal obligations when producing such parts. An automated workcell can complete the various processing steps, including decorating or welding, within the 10 to 16-second cycle time parameters common in this industry segment.

The processor additionally can ensure that quality standards and the related, necessary documentation is met using an integrated automated vision system that can measure the accuracy of the part to within hundredths of a millimeter and document it, as well. Similarly, in the highly competitive world of automotive OEM suppliers where efficiencies are critical, workcell systems employing machine-side flexible plug-in automated modules, which heretofore would have required multiple separate part inventory and finishing steps, are seeing increasing use. This is especially true, for example, in under-the-hood or interior automotive parts production as well as for instrument clusters or shrouds, where the part is touched only once, while as many as four process steps have been completed during its manufacturing.

The packaging marketplace is also a focus of competition for the North American plastics processor, who must have a technological as well as geographical edge, to satisfactorily compete for what can be very lucrative business. OEMs in this sector are demanding unique features that will attract a jaded consumer’s eye. Often an attention-grabbing feature can be created using unusual packaging. This is where highly automated new plastic technologies to create bold shapes colors and/or graphics can provide a distinguishing advantage in the packaging market where the ability to form and decorate in one seamless operation can be the key to both technological and commercial success.

From: Automated Assembly Corporation Workcell examples: In the manual form(left), two dedicated operators per shift costs $270,000 per year. The automatic form (right) allows for added capital investment and one-eighth of an operator costs $32,000 per year.
From: Automated Assembly Corporation
Workcell examples: In the manual form(left), two dedicated operators per shift costs $270,000 per year. The automatic form (right) allows for added capital investment and one-eighth of an operator costs $32,000 per year.

 

About the Author

Don Rosato

Dr. Donald V. “Don” Rosato serves as president of PlastiSource, Inc. a prototype manufacturing, technology development and marketing advisory firm located in Concord, Mass., and is the author of the Vol 1 & 2 “Plastics Technology Handbook”.