how to improve productivity of grinding machines

8 ways to increase productivity on the manufacturing floor | modern machine shop

Regardless of the size of your business, continuous improvement in productivity is essential to enhancing gross profits and maintaining competitiveness. Productivity on the machine shop floor depends on a combination of efficient employees, equipment and processes. Continuous improvement in all of these areas involves examining the current practices in place and making adjustments to systems, employee training and even the equipment used to generate parts and components.

Before you can adopt any method for continuous improvement for productivity, you will need to measure your existing output levels, create a baseline and implement solutions for measuring change. Shane Strowski, president of Precision Waterjet & Laser, shares the following eight steps to help you improveproductivity and success on the shop floor.

The first step is all about identifying pain points in your current workflow. Analyze the people, technology and processes required for production as well as the procedures, communication tools and resources available across the company. Consider using value mapping as a way of identifying and monitoring projects for continuous improvement; this strategy enables managers to pinpoint issues and record how changes impact the overall system.

Share current workflow problems with project managers to develop continuous improvement plans for the manufacturing process. This could mean reassigning resources to different areas of the manufacturing floor, managing budgets or becoming ISO-certified. Be sure to systematically evaluate performance and interpret any appropriate changes.

The manufacturing and metalworkingindustries are constantly changing. Theres always a new technology promising to make manufacturing floors more efficient than ever. Technological advancements often change the skills required for certain tasks, and workers will require access to regular training to keep up with more advanced specialist skills.

Client expectations, pressures regarding production and strict deadlines can contribute to unrealistic goals. When workload benchmarks on the manufacturing floor are unattainable without some compromise to safety or quality, employees become dissatisfied, preventing the company from reaching labor goals. To boost worker efficiency, its important to set realistic, clearly defined objectives that ensure a combination of punctuality, high-quality output and safe procedures.

Manufacturing is an industry in which an employee can only be as productive as their tools. While innovative machinessuch as waterjets or CNC machining centerscan be costly in terms of initial setup and training, advanced equipment can have a positive long-term effect. Manufacturing companies often find that a machinery upgrade helps them stay competitive in a new and innovative market.

Theres a link between the costs associated with downtime and the time and budget invested inpreventive measures. While new equipment can boost productivity, it also requires maintenance to ensure that it continues working at an optimum level. It is important that employees know how to troubleshoot instances of system downtimeto quickly find root causes of errors. Dont be too quick to blame the tool for problems. Remember to think about the process, the blueprint, the material and more.

The number of lost dollars and wasted labor hours that result from a lack of organization can be surprising. One surefire way to enhance productivity in any environment is to ensure that there is a well-organized place for everything: from materialsto machine tools and documents. When organizing your work area as part of continuous improvement, think about the layout of your machining equipment and tools and whether they currently maximize efficiency. If not, consider rearranging your manufacturing floor to create a smoother workflow.

The shop floor is most productive when everyone works together towardthe same goal with as little waste and conflict as possible. While focusing on work is important, its also crucial to ensure that each staff member feels comfortable as part of a team. The better the members of your team can work together, the more they will encourage a productive workplace culture. Continuous improvement takes culture as well as process and technology into account.

10 tips to get the most out of a grinding machine | production machining

Grinding machines can be a significant investment for a shop. By following a few simple steps, shops can produce high-quality tools, increase productivity, reduce breakdowns and extend machine life.

Operators in shops that are tidy and in order do not have to waste time looking for lost or misplaced equipment. Expensive items such as collet adapters and grinding wheels should be stored and handled with extra care.

Grinding shops should make sure to read the manuals for any new or unfamiliar machines. Following the manufacturers installation guidelines and instructions for preventive maintenance can prevent unplanned downtime.

Edited by Julia Hider

Grinding machines can be a significant investment, so shops should do everything they can to ensure their machines are as productive as possible. ANCA Product Manager Simon Richardson has been working with tool grinders for many years. During this time, he has visited hundreds of tooling workshops around the world and has built up his knowledge on grinding machines. He has also seen firsthand how following a few simple steps can help shops get the most out of their grinding machines.

Most of these tips would be part of an operators everyday activities, he says. But following them can help grinders produce better tools, increase productivity, reduce breakdowns and extend machine life.

Proper grinding wheel selection is essential to ensure that the required part quality, production rate, and overall cost per part is achieved. Although the type of abrasive grain is often a primary driver of wheel selection, the bonding type can also play a key role in optimizing a grinding operation.

7 best practices to improve oee and productivity evocon

Our ROI calculator shows you the value of improving OEE. But what should you do to improve it? Who needs to be involved? What tools and techniques should you use? In this article, we look at the seven best practices that weve seen our clients use to achieve higher productivity and improve OEE.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is a measure of machine potential that brings visibility to opportunities for improvement. Manufacturers implement OEE to identify, monitor, and reduce production losses. As such, it has become a universal KPI for manufacturers and a lean manufacturing best practice. Which is why you should take steps to improve it.

There can be many reasons why a company might be challenged to implement OEE. Maybe they have made a mistake in calculating OEE which results in a perception that the number is wrong. Or perhaps there is a high level of resistance to change from one work cell. Regardless of the reason, we have found there is one best practice that can help: assign a digital (or project) champion.

When a company designates a digital champion for OEE implementation, they create ownership and accountability for its success. This means that as issues surface, such as those mentioned in the previous paragraph, there is someone who will work to resolve them. Not only does this go a long way to ensuring a successful implementation, but it also will ensure that changes made will be sustained.

In selecting a champion for your OEE implementation, we recommend someone who is well respected by operators on the shop floor, likes to collect and analyze data, and has excellent communication skills.

The next best practice for improving OEE is to automate the collection and reporting of production data. Through years of working with clients in the field, we have gained an intimate understanding of the pain and shortcomings of manually collecting data. Our experience has shown us that insufficient data collection is a primary barrier to achieving higher levels of productivity and improved OEE.

It wasnt long ago that manufacturers did not have an alternative to pen, paper, or excel for collecting OEE data. Not only was the process tedious, but it was also prone to errors. Worse, by the time reports were available, it was already too late to change the outcome. Thankfully, the rapid adoption of the IIoT has made the technology affordable. For this reason, manufacturers should not settle for manual data collection or manage the piles of paperwork or excel files that this outdated process requires.

Visualization dramatically improves our ability to comprehend complex data. In visual form, we process information faster, and relationships are easier to identify. The result is higher levels of engagement by both operators and team leaders.

To maximize the benefits of visualizing production data, you need real-time visibility on the shop floor. The goal here is to make the information available to be acted on in-the-moment. This way, if a problem that affects productivity does occur, your teams are aware of it in real-time. More importantly, they have time to make adjustments that will change the results before its too late.

Once you have an automated OEE software in place, then another best practice that can help you improve OEE is to ensure that all production stops are commented on. A straightforward method to ensure all stops receive comments is to simply ask supervisors to check at the end of each shift. Or if you use Evocon, then operators can easily see if they forgot to comment on any of the stops.

As manufacturers, you are without question aware of what production downtime can cost your business. Indeed, creating visibility of downtime is a primary motivation for many companies implementing OEE in the first place.

However, having visibility of when production is stopped is only half the battle. To begin improving OEE, you also need to know why the stop occurred. This is where requiring comments on all stops is essential: it provides you with the why. And once you know the why, your shop floor can use the 5 Whys to look for solutions.

So, if you have a quality assurance department and maintenance team, by all means, invite a representative from each to participate in the daily sessions. The more minds you engage in problem-solving, the faster the rate of improvement, and the higher the quality of solutions that will be possible.

The Six Big Losses make up the basis for calculating OEE. By analyzing the causes and relative amounts of the six big losses at your plant, you can gain an understanding of where to focus your improvement efforts.

We recommend that the first big loss to focus on should be unplanned downtime. Unplanned downtime can result from issues such as machine breakdown, which you can track using technical availability; to poor internal logistics, for example, missing material or operator. Since having a machine down can stop the entire production process, it follows that this would be the first area to focus on.

RCA is a systematic problem-solving process that helps us to understand the core cause of a problem. The idea is that by solving for the root cause, rather than symptoms, you can prevent the problems from recurring.

In this post, you have learned about the seven best practices for improving OEE. Now its time to start putting them into action on your shop floor. If you run into issues or have questions, reach out to us. We are always happy to help.

3 important ways to increase machine productivity

Increasing machine productivity is a goal sought after by every machine and fabricating shop. In fact a while back we posted this article which focused on how used machinery could help achieve that goal: How to Increase Manufacturing Capacity with Used Machinery. However, we as manufacturers, know that the more work we can complete in each setup the more value and accuracy we can get out of our machine and our personnel. As your machinery sits on your floor its either making you money, by making quality parts, or its costing you money by sitting idly by. Reducing that idle time is the key factor in winning better jobs, completing jobs faster and making more money.

Reducing idle time on one machine may improve its productivity but move the bottleneck to the next operation. While there are many potential solutions to improving a single machines productivity, improving machine productivity throughout your plant is the real goal and actually saves you money versus other options that will cost more. First you must ask yourself several questions:

Uptime - Your machine has the capability to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and even through weekends and holidays. If you answered the first question with just 8 hours or 1 Shift you are cheating yourself out of the opportunity to triple your throughput. Your competitors aren't letting 2nd shift or automating stand in their way of running the machine as much as possible and you shouldnt either.

Downtime - If you answered the second question about switching jobs out in anything greater the 15 minutes your using the wrong tooling, fixturing and software. Technologies available today in tooling with presetters allows for the tools to be pre-setup off the machine with all the offsets automatically loaded in. Exchanging fixturing should be a matter of a few minutes and be switched in such a manner as they are ready to run without having to use indicators to line them up. Consider a fixture base plate with pre-set holes and pins to quickly locate your fixtures.

Check the Oil - If you answered the 3rd question on repairs & maintenance with anything more than an 1 hour in a 24 hour period something is wrong. Instead of shoveling chips or scrap, invest in a chip conveyor as its a thankless job that no one likes and thus it gets dragged out or worse, scrap packs up and damages way covers or other components. Consider adding Auto-Lube features if your machine is manually lubricated as the reservoir can be filled while the machine is in cycle and making money. Take a hard look at the repairs you need to make and find out what is causing them as abuse or lack of maintenance can easily be resolved providing more uptime, all the time.

Dont Interrupt - If you answered the 4th question about operator interruption with Changing parts out, your the best candidate for low cost entry level automation like a pallet changer all the way to a robotic parts loader. If your operator is changing tooling on a production job frequently, you quite frankly are using the wrong machine. Every part should be preset in a fixture and every tool preset in a holder, both of which should be loaded and ready to quickly exchange in the work zone of the machine. For a maximum increase to machine productivity this is done with robotics but at a minimum can be done with manual pallet changers.

Tool it Right - If you answered that 5th Question with Im not sure then your not doing your job as a business owner, plant or shop manager nor even as a machinery operator. Indexable Inserts and hardened tooling can provide 10X the life of standard cutting tools whereas hardened and ground press brake tooling fits the same place the same way, each and every time. Spend the extra money up front to improve your machines productivity as in the end it will save you more than the initial investment.

Explore the Options - If you answered that last questions with any form of not sure your cheating yourself. There are constantly MANY new options being made available to manufacturers just like you. Some you may have heard of and others maybe not. Short of buying a new or newer machine check out all the workholding options available. Attending local trade shows (Westec, Southtec, Eastec etc) and the big ones like Fabtech and IMTS are great ways to learn what's new, what works and you can get your hands on it right there. Many of these new products dont make there way to your machinery dealers showroom or are not marketed well but can provide you the perfect machine uptime solutions.

There are other ways you can consider when looking at how to increase manufacturing productivity and while these suggestions require a significant investment they may be the solution that works best for you.

Whichever solution you choose, taking a deep look inward at your own operations weaknesses is a great way to improve your manufacturing capability. Here at Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales, Inc. we are experts in that field and can discuss all the options with you directly including just making the machine youre running now, run better. Call us today at 813-444-4555 or visit us on the web at www.southernfabsales.com for more info on how we can help you achieve your goals and gain better productivity in your machining and manufacturing facility.

top 10 methods to improve farming productivity

The productivity of farms is essential for many reasons. Providing more food, increasing productivity affects the farming markets growth, labour migration, and income. Increased agricultural productivity refers to the more efficient distribution of scarce resources. Learning how to improve production is a crucial aspect of productive farming. New methods and techniques have given farmers a chance to increase production and maintain their farms long-term sustainability. we are here to come with information on the topic to improve farming productivity. check out below.

For improving the production, land reforms are the first and predominant point. Machines, tractors, and implements do land reforms. These machines have the qualities that make rugged farming areas smooth to work on the field efficiently.Working on the field is easy, that means an improvement in productivity is easy. Land reforms are the best method to increase production.

Interplanting is a practice in which different crops are growing together at the same time. It is the best way to maximize the productivity of your growing space. Some crops are the best together, some not.

It is the simplest way to improve the productivity of farms, in this plant crops close together. Many farmers keep their vegetables excessively away, which leads to the abandonment of large areas growing well.

Traditional farming systems place crops in separate rows by tractor paths, with permanent beds planting multiple rows of crops within beds of the same width. It creates dense plantations, fewer pathways, and more active growing areas. Raised beds are symbolic of improving the productivity of crops.

Water is an essential need for planting crops, and by the management of water, you can enhance the production. Water management is the best way to improve production. Using the sprinkler irrigation system, you can increase the output by up to 50%. By the manufacturing canals, tube wells get a better irrigation system for the safety of crops.

Nitrogen is a necessary element for better plant growth, and without nitrogen, most of the crops would not exist. Annually, plus 100 million tonnes of nitrogen are applied to crops in the form of fertilizer to help them grow stronger and better. The use of nitrogen can enhance the production of up to 22%.

According to farming scientists, about 5% of crops destroyed by insects, pests, and diseases. Most of the farmers are oblivious of the use of medicines and insecticides developed in recent years. Improving the production of the crops, yields must use these medicines. To be aware, the farmers about these governments should take steps or employ their technical staff in spraying pesticides and insecticides.

how to improve grinding efficiency and profitability | norton abrasives

Before getting into the four categories that influence grinding efficiency, it's important to know how the grinding process works. When you're using a grinding machine, three interactions are happening at the same time: cutting, plowing and sliding. What you're creating determines the primary interaction occurring. Every workpiece you create is an exercise in balancing the amount of cutting, plowing and sliding to achieve the optimal result. This is where monitoring workplace factors and economic information comes into play. Let's start with the four main workplace factors.

Other important machine tool factors include power and speed availability, control capability, machine controls, slide movements, and truing and dressing mechanisms. Each of these factors controls the accuracy of where the grinding wheel and workpiece are positioned during a job.

The cooling system in your grinding machine is also important because it controls the temperature, provides lubrication and removes small chips while the machine is grinding. The pressure range, filtration system, flow rate, flow location, coolant type and pump capacity of your cooling system are all essential components of an optimized process. Ensuring each of these factors is properly addressed and maintained helps your grinding machine run at peak efficiency, so production quality doesnt suffer.

Any factor that alters the grinding process falls under this category. Some examples include thermal stability, abrasion resistance, and microstructure and chemical resistance. It's very important to monitor these factors to ensure the grinding process works as expected.

Also consider the shape of the product you're making. The shape of your workpiece determines whether the grinding wheel you're using is an appropriate match. The workpiece's shape can also affect the cooling system, leading to additional problems. If your workpiece has sharp edges or a tight radius, then you may want to consider using a special type of grinding wheel and dressing system.

Finally, consider the quality requirements of the parts you're using. Sometimes, this can be the weak link in your operation and may cause a reduction in efficiency. Look at features such as tolerance and surface finish requirements. Consistency is the key to success, so you want to see almost exact matches for the tolerances and finishes of your parts.

The characteristics of the grinding wheel in your grinding machine are crucial to your success. You need to choose a wheel with the proper grain type, size, distribution, properties and concentration for the job at hand.

The size and shape of the wheel should match the geometry of your workpiece. Check the core material of your wheel and make sure its profile matches the other selection factors for the most efficient job.

You can predict how the grinding job will look at completion if you understand the operational factors, including wheel balancing, fixturing, frequency of truing and dressing, and coolant application. Knowing how these factors, and others, interact with each other is the secret to understanding what happens in the grinding zone.

The best method to discover how to optimize the grinding process is called the systems process. This process involves focusing on a few specific factors from each of the four workplace categories and measuring how results change. It provides specific, accurate information, and is much better than taking a shotgun approach and changing a handful of factors at once, and then struggling to find out why your results changed.

If your company is like most other companies, you produce products by using a batch process. When you're using a batch process, it's critical to ensure each workpiece has the same geometry and finish, or you're likely to receive a lot of customer complaints, which nobody wants to deal with.

There are two keys to achieving results with minimal variations: establishing standard practices to ensure consistency and using reliable equipment to measure precision. Usually, you'll measure acceptable consistency by using SPC, or statistical process control.

Now, let's discuss how to reduce economic costs so you can make more money. Measuring factors that affect profitability and efficiency, such as cost per part, production rate and the finished product performance, are vital pieces to the economic puzzle.

Once you collect economic-related data, it's time to compare it with the factors of the four workplace categories you're using. The systems approach combines reliable process control with skilled operators to discover the needed adjustments for improved results.

While this process may seem challenging, the well-trained application engineers and researchers at Norton | Saint-Gobain have a vast range of experience with the grinding process. Their experience and wide range of knowledge allows them to apply fundamental principles with variables and parameters that are specific to your company to find out how to optimize your grinding process for increased productivity and more money in your bank account.

Truing and dressing tools are often overlooked until there is a finish, form, or geometric issue, but they are a critical component of the grinding process. Learn why and see how to select the best tool for the job.

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how to maximize the efficiency of a cnc machine shop | industrial equipment news (ien)

Manufacturers such as WayKen are utilizing customized CNC machining services to produce high-quality products for their clients. To maintain the quality in product development, manufacturers should have an efficient CNC machine shop.

A machine shop is a building or floor where the CNC machining process takes place. As a space for subtractive manufacturing, it holds all the machines and equipment involved in creating CNC parts. It also hosts all the company technical staff and machinists.

Different machines perform different functions in this type of shop. Businesses can use them in cutting, drilling, or shaping materials such as wood, plastic, and metal. The presence of a CNC machine shop in a small business significantly reduces the overall manufacturing costs.

A typical machine shop has several machines needed for subtractive manufacturing. These include drill press, grinding machine, milling machine, lathe, machining center, bandsaw, welding machine, metal cutting, and metal bending machines.

Maintaining high levels of productivity in the machining shop saves on operating costs and boosts operations efficiency. Let's examine some of the factors that could affect the productivity of the CNC machine shop.

Machine shops often have a combination of automated and manually-operated equipment. For the manual ones, they require operators to handle them. Productivity in this setting is affected in two ways, the operator skills level and man to machine ratio.

The man-to-machine ratio is the number of machines one personnel runs. There should be an ideal optimum time to dictate which equipment the technical staff operates and at which intervals. Avoid idle times for both machines and operators for maximum productivity.

A CNC machine shop deals with a lot of raw materials. To minimize time and resource wastage, there should be a proper inventory management system. Cutting tools, raw materials, and replacement parts need to be readily available at the shop, especially if stored in a different location.

The machine shops' most important assets are the machines and tools present. The only way to ensure you meet high productivity levels is by making sure your equipment is performing at the maximum capacity. Manufacturers need to invest in the latest CNC technology to meet the market and client demands.

Manufacturers need to have a technical and production plan for the CNC process. A plan dictates the manufacturing flow and boosts productivity. During this phase, there is an allocation of resources for each stage of the fabrication process.

Manufacturing CNC parts requires specific precision. To achieve this, the process should be synchronous to produce high-quality outputs consistently. Here are some tips on how you can continuously maximize the efficiency of your CNC machine shop.

The machines are the lifeline of your shop. With the right tools for the job, you can produce CNC parts with speed and precision. Allocate a more significant portion of your budget to custom machines to achieve maximum efficiency.

Machinist and technical staff in the CNC machine shop are an essential asset. Investing in them improves the efficiency of the shop. You can develop an apprenticeship program for them to improve their skills.

Furthermore, you can provide simplified documentation with instructions on operating the equipment to reduce errors. It would be best if you also educated them on workplace hazards, emergency response procedures, and the safe operation of the machines in your shop can go a long way in mitigating most of these risks to begin with.

To maximize the efficiency of your shop, take some time to organize your shop. Strategically design your layout to keep the shop organized and clean. You can collaborate with your staff in the shop to plan where all the tools need to be for a proper workflow for everyone.

With technology, the shop can utilize the latest software that allows for an integrated floor management system. This process integrates all business processes from the first contact to making payments. The automation reduces hiring costs and makes the shop's operations more efficient.

Have a production plan for each day at the machine shop. Set up realistic expectations according to the tasks at hand, staff involved in the work, and machine capabilities. With a proper plan, you can meet the daily targets and avoid overworking the staff or the equipment.

The high demand for high-quality CNC parts often results in setting unrealistic goals. In the long run, this results in a backlog or missed deadlines which significantly slows down the company's efficiency. Boost your worker's productivity for higher efficiency.

grinding and polishing machines | leco

The latest technology from LECO makes grinding and polishing efficient, safe, reliable, clean, and incredibly easy to use. A variety of high performance LECO grinding and polishing machines and materials help guarantee the repeatability of your sample preparation.

All AUTO MANUAL Default Title Date Random PX400/PX500 Series Advanced Grinder/Polisher Explore AUTO PX300 Series Manual Grinder/Polisher Explore AUTO MANUAL DS20 Hand Grinder Explore MANUAL

Being pushed to do more with less everyday can leave your laboratory stressed, frustrated, and overwhelmed. We understand your challenges and know how valuable your time is. Our instruments provide fast, accurate, and reliable results for millions of samples worldwide every year. Tell us what samples you're running and why.Well show you a way to improve productivity and achieve success.

aerospace manufacturing and design - march 2016 - measuring vibration on precision grinding machines

Modern CNC grinders are designed to minimize vibrations with advanced software that evaluates factors such as dynamic and static stiffness. Spindles, slides, ways, and other components are built to stringent specifications to increase rigidity and improve vibration. Despite machine design advancements, grinding is becoming more difficult for industries such as aerospace. Tolerances have tightened considerably and material removal rates (MMR) for high nickel alloys, ceramic matrix composites (CMC), and metal matrix composites (MMC) are pushing machine capabilities to the limits, increasing the probability of vibration.

Common forms of vibration on grinding machines tend to fall into two categories force vibration and self-excited vibration. Force vibration includes wheel imbalances, damaged bearings, bad motors, or grinding wheel imbalances. Force vibration can be present even when the grinding wheel is not in contact with the workpiece. Self-excited vibration occurs only during grinding, due to grinding parameters, the process, and certain machine characteristics such as natural frequencies of the machine.

During grinding, undulations/waves can start to form on either the workpiece or the grinding wheel as fluctuating forces excite a natural frequency on the machine. The undulations continue to grow with each rotation of the wheel. This continues until the workpiece quality diminishes to the point that grinding needs to be stopped. Typically, the wheel is then dressed and the cycle repeats. Waves forming primarily on the wheel are said to be due to wheel-regenerative vibration, and waves forming primarily on the work are said to be due to work-regenerative vibration.

When the vibration amplitude becomes excessive, it can become detrimental to workpiece quality. The amount of vibration that would be considered excessive depends on the application. A precision cylindrical grinding operation may require displacement values below 0.03 mils (0.00003") whereas a cutoff operation at a steel mill could be greater than 1.00 mils (0.00100") peak-to-peak. Typically, acceptable vibration level is driven by workpiece tolerances, such as dimensional tolerance, surface finish, waviness, roundness, and undulations per revolution. The tighter the tolerances, the more the vibration needs to be minimized. Excessive vibration can also increase wheel wear, damage (burn) material, and cause early spindle bearing failure.

The grinding spindle bearings typically need to operate at high speeds while withstanding high loads and grinding forces. Any wear or damage to the bearing will transfer to the workpiece as chatter or poor finish quality. Depending on the severity of the operation, the spindle bearings may last for years with no issues, but other, more intense operations may require bearings to be repaired or replaced more frequently.

There are many potential sources for machine vibration and great care should be taken when determining the true source. This is especially important when planning machine maintenance and repairs. In some instances, thousands of dollars have been wasted repairing or replacing spindles, only to discover that the spindle was not the problem. Diagnosing vibration problems can be complicated and require advanced equipment and an experienced vibration analyst. Useful, basic vibration analyses can be completed by relatively inexperienced personnel using iPads.

Vibration monitoring of grinding machines can help reduce delays in production, product rejections, late deliveries, and increased manufacturing costs. It can also help to quickly identify the source of vibration. If you are responsible for keeping grinding machines running and making quality parts, consider vibration monitoring of your machines. The investment could save time, money, and headaches.

The material was difficult to grind and the components were expensive. Prior to monitoring vibration, the spindles were run until the operator determined a problem, either by realizing that the spindle was overheating, becoming noisy, or seizing up. This often resulted in costly scrapping of workpieces. A preventive maintenance procedure periodically checked the spindles vibration levels. If the vibration reached the predetermined limit, the machine would be shut-down and the spindle replaced. A graph of the Y-axis vibration severity and the X-axis shows the speed range of the machines. Measurements were taken and recorded at each of the speeds. This procedure eliminated part rejection due to spindle failure.

how to increase your centerless grinding machine's efficiency - r. a. heller co

Used to remove material from a workpiece's external diameter without having to rely on support centers, a centerless grinding machine is integral to various industries. Everyone from the automotive industry to the medical industry benefits from this type of precision grinder. If you were wondering how to increase the efficiency and productivity of your centerless grinding machine, the team at R. A. Heller Co. has some advice for you. For more than 70 years, they've been the trusted machine shop in Cincinnati, OH and beyond.

Routine maintenance goes a long way. It's true for nearly every piece of machinery, and in regards to centerless grinding machines, this includes tasks like changing the filter, cleaning out the swarf before it hardens, and simply checking up on the condition of various components. Nothing halts production like a broken part; not only does it take time to discover the problem and replace the part, there's a chance you may have to start your work over again. Instead of risking time and resources, incorporate these regular maintenance tasks into the work schedule to ensure a smooth process.

Another way to boost the production output of your centerless grinding machine is to automate certain features. Automatic applications take some of the burden off the operator; increased automation can even help them operate more machines, which undoubtedly helps them fulfill a higher output goal.

For anyone in the greater Cincinnati area requiring precision grinding services, contact R. A. Heller Co. today at (513) 771-6100. As a proud member of several machining associations, such as the Tri-State Association of Metal Finishers and the Greater Cincinnati Tooling and Machining Association, you can rely on the quality of their work. Other than precision grinding, they also offer hard chrome plating and piston rod repair. For more details, please visit their website.

improving manufacturing productivity - today's motor vehicles

As automotive manufacturers face increasing pressure from consumers, the competitive industry landscape, and a growing body of regulation, its essential that they prioritize product quality. A key component of that process is machine vision-based quality assurance (QA), which increases productivity and yield. It can prevent classification errors to avoid a poor-quality product being sent to the next tier in the supply chain and prevent damage to the customer relationship and the companys reputation.

Previously, automotive manufacturers have been held back from reaping the huge potential benefits of machine vision, due to the limitations of the technologies underlying traditional solutions, explains Harel Boren, founder and CEO of Inspekto, maker of autonomous machine vision systems. An external vision systems integrator is handed the reins of the project and automotive manufacturers lose control of QA. During the long wait time, the automotive manufacturer must either turn to inaccurate human inspection, perform random checks, or halt production altogether.

To improve productivity, manufacturers must first identify where losses and scrap are made and then take action to increase output. Applying QA early increases yield and decreases losses. Visual QA is becoming increasingly popular to provide consistent and accurate inspection of products for flaws. The affordability and immediacy of autonomous machine vision systems allow manufacturers to release manpower from manual visual inspection, identify faulty components early, and directly reduce scrap.

QA is necessary, but it doesnt add value, making it a poor field for expensive employee experts. Automating the task allows manufacturing to re-task people to value-adding activities. With a European producer, a $10,800 Inspekto S70 automated vision system generated nearly $1.6 million in labor cost savings throughout its expected depreciation period.

The Inspekto S70 can also be used as part of a fully automated process to ensure that the product is clean and free from any machining or other debris from a previous process, Boren says. This is extremely valuable during assembly as the part may soon become embedded into a product, so clearing it as non-defective before this occurs will drastically reduce scrap.

To teach the system the properties of a non-defective product, the operator requires about 20 to 30 good samples, depending on the products complexity. The operator doesnt have to present any defective samples because the system will learn everything it needs about a gold-standard product from the examples. Once this step is complete, the Inspekto S70 will run autonomously, interacting directly with a manual operator or connecting out-of-the-box to the plants programmable logic controllers (PLCs).

The systems Plug & Inspect technology makes it suitable for various handling methods and product ranges, and manufacturers can configure the system quickly to inspect multiple products on the same line.

Autonomous machine vision systems can be installed and set up in 30 to 60 minutes, without a vision systems integrator. Manufacturers can install an autonomous machine vision system at every required point on the production line, enabling a concept known as Total QA. Archived data also allows manufacturers to trace the point on the manufacturing line where a defect was introduced, down to which machine malfunctioned, how and when, to the exact second.

By operating Total QA, the manufacturer is safeguarded, Boren says. If any question of product quality is raised, the manufacturer has access to a full archive of production data and can be completely sure whether a product was defective or not and they can prove it.

Maxon precision motors has opened a two-story 59,000ft manufacturing facility in Taunton, Massachusetts, to provide design engineering and production operations, significantly advancing maxons presence and capabilities in North America. U.S. customers will be able to collaborate more closely, providing value added opportunities with faster turnaround. A localized supply chain with domestic vendors will also build stronger customer relationships while reducing lead times.

Our vision is to be an integral part of maxons global growth strategy, says Chris Blake, head of the U.S. management team. With expanded engineering services in place, our customers will enjoy a closer collaboration on design and manufacturing and have a more direct line to our team during concept development, which will include rapid prototyping to better execute customer-specific products.

VFsync, a next-generation permanent magnet AC motor, is designed for demanding machine drive applications. The synchronous motors run at high efficiency with advanced variable frequency drives (VFDs). The IP66/IP54 platform of three-phase motors range from 0.25hp to 1.50hp and are supplied with swivel connectors and shielded cables for easy installation. Frame sizes include IEC B14, sizes 71, 80, and 90 along with NEMA 56C mounting. The product line includes the new motors, quick connect cables, and a programmable and networked VFDs available in an IP20 panel style or enclosed IP66 models.

The motors are optimized with finite element analysis (FEA) software and tooled with internal permanent magnet style rotors. VFsyncs footprint is 56% smaller and 63% lighter than common three-phase induction motors.

Two basic layouts are offered: a shorter, lower profile version with a folded drive train (motor side-by-side with the platform) and a longer, narrow in-line version. Both come in 0.5" (13mm) and 1" (26mm) travel ranges. X-Y and X-Y-Z combinations are also available.

Industry 4.0 isnt a technology. Its a concept, which is why its useful to understand its background. Industry 4.0 has its roots in Germany, a country where manufacturing accounts for 20% of GDP. In the early years of the 21st century, people in Germany were asking how the country could maintain leadership in manufacturing as it faced new challenges, such as low-cost competitors emerging in Asia and the increasing inclusion of software and electronic parts into cars and machine tools.

In 2010, the German government developed its High-Tech Strategy for 2020. One of the proposed follow-on actions was to look more in depth at what was to become Industry 4.0. In April 2013, publication of an 80 page-report Securing the future of German manufacturing industry: Recommendations for implementing the strategic initiative Industrie 4.0 mentioned a new type of industrialization a successor to three previous industrial revolutions: mechanization, electricity, and information technology (IT). This fourth industrial revolution is the convergence of the virtual world (cyberspace) and the physical world in the form of cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things (IoT), and services. These are expected to lead to technical innovations such as smart factories, smart products, and organizational changes with companies establishing networks linking customers, products, factory equipment, and suppliers.

Governments, companies, and university researchers in other countries saw this happening in Germany and reasoned that they should also be preparing their industries and companies for the coming revolution, so they also launched Industry 4.0 programs and projects.

The convergence of the physical and virtual worlds will lead to a digital world in which all parts of a company (marketing, engineering, logistics, manufacturing, maintenance, customer service, etc.), its suppliers, its customers, and its products will be connected using communications networks, enabling instantly available information.

There will be vertical and horizontal integration of shop-floor activities vertical integration from shop floor sensors up through manufacturing execution systems (MES) to the companys enterprise resource planning (ERP) system; and horizontal integration from factory systems connected and integrated to other systems in the company such as customer relationship management (CRM). As appropriate, factory systems will connect to customer and supplier systems.

In this new world, there will be new opportunities and business models such as: determining what products a companys future customers want to acquire before the products even exist; selling various products and services using the World Wide Web; offering products for lease rather than for purchase; pay-per-use products; networks of companies coming together for specific products; and mass customization with autonomous, self-controlling, self-configuring factories, producing with a batch size of one.

The concept and vision of Industry 4.0 can only be achieved on the basis of many existing technologies, such as computer-aided design (CAD) and product data management (PDM) and new technologies. Technologies in the scope of Industry 4.0 include smart factories, smart products, connected products, IoT, the Industrial IoT (IIoT), Big Data, social technology, analytics, manufacturing automation, digital models, digital twin, robotics, simulation, additive manufacturing (AM), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), cloud, cybersecurity, radio-frequency identification (RFID), artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain.

With IoT, for example, things are products. They may be personal products such as clothes and health monitors, or home products such as a refrigerator, or industrial products such as a locomotive. Theyre smart products, fitted with electronic devices such as sensors and transmitters. Theyre Internet-connected products that can transmit information about the product back to the user or the manufacturer. A smart train carriage, for example, could send a message to the operator when it needs maintenance, and it can send a message to the manufacturer to say which parts were over-engineered.

Sensors on connected products can generate a lot of data. For example, a connected airplane engine could generate a petabyte of sensor data on a single long-distance flight with valuable information about the engine. However, theres so much information that it would take a human being many years to read and make sense of it. Instead, that role is taken by analytics. Analytics mines huge volumes of data, searching for correlations, patterns, and meaning. Findings can be transmitted to the product user, manufacturer, or other participants in the product life cycle to better understand product behavior, to identify when a part needs to be changed, or to tailor products to meet customers needs.

IIoT is similar but limited in scope to a companys manufacturing environment. The things are the equipment in the factory such as robots, machine tools, 3D printers, and test rigs. Electronic devices connected to a communications network will generate Big Data to monitor real-time performance. Analysis of the data will improve activities and decision making. For example, the risk of machine breakdown will be reduced by scheduling preventive maintenance based on real-time data. Robots will learn new tasks while working. Machine settings for the next product will be simulated before the physical changeover, reducing setup time.

The Industrial Internet Consortium addresses seven industries: energy, healthcare, manufacturing, mining, retail, smart cities, and transportation. It has more than 200 members and about 20 working groups and teams focusing on:

Industry 4.0 may look futuristic, but practical progress is being made in Europe and the U.S. Since April 2015, activities in Germany have been coordinated by Plattform Industrie 4.0, led by the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, the Federal Minister of Education and Research, and representatives of business, science, and labor unions. The goal is to secure and expand Germanys position in the manufacturing industry.

More than 500 funded Industrie 4.0 projects have launched. Among the results are the Reference Architecture Model Industrie 4.0 (RAMI 4.0), which is on its way to being international standard IEC PAS 63088:2017. A 68-page report, Shaping the Digital Transformation Within Companies, gives examples and recommendations for action regarding training.

The U.S. doesnt have a single organization driving Industry 4.0. The National Association of Manufacturers aims to be a leader in providing best practices, data, and insights on what it calls Manufacturing 4.0. It identified five critical issues for 2018/2019: factories of the future; Manufacturing 4.0 sustainability; transformative technologies in manufacturing; next-generation manufacturing leadership and the changing workforce; and M4.0 cultures: collaborative, innovative, and integrated.

The Digital Capability Center at Manufacturing USAs Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) in Chicago, Illinois, gives organizations an opportunity to explore Industry 4.0. DMDII is one of Manufacturing USAs 14 manufacturing innovation institutes.

In 2017, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) announced the IoT as one of its strategic initiatives for 2018. And, the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) in Needham, Massachusetts, formed in 2014 to deliver a trustworthy IIoT in which the worlds systems and devices are securely connected and controlled to deliver transformational outcomes. IIC founders include AT&T, Cisco, General Electric, IBM, and Intel. Its run as a program under the Object Management Group Inc., an international, not-for-profit technology standards consortium.

There may be concern about duplication of effort among these activities in different countries, leading to conflicting proposals or standards. However, groups are collaborating to make sure that doesnt happen. Since 2016, Plattform Industrie 4.0 has agreed to cooperate with similar groups in France, Japan, Australia, Italy, and the Netherlands. And then, in February 2018, the IIC and Plattform Industrie 4.0 published the joint whitepaper Architecture Alignment and Interoperability, addressing alignment between the IIRA and RAMI 4.0 reference architectures. The white paper showed the complementary nature of the two architectures and the need to continue to ensure interoperability.

In September 2018, Plattform Industrie 4.0, Manufacturing USA, IIC, and NEMA coordinated to hold a one-day Solutions Theater Industrie 4.0 Meets the Industrial Internet of Things event at Hannover Messe USA, a co-located show within IMTS 2018, the International Manufacturing Technology Show.

1. Appoint an executive or manager to lead the Industry 4.0 effort. They should start by finding out more about whats happening, going to a conference or other event, contacting other companies to see and understand what theyre doing.

2. Understand, document, and prioritize opportunities for the company. What could Industry 4.0 technologies enable the company to do? How could the company serve customers better? The focus is on manufacturing, and manufacturing is all about products ideating, developing, and realizing better products faster, cheaper, and more efficiently. Underlying product-related processes and managing product data is the product lifecycle management (PLM) platform. Is that an area for improvement? How could product data provide a competitive advantage?

3. Identify required changes. Which new technologies will be needed? Which capabilities? Which applications? What new skills will be needed? Which business processes will change? How will relationships with customers and suppliers change? How will the company overcome resistance to change?

4. Agree with executives on a step-by-step plan showing what is needed. Document the objectives and strategy. Describe any potential issues and how theyll be addressed. Agree on the project budget and schedule. Dont forget that its more than likely that Industry 4.0 will lead to changes in many areas of the company, so executive support and involvement will be needed to achieve the objectives.

Universal Technical Institute, with campuses nationwide, has been instrumental in training young men and women to fill jobs as technicians for automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle, marine, and motorsports shops. The campus in Mooresville, North Carolina, is a bit different.

In addition to core automotive training, it offers curriculum aimed at satisfying the regions renowned automotive racing industry. Fittingly called NASCAR Technical Institute, or NASCAR Tech, the school recently added CNC machining technology to its coursework.

We have several business alliance partners who help guide our training programs, outfit our labs with the latest technology and equipment, and hire our graduates, says John Dodson, vice president, Business Alliances for the school. While many of these companies are involved with competitive auto racing after all, our community is known as Race City, USA others are manufacturing everything from medical components to aerospace parts.

Most of them have their own CNC machining departments and have been having trouble finding skilled technicians to program and run their machine tools, Dodson adds. To get a CNC program started here, Doug Yates of Roush Yates Engines partnered with us on the curriculum and brought some CNC equipment into our lab. At this point, we brought in our head instructor, Ron Brittain, who continued adjustments to the curriculum and worked closely with Mastercam to solidify our computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) program.

We start the students off with a thorough indoctrination in manual operations, and that includes the basics of running manual mills and lathes, operating a drill press, and so on, as well as some off-hand tool grinding, Brittain says. Were not training them to be manual machinists, but we are teaching them concepts that are applicable to CNC machining.

We also have 12 Haas simulators that let the students de-bug their programs in simulated graphics before they load the programs into the machine controls, Brittain adds. There are 24 seats of Mastercam in our CAD/CAM lab, plus one for the instructor. Our business alliance partners, who also serve as our advisory council, have provided us with a lot of our equipment, in addition to recommending other equipment and programs, such as Mastercam, for creating the tool paths for CNC machining operations.

Dodson adds, They would like us to duplicate what they have in their own companies, so when our graduates become their employees, they are already familiar with the equipment and software and will become productive for them right away.

After several weeks working with the manual machines, the program progresses with two classes on CNC lathes and two classes on CNC mills. At this point, students are ready to learn programming with a class on Mastercam.

Most of our students have had absolutely no experience with CAD/CAM, Brittain says. They are usually coming to us right from high school, or from military service on the GI Bill, or are crossing over from other industries to one they feel offers them more of a future. Well start teaching them 2D CAM operations with some wireframe geometry and then do some 2D machining and create several solid models. Its important that we teach them Mastercams Dynamic Milling and explain why that is applicable to todays world of CNC machining. We show them how to use the various features of the software to optimize feed rates and extend tool life. This is important to be productive in the real world.

Rather than come up with machining projects that leave them with take-home gifts such as paperweights and pencil holders, NASCAR Tech students are taught a range of operations that may be performed in Mooresvilles surrounding companies.

We have designed parts that our students program and machine that impress upon them a broad range of machining concepts they can take to employers waiting for them at graduation, whether used for a racecar headed for a track, a medical device headed for a hospital, or a precision component headed for outer space, Brittain says. Our goal is to train them to obtain an entry-level position in any field requiring CNC programming and machining skills.

Dodson notes, One task at NASCAR Tech is to get young people to understand what CNC machining is and what computer numerical control means to successful manufacturing across a range of todays industries. One of the things we do is go out to the high schools and get students and their parents to realize there are great jobs available in manufacturing, whether its producing parts for race engines here in the Carolinas, or working over in the Honda Jet Center in Greensboro making parts for aerospace, or just down the street from us machining medical device components. As Ron Brittain mentioned, about 30% of our students are career changers, and a lot of military folks come to us because they like our program for the hands-on approach and for the technology aspects of our CAD/CAM curriculum. Its an important mission for us to get the word out to high schools, military bases, and beyond, that theres an exciting future for them in CNC manufacturing and Universal Technical Institutes NASCAR Tech has the program that will get them started on that path.

We want the students to learn how a material wants to be cut, Brittain says. They have to learn the optimal feeds and speeds, what type of tooling to use, and so on, based on the composition of the material. We dont want to send a graduate out to work in a company and have that student say, Oh, I never worked with that material before. We want the student familiar with machining different metals on the lathe, on the mill, just about all aspects of CNC machining operations and materials, at least all we can within the time constraints of the program.

Weve been working with CEO Doug Yates and Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships Todd English at Roush Yates Engines, lining up common-interest partners to help us accomplish our goals, Dodson says. With Doug and Todds help, we were able to get our CNC machining technology program up and running only six months after initial concept.

Roush Yates Engines and Penske Racing continue to outfit us with leftover materials, not only aluminum and steel, but exotic metals as well, Dodson adds. It might be a barrel or even a pallet-full of materials that theyll drop off and well have a substantial supply of aluminum, or titanium, or whatever their generosity yields for our students to machine. When they drop off materials or equipment, they will often visit for a while and watch what the students are doing. This gives them a chance to interact with students and instructors. They enjoy connecting with our students and are always on the lookout for the next CNC superstar technician.

Our CNC job board is overflowing with career opportunities, Dodson concludes. Right now, we have people coming from all over the United States to enroll in our program. The impact we are making in the CNC industry is nice to see. Its equally nice to see our graduates fulfill their dreams.

Between pricing pressure from automakers and other gear users and increasingly stringent quality standards, eliminating steps in the production process is critical to reduce manpower needs and eliminate manual processes where error can enter production.

With the current clamping system, we didnt achieve a good concentricity. The workpiece was pressed axially downwards, says Jrgen Renner, production manager at Hnel, also in Germany. Now, its clamped with the mandrel from the inside, radially outwards. We have higher stability within the clamping, eliminating reworking of certain components. For some of our orders, the old clamping system was good, because the concentricity was not as important. But the better the concentricity, the easier it works later. With a normal hardened gear, the bore still needs to be reworked, but all the workpieces that are fully geared can now be reduced to one operation.

Hainbuch initially sent Hnel two prototypes of the Mando G211 mandrel, sizes zero and two, for testing on a Richardson R 400 manual loading machine and a Gleason-Pfauter GP 200 hobbing machine with automatic loading.

For our employees, this new clamping system was very strange. For 20 years, they worked with a clamping system from the machine manufacturer without radial clamping, which has worked fine so far, Renner explains. For the first attempts, we had to make some adjustments to the machine. In addition, we did not reach our zero line on the Gleasen-Pfauter machine because the mandrel was too tall. As a result, adjustments to the machine and loading system were required.

Hainbuch product manager Thomas Steiger and designer Hannes Ludwig took Hnels feedback and adapted the mandrel. Second-generation prototypes were stiffer and thinner, better suited for Hnels machines.

The mandrel allows Hnel to consolidate smaller orders if the components are similar. With the Mando G211 mandrel, only the segmented clamping bushing needs to be changed during setup, not the entire clamping system, eliminating time-consuming alignment operations. The system uses three screws on the mandrel and one on the segmented clamping bushing, reducing the number of items to be adjusted when changeovers are needed.

If everything is prepared, optimally the part family is in stock and can be processed one after the other; we will certainly save 50% of the set-up time, Renner says. Not only is the setup faster, the process is safer and more stable.

Hoffmann explains, All new components have been manufactured with the mandrel ever since. Even with older components, we try to change over to the mandrel clamping, because the segmented clamping bushings from Hainbuch can be delivered within one day. Thats a huge advantage for us.

An oval bezel and flush-mount design minimize protrusion. The pull handle can be remotely actuated with a gloved hand for latching in challenging environments. Available in locking and non-locking versions, the AC-11 provides direct, single, or multipoint actuation of a connected latch.

When combined with R4 rotary latches and AC cables, AC actuators create a rotary latching system for secure, reliable remote interior and exterior latching applications, such as off-highway vehicles and industrial equipment.

The dual-mode sensor captures red-green-blue (RGB) color and infrared (IR) images with one global shutter (GS) sensor. Capturing RGB and IR images with one GS sensor reduces the number of cameras and total system cost. The OV2312 collects 1,600 pixel x 1,300 pixel images at 60 frames per second (fps) and 1,280 pixel x 720 pixel images at 90fps. The 2 megapixel (MP) sensor is available in a 7.2mm x 6.1mm package, allowing designers to hide cameras from drivers and passengers.

The 3m OmniPixel3-GS architecture provides 14% near-infrared quantum efficiency at the 940nm wavelength, along with excellent modulation transfer function (MTF). It uses fewer IR LEDs than other systems, lowering electric supply needs to 190mW in typical conditions. Lower energy use generates less heat, allowing the sensor to be packaged in smaller spaces with less insulation. The OV2312 can be synchronized with the IR light sources on/off pulses.

The SCD40 miniaturized CO2 and relative humidity/ temperature (RH/T) sensor fits in a 1cm3 space. Using the photoacoustic sensing principle, the SCD40 is designed for high-volume, cost-sensitive applications such as automotive and Internet of Things (IoT). At 12mm x 12mm x 7mm, the SCD40 is one-fifth the size of the SCD30 sensor it replaces.

improve productivity in cutting, grinding, and finishing | weiler abrasives

Most welding and fabrication operations look regularly for ways to improve productivity and save time and money. Assessing the cutting, grinding and finishing processes can uncover efficiencies that result in cost savings and improve throughput. While many variables impact how much time is spent on cutting, grinding and finishing from the welding process to the size and scope of what is being produced using the right abrasive for the job and employing proper techniques go a long way toward boosting productivity. Read on to learn some time-saving best practices. Consider the Big Picture The purchasing process can hinder productivity. Often companies treat abrasives like commodities and make decisions based on the lowest purchase price. This may save money upfront, but it often runs counter to the productivity goals in the welding and fabricating operation. Consider the actual performance of the product in the application. A longer-lasting (but more expensive) abrasive or one designed specifically for the application can pay off quickly through reduced changeover and increased efficiencies. Take advantage of programs offered by some product manufacturers that help in selecting and testing the right abrasive solutions. These programs offer on-site technical support and process analysis. Measuring an abrasives performance can provide companies with a competitive edge through greater productivity, while also driving down costs. Tips for Cutting To maximize productivity and performance when cutting, use a rocking motion with the grinder. This motion reduces the heat being produced from the abrasive contacting the metal, which speeds up the cut and increases wheel life. Less heat in the cut also helps minimize the time spent on rework. The extent of the rocking motion depends on the thickness of the cutting wheel and of the base material. A thicker wheel used on thicker material requires a stronger rocking motion than a thinner wheel used on thinner material. Ultra-thin cutting wheels are also available for working with thin materials. These products provide a smoother, faster cut, so they require much less of a rocking motion than thicker wheels do to maximize productivity. The operators approach to the workpiece also affects productivity and varies based on part configuration. When working on square tubing, for example, its best to approach the piece directly on the corner and make first contact with the tool mirroring how the piece is mounted on the fixture. A rounded workpiece offers a more natural fit for a rounded cutting wheel, and the operator can approach it directly with good results. In any cutting application, follow proper safety procedures, especially when offhand right-angle cutting. Always use clean, properly fitted personal protective equipment for the best view of the work. Tips for Grinding Improve productivity in grinding applications by paying close attention to the angle of the tool to the base material. Generally, a steeper angle removes more material and, therefore, tends to be more productive. The recommended angle for a Type 27 bonded grinding wheel is 30 degrees, which grinds more material in less time compared to holding the tool at a shallower angle. When cleaning a weld with a new grinding wheel, the operator should start by pulling the wheel toward his or her body for a few strokes before moving into the standard motion of pushing the wheel away to remove weld material. This technique helps break the wheel in for more effective and efficient grinding. To reach into a corner or get into a tight spot for grinding, it can be helpful to use a Type 28 grinding wheel. This type has more of a saucer shape and can grind more effectively at lower angles. In applications that call for a finer surface finish, it can be more productive to use a flap disc, which saves time by grinding and finishing in one pass. The recommended angles of use are different for flap discs than for grinding wheels. A Type 29 flap disc should be used at a 15- to 35-degree angle, while a Type 27 flap disc should be used at zero to 15 degrees for the best productivity. Tips for Cleaning and Finishing When it comes to metal finishing, there are many product options from wire and stringer bead wheels to cable twist wheels and circular flared end brushes. The proper tool for the job and the most productive depends on the type of material being cleaned and the surface finish requirements. Again, its important to follow the guidelines for safe usage of any product. For example, never exceed the rated rpm of a wire brush. With all wire brushes, the wire tips are designed to do the work. Encapsulated crimped wire end brushes are a good option to improve productivity. These use fill material encapsulated in an elastomer that gradually wears away, keeping only the wire tips exposed. This allows operators to use as much pressure as desired for effective cleaning without the risk of long wire breakage. Because the wire tips are utilized throughout the entire life of the product, encapsulated wire brushes offer much longer life. These brushes typically last four to five times longer than other wire brushes, but their purchase cost is typically twice that of a standard brush. Still, encapsulated brushes offer fast payback, thanks to the reduced product changeover saving significant time and improving productivity. Designed for high-pressure applications, encapsulated wire brushes dont offer conformability or flexibility, but they do provide advantages for surfaces needing heavy cleaning. They are commonly used in pipe welding and spot facing. The brushes are available in a wide variety of configurations, just as other wire brushes are, and they include options rated as standard, heavy duty or heat stabilized.

Best Practices to Boost Productivity When youre looking for productivity gains, dont forget the cutting, grinding and finishing applications. Following some key best practices for proper usage and operator techniques can have a significant impact on productivity and the bottom line for the entire operation.