In 1965, George Devol (an inventor and patent holder for the Unimate) and Joseph Engelberger (a physicist, engineer, entrepreneur, and “the father of robotics”) were discussing science fiction writing. They made a commitment to one another to develop a real and functional robot and thus began to conceive of a useful and functional design. In 1961, General Motors installed the first robot in history. The robot was called Unimate and was installed as a part of the assembly line to work with heated die-casting and welding. Specifically, it took die castings from machines and preformed welding on the bodies of vehicles sent through the line. It obeyed step-by-step commands that were stored on a magnetic drum, and had a 4,000 lb arm that was versatile enough to perform a wide variety of tasks.
As the Super Bowl draws near (and by the way, it’s this Sunday, February 2, 2014) we thought we would have some fun with major metals in the Super Bowl. As you likely know, aluminum canned drinks play a big part in game-day celebrations, but do you know who invented the first pull tab top for canned beverages?
The first pull tab (called the zip top) was invented in 1959 in Dayton, OH by a man named Ermal Fraze (founder of the Reliable Tool and Manufacturing Co.). He received U.S. patent No. 3,349,949 for the design in 1963 and immediately sold his invention to Alcoa Inc. (founded in 1886 and currently the world’s third largest producer of aluminum) of Pittsburgh, PA.
Alcoa convinced Iron City Beer (of Pittsburgh) to test these new tabs. The idea took off despite initial complaints about sharp edges (where people had cut their fingers, lips and even noses), and the confusion about how to use them (for which they added instructions to the top of the can). In the first year, Iron City Beer saw a 233% increase in sales.
Despite the success of Iron City Beer and Schlitz (who picked up the new pull top shortly after), many companies refused to try this new invention because it added anywhere from 1-5 cents to the cost of production of a six-pack. Many companies saw it as a phase that would eventually die out. That said, by 1965, 75% of breweries throughout the nation had converted over to the zip tab.
In 1975, the tabs became even better with the invention of the StaTab, which stayed connected to the can after opening and thus made for less of a choking hazard.
One of the fastest growing segments of machine tool consumption and sales is that of 5-axis machining centers.
Whether it is the attempt to “get it done in one” or just due to part complexity, more manufacturers and machine shops are considering 5 axis machines to improve their capability and competitive edge. Machine tool builders and sales organizations are very frequently confronted with the question, “Can you hold these tolerances on this part on this 5-axis machine?” At faced value, the part tolerances may be well within stated machine accuracies, if only on linear and rotary specifications. However, there are many more factors at play as the number of axes increases on a machine tool.
CCAT Advanced Manufacturing Center and Brooks Associates will be hosting an informative seminar entitled Accuracy Considerations for 5-axis Machines and Machining on Feb. 26, 2014 to help educate the prospective 5-axis end-user, to make them aware of these considerations so they may appropriately tender their expectations, and prepare accordingly for 5-axis machining. A Hurco VMX30Ui machine will be on site for demonstrations. Register now at https://www.etouches.com/fiveaxis2.26.
Posted in 5-Axis Machines, 5-axis Machining, Hurco, Machine Tools, Machining Applications, Manufacturing
Tagged 5-axis machines, 5-axis machining, 5-axis machining centers, Brooks, five-sided machining centers, Hurco, Machine tool design, Machine tools, Machining Center, Machining Equipment, Multi Axis Turning Centers, New England Machine tools
An established waterjet shop designed a part and then cut it on their new 90Kpsi 60HP intensifier pump. OMAX then cut the same part using their 4th Generation direct drive pump, the 50HP EnduroMAX®. With the same abrasive flow rate, OMAX proved to be significantly faster, more accurate, and with a better finish quality.
The timer doesn’t lie. Based on real-world cutting tests, the EnduroMAX performed more efficiently:
- 4.91 minutes 60Kpsi EnduroMAX
- 7.41 minutes 90Kpsi Intensifier
The EnduroMAX Pump is:
- 33% less abrasive
- 2.3 times more accurate
- 51% more productive after 8 hours of work
Don’t be waylaid by the myth of 90,000 psi perfection–call us today to take advantage of true quality.
Posted in EnduroMAX Pumps, Machine Tools, Machining Applications, Manufacturing, Maxiem Waterjets, Omax, Water Jet Cutting, Waterjet Cutting Machines
Tagged enduroMAX, Machine tool design, Machine tools, machining, Machining Center, Machining Equipment, Manufacturers, manufacturing, Maxiem Waterjets, OMAX, omax consumables, waterjet, Waterjet cutting, waterjet machining, Waterjet parts
- Get sample parts cut before you buy—it’s important to watch the part being made from start to finish, so visit a manufacturer’s showroom if you can. Seeing it made in person keeps a salesperson honest and allows you to see the process. The Brooks showroom is available by appointment to show you the features of OMAX waterjets. Test cuts help you determine how fast it will take you to cut your part, the cost to produce your part on an OMAX waterjet, and the cost savings you can achieve by using a waterjet over other systems.
Consider operating costs—operating costs can vary substantially between manufacturers, so be sure to find out in detail what the costs will be to run the waterjet. The overall cost includes the cost of consumables, spare parts, initial purchase price of the machine, and labor. Brooks Associates, an OMAX distributor since 1994, is thrilled to now be able to offer our customers the convenience of online parts ordering. Authentic OMAX consumables can be ordered any time through this new feature, with many items shipping out the same day. Brooks continues to offer local service for OMAX equipment and the online parts ordering will help us to fully support our OMAX customers.
- Extra features—OMAX is the first and only manufacturer to guarantee free OMAX operating software upgrades to owners for life. This guarantee saves OMAX owners thousands of dollars over the life of their investment, but more importantly ensures that they will receive all benefits derived from software enhancements. Upgrades are implemented to improve accuracy, provide faster cutting speeds, enhance system monitoring, and provide additional waterjet cutting capabilities.
- Training packages—training packages are well worth the cost, so be sure to ask the manufacturer about the training packages the manufacturer supplies. When you purchase a waterjet from OMAX, free factory training is included with your system to help you maximize the return on your investment. OMAX has the best ratio in the industry of service technicians to machines installed. This enables them to provide the quickest response time in the industry. A standard troubleshooting and application guide is included with every machine available free to OMAX customers, which can facilitate even faster service response. The OMAX Interactive Reference Guide (OIR) comprised of over 3000 pages, covers every aspect of operating and maintaining your investment. It is unequalled for providing application solutions.
- Looking for legitimate bargains—while you should steer clear of ultra-cheap machines that do crude work at a high operation cost, you can often find good bargains by buying a waterjet off the floor of a trade show, or by purchasing a demonstration model. At Brooks, we occasionally offer high-quality used machines at a reduced price. The OMAX 55100 2007 floor model is currently available at a sale price.
Posted in Machine Tools, Machining Applications, Manufacturing, Maxiem Waterjets, Omax, Water Jet Cutting, Waterjet Cutting Machines
Tagged Machine tool design, Machine tools, machining, Machining Center, Machining Equipment, Manufacturers, manufacturing, Maxiem Waterjets, omax consumables, waterjet, Waterjet cutting, Waterjet parts
5-axis machining is the ability of a CNC machine to move a part or a tool on five different axes at the same time. 3-axis machining centers move a part in two directions (X and Y), and the tool moves up and down (Z). 5-Axis machining centers access two additional rotary axes.
There are now many CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) software systems available to support multiaxis machining including software that can automatically convert 3-axis toolpaths into 5-axis toolpaths. Margins are tight in the metalworking business, so using 5-axis toolpaths can help you get ahead. Hurco Companies offers you the capability to transition from 3-sided to 5-sided and 5-axis. Check out the Hurco 5-axis machines available to you >>
Multiaxis machines offer several improvements over other CNC tools:
- The amount of human labor is reduced, if the piece would otherwise have to be turned manually during the machining.
- A better surface finish can be obtained by moving the tool tangentially about the surface.
- More complex parts can be manufactured, particularly parts with curved holes.
Every shop has work that would benefit from a 5-axis machine because a 5-axis machining center facilitates 5-sided machining. So, even if you don’t have simultaneous 5-axis work, such as impellers or turbines, the parts you are producing on your 3-axis machines will be more profitable when you use 5-sided machining on a 5-axis machining center.
While you can use a 3-axis machining center for mold work, long, skinny tools are necessary if you have a deep-cavity mold. With long, skinny tools, you have to slow down the feedrates to minimize chatter and prevent tool breakage. Often, you can’t achieve the quality of surface finish you need using 3-axis machining for mold work. For fine finishing operations, especially on small diameter molds, 3-axis machining can make the process more difficult than it needs to be.
With simultaneous 5-axis machining, you can use shorter, stouter tools, which means you can push faster with increased feedrates. Using simultaneous 5-axis machining for mold work means you can take heavier cuts and z-depths aren’t a problem. All of this results in shorter total machining time.
Learn more about 5-sided and 5-axis machining here >>
Posted in Hurco, Machine Tools, Machining Applications, Manufacturing
Tagged 3-axis machining, 5-axis, 5-axis machining centers, CNC, CNC Sinker EDMs, five-sided machining centers, Hurco, Hurco Distributor, industry, Machine tool design, Machine tools, Machinery, machining, Machining Center, Machining Equipment, Manufacturers, manufacturing, Multi Axis Turning & Milling Centers, Multi Axis Turning Centers, New England Machine tools
Last year WaneShear Technologies LLC fabricated their first machine, a unique lumber-cutting system that became a reality because of today’s advanced servomotors and high-powered computers. And it was OMAX Corporation that helped make WaneShear’s dream possible.
With the sale of its first WaneShear system, the shop opened the doors of its new Ukiah, California facility. Headed by Clark McGehee, the shop is in full production of WaneShears and is currently able to build about four systems per year. But with the help of increased efficiency delivered by OMAX abrasive waterjet cutting technology, output could increase to six or even eight machines a year.
Unlike regular saw mill edgers where rough lumber moves into stationary saws, the WaneShear passes saw blades through lumber as it remains stationary. The result is what could be considered the fastest system of its kind and one that processes approximately 60 boards per minute –17,000 boards per shift, and does so at a cut accuracy within 0.015″. The completely electric system cuts boards much faster than existing edgers, lowering a saw mill’s manufacturing and processing costs.
A complete WaneShear system can measure up to 80′ long and either 35′ or 45′ feet wide. One system is comprised of several hundred fabricated and machined components. Many of these are made from 8′ x 20′ plates of common and 4140 steel, aluminum and other materials such as fiber felt and Delrin®, in thicknesses ranging from 0.250″ to 1.5″. Individual part sizes can be as small as 1″ x 1″ x 1″ or as large as 94″ wide and 36′ long.
WaneShear Technologies initially considered laser cutting for processing parts. However, a machine capable of handling the shop’s material thicknesses would have been very expensive. Also, a laser machine would have had a difficult time cutting the shop’s 1.25″-thick pieces of aluminum, let alone its non-metal materials. It was because of these various part sizes, thicknesses and materials that the shop decided to incorporate the versatile OMAX 120X-3 JetMachining Center.
If you think an OMAX waterjet could transform your machine shop, give us a call.
Posted in Machine Tools, Machining Applications, Manufacturing, Maxiem Waterjets, Omax, Water Jet Cutting, Waterjet Cutting Machines
Tagged lumber, lumber industry, Machine tools, machining, Machining Center, Machining Equipment, Manufacturers, manufacturing, Maxiem Waterjets, OMAX, omax consumables, waterjet, Waterjet cutting, Waterjet parts