The Power of Yama Seiki’s GA2800

IMG_0119 (1).JPG

Like all of the GA series horizontal turning centers, the GA2800 is designed to handle heavy-duty turning applications, such as the one pictured here, while maintaining the highest accuracy.  This part is 10” in diameter and made of 4150 steel – not a problem for the GA2800. While every shop needs a machine that can deliver on accuracy and reliability, those with a Yama Seiki machine also get the fastest cycle times possible.  This system is known world-wide for its incredible ability to hold tolerance at maximum speeds.

Some key features of the GA Series include:

  • Extra-large Z-axis servo motors which provide the additional thrust necessary to drill big diameter holes with maximum efficiency.
  • Powerful high-torque spindles capable of supplying up to 4x the torque output of standard spindles
  • Heavy-duty roller bearings that are used to support the spindles. Axes guide ways are made of super-rigid one-piece box ways.  These ensure the long lasting durability of the GA-2800.

There are many customer benefits of the GA-2000 series systems.  The GA-2000C is incredibly compact allowing for multiple machines to fit into a tight space and allow for more efficient use of operator time.  Many New England shops are tight on space so this can be critical for the ability to increase revenue without relocating.

The GA-2000 machines also include a 30° slant wedge bed, which has been designed to provide smoother chip disposal and increased operator comfort without losing system rigidity.  In addition, the GA series systems feature a standard programmable base and quill tailstock.  The base and quill can be operated using the quill-jog function to allow the operator to make slow, small movements forward while inserting the center into the center hole.  The base and quill can also be operated in auto mode which is completely controlled by M-codes with manually adjustable thrust pressure.

The engineers at Yama Seiki understand that there are countless applications for these systems and thus offer 26 models in the GA series to ensure machine capacity both big and small, as well as live tooling features to provide the maximum in flexibility.  There’s truly a machine for every shop’s needs.  Contact Brooks Associates today to schedule a demo or learn more about how the addition of Yama Seiki’s powerful horizontal turning center could take your business in a new direction.

Advertisements
Posted in Advanced Manufacturing, Machine Tools, Machining Applications, Manufacturing, robotic, Turning Center, Yama Seiki | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Preventative Maintenance Tips for Abrasive Waterjets

pump_rebuild.jpg

Many customers purchase an abrasive waterjet without really considering the maintenance that will be required, and the best ways to reduce downtime.  It’s important to keep in mind that with a waterjet you have a machine that’s combining 60,000psi of pressure with abrasive and water and essentially slowly eroding itself.  Virtually every component will need replaced at some point, but this doesn’t mean waterjet owners can’t be incredibly profitable.  With a little bit of preventative maintenance, many waterjet owners are purchasing 3rd and 4th machines because of their high profitability.

Water Quality – probably the single biggest factor that can affect the life of waterjet components is the quality of the water being put through the system.  It’s important to both test water prior to installing a waterjet, and then at other times during the first year of operation as water quality can change seasonally.  Hard water can reduce consumable life by up to 50% while a water softener is an easy and relatively inexpensive solution.  Check the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines for specifics but generally low TDS levels and soft water are best.

Check for Leaks – regularly inspect the high pressure pump as well as the cutting head for any water leaks.  If leaks are found they should be addressed immediately.  A leak at high pressure can quickly cause more serious damage to that component and others around it.  A repair of a failed seal is just a few dollars however if left untreated it could easily turn into a repair costing hundreds.

Replace Wear Items – take a look at the table slats and the mixing tube on a regular basis.  These items are going to wear and as they do they will affect the machine’s ability to hold tolerances.  It’s generally not worth trying to get a few more hours of run time from a worn component when the result could be scrapping a thousand-dollar part.

Use the Software – most abrasive waterjet manufacturers offer preventative maintenance software.  Given the number of components on the system that need to be replaced at various times it can get confusing in a hurry.  The software will make sure every machine operator is on the same page with when maintenance has been completed and when it’s due.  Most of the time this is a free piece of the software that gets under-utilized.

Complete Maintenance in a Clean Space – this is especially true when taking a part the high pressure pump or cutting head.  Move these items to a clean room before starting the rebuild.  The worst scenario is the dirt and dust particles from another machine tool getting into these items during a rebuild and completely voiding the whole process.  It’s worth the time and effort to make sure these items stay clean.

Buy quality waterjet cutting parts & abrasive – poor quality abrasive can have paper and other particulates in it which will travel through the system and end up clogging the cutting head or causing other damage.  In addition, higher quality abrasive tends to cut faster making it worth the few extra cents.  Replacement parts are just as important.  Buying cheaper parts that aren’t guaranteed to meet manufacturer’s guidelines could void your machine warranty and cause irreparable damage to your system.  Be sure you’re getting high quality parts.

Posted in Manufacturing, Water Jet Cutting, Waterjet Cutting Machines | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sales of Sodick Sinker EDM Support Capability Claims From 2014

Sodick Sinker EDM AD55L

Sodick’s AD Series Sinker EDM machines, the AD35L and the AD55L, have been on the market now for several years and the customer feedback firmly places these units in the position of the best sinker EDM machines available. Sales of these machines to both new and repeat customers have stayed strong even through some ups and downs in the economic environment.

There were several key features introduced with this product that served to change the face of the market.  Items such as the user friendly control, the increased machining speed, the no-flush EDM technology and zero-electrode wear were highly impactful to customers in a variety of industries.  The market response to these features proved that the engineers at Sodick had designed a high-quality piece of equipment while keeping it cost-friendly.

Both of these models utilize Sodick’s rigid linear motor system which guarantees the highest in machine efficiency, resulting in substantial cost reductions and faster delivery times.  One feature that customers have commented on frequently has been the change in the ability to maintain accuracy.  The accuracy of the parts during the initial machining is being maintained for a much longer period of time.  As a result of these improved accuracy and reliability features Sodick has been able to provide customers with their 10-year positioning accuracy guarantee.  As a long time distributor for Sodick, Brooks Associates has seen the truth in this guarantee with many customers running machines well beyond the 10 year mark and still continuing to produce high quality, extremely accurate parts. The construction of these units creates the rigidity required for long-term accuracy.  Both the AD35L and the AD55L use a full-frame, floor-standing bed design with high-strength, and heavily ribbed castings for the bed, table and column.

The AD35L Sinker EDM machine has an X, Y, Z travel of 13.78″ x 9.84″ x 10.63″ and can accommodate a workpiece weight of up to 1,212 lb.  The AD55L has an X, Y, Z travel of 23.62″ x 15.75″ x 15.75″ and can accommodate a workpiece weight of up to 2,204 lb.

Sodick’s unique zero electrode wear technology is standard on all Sodick Sinker EDM machines.  This technology allows for the EDM of steel materials with virtually zero electrode wear when using graphite or copper electrodes.  Less electrode wear results in fewer electrodes, saving on production costs.  In some cases, only one electrode is necessary.  The ability to minimize wear is made possible by Sodick’s advanced control technology, which stabilizes the use of extremely high discharge ON times; this reduces the amount of times the discharge is started and extinguished.  In the past, control technology was not as advanced, and the use of high discharge ON time resulted in an unstable EDM environment, which caused poor productivity.  Today, however, thanks to SGF technology, the application of high discharge ON time can be stabilized, producing virtually zero electrode wear.

Machine shops that have not yet taken a look at these sinker EDM machines might be surprised at the immediate benefits they can bring to the machining process.  With units all over New England Brooks Associates is ready and able to provide a full demonstration of these system’s capabilities.

Posted in EDM, Manufacturing, Sodick | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How Will the New Tax Cuts Affect Manufacturing?

Tax Cuts for Machine Companies

At the end of 2017 Congress pushed through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which went into effect at the beginning of 2018.  While these changes won’t alter the tax filings done in April 2018 they will affect 2018 filings.  Many small business owners are watching these changes closely to see how they will impact them both personally and with regards to their corporate filings.  Interestingly the manufacturing sector will be one of the least impacted businesses as a result of these changes.  This is largely because manufacturing companies already pay one of the lowest corporate tax rates, and simply there’s not much further down they can go.  While most industries, banking and real estate leading the way, will see substantial reductions in their tax bill, manufacturers will see a more modest change.

According to the findings from economists at the Penn Warton Budget Model at the University of Pennsylvania, the average effective tax rate for manufacturers in 2017 was 17.5%.  The expectation for 2018 is that this will fall to 10.9%.  The effective tax rate being the amount actually paid on profits after deductions and other tax breaks are taken into account.  This could potentially increase as the years go by.  The current version of the law would allow for tax breaks for capital equipment purchases and money spent on research and development to be reduced in 2022 and expire in 2027.  This would significantly impact manufacturing businesses and raise their effective tax rate close to previous levels.

A recent study conducted by the National Association of Manufacturers found that nearly 95% of their respondents were optimistic about their company’s future.  More than three-fifths stated that the approval of the tax bill would likely increase their capital spending.  These stats are a 20 year high for this survey.  Clearly this reflects that the members of the large manufacturing groups are in support of this new tax law.  One major reason for this support may be the changes in the expensing of capital equipment.  The new law allows for 100% expensing for capital equipment.  While this is set to reduce starting in 2022 it does provide some stability for the next 5 years.  For the past several years this has been a regular source of anxiety at the end of each year while businesses wait to see if Congress will again approve these tax breaks or not.  Thus it’s easy to see why the predictability of this new law is a benefit to business owners.  Another interesting addition is the change allowing for used manufacturing equipment to also be part of the capital expenditure depreciation.  Previously this had only been available on new equipment purchases but the recent changes state that the equipment simply has to be new to your company but can be a used piece of equipment.

One other interesting change that could affect manufacturing businesses is the addition of the new tax credit for family leave.  This currently applies only for 2018 and 2019, but it allows for businesses to get a tax credit for some of the wages paid to employees when they’re out on family leave or sick time.  This would apply to C Corporations or pass-through businesses who offer a family leave program or sick leave program and pay their employees at least 50% of their regular wage during that time.

Likely there will be other changes resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that will impact your business and of course your tax expert will provide full guidance in navigating these new rules.  While things could continue to evolve it initially appears that the manufacturing industry is responding with enthusiasm to these changes, and the expectation is that these funds staying within corporations will result in the addition of new jobs and strengthening of the economy.

Posted in Advanced Manufacturing, Machine Tools, Manufacturing, manufacturing jobs, Used abrasive | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Markforged Printers Revolutionize Operations at Humanetics

Humanetics, a crash test dummy manufacturer, is currently using Markforged machines to print their molds for thermoset plastics.  These molds need to withstand clamping forces and temperatures of up to 220° F for extended periods of time.

Previously these molds were manufactured from silicone at an outside vendor which was both expensive and time consuming.  Markforged’s Onyx and High Strength High Temperature (HSHT) fiber allowed Humanetics to replace their molds for a fraction of the cost and time.  Markforged has the unique ability to incorporate HSHT Fiberglass into parts which gives Humanetics the ability to achieve heat deflection temperatures suitable for post cured thermoset molding.  Unlike other 3D printers whose materials would fail or warp if exposed to extreme levels of heat the Markforged mold can stand up to the job.  HSHT is the ideal material for customers needing strong parts in high temperature environments. The quick turn around time, low production cost, and long lifetime of the printed molds make this an excellent fit for replacing traditional thermoset molding methods.

Printed thermoset molds can withstand temperatures up to 302°F for extended periods of time with minimal distortion.  Molds like this are a simple way to replace existing methods that are expensive and time consuming.  The benefits of printing molds, jigs, and fixtures are innumerable.  The use of materials such as onyx are ideal for manufacturing environments by ensuring tools that will last and streamlining production.

Using Markforged system with Onyx and HSHT has a design cost of $625, a fabrication time of 60 hours and a part cost of $240 compared with the standard process using silicone which results in a design cost of $1,000, a fabrication time of 144 hours, and a part cost of $1,000.  An overall savings of 76% in part cost and 58% in fabrication time.  Markforged understands that 3D printing is an important addition to your business but your CNC equipment is vital as well.  By fully utilizing the Markforged tools many customers are reducing the load on their CNC machinery, creating more available run time for the most critical of parts while reducing part cost.

Markforged is the leader in developing new 3D printing methods.  Their unique ability to print with composites and metals gives them an edge over all the other printing options on the market today.  It is because of this cutting edge technology that companies such as Microsoft have chosen to partner with Markforged.  Companies large and small are seeing the value of partnering with Markforged both for their 3D printing needs as well as prioritizing their CNC time.

Posted in 3D Printing, Advanced Manufacturing, automation, Machine Tools, Machining Applications, Manufacturing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Made in America – Statistics for 2017

American Manufacturing Jobs

As we approach the one-year mark since the last presidential election took place, people have been asking whether there have been any changes in manufacturing.  While it’s difficult, if not impossible, to determine whether any of these changes are directly related to who is sitting in the oval office, it certainly plays some part.  There are several interesting facts with regards to 2017 manufacturing trends.

First some changes between 2016 and 2017.  The number of manufacturing jobs increased from 12.1M to 12.3M, overall wages in manufacturing increased as well, however manufacturing fell from being the 5th largest employer in the country to being the 6th.  This seems to be directly tied to the challenges in finding and retaining talented people to work in manufacturing.  While the public perception continues to be that wages in manufacturing are lower than most other fields that’s proving to be less and less true.  The average hourly manufacturing employee in the U.S.A. earns $26.17/hr while the salaried employees are averaging $64,305 annually.  This is nearly double the average for someone working in construction or an employee in leisure and hospitality.  It’s rapidly closing in on the averages for government civilian employees, currently the largest employer in the country.  Another interesting fact about jobs in manufacturing – for each manufacturing job created another 2.5 more jobs in local goods and services are created.

In terms of the impact of U.S. manufacturing on the overall economy for 2017, the following stats have been reported:

  • For every $1 of goods being produced, manufacturing is generating an additional $1.37 for the economy
  • Manufacturing contributed $2.09 trillion dollars to the economy
  • Manufacturers are responsible for nearly three-fourths of all the private sector R&D which of course directly contributes to the economy’s growth
  • The top states in terms of quantity of manufacturing jobs for 2017 were California, Texas, and Ohio
  • The top states in terms of largest manufacturing concentration for 2017 were Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan
  • 2% of U.S. exports are manufacturing goods this equates to $1.3 trillion dollars
  • In 2017 manufacturing comprised nearly 11.8% of the U.S. GDP
  • Top areas of growth for manufacturing jobs in 2017 were transportation, food and fabricated metal

Interestingly the percentage of growth in total manufacturing jobs was nearly the same after the first year post-election previously (2012 vs 2013).  So it may in fact have nothing to do with who gets elected but instead be more closely correlated to the end of the election cycle.  Many businesses are more hesitant to make capital equipment purchases just prior to an election and will instead wait to see which direction things are heading before making a decision, but most seem to end up moving forward rapidly after an election is over.  Regardless the continued growth in manufacturing year over year certainly bodes well for 2018 with the biggest potential struggle being the need for more qualified workers to help companies reach their growth goals.

 

Posted in Advanced Manufacturing, Manufacturing, manufacturing jobs | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What is the new GlobalMAX Waterjet System?

As Fabtech approaches many manufacturers are preparing to unveil new machinery and technology to their customer’s and OMAX is among the leaders bringing new technology to the abrasive waterjet world.  Their new GlobalMAX waterjet cutting system will be available for demonstration throughout the Fabtech show in Chicago in November but what are the advantages of this new machine and who is the ideal customer?

The GlobalMAX waterjet line is a low priced option to get in to the waterjet market.  For many people the high cost of entry has prevented them from being able to be part of the waterjet cutting industry but now OMAX has changed all of that.  The GlobalMAX is both robust, reliable, and cost effective.  It’s available in 3 different standard sizes – 2’7” x 5’, 5’ x 10’, and 6’8” x 13’3” – and with 2 different pump options – 20hp or 30hp.  This means you can get exactly the system you need for your application.  If you’re a machine shop looking for a smaller system you’re all set or if you’re looking to get into the job shop waterjet business then a larger table to hold a full sheet of material could be for you.

Beyond the price tag there some fantastic advantages that GlobalMAX customers get to take advantage of just by joining the existing OMAX and MAXIEM family.  Of course it would be risky to buy a low priced waterjet from an unknown company but buying from OMAX guarantees a machine built with 25+ years of experience and 4000+ machines in operation.  GlobalMAX customers will be getting the same reliable and highly efficient direct drive pump technology that OMAX and MAXIEM customers have relied on for years.  They’ll also get the benefit of an extensive network of certified OMAX technicians, customer service support, and application’s specialist.  This resource will prove invaluable to customers that are completely new to the waterjet industry.  In addition there’s the incredibly powerful software package that OMAX is known industry wide for.  GlobalMAX customers will have software designed and supported by the same engineers that have been responsible for the premium OMAX software that competitors have tried to duplicate for years.  So even if you’re new to abrasive waterjet cutting you’re coming in with a distinct competitive advantage by partnering with such a well-established industry leader.

OMAX has also made ease of operation a priority for the new GlobalMAX system.  They understand that there are some OMAX accessories that may be of interest to GlobalMAX customers and can improve their user experience so they’re offering options such as the terrain follower, pneumatic drill, laser feature finder, and bulk abrasive feed hopper to OMAX and GlobalMAX customers alike.  If you’ve been considering the idea of adding a machine that can cut virtually any material, at any thickness, with incredible precision and no HAZ then the GlobalMAX is for you and your time has come!

Posted in GlobalMax, Manufacturing, Omax, Water Jet Cutting, Waterjet Cutting Machines | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment