Direction of Manufacturing: Trends


Up until the turn of the century, manufacturing used to be a highly labor-intensive process, but has developed into a sophisticated set of information-technology-intensive processes; what were once vague trends and systems are now converged, more complex trends. Large scale trends are currently growing globally, and are leading a new set of standards when it comes to advanced manufacturing. Some of the current trends are:

Information Technology: consists of programs like digital control systems, computer-aided design (CAD), and sensing programs; this allows for overall productivity raises in communication, speed, and efficiency; connects links of individual components to larger assembly systems.

Dependence on Modeling and Simulation: gives engineers the capacity to design models from an idea all the way to production; with simulations, designs are optimized well before production starts to test the limits and functionality of longevity before merchandise hits the production line.

Supply-Chain Management: being able to manage all aspects of a product from production to transportation security; this includes reducing time to fulfill orders and services for consumers.

Changeability of Manufacturing Based Upon Customer Needs: configurability, flexibility, transformability, and agility are the foundations of a business, from store-level all the way up to the company as a whole; ongoing changes distinguish one company from another and allow particular pros to be leading factors.

Sustainable Manufacturing: sustainability targets every aspect of a business; changes have to be economically beneficial, financially responsible, and environmentally-safe; this includes energy and water intake, consumption of materials, and reprocessing of conventional processes.

These models are the current leaders towards a new age, and with it comes the overthrowing of old concepts which can no longer apply to the mindsets of how companies function.

Posted in Manufacturing | Leave a comment

Machinery: Mining Innovation


The effects of the mining boom have substantially increased mining standards across the world. It lead to lower unemployment, higher supply needs and demands, and better conditions for workers. This led to an increase in the mine-to-market chain system, allowing for private and government sectors projects to continually build on themselves, while limiting environmental and social deconstruction of mining sites.
As we move out of the mining boom, the next few years of metal mining, coal mining and mineral mining is expected to see promising growth in all markets. Also with ongoing technological advancement in efficiency, productivity and innovation, developing countries will continue to improve their economies while diversifying their range of products.
Brooks Machinery has been supplying the machines for building mining equipment for many years. Contact us for more information.

Posted in Manufacturing | Leave a comment

Nikon Metrology


Imagine the combustion engine of an Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI Quattro. From the exhaust manifold to the connecting rod holding the crankshaft in place, every piece has to be intricately built. Before the invention of digital cross scanners, the manufacturing of cars had to be done solely by hand. But now, with advancements in 3-D Metrology, time-consuming activities such as automotive component inspections have become perfected.

With the ability to have fully automated scanning and inspection, Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM) have revolutionized the capture of complex features and surfaces. CMMs have redefined areas of study such as biology, human anatomy, anthropology, and even infrastructure.

Examples of Coordinate Measuring Machines in Modern Companies;
• LC15Dx: High resolution, high accuracy scanner for smaller field of view, suited for compact or detailed objects
• XC65Dx(-LS): Digital cross scanner that captures all 3D details of features, edges, pockets, ribs and freeform surfaces
• K-Scan MMD: Walk-around scanner for portable application in larger work volume
• MCAx – Manual CMM Arm: Portable 7-axis measuring system built for high accuracy, and utilizing Wi-Fi data transmission
• MMDx/MMC: Handheld scanner for ultra-productive scanning and one-click analysis

With Nikon’s ongoing advancements in tactical and non-contact CMMs, their continued use of 3-D metrology will gradually build, generating more demand for their use.

Posted in Metrology, Nikon | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Inventory at Brooks Associates

Fall is a season full of change. Leafs on the trees will slowly change to bright orange and red, the weather will quickly change from crisp air to freezing cold air. Nature isn’t the only thing changing, the inventory at Brooks is also switching it up!  A total of eight new machines have been added to the inventory list from major brands such as Hurco, OMAX, and Sodick! The new machines are:

  • HURCO TMM8: An efficient solution for small and medium projects which require turning and secondary milling & drilling. One setup will save you time and provide accuracy.
  • HURCO VMX42SR: Equipped with the latest addition of Hurco’s world-renowned control software, a swivel head, and a horizontal rotary table.
  • HURCO VMX84 Machining Center: Equipped with an X-axis, Y-axis and Z-axis this machine is perfect for those who are working with large parts, molds, and dies.
  • OMAX 5555: The perfect machine for fabrication shops with a large amount of floor space.
  • OMAX 60120 Jet Machining Center: Perfect for a wide variety of materials and thickness, as well as large or multiple parts.
  • Sodick SGF Power Supply: Achieve sharper edges and reduce costs with the new Sodick SGF power supply. This power supply uses fewer electrodes which will reduce the overall job cost. Also will reduce room for error.
  • Sodick Hybrid Wire EDM: What do you get when you combined the speed of a water jet machine and the accuracy of the wire EDM? You’ll get the new Sodick Hybrid Wire EDM as well as maximum machining productivity. This machines is newly available in the United States Market.
  • Sodick C32 Sinker EDM: if affordable is what you’re looking for then affordable is what you’ll get with the new Sodick C32 Sinker EDM. Besides the affordable cost, this machine is compact making it eligible to fit in many shops across the world.

Brooks Associates staff is ready to help you find the perfect new machining center. Contact Brooks to schedule a machine demonstration.

Posted in automation, Hurco, Manufacturing, Omax, Sodick | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Machines, Medicine and Technology

From the beginning, medicine has always relied on technology to improve. Back in the olden days technology and medical practices weren’t what they are today. In the 1800’s instruments were developed to help understand the human body. Some of the first technology advancements for medical purposes were the thermometer, a microscope, scalpels, and the stethoscope. All these new technologies allowed doctors to learn the difference between a healthy body and a diseased body. Professionals were also able to diagnose more medical problems in less time.

The next major advancement in medical technology happened when the x-ray machine was developed. X-rays and their benefits were discovered in 1895. X-rays helped doctors see what was happening inside the body without having to do surgery. While x-rays during this time were a revolutionary practice, they also caused a lot of damage. The effects of radiation were not well known, many patients and doctors died from overexposure. X-rays were the best way to see inside one’s body until the 1970’s. After that CT, PET, and MRI scanners were designed.

Computers were the next big technology to mix with medicine and led to large advancements. The introduction of computers into hospitals allowed patients to be monitored at all times. Patient files could be traced easier, and heavy machines like the MRI could function at a faster rate. Machines in the labs could also do more testing, allowing for a quicker and more accurate response.

In today’s medical world, machines and technology are found throughout the hospital. Doctors use laptops and tablets to record patient information. Thermometers are electronic and run off of small computers. Larger machines are used for treatments against various diseases. Machines can also be used to create devices to support the human body. The precision of machines allows for minimal error in devices which are being made to support the human body.  X-ray machines are faster than they have been before, and are also portable.

Brooks offers many different machines from many different brands for the medical industry. Brands like Nikon and Willemin-Macodel aim to please customers with their quality, productivity, and precision. From Nikon Brooks offers X-ray and CT machines.  Willemin-Macodel specializes in producing high precision machine tools. Their machines with orthopedics and the dental industry.

It would be nearly impossible for medical practices to be where they are today without the help of technology and machinery. The future is endless for medical technology.

Posted in automation, Manufacturing, robotic systems | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How 3-D Printing is Changing the World

While 3-D printers have been around for quite a few years, they have been recently appearing in the news and making a name for themselves. 3-D printers were first introduced in the late 1980’s and throughout the early 1990’s. When 3-D printers were first introduced they were extremely expensive making them not accessible to the public. Currently 3-D printers are making a comeback and their prices have dropped making them available on a more affordable market for more people to use.

A 3-D printer is also known as additive manufacturing. To create something from a 3-D printer additives are used to form many different solid 3-d items based off of digital models. Is this the new change and how manufacturing will be in the future? Many technology visionaries think that our lives will change dramatically because of 3-D printing. 3-D printing will be able to change lives in multiple different ways.

Medically 3-D printing will be a life saver, literally a life saver. 3-D printer will be able to print organs for transplants. There will no longer be a need to wait years and years on a transplant list. CNBC reported that as of now skin, kidneys and a replica of a human heart that’s beating are already being printed. It’s hoped that in the future full body limbs could be printed for replace amputations.

For the manufacturing world time and money will be saved. Items can be printed domestically. International outsourcing will hopefully be eliminated. Another benefit for the manufacturing company is that waste would be eliminated. The hope is there could be zero waste for manufactured goods.

While the idea of 3-D printing seems like an amazing idea, there are side effects with it. Think about people being able to create whatever they would like. The control of items would disappear. There are already gun issues happening in America, 3-D printers could possibly print guns, making them accessible to almost anyone. Food is also another item that has been printed recently. Is this food healthy, does it supply all the nutrients our food supply does today? While this is just the beginning of possible complications, many more can appear. Complications could also break the law when it comes to copywriting and such.  

3-D printing technology is advancing tremendously. Currently American’s are working on printed versions of cars. In other parts of the world larger items like houses are attempting to be printed. With advances being made each day the possibilities are endless.  While there are still glitches to fix in printers, there is hope that one day 3-D printers will be the source for many of the items humanity uses on a day to day basis. It will take many years for this to happen, but inventors and scientists are on the right track to make this reality instead of a possibility.

Posted in Machining Applications, Manufacturing, robotic | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Manufacturing Industry: Jobs and Job Outlooks

There is a love hate relationship that everyone will deal with at least once in their life. It may be as small as a chore around the house, or it could be raising children, or even running a large company. What is it that I’m referring to? Jobs. Simple as that. They are on the back of everyone’s mind, they cause us stress, but the benefits you can receive are unmeasurable.  While some jobs are disappearing with the troubled economic times, other jobs are soaring to the top.

Careers in the manufacturing industry are coming back strong, and bringing large amounts of revenue into the economy. The United States Manufacturing sector produces the largest amount of goods and services. This meaning the United States beats out China and Japan, who usually have some of the top economies. While the industry is pumping out tons of product for the world, there is a need for many workers to help achieve this.

Jobs in the manufacturing industry come in a wide variety. Workers are needed in engineering, production, and manufacturing. The possibilities are endless. According the to the National Association of Manufacturers the manufacturing industry supports about 1 in 6 jobs, or an estimated 17.4 million jobs in just the United States alone. That’s a lot of jobs!

The manufacturing industry has done a complete change over the years. Most people still think a job in manufacturing will lead to them working long hours on cement floors, wearing hardhats, and still using paper time cards. This is in fact not true. The old school manufacturing plants everyone grew up seeing have changed drastically over the years.

Robotics and other computerized technologies are being used in more and more manufacturing plants to build products. Although technology is replacing humans in some respects, there have been more jobs created in other areas. Jobs such as machine repair, engineering, information technology, and delivery are booming because of this replacement. These changes have led to increased educational requirements to learn the ever changing technologies but the increase in deliverables has allowed the United States manufacturing sector to remain strong.

The average salary is another benefit drawing prospective employees to consider jobs in the manufacturing industry, however, the actual average salary is difficult to determine. In 2012 the U.S. Department of Commerce stated that “the average hourly wage for a manufacturing job was $29.75 an hour”. This wage is after benefits have been taken out, but it’s still a decent wage. Because there are many different jobs in the industry, advancement opportunities are abundant. However, employees will need to stay up to date and informed on the latest technologies.

Posted in automation, conveyors, Machine Tools, Manufacturing, robotic, robotic systems | Tagged , | Leave a comment