Monthly Archives : July 2017

cncmachining

What changes have manufacturers of cnc mills and lathes made in the last 5 years?

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) is the automation of machinery such as CNC lathes, screws and drills, which are commonly used in the machining. The above tools are used to cut metallic components to the desired dimension. CNC Milling machinery popularly referred to as machining center has been in existence since the early 1970`s and is currently used in the production of widgets and other tools. Most of the people in the manufacturing domain will have come across these tools since they are widely used in the sector, from small scale ventures to large scale premises. Since the inception of the milling program, there has been a considerable improvement and development on the overall structure and operation of the program.

Below we look at some of the notable changes that manufacturers of CNC mills and lathes made in the last five years.

CNC Turning

Turning is a manufacturing process in which bars of materials (metal, wood, plastic, or stone) are held in a chuck, then rotated, and the cutting screw traverses across two axes of motion to generate precise dimension. Turning can either be done on the interior or exterior side of the material, through a method known as boring. The process can also be used in the production of tubular components to various depths and diameters. Although turning used to be done manually, it`s now more common to see CNC machine shops using automated lathe which is superior to the manual process since it doesn`t need human intervention.

CNC Milling

This new development involves using of commands or G-codes. The alphanumeric codes are then automated into the milling machine with every code carrying a specific role to be executed by the machine. The machine then drills and turn along the axes to model the material depending on the specifics automated on it.

The CNC mills can either be controlled using computerized programs or physical overrides positioned on the face of the mill. Even though the computerized program control is the ideal method of the mill control, using the manual override allows the mill operator to speed up or slow down the milling process when necessary.

CNC Machining

In comparison to the manual machining, CNC Machining has allowed manufacturers to have improved productivity, accuracy, efficiency, and reduced the number of accidents, thanks to the limited/reduced interactions of humans with the machinery. Additionally, the technological advancement has now made it possible for the CNC mill to run unmanned for extended periods. But what is probably exciting about the CNC Machining is that in case the machine develops a problem, the CNC software robotically halts its operations and calls an off-site officer.

With the world consuming millions of products, which are in turn manufactured using billions of components, it`s imperative for the manufacturers to utilize CNC automation.  The CNC mills have taken over where human beings could not match the accuracy, and speed of the automation process. Keep in mind that the process of evolution of the CNC mills is still on as each manufacturer tries to outdo the other.

renewable_energy_manufacturing

What Impact Are Renewable Energy Sources Having on Manufacturing?

Manufacturers around the world are progressively increasing their utilization capacities of renewable energy to improve their competitive advantage. Industries use process heating systems to create finished products from raw materials. However, they need to efficiently use this power to reduce greenhouse gases and reduce the cost of production. It is alarming to know that the energy-intensive sector utilizes up to 75% of the world’s energy but only amount to 5% of all existing manufacturing plants. Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, biomass, tides, and geothermal offer an effective solution. However, these sources have both positive and negative impacts on the manufacturing sector.
Diversification of Manufacturing Energy Sources
Manufacturers are now employing renewable alternative sources of energy to increase production and reduce energy consumption. Most industries are now using a mix of some renewable energy sources such as geothermal, solar, and wind power. As a result, they can reduce the cost of production and facilitate innovation and competitiveness. Similarly, the climatic effects of manufacturing are reduced significantly.
Development of Efficient Manufacturing Facilities
Most plants utilizing renewable energy sources have shifted their agendas to a more sustainable energy future. This future includes energy efficient buildings that are made from resilient materials able to withstand harsh climatic conditions. These buildings come with power systems that help in optimizing energy and reduce overall loss of energy. Efficiency in manufacturing has also allowed for CNC automation in industries. CNC manufacturing uses 3D movements to cut into any material. Once the commands are set, this automated machine significantly saves on numerous man-hours that would otherwise be utilized in performing these tasks. The time-saving aspect improves efficiency in the long run.
Less Maintenance Cost
Facilities using renewable energy pay less cost for maintenance than those using non-renewable sources such as traditional generators. These energy efficient facilities incur less operation cost since operational fuel is derived from natural sources.
Reduced Manufacturing Costs
With the seemingly unbearable rise of energy costs, most manufacturing industries have had to explore different sources of clean energy. These clean energy sources are attractive in the production value chain as they cut extra costs. High energy costs are unsustainable for businesses which have to compete with smuggled and imported goods from other countries. Again, clean energy sources increase their competitiveness in the markets.
High Initial Costs
Perhaps the main disadvantage of renewable energies is the high initial costs. For instance, setting up wind power plant is significantly costly. Some manufacturers cannot afford this exorbitant cost. For the determined ones, they have gone ahead to seek grants and investors who can aid the process of moving to a sustainable future. Nevertheless, these costs are sometimes passed to finished products hence raising their prices.
Although the initial costs for renewable energy materials and plants are relatively high, it is economical and beneficial in the long run. Not only does it cut down unnecessary wastages and costs but also creates efficiency in the process. Renewable energy sources are therefore improving manufacturers’ ability to produce more to satisfy the market demands.

Contact Tag Team Manufacturing today. 303-841-5697.

3dprintingmanufacturing

3D Printers – Are they a viable option in manufacturing yet?

While developments in 3-D printing (also called additive manufacturing) become increasingly sophisticated, debate continues as to whether the technology will truly be viable for manufacturing–  and when and at what cost.  Skeptics point to 3-D printing’s current limitations– primarily its price tag and concerns about the quality of assembled items, since the technology has been used mostly for small parts and prototypes.  It may not be a practical option for most businesses at present.  But with improvements constantly in the works, it’s likely just a matter of time before this versatile capability transforms the manufacturing industry.

Endless Possibilities

The technology is already showing promise in construction and spare parts production.  China and Dubai boast printed concrete houses and an office, respectively.  This rapidly-evolving innovation has the capacity to build parts more efficiently than current methods do, as businesses would be able to either print items on-site or contract with a nearby third-party to do it, saving time and shipping costs.

Industry leaders anticipate that 3-D printing will grow considerably over the next five years, revolutionizing every industry impacted by it, creating a host of benefits and possibilities.

Added Value

While the cost of a 3-D printer currently totals $1 million or more, rapid growth in the industry is expected to lower the cost, making it a viable option for increasing numbers of businesses.

Lower costs and faster production times could eventually make 3-D printing more cost-effective than traditional manufacturing methods.  Even when companies have to spend more up-front to utilize the technology, that investment will quickly pay for itself, especially as manufacturers can shift production from a made-to-stock basis to a made-on-demand basis.

Additionally, 3-D printing reduces the cost of raw materials.  For example, traditional production of parts made of various metals requires that these materials be melted down.  After a part is created, scrap materials must be reclaimed, often at considerable cost.  Additive manufacturing is precise enough to use minimum amounts of raw material, leading to lowered costs and less waste.

Because it requires minimal set-up time, 3-D printing expedites production.  As the technology becomes more widely available, it may replace the traditional assembly line.  With 3-D printing, parts can be produced without halting operations between phases of production for reprogramming devices or swapping out tools and materials.  Manufacturers will be able to fill orders more quickly.  Furthermore, they’ll have the choice of either lowering prices to challenge their competitors, or charging the same amount while reaping a larger profit.

As the 3-D printing industry grows, new competitors are expected to arrive on the scene, introducing more creative applications for the technology.  Additive manufacturing is currently out-of-reach for most businesses, and its widespread uses are still highly theoretical.  At one time, the same could be said for computers, yet today they’re commonplace and have proven indispensable in every sector of business and society.   Additive manufacturing is likely to follow a similar course, but at a much faster pace.

Call Tag Team Manufacturing today. 303-841-5697