Tag : chinese manufacturing

industrial worker operating cnc turning machine in metal machining industry

The Different Types of CNC Machines

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) refers to how engineers and operators control and operate production tools using a computer program. These machines use a language known as g-code, which guides the machine on how to mold, cut, shape, grind, or melt different materials such as wood, plastic, or metal. There are various types of CNC machines in the market, with some of them being prominent due to their wide range of uses. Below are some of the available types of CNC machines.


Milling Machine

Often, milling machines are retrofitted with CNC technology whereby the process involving removal of all mechanisms built into the machine making it easy to operate. Some of the mechanisms which are removed include Digital Read Out electronics and hand wheels. Also, the old lead screw is replaced with high accuracy ball screws, and new mounts are built to enable mounting of the actuators to the machine.

Lathes
These machines rapidly rotate the material on a spindle. During the rotation, the material is pressed against a grinding or carving tool which cuts it into the desired shape. Lathes are mostly used to cut symmetrical objects such as spheres, cones, or cylinders.

Router
The CNC router is a very common type of machinery which is built exclusively to be operated using CNC technology. Typically, this machine has no human interface other than the computer. Routers are used in the production of large dimension parts of wood, metal sheets and plastics. They are mostly designed in a three-axis Cartesian coordinate which allows cutting in three dimensions. However, there are routers which designed in 4, 5, or 6-axis which are mostly used to cut prototype models and complex shapes.

CNC Plasma Cutter
Plasma cutters are very similar to the routers both in size and setup. However, CNC plasma cutters don’t require a powerful setup since they fly above the table with a plasma torch rather than dragging a spinning tool in the material. Mostly, the plasma cutters are designed to cut two-dimensional profile shapes into sheet metal.

CNC Laser Cutter
The laser cutters use the same principle as the plasma cutters with the only difference being the fact that a powerful laser is used to do the cutting rather than plasma torch. These cutters are good for cutting metal, plastic, and wood. Depending on the material being cut, a different strength of laser is used since every material has a unique thickness and hardness.

3D Printer
This printer has a similar setup to the CNC router and laser cutter. However, unlike these machines, the printer does additive machining rather than subtractive machining. Instead of beginning with a piece of materials and removing bits to attain the desired shape, the printer starts with a blank canvas and builds the object layer-by-layer. The printer does this either by using a laser which quickly solidifies a liquid or powder or by using an extruder which pushes material out of a tiny nozzle.


Pick and place Machine

This machine has a similar setup as the laser cutter or CNC router. The difference is that instead of cutting material, the machine has many small nozzles which pick up electrical components using a vacuum. Afterwards, the machine places the electrical component on a printed circuit board hence getting the name pick and place. These machines move very fast and can place hundreds or thousands of electrical components. Pick and place machines are used to make devices such as tablets, computer motherboards and other devices which have a printed motherboard.

In a nutshell, there are different types of CNC machines which are designed with the aim of easing the operating process. These machines replace the human interface with a computer program thus all the operations are controlled using a computer.

NAFTA Legal Gavel Concept 3D Illustration

Is there hope for the manufacturing sector if the NAFTA agreement is not signed?

Recently, there have been debates on the issue of NAFTA. It is a very interesting issue given that people have different views about it. Some people have the idea that the NAFTA agreement has only brought negative effects into the US while there are those that support it. The president of the United States, Donald Trump talks of renegotiating the agreement on the basis that it is hurting the US economy. Well is that true and if it is, how does his not signing the agreement affect the manufacturing sector?

Let us first understand what NAFTA means.

What is NAFTA?

NAFTA is the acronym for North American Free Trade Agreements. It is a pact between the US, Canada, and Mexico, to remove any trade barriers and tariffs for any imports and exports. It was effected on the first of January 1994. Since then, it has been 24 years with the agreement still intact.

However, recently on May 18th, the U.S president Donald Trump gave formal notice to renegotiate the terms and if not, alienate the US from the trade agreement.

In the 24 years, the country has experienced trade volumes and economic growth. The state can export, and import goods without worrying about tariffs and that improved the economy at least for a while. However, the manufacturing sector mainly the CNC automation and machining among more manufacturing companies have been seen to be affected by the agreement negatively.

However, now that the agreement may not be signed is there hope for the manufacturing sector? Let us look at the benefits that may arise for the manufacturing industry if the NAFTA agreement is not approved.

Rise in Employment

With the trade agreement in place, US manufacturing industries have been able to import cheap labor or relocate their production to other countries such as Mexico. In so doing people who are specialized in mechanical engineering or those that are in the US, manufacturing schools are discouraged from pursuing this career since there is no hope for employment. However, if the agreement is not signed, those that are specializing in manufacturing will have jobs.

Stabilize trade

The NAFTA agreement allows Mexico and Canada to export their products to the US without tariffs. For example, the CNC automation industries are faced with so much competition from other countries since people are attracted to the cheaper automotive. In the long run, so many products are imported while very less is exported which causes a trade deficit.

On the other hand, if NAFTA agreement is not signed there will be hope for manufacturing companies in the USA such as Tag Team Manufacturing since imports will be monitored. Mechanical engineering schools will have more students enrolling to study since there will be hope to produce US automotive and sell both internally and externally without fear of competition.

Wages

According to statistics, US wages reduced as a result of the NAFTA agreement. Most people in the manufacturing sector lost their jobs, and in 2012, two out of three people were rehired but at a lower wage rate. That forced people to move out of the manufacturing sector and search for jobs in the hospitality and hotel industry and apparently, they got even lesser pay.

If NAFTA agreement is not signed, there will be less importing of cheaper labor, and also, there will be less competition from other manufacturing companies in Mexico and Canada. So, wages will begin to rise back up which will increase the economic growth.

Therefore, as much as NAFTA has brought positive effects into the US economy, there is a great room for improvement in the economy, especially in the manufacturing sector. So, is there hope for the manufacturing industry if it is not signed?

manufacturing Trade show

A Look at the Latest: The Best Manufacturing Shows

Trade shows for U.S. manufacturers offer key insights into the future of our sector. Here are the leading events on U.S. manufacturers’ radar.

Where and When to Get a Look at Manufacturing Innovations

Automation and Robotics will be featured in sessions at WESTTEC, an event showcasing west coast innovations. It will happen September 12-15, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“What’s hot and what’s not in manufacturing” will be one of the presentations at the AMT D17 Distribution Summit, September 13 – 14, 2017, at the Ritz Carlton of St. Louis, Missouri.

September offers a lot more too. The Design-2-Part Series of shows happens in venues throughout the country. Check here to see what’s coming to your region. In fact, the listing on D2P shows continues well into 2018.

Also, check out the full listings for the AmCon Shows. These regional expos feature manufacturing suppliers as well as job shop services by the hundreds.

From October 31 through November 3, the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association, known as SEMA, will host its Official Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Nevada. This will be open to the trade only, and it will mainly focus on thousands of vehicle and transportation innovations. At the SEMA Show, 2,400 exhibitors, from established manufacturing companies to up-and-coming brands, will be displaying their newest products.

Then, on November 6 – 9, North America’s largest metal working, welding, fabricating, and finishing exhibition will be in full swing at Cormick Place, Chicago, Illinois. FABTECH, an event which will extend over 750,000 square feet, displaying the latest from 1,700 companies, is expected to draw 50,000 visitors. Become familiar with leading suppliers, and observe hundreds of innovations representing the future of our sector. It’s a phenomenal venue to explore the many productivity-enhancing tools coming out, and new solutions to metal working challenges.

The Outlook for the Trade

Trade shows offer important insights to the health of the manufacturing industry. We welcome the signs for the future growth of the sector, and a very good prognosis for our role in a rallying economy.

The progress of automation in the area of machine tools, called numerical control or NC, has become standard in manufacturing generally, and attendees of the big trade shows will find that computerized numerical control, or CNC, plays a leading role in U.S. and global industry.

Thus, even while the outlook for the U.S. manufacturing sector has often been questioned, we’re pleased and confident that the vital signs in CNC automation remain strong. We have remained optimistic regardless of political and economic events, yet want our customers to know the great value of their investments in U.S. manufacturing.

Because of your confidence, job openings for skilled CNC machining technicians are on the rise. Projections for the future show CNC manufacturing as a significant indicator for the strength of manufacturing in the USA-based industry. Our readers will also be interested in knowing that AmCon found the Denver area’s manufacturing sector outperforming the country as a whole in 2017.

Call our Denver-based Tag Team Manufacturing representative today, and get started planning your upcoming manufacturing initiatives: 303.841.5697.

Chinese Manufacturing

Where is the highest concentration of manufacturing in the world?

Today, the highest concentration of manufacturing in the world is still in China. Having displaced the United States from the number one spot of world’s largest manufacturing nation back in 2010, China has continued to solidify its dominance as the world leader. As of 2013, according to data published by the United Nations, China accounted for 23.2% of the total world manufacturing while U.S. came in second with an 18.1% share. Japan, Germany and Korea rounded up the list of top 5 with 7.8%, 6.3% and 3.1% respectively.

China continues to be one of the most rapidly growing countries in the world. And when it comes to manufacturing, the country is definitely reigning as the supreme world supplier of electronics, automobile spare parts, commercial goods, steel products, communication equipment, and more. It currently has the largest concentration of manufacturing industries in the world, and according to statistics, 6 out of the major 10 export ports in the world are in China.

Here is a breakdown of China’s manufacturing empire, spread out in 5 major metroplexes;

1. Shanghai

Shanghai is not only one of the major financial, economic, trade, manufacturing and shipping cities in China, but also the world. It has rapidly been developing industries over the past 25+ years, which has massively attributed to its overall success. It is responsible for the manufacturing of automobiles, steel products, electronics, communication equipment and devices, petrochemicals and biomedicine.

Shanghai is also connected to the nearby cities of Ningbo and Hangzou by the Hangzou Bay Bridge and an overland high-speed rail. These two brother cities also indulge in heavy manufacturing of commercial and consumer goods daily.

2. Beijing

Beijing, the capital and most populous city in China after Shanghai, is another major hub for manufacturing companies in China. It is home to 52 of the Fortune 500 companies and its industrial sector is mainly dominated by heavy industries which contribute to over 80% of its gross industrial output.

The city’s manufacturing sector is mainly involved with electronics, pharmaceuticals, telecommunication equipment, chemicals, and food & beverages. It is also one of the leaders in information technology and bio-engineering.

3. Tianjin

A sister city to Beijing, Tianjin is another manufacturing giant on its own.  It is one of the 4 autonomous municipalities in China; the others being Shanghai, Beijing and Chongqing, that offer immense opportunities and resources to manufacturers hence attracting them here. It is a leader in the manufacture of mobile phones, automobiles, alternative energy products, and aerospace & aviation products.

4. Guangzhou

This another prominent city in China with thousands of factories spread out all over its manufacturing zones. The factories are so diverse in their production that you can get anything from toothpicks to automobile parts here. The city is also popular with traders of African descent, most of who came here in search of low-cost goods but ended up settling down and exporting these goods back home.

5. Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a world-renown electronics manufacturing city. It is the electronics manufacturing hub of China and the world at large. Home to over 12 million people, this city is just the perfect place for you to establish an electronics manufacturing business in China.

And there you have it, the country with the highest concentration of manufacturing in the world together with its major manufacturing metroplexes and their corresponding areas of specialization.