CNC Software Inc. The developers of MasterCam recently announced the completion and release of the much-awaited MasterCam 2019. The leading CAM/CAD creator software is now available for purchase by OEM manufacturing companies. It has made several improvements from the job setup to the completion of work. Here are some of the recent improvements and inclusions and the impact of these 3D changes on manufacturing.
MasterCam 2019 now shows toolpaths denoted in different colors based on the type of move. It makes use of the Dynamic OptiRugh toolpath that enhances the advanced display properties. The Advanced Display has to be toggled on for the display. If not you will still see the cutting and rapid motion shown in different colors. These properties are not available in the wire toolpaths.
In addition, the software comes with improved machine simulation and toolpath. It has analyze enhancements which enables you to analyze the distance, toolpath and block drill support. The analyze distance updates distance as you move the cursor on the screen, and allows you to try different positions without restarting the function. As for the toolpath analyze function, you can control the tool and holder opacity. The MasterCam simulator along with Classic Backplot enables support for different drilling holes at the same time.
Moreover, the previous versions only allow you to create bounding boxes in the current construction plane. However, the new 2109 version allows you to have a different bounding box orientation without changing the construction plane.
These features enhance the programming assurance helping machine operators to make informed decisions before they start a job run. The ability to make changes to different aspects without restarting the process reduces the job setup period thereby speeding up processes. The enhancements also improve the accuracy of the setup thereby improving the quality of the output.
Easy setup and preparation
In addition to the toolpath support, the MasterCam 2019 has improved the efficiency of the job set up with the enhanced CAD model import support capabilities. This enables you to use CAD models created by other programs and processes on your software rather than create new models from scratch. Companies that outsource CAD modeling tasks will find the import feature helpful. In addition, the new software release has a better fixture setup and has expanded the support for model-based definition.
The new features allow for greater collaboration with other CAD software at the premise. It allows for teams to work on different projects in different software and bring the models together on the MasterCam for enhancement and job completion. The features also improve the setup lead time and shorten the time spent from set up to completion of a task.
The latest release comes with an expanded digital tool library which offers a variety of tools to the CAD programmers to create more accurate models. The new release has one of the most advanced tool technologies allowing for more precision when working on different models.
In addition, the software comes with Accerelated Finishing TM that enhances the quality of the finished work through an increase in the number of tools that you can work with. The proprietary system includes taper and lens style tools, and oval form and barrel tools. Users are able to work with precision manufacturing on sloped surfaces while enhancing the finish of the surface and reducing cycle time. The new system outperforms the standard ball nose cutter methods in terms of quality of output and precision. Collaborate with a reputable Machine Shop Denver if you have problems configuring the tools to work with any tool in the library.
CNC programming made easy
CNC programming is one of the cost centers in many machining companies. However, the 2019 release of MasterCam lowers these costs while improving productivity through the use of automated 2D toolpaths that work through axis improvements. In addition, the software has improved chamfering which allows for the creation of symmetrical sloping as well as 45 and 90-degree angles with increased precision. When combined with multi-axis deburring capabilities, it results in smooth edges and easy removal of the sharp edges. Ensure that you work with a custom machine shop to ensure that you have the right parts for your machining equipment.
Moreover, the software has re-engineered holemaking by making the work of a CNC machinist simple and fast. It also has several technologies including the Equal Scallop toolpath to improve the surface quality during machining. In a bid to make machining even more versatile, the software supports Sandvik Coromant PrimeTurning™, bar feed, enhanced grooving along with most features of turning and mill-turn tasks. Finally, it also offers support for Lathe technology and Swiss machining technologies.
These technological enhancements have significantly lowered the cost of machining, reduced material wastage, enhanced efficient energy consumption and improved the surface appearance for finished goods. The support for popular technologies allows companies working with different machining technologies to tap into the MasterCam wealth of features for improved production.
Enhancing documentation and task management
Quality certification is at the heart of every OEM manufacturing company. With the certification comes lots of paperwork and rolls of documentation for both the technology and the processes used in the production. The new released makes documentation a lot easier with its various capabilities. These include the new toolpath visualization capabilities and availability of section view tools which enable you to provide accurate diagrams of various processes with ease.
Moreover, the software has made great improvements in the view and set up sheets enabling information for each level in the production process to be accessed with ease for reference and job planning. In addition, there several system level enhancements that are put in place to allow you to manage job flow with increased efficiency. You can also access several process documentation tools for report and quality control initiatives.
Shortened training and adoption periods
When new programming employees join the company, the process of training and orienting them to use the software products in the company may take a long time and high costs. The new release has made learning, use of the software for CAD and production processes a lot easier. It has a variety of features that include enhanced graphics for tool support, analytics, and documentation, rearranged setting systems that enable fast access to a variety of features, and detailed documentation that enable users to access as much information as possible in every stage of production. MasterCam has the most extensive collection training material among CNC manufacturing software making it easy to learn and perfect skills. The faster the new users get on board, the more advantageous it is to the company due to the increased workforce and ability to maintain consistent quality of output.
Buy your machining components from an Original Equipment Manufacturer and Denver Manufacturing reseller to work with your software for good results. A custom machine shop is able to provide quality parts for your specialized manufacturing equipment.
All business people desire to expand and grow their entities. They would like to see these businesses increase performance production, strategies, and numerous other practices. While some these people may have the right idea, some are implementing ineffective approaches. Taking your machine shop to the next level will not just happen through your usual business practices. You have to introduce advanced methods that will elevate your success. Here are some of the top proven techniques that our Denver Manufacturing facility has implemented.
The mention of this term brings the idea of introducing robotic science to your shop. Automation entails other different and simpler ways besides robots. However, robots are the most effective and versatile tools of automation, but you have to be realistic. If you cannot afford it, opt for other alternatives while you plan about it. Automation makes work efficient and faster. For instance, automation is a fundamental requirement in precision manufacturing to achieve high accuracy. Evaluate your business and determine where to begin as you gradually increase your automation.
Elevating your business could mean introducing a new function such as original equipment manufacturer. Additive manufacturing has the capability of transforming your machine shop. Adding a new function will undoubtedly require a substantive investment. If your shop is not ready for this new level, keep in mind and consider it for the future. It has a lot of potential in part designs, supply chain and lead times. Additive manufacturing may demand a heavy capital outlay but later give big returns. It is also a major step in your business and requires keenness. Think about it and deliberate with other stakeholders to evaluate feasibility.
Your custom machine shop will never realize success until you avoid wastage and have a consistency of lean production. That means you will always have to conduct evaluations that identify non-value added practices and eliminate them. Most of the wasteful efforts and steps are invisible and cannot be identified without an examination. Walking through your shop and noting these processes is the most effective way of making this change. Lean management is not just about cutting waste. It also entails fully utilizing resources and the available tools to increase production.
The manufacturing industry is evolving rapidly, and something new is emerging on a daily basis. You cannot make progress in your shop if you do not adopt new business practices. This entails purchasing new work tools and integrating emerging models. Any further changes ought to be accompanied by training and educating employees. Training is not just to orient and teach them about new things. It is also to enhance workplace health and safety. Workplace hazards characterize CNC manufacturing, and hence, employees should be protected. Training forms a culture of learning in your business. Your team will always be enthusiastic to get more information and knowledge.
A CNC machinist understands that maintenance is necessary. You do not have to conduct this exercise because some areas require an expert. For instance, a machine shop Denver will hire an engineer to do this work. Maintenance also includes updating software and upgrading tools. They are the lifeblood of your machine shop because these tools significantly determine your performance. Modern machines are programmed to diagnose themselves. In case an emergency situation happens, a device or machine will shut down automatically and minimize possible damage. Conducting routine maintenance should not cost you much.
Organization and Collaboration
Business does not flourish and prospers because on one individual’s effort. Your custom machine shop certainly has several employees and other stakeholders. Advancing your shop will require improved organization and collaboration of both people and activities. As the leader or CNC machinist in that workplace, you must provide guidance. Establish cohesion through properly organizing tools and equipment in the shop. An orderly workplace increases workflow pace. Teach people how to work together and cooperate in their activities. Each employee contribution major counts in the progress of the business.
Endeavors of improving business at your shop will take time before they give substantial returns. It is like a journey that entails one step at a time. Set goals and have a plan after you decide to expand or elevate your business. Ensure these goals are manageable and practical. Some business people want to aim too high and hope to achieve it within a short time. Unrealistic goals will discourage you or even push you to unwise decisions. Small milestones are advisable because after you accomplish each, it motivates you to the next level.
The cornerstone of Denver manufacturing is working hard. All these tips and strategies of making you shop better will require a lot of effort. While most successful people emphasize on working smart, the hard work is part of it. No success will come from mediocrity and doing thing ordinarily. The manufacturing business is competitive, and only those who differentiate themselves will thrive. While pursuing prosperity and new levels in your business, failure and mistakes are part of this journey. Do not be derailed because humans are bound to err at any particular point. Note the mistakes, learn from them and move forward.
Your team of employees and work associates hold part of the key to your success. Team building activities would help in teaching employees how to cooperate. Teams need to learn effective communication, which is the foundation of their cohesion. Take these teams through drill work and assist them in optimizing their functions and efforts. Teams also require problem-solving knowledge. They do not have to wait for senior management to make decisions for them. These ‘red tapes’ are sometimes redundant. When low-level employees are allowed to make decisions, it saves time and resources.
Implementing new practices and upgrades is not enough to maintain the expected standards of your shop. Due to the rapid changing of the manufacturing industry, regular appraisals are essential. Auditing your work processes and strategies uncovers waste, areas of weaknesses that require attention, challenges, strengths, and any other significant information. The information is an asset that guides you on areas to adjust, revise or do an overhaul. It also points out the strengths and opportunities that you would capitalize to maximize positive results.
Denver manufacturing has significant potential with many opportunities. Maximize on these openings and take your business to a higher level. These tips and approaches are practical and viable for any machine shop seeking to advance its level. Apply one at a time and enjoy operating on an improved realm. Remember that effort is mandatory in accomplishing the new level and maintaining it. Your clients will always be watching you.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an independent body that develops standards. Standards developed regulate services, products, and systems to guarantee safety, quality, and efficiency. ISO certification is essential for any machine shop. Why?
Some ISO standards govern custom machine shops. The ability to get certified gives several benefits to your business. For example, ISO 9001 sets out criteria for a company’s quality management system (QMS). ISO certification shows that your precision manufacturing company values its products and services.
Here are the top ten benefits of ISO certification to a custom machine shop.
1. Boosts Staff Morale
When business processes are well-managed and defined, employees feel more secure. They enjoy excellent job satisfaction in return. This contributes towards the success of your CNC manufacturing shop. Also, it makes your team satisfied, passionate and motivated towards achieving a common goal.
Motivated employees adhere to and carry out all processes put in place. This allows for quick identification and resolution problems and challenges at the workplace. Lots of research demonstrate the relationship between staff satisfaction and a company’s success. Motivating employees is excellent, but keeping them happy is the real deal.
It is advisable to have a complete QMS. A complete one contains documents, procedures, processes, and responsibilities in a formalized system.
For your business to thrive, it must follow QMS procedures and requirements. ISO certification also provides guidelines on employee training. For instance, CNC machinists need training to cope with ever changing technology. They also need training programs tailored to suit evolving customer needs.
With ISO certification, your business operates well when key people leave. The system implemented enhances teamwork.
2. Customer Satisfaction
Universal acceptance of ISO standards ensures that client confidence is a top priority. Leading CNC manufacturing companies enjoy consistency, efficiency, and dedication thanks to ISO.
ISO standard tracks customer satisfaction levels and reports issues and complaints. Businesses that seek and maintain ISO certification prove that they value quality assurance.
Additionally, areas important to your customers never go unnoticed. ISO certification outlines best approaches and practices based on customer needs and expectations. Manufacturing products that reduce costs and waste enables you to deliver quality products. As a result, it reinforces customer loyalty to your custom machine shop.
3. Improves Supplier Relationships
Best supplier relationships are primary to ISO certification. When followed, ISO certification processes streamline documentation and testing. In return, quality raw materials and general supplies get to your business. The process needs a rigorous evaluation of new suppliers before cutting deals. This enhances consistency on how and where your custom machine shop sources its supplies.
4. Promotes Proper Documentation
ISO standard certifications require proper documentation of business operations. Proper documentation shows any errors, changes, and discrepancies. Appropriate documentation process guarantees consistency throughout production boosting accountability.
Moreover, traceable records are available in case of substandard, non-compliant products or raw materials. This also helps you to pinpoint areas of weaknesses and unaccountable staff.
5. Improves Processes
ISO certification helps you manage reviews, audit processes, and improvement processes based on data. To improve business processes, careful planning and implementation based on facts obtained is crucial. Such data comes from system analysis and documentation. As a result, it helps you to make informed decisions on your business.
Streamlining business processes reduces unnecessary paperwork. Through improved processes, you focus on what’s important- innovation, enhanced growth, happy employees and profitability.
6. Improves Efficiency
ISO certification determines the requirements necessary for a company to source quality management system certification. First, a machine shop must enhance customer satisfaction through efficient and extensive application of management systems. The application features the guarantee of conformity to customer relations and applicable regulatory requirements. In addition, a company should adopt implementation of processes for constant improvement of the system.
Also, a machine shop in Denver has to demonstrate its capabilities to offer products and services that meet applicable regulatory and customer needs. Companies that undergo ISO 9000 QMS certification process strive to maximize quality and efficiency in their operations.
Once the company gets certified for QMS, establishment of precise processes commences. Guidelines are also put in place for all employees and CNC machinists to follow easily. That making transitions, training, and troubleshooting a breeze.
7. Increases Revenue
Several studies reveal that ISO certified companies enjoy improved financial performance and increased productivity as compared to uncertified companies. Having ISO certification for your Original Equipment Manufacturer and Denver Manufacturing business can enable you get partnerships from private and public sectors.
With regards to public sector tenders, ISO certification is a strong indication that a business is credible and well-managed. It eliminates the need for rigorous and extensive due diligence.
Majority of private sector organizations have made it a mandatory requirement for suppliers and partners to have ISO certification. Certified companies demonstrate reliability in all business aspects, professionalism and value quality work.
8. Encourages Consistency
Consistency remains a recognized foundation of ISO. All business processes from research, development, production, to shipping, are exhaustively defined, outlined, and documented. Room for error is minimized significantly. The process of making changes to a custom machine shop process is documented. It guarantees that all alterations made are well designed and executed with the best possible strategy to enhance efficiency.
ISO recommends various industries to use particular software formatting in reports, data collection, and product labelling. Consistent formatting eliminates the risks of using obsolete labels or documents.
9. Get Global recognition
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is wholly recognized as a global benchmark authority for quality management. When your machine shop gets ISO certified, global doors open. International recognition helps you engage international business community, partners and customers.
10. Better Management
Proper analysis and reporting are a fundamental in efficient and prosperous management of any business. The requirements and guidelines set by ISO standards help precision manufacturing businesses to seamlessly manage all their operations. Also, it helps in realizing factual approach to decision making.
For instance, ISO 9000 QMS standards elaborate clear instructions for process reviews and audits. In return, the approach assists in information gathering techniques and decision-making based on factual data from your business.
ISO certification increases the chances of a custom machine shop thriving in business. It makes your employees satisfied, clients safe and confident, and takes your business global. As the world continues becoming more globalized, the need for universal standardization becomes undisputed.
Today, it takes two to tango in business. What you produce contributes to a global business community. Are you interested in working with an ISO certified company? Get in touch with Tag Team Manufacturing.
It’s never easy for manufacturers to attract, recruit and retain machinists. The problem isn’t going away any time soon. By 2025, the manufacturing industry will have approximately 3.5 million positions., but only 1.5 million getting filled according to study by the Manufacturing Institute in Partnership with Deloitte.
Numerous industry leaders suggest that quick advancement in manufacturing technology may alienate seasoned workers. Some think that robotics, programming skills and automation is the solution. Other players believe that lack of female presence on machine shop floors could be untapped labour source. Is it?
We spoke with top players in manufacturing and recruitment in a bid to unravel ways to retain CNC machinists for many years. Here is what we gathered.
1. Pay well
Paying competitive salaries with a tight budget and low funds can be difficult. But if you calculate the cost of replacing your machinist, it can help. It can cost between 30% and 50% of an entry level machinist annual salary to replace an experienced one. Most machinists in the manufacturing industry find they can get about 30% salary increase by moving to another company.
2. Make manufacturing jobs secure
Manufacturers struggle with the negative image of closing plants, driving down labour costs and offshore jobs. That perception has to change to attract and retain top machinists. You must show that manufacturing sector offers employment security.
3. Run newer fleet
Assuming you had to choose between operating a brand-new energy efficient machine or something built in the Reagan era, which one would you prefer? Most machinists would prefer working in a more pleasant environment. It’s more attractive to work in a clean, safe and comfortable environment. And when it comes to performance, new tech can make a big difference. If you’re having trouble retaining your machinists, think about their “office” and equipment.
4. Invest in training
Career growth is quite challenging especially for start-ups and young companies. Creating an organizational structure that allows for career-development is key. It is essential to help your machinists grow. Today, technology changes at breakneck speeds and machinists have to keep up.
Find innovative ways to generate resources for professional development. Provision of growth and learning opportunities is an ideal way to retain top machinists in your company.
Training is one of the best strategies to improve retention and increase employee loyalty. It’s also an incredible way to enhance productivity and manage costs, especially energy costs, which is achievable when a skilled machinist is in the cab.
The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) recommends at least 40 hours of training annually for every employee. While that may sound daunting, keep in mind that training includes low cost activities like on the job mentoring and lunch time coaching.
Some more costly training includes classroom instructions, simulator-based training, offsite seminars and online courses. Regardless of how you do your training, it’s imperative to understand today’s labour market. “Nice-to-have” option is now replaced with “must-do-list.”
5. Make your mission and purpose clear
In modern workplace, millennial employees are the majority. They always need to understand the ‘why’ behind everything that your custom machine shop does. They need to recognize the purpose behind their job detail and believe in the mission. The new generation of CNC machinists desire to know that their work matters.
Ensure that your machine shop has an excellent mission and purpose statement. It should always be genuine
6. Promote creative thinking
Jobs that encourage creative and critical thinking encourage top talents, more so machinists. Creative minds make your precision manufacturing employees to enjoy their work and feel connected.
At least half of today’s workforce is not wholly engaged at work. Some employees ‘show up’ to get a salary. A large number of the workforce is disgruntled with what they do. It is up to the top management and authorities in machine shops to set up creative opportunities.
If you can come up with these opportunities, you’ll not only attract top talent, but also retain machinists. Who wouldn’t enjoy working in a creative setting?
7. Encourage innovation and problem solving
Innovation is wildly popular and a high selling point to the current workforce. Top talents enjoy challenges and innovation. Through creation of an innovation lab or department within your company, machinists can create projects.
Encouraging innovation helps improve your company image, makes machinists appreciated and benefits your clients. Innovation also displays thought leadership in the precision manufacturing industry.
The autonomy to create fundamental and viable solutions to problems is a significant attraction to modern machinists. Similar to creative thinking, it fosters the feeling of connection and enhances collaboration within the company. When machinists feel acknowledged, they are more likely to stay for long.
8. Reward and recognize your machinists
All rewards and recognition must be extrinsic and intrinsic. External motivation such as public recognition and external rewards include praise, bonuses, among others. Inherent motivation enables your staff to feel connected without compromising their autonomy, freedom, and opportunity for personal growth. Monetary bonuses are a plus. Recognition enhances goodwill and loyalty.
Make top machinists feel respected, appreciated, and worthwhile. Custom machine shop clients need to feel that their contributions are significant. Sincere praise and feedback are vital. Top talents are smart enough to recognize platitudes and sincere appreciation.
9. Build a collaborative culture
Teambuilding is an excellent way to enhance performance in a company. Although teambuilding courses and outdoor bonding activities are necessary, ingrained it the culture of your CNC manufacturing custom machine shop. A team-oriented culture can be extensively created and nurtured in your company’s daily operations.
Culture may include the types of meetings you have, where your machinists sit, and how you interact with customers and partners. Bringing in people with a shared sense of belief and purpose in your mission and values may also attract and retain the best machinists.
Research shows that most workers quit their bosses, not companies. They need to know the managers, senior executives, founders, among others. Machine shops need excellent leadership that exhibits integrity.
There’s no one size fits all when it comes to retaining machinists. Other options to consider include:
Improving machinist retention rates doesn’t have to be an uphill task. By being a positive role model and connecting with your team, you’ll have a better chance to understand what they need to remain. what do you think? Contact Tag Team Manufacturing for more information.
As a metalworker, there is no doubt that you appreciate the importance of deburring and finishing different parts before they are either completed or processed further. Over the years, significant strides have been made in terms of advances in technology, a factor that has made it possible to refine metal parts in such a way that they will meet the needs of the market. Regardless of the size of your machine shop or the type of pieces you deal in, technology can help you to produce metal parts for a wide range of applications. Denver manufacturing relies on machine deburring and metal finishing as some of the ways to address the flaws that metal parts may have.
The Difference Between Deburring and Fnishing
Before metal parts can be used for different applications, they must be refined to get rid of most of the flaws. This is the stage at which machine deburring and metal finishing are done. However, even as you think about precision manufacturing, it is important to bear in mind that these two processes are a bit different. This will make it easy for you to choose the more appropriate one.
Once a workpiece has been modified, there may be raised edges or pieces of material that are attached to its surface. These edges and pieces of materials are usually removed through deburring. With finishing, scaling and pitting on the surface of a workpiece are removed to prepare it for the next step or to enhance its quality and physical appearance.
Advantages of Machine Deburring
The fact that machine deburring is among the most popular ways of getting rid of flaws during various CNC manufacturing processes is a clear indication that the process has certain advantages.
Compared to hand deburring, automated deburring will greatly help to save both time and energy. In the long run, using machines will ensure that you maximize efficiency.
Since the grinding media will be attached to the machine, employees will not have to be in the work zone. This will minimize the risk of injuries caused by repetitive motion, effectively increasing safety in the workplace.
Without automation, it will be impossible for employees to achieve the perfect consistency. With automated deburring, the processed metal parts will have consistent quality despite changing operators when one finishes their shift.
Machine deburring is also associated with a wide range of new products that feature high quality finishes. This can go a long way in helping you stand apart from your competitors.
Disadvantages of Machine Deburring
For all the benefits linked to machine deburring, it is not without its downsides. Here are some of the disadvantages you should be aware of.
Most modern deburring machines feature advanced technology. It is partly because of this that buying a deburring machine makes for a huge investment. The high price tags on the machines are beyond the reach of a good number of people. This has stood in the way of the machines becoming widely available to many individuals and businesses.
Depending on the metal you wish to debur, you will have to constantly change out parts such as belts to achieve the desired results.
Machines cannot debur everything as required. This may require the use of a finisher to touch those parts that the machine could not work on.
Advantages of Metal Finishing
Metal finishing makes for another popular way of getting rid of rough surfaces and sharp edges. Some of the pros of metal finishing include:
By using machines that comprise both brush heads and abrasive belts, metal finishing will make it possible to achieve a wide variety of finishes. This means that you will have more decorative opportunities to explore.
Finishing specialists can prepare metal parts for secondary processes such as painting. The technique will play an important role in ensuring the next step is easier and delivers the great results that any original equipment manufacturer expects.
By working on the surface of the workpiece, metal finishing helps to improve the appearance of metal parts. The process also works to lengthen the lifespan of the pieces by enhancing their resistance to corrosion.
Metal finishing produces extremely smooth surfaces, a factor that not only ensures ease of cleaning but also eliminates the need to use harmful chemicals to keep such surfaces clean.
Disadvantages of Metal Finishing
Just like with machine deburring, metal finishing has a number of downsides. Before seeking the services of a skilled worker, here are some disadvantages you should know about.
Using a finisher to debur metal parts is bound to be a time consuming process. This is likely to undermine productivity.
To do high quality work that meets customer expectations, you will need a lot of high precision tools. You will not only have to invest in the wide range of tools but also learn how to use each one of them.
With a finisher, there is a chance that some parts will be deburred incorrectly. This will require that you spend more time on the parts to produce them in line with the specifications of your customers.
As a result of the disadvantages associated with using a finisher, this process can result in high production costs that may lower your profits.
Choosing a Deburring and Finishing Machine
When choosing the right machine for your needs, you must ensure that it will serve the intended purpose. In case your shop grinds similar materials consistently, you can choose to have dry machines. This means that shops that deal with different types of metals will benefit more from wet deburring and finishing machines. To get optimum performance from your machine, you should think about the type of abrasive as well as the specific characteristics and qualities of the workpiece you will be working on.
Consult the Experts
Choosing the most suitable deburring or finishing machine to handle your needs will not be a walk in the park. If you are not sure which machine will be appropriate, you can consult an expert in metal fabrication. Just like when looking for a CNC machinist, there are a few factors that you will have to keep in mind when selecting the expert to consult. These include whether they have the relevant industry experience if they have the right manufacturing partners, the kind of services they offer as well as relying on references from previous customers.
Since both machine deburring and metal finishing cost a significant amount of money, it is important to ensure that the process you choose will deliver the results you expect. Today, the opportunities available to you are limitless. In case you have unique needs, you can select a custom machine shop that offers quality and reliable services. At Tag Team Manufacturing, we specialize in machining CNC precision components for OEMs in different industries. Our skills and extensive experience make us the best machine shop Denver residents know.
In order to succeed, a machine shop needs to have an edge over its competitors. Looking for inefficiencies is a great way to start, and fixing those inefficiencies can give your machine shop the edge it needs.
Early Tool Decay or Tool Failure
It’s not common for your tools to fail or break often. Finding the right tool is important, but it’s also important to prolong the life of your tools. Some machinists think that using the tools too aggressively causes them to wear out faster, but if you aren’t pushing the tool to the full potential it can cause it to decay faster in some situations. There are different types of tool failure, which can include abrasive wear, chipping, or tool fracture. Understanding your tools can help you make sure that you are minimizing downtime, as well as saving money on any replacement costs.
By being able to identify different types of tool wear, you can be ready to fix any issues quickly and help extend the life of your tools. Abrasive wear will dull the cutting edge of the tool by mechanical abrasion from the piece. If you notice this type of wear, reduce the cutting speed or use coolant. Using high efficiency milling toolpaths can also help reduce wear. Chipping can be seen by a nick on the cutting tool, or seen on the finish of the part. Excessive loads can cause chipping. Reducing feed rates can help. Thermal cracking can be seen by cracks in the tool perpendicular to the cutting edge. This is caused by extreme temperatures and can be solved by adding a proper coating to give the tool heat resistance. When a tool fractures it causes complete loss of the tool, and this can be because of a wrong coating or the wrong speeds and feeds. Make sure to adjust speeds and feeds and optimize the right coolant use, in order to avoid any hot spots that can cause fracture.
Subpar Part Finish
With a subpar part finish you are not providing your customers with the highest quality product, and it will affect your buyer seller relationships. It also will not allow you to increase prices or attract potential customers in the future. Many factors can affect part finish, which include the material, hardness, speeds and feeds your shop is running, and tool deflection. You are employing machinists and should have the highest quality tools so make sure you are getting your money’s worth of both, and your products should have a good finish.
Inefficient Coolant Usage
Coolant can be expensive and is often an expense that many machine shops forget about. Too much coolant is often applied when it’s not needed, costing a machine shop more money. Some machines have a minimum quality lubricant function that applies coolant as an aerosol, so it’s provided just enough coolant to operate efficiently while saving the amount of coolant that can be used. Sometimes it is needed to drown a piece in coolant, but oftentimes it is not and you can get away with using less coolant to save money.
Coolant can be delivered in different forms, and if you choose the wrong pressure it can lead to tool damage, which you need to avoid. When applied as air, it does not cool as efficiently as oil or water based coolants, but it is good for sensitive materials. When coolant is applied directly to plastic it can cause rapid expansion or contraction. Use mist when heat is not a major concern. When applied as a mist, both the part and the tool don’t go through more stresses. When the coolant is applied as a flood, it can be a low-pressure method that helps flush chips from the part in order to avoid chip recutting and protect your tool from damage. High-pressure application can be similar to flood coolant, but can sometimes be enough to break diameter tooling so it must be applied carefully. This method is often applied into grooves that are already built into the tool. Look at the application of coolants as well as the coolants that you are using. You may be able to use less high-performance lubricant instead of a lot of lower performance options. Coolant can also be re-used to save money. We have a great system at Tag Team Manufacturing that allows us to re-use the coolant saving time and money in our machine shop.
Not utilizing tool versatility
Many CMC cutting tools will perform multiple operations. Depending on the job, you may be able to get away with a tool you already have instead of having to go out and purchase additional tooling.
There are a number of multi-function tools you should consider having in your shop. Not only can drill mills be used for drilling and milling, but they can also be used for grooving, spotting and chamfering. This means they provide five different uses. Undercutting end mills can also be used for some slotting and contouring operations, and depending on the situation, such as clearance challenges, this can actually be the first choice. Double angle shank cutters can be referred to as the “Swiss army knife of machine,” so you know they are a versatile tool. They have six different functions that include thread milling, chamfering, back chamfering, machine v-grooves, deburring, and countersinking. Flat bottom tools, including drills and counterbores, are best used for holemaking, but they can be used for a number of different functions. These functions include thin plate drilling, cross hole drilling, angled drilling, half hole drilling, removing drill points, and straightening misaligned holes. Adjustable chamfer cutters can do more than just chamfering and can be used for beveling, deburring, and spotting.
High Machine Downtime
If your machines aren’t running, then you aren’t getting the most of them. The key to helping your machine shop reach maximum efficiency is minimizing machine downtime. You can do this in a variety of ways, such as keeping like parts together. All you would have to do is swap in and out material and the machine can use the same cutting tool. This allows you to spend less time swapping out tooling and spend more time letting the machine do its job. This requires planning to help make the machine shop more efficient.
What Should You Do?
Implementing a proactive maintenance strategy instead of a reactive maintenance strategy can help you avoid some of these issues and gain a competitive advantage. Maintaining equipment so you have less failure and less machine downtime will make sure you aren’t scrambling to figure things out. Make sure you have a system set in place for inventory management, so you are managing costs as well as handling and storage. This is especially important for lubricants that are expensive and can take up a good amount of storage.
In precision manufacturing, electrical specs are ideal for specifying electrical components appearing on a drawing. Mechanical components require unique spec system that are replicable.
Also, mechanical spec system should be clear, precise and not excessively restrictive. Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) is the new phase of precise designs.
What is GD&T?
Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) is the primary international language that aims to offer clarity in most drawing interpretations and specifications. The ideal use of GD&T in CNC manufacturing helps in the elimination of vague drawings. Vague drawings give room for guesswork, controversy, and assumptions in manufacturing and inspection processes.
GD&T is a language of standards and symbols wholly designed and used by top CNC machinist, engineers, and manufacturers worldwide. They use this language to describe products and facilitate communication between entities working together to create products.
Through advanced knowledge on the best practices to create a well-structured GD&T, you can improve communication with your custom machine shop Denver. As a result, everyone in the workplace speaks the same language.
Why is GD&T Important?
GD&T may seem like a complex language. It requires correct interpretation and specification for efficient and effective communication. Improper implementation can cost your company a lot of money. Nonetheless, excellent training offers your employees sufficient comprehension of GD&T and its proper application on a particular job.
Constant measurement and effective communication across engineering processes and disciplines are vital for production of superior products. GD&T helps you achieve this goal. It’s primarily designed to address major challenges facing companies and organizations when describing product geometry.
GD&T symbol language allows for accurate communication of all geometry needs for any related components and assemblies. Designers, engineers, and manufacturers use the ‘language’ to understand detailed engineering drawings in commercial design, automotive, manufacturing, electronics, and aerospace industries.
Moreover, it assists in controlling and specifying forms, location, and orientation of the features. GD& T also characterizes machine shop components and manufactured parts.
GD&T symbols for every dimension on a manufactured part or component are defined in connection to a datum. Datum is a theoretically perfect plane, point, or line on a manufactured component perceived to be the reference point for all dimensional measurements and tolerance calculations.
All datum(s) on every manufactured or designed component is considered as the ‘zero point.’ Calculations get built from the reference point to every other dimension to guarantee consistency of particular parts. Therefore, manufacturing, design, and quality engineers get great manufacturing and measurement clarity. Furthermore, incorporation of a datum dramatically simplifies all specification and design processes.
ISO-certified GD&T languages have successfully replaced complex and long industrial descriptions with simple symbols. The symbols are clearly and unanimously understood by all precision manufacturing personnel required to read and interpret any engineering drawing.
Benefits of GD&T
GD&T offers many benefits to OEM manufacturers. The entire design philosophy implemented in GD&T is similar to that extensively featured in functional dimensioning. Every part gets defined based on how it functions in the end product.
The designer meticulously bases the required tolerance on part function instead of copying it from a previous drawing. This strategy enables the use of maximum tolerance in the production of parts.
When applied appropriately, functional dimensioning, often multiplies the total tolerance on most component dimensions twice or thrice. Dimensioning significantly lessens the overall manufacturing costs.
With the incorporation of accurate coordinate dimensioning, all tolerance zones are not associated or connected to any functional requirements. In case a designer assigns tight tolerances, problems can occur since they are not in any way resolute in the determination of a beneficial and functional tolerance.
So, why use GD& T?
Round tolerance zones
Round tolerance areas permit roughly 57% supplementary tolerance compared to square zones which result in additional functional parts. The manufacturing process gets enhanced in capabilities when more tolerance on the parts. This helps in significant reduction of manufacturing costs.
Under certain conditions, GD&T creates room for a bonus tolerance in addition to round tolerance. The bonus comes from the use of Maximum Material Condition (MMC) modifier. The MMC modifier increases tolerance in precision manufacturing.
Bonus tolerance is a practical example of a win-win situation for the involved OEM since manufacturing can get further tolerance when holes are bigger than their smallest functional size. On the other hand, clients get a guarantee parts will assemble without a hitch.
Tolerance zone in coordinate tolerancing is always constant with size irrespective of hole conditions. Several functional parts can be scrapped to create a more rigorous condition for CNC manufacturing. Bonus tolerance allows for additional tolerance in production which assists in lowering operational costs.
Reduces Assembly Problems
GD&T inspection process ensures that all parts assemble correctly. Assembly procedures don’t necessarily require a CNC machinist on the assembly line using a hammer and a two-by-four.
Moreover, GD&T inspection process ensures that OEMs can obtain multiple sources or use competitive souring for the same part. The reduction of assembly problems consequently increases your company’s profitability.
Clear Communications for Inspection
GD&T’s datum system enhances clear communications of a single set up feature for inspection. The assessment equipment mainly stimulates datums. The symbol that is universally used in the specification of any datum denotes the part surfaces that meticulously touch the gaging apparatus during inspection.
All datum features get chosen based on part function and assembly requirements. They are in most cases the features that comprehensively mount and precisely locate parts in its specific assembly. The datum(s) reference letters get specified within the statistical and geometric controls. They also symbolize the series in which specific part surfaces majorly contact the gaging equipment.
GD&T supports SPC use
GD&T datum system offers repeatable part dimensions essential for designing a reliable SPC chart. SPC data might comprise of assumptions with implementation of coordinate tolerancing which diminishes the accurateness of data obtained. Profile control use is an ideal example of how GD&T supports SPC.
Profile control helps in the establishment of a mathematically distinct tolerance zone. Moreover, it relates extensively the obtained measurement to datums. Precise tolerance zone description does not exist whenever coordinate tolerancing is used.
Profile control together with datum system enhances the accuracy of the obtained SPC data. Therefore, no unnecessary changes are made in the Original Equipment Manufacturer and Denver Manufacturing processes. It saves time and money for the company.
For original equipment manufacturers to realize the benefits of GD&T, correct utilization is key. When used incorrectly, it can result in costly errors. For example, if a manufacturer uses erroneous drawings to choose machines to use and production rates, it results it incorrect cost estimates. In the long run, manufacturers end up using wrong equipment and producing substandard products. Solution?
Customers want to work with companies who have successfully used this incredible technology. Call or visit Tag Team Manufacturing to speak with our experts.
Raw material prices are often a hot yet challenging topic for any machine shop in the manufacturing field. Chinese factory closures and the rapidly rising cost of raw materials in the manufacturing industries has proven to be a challenging combination for both producers, suppliers, and consumers.
On a broad level, there are two prime drivers of raw material costs. One is supplied and demand tightness, like most items, the law of demand and supply governs and controls the prices of raw material. When the supply and demand for a specific raw material gets tight, the costs of raw material significantly increase.
The other contributing factor to the rise of raw materials is the primary feedstock. The primary feedstock for most raw material manufacturing companies is natural gas, oil or metal. Although many CNC manufacturing companies apply the lean principles, raw material prices still pose a challenge especially for Denver manufacturing industries. Apart from primary feedstock and supply tightness, there are other small factors which massively contribute to the cost of raw material pricing.
Cost of labor
The cost of labor is another critical factor. Work is crucial as it influences the actual production rate. With the expansions of free trade agreements and the urgency of supply chain agility, labor cost is a factor to consider in determining your level of production. Free trade agreements have allowed for massive savings especially when you meet certain local sourcing minimums. Sometimes finding enough domestic labor to qualify for productivity is the hardest part of achieving this savings, making the prices of material go high.
Additionally, chasing low labor impacts the cost of production when it comes to consumer preferences, supply of raw materials and other considerations such as taxes and import and export duties. A shift in the workforce means a shift in raw material pricing.
When Labor Unions strike, a lot of time is wasted and energy lost, less production and transportation significantly affect the pricing of raw materials. Agreements reached by these unions such as salary increment, benefits, and allowances typically affect the pricing. Labor is thus a backbone of any thriving manufacturing company.
A vast majority of raw materials use the dollar as their pricing mechanism for global trade since the US is regarded as the most stable economy worldwide. When the dollar rises, it means that most materials will become more expensive in other currencies.
There is always an inverse relationship between commodity prices and the value of the dollar. Since the dollar strengthened in 2014 to 2016, many commodities have become very expensive, and since then this trend has been witnessed up to now. This is because the dollar tends to be the most stable foreign exchange currency.
When it comes to international trade for raw materials, the dollar seems to be the ideal means of exchange. Another reason for the enormous influence of the dollar is that most raw materials such as oil and gas trade all over the world.
Raw materials are needed every day in the daily activities of a factory or industry to push production. Even with the current technology today a lot of raw materials cannot be recycled or reused. This has a tremendous fundamental effect on the availability of raw materials. However, climate change influences the ease of transportation of these materials to the required destination. Natural disasters such as the Hurricane Harvey, floods and snow significantly affect transport.
When a place is affected by climate, it is difficult to get materials to their required destination and thus the little that is there means increasing the prices. It is often believed where there is lack of enough supply; the prices automatically go high.
Manufacturing is made difficult in this situation, and the cost of productivity goes high which eventually leads to increased pricing of raw materials. Climate greatly affects the efficiency of labor.
Raw materials prices back in 2017
Raw materials have seen severe price inflation in 2017 due to a variety of factors such as the strong number of markets. The overall price increased between 1 to 4 percent in sales. This significant increase was channeled by competition, high demand and various new markets in the manufacturing industries. As witnessed in this first half of the year, the prices are expected to go higher or remain constant.
Every manufacturing industry requires efficient as well as cheap means of transport for both raw materials from the from the factory to the manufacturing industry and finished products from the original equipment manufacturer to the market.
The location of the machine shop should be strategic to ease transportation and for cheaper and adequate transport facilities at a more reasonable rate. If the industry is located at a place where transport would be difficult, the only alternative would be to hike the prices of the raw materials to balance the two rates.
The location of the manufacturing industry.
The location of the industry plays a significant role in the prices of raw materials. If the factory is located at a place where the supply of power, transport, and cost of labor is either unavailable or too expensive, the prices of raw materials in that particular area would most likely be high. Every industry requires fuel to run the machines. Alternative means of power such as hydroelectric, geothermal or coal may significantly affect the prices of raw material. Additionally, the closer you are to the market the easier it is to transport and yield any reasonable profit.
Supply and demand
The demand and supply are the key top drivers when discussing the cost of raw materials. It is a fundamental economic principle–the more an item is on demanded in any market, the costlier it becomes. If you are producing a product that requires diamond, your product will most likely cost less to manufacture. However, if many people are looking for the diamond, then the material will cost you a dime.
The world is a complicated place where things can change any time. Economic or political instability cause speculations which widely affects currency evaluation or other countries failure to contribute or invest in that particular country. Such actions can affect the pricing of raw materials, labor, and taxes.
CNC machining offers significant flexibility for the manufacturing industry. However, depending on your manufacturing needs, you need to consider what materials to work with to achieve efficiency and cost-savings. While various machine shops offer guides on material selection, you should be aware of the properties of various materials and their impact on CNC tooling.
With the right approach to material selection, CNC machining translates into an efficient manufacturing process with high-speed production rate and high precision for critical applications in areas such as the aerospace, photonics, environmental monitoring, computer storage, bike, oil and gas, drone, electro-mechanical, and robotics industry.
Understanding the impact of specific materials on CNC tooling improves your productivity since you’ll be able to match the materials with the right tooling style. For instance, wood, plastics, and composite machine are workable with most CNC machining styles, which are equipped with the HSK style tool holders or, ISO/SK/BT style.
However, specialized applications cannot be executed with standard CNC machining styles. Thus, you’ll need specialty tool holders such as the heat shrink and hydro tool holders. While CNC machining has a unique capability for cutting and forming various types of metals and polymer materials, it is impossible to reap maximum benefits from it without proper selection of materials.
Here is what you need to know about the impact of various materials in CNC tooling:
In most cases, machining hard materials, is hard work and demand a combination of high precision and rigid tooling system. Tooling hard materials requires more processing in contrast to normal materials. You need to apply the right strategy and tools at every stage of the manufacturing process. In fact, you have to master it to realize the desired output.
CNC machinists have the choice of distinct tools; the square end mills, bull nose and ball-end. In some cases, hard materials require you to combine for different stages in the manufacturing process.
For roughing operations, hard materials require the use of the ball end mill. It also the ideal tool for finishing operations. The ball end mill is characterized by a large radius, which helps dissipate heat and force. As a result, it enables you to work at high speeds and to feed the material quickly for you to cut closer to the net shape.
As for large parts with flat floors, you need a bullnose tool. In contrast to the ball end mill, it has a small radius and limited capacity for dissipating heat and force. Thus, it is not ideal for parts that require sharp corners, especially where the floor and the wall meet since it results in chipping.
For such cases, it is best to use a square end mill. Alternatively, you can employ dry machining with air or oil to reduce the chipping since it provides higher spindle speeds.
Since hard materials cause rapid wear of tools, a custom machine shop in Denver may demote them to semi-finishing tools or re-sharpen them.
However, since CNC is meant for high-precision manufacturing, the need to cut varying angles and edges using a blunt tool will lead to losses since it has lost its tool geometry.
Tool geometry is critical to precision manufacturing, and a deformed tool should be replaced since it conflicts with the programming specifications for proper operations. CNC manufacturing relies on programming templates for quality control. For instance, CNC programming with a gibs feature is best addressed with a gibs template for the easy selection of tools and tool paths for your manufacturing project.
Such templates are applicable for speeds and feeds on various features and allow you to pick a specific feature and the tool to work with, which comes with predefined speeds and feeds.
The templating process is used for the standardized features of a mold, for example, base plates, gibs, and retainer plates. It is quite helpful when handling hard materials since the process positively impacts time value and tool wear. With the knowledge of proven patterns and tools when working hard materials is invaluable since it helps you apply templates for fast and efficient cutting process, and, at a cost-effective price.
Since hard materials are dense, they’re full of tension and require soft machining to release the tension. Thus, you must begin by roughing the materials in their annealed state. The soft machining process informs the choice of the type of CNC tooling to apply since you need to optimal material removal.
To make the machining easier, roughing is followed by heat treatment. Since hard materials break into chips when heat-treated, you need inserted cutters to make the chips move fast. Also, they require tool path patterns that can support the fast movement of chips to hasten the process. As an original equipment manufacturer, it is critical to leverage toolpath concepts such as adaptive clearing for the heat treatment process.
With knowledge of how different materials react to heat treatment allows you to select the right tool for the job so you can monitor the twisting of the mold to the required shape.
As such, you need to balance the stock to create enough room to adjust the mold during the finishing process. Also, you should have the right amount of stock to avoid excesses, which would lead to hard machining to remove it.
Since the finishing process comes after the heat-treating process, you need a hard machining plan. Heat-treated materials are harder and create a stronger surface, but brittle, thus challenging to machine. As a result, you need an assortment of specific tool sizes to achieve the desired stopovers for surface finish.
In addition, you need to apply specific techniques such as raster passes to make the cutter intersect with the vertical planes made during the roughing process. Denver manufacturing services by Tag Team reference part geometry for the proper configuration of the machining tool to achieve precise surface finishes of high quality.
CNC tooling is flexible, but it is informed by choice of materials you use. While the focus here has been on hard materials, all types of materials have an impact on CNC machining since you have to consider part geometry and the desired designs.
For instance, in the design of complex and detailed parts, a mistake in the choice of CNC tooling could lead to the design of unnecessarily expensive parts in the design phase.
For CNC machining to work properly, the programming of the tools has to map the desired design on the mold. Thus, it is critical to get the right drawings and feed the right tool to produce the right design. However, this should not be a challenge since you can leverage the expertise of Tag Team, a CNC machinist, and precision manufacturing company in Denver. Besides, they specialize in the manufacture of precision components for OEM’s in every industry.
At Tag Team, we have the skills and capacity to work with original equipment manufacturers in developing prototypes. With the capacity to generate over 50,000 components yearly, we can help you with your CNC manufacturing projects.