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Shop Buys First CNC Lathe In 1983, Rest Is History

Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

4/1/2016

Axly Tool (Bad Axe, MI) is on a roll. In 1983, the company purchased its first Okuma CNC lathe. At the time, Al Rochefort ran an old Warner & Swasey turret lathe for Axly Tool, a small contract machining company with 15 employees. Management recognized the simple fact that if Axly Tool wanted to improve machining accuracy, increase production, and be able to quote on closer tolerance jobs, it would have to get into CNC machining. Turret lathe operator Rochefort was told that it was his job to find the best machine for them. Full Article

Shop Rode Automotive, Transitions to Aerospace



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

4/1/2016

Smiths Machine (Cottondale, AL) is a second-generation family-owned business that has transitioned from being a highly successful supplier of automotive parts to becoming a go-to supplier for defense and aerospace manufacturing. The change in direction for the company was not without its challenges. “Defense and aerospace part manufacturing requires a different business approach altogether,” said Tim Smith, vice president. Full Article

Toolmaker Produces Drills with Additive Manufacturing



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

4/1/2016

MAPAL Inc. (Aalen, Germany; Port Huron, MI) is a manufacturer of precision tools for applications in metalworking, including precision drilling, reaming, milling, and turning for the automotive, mechanical, tool, and plant engineering industries. At EMO 2015, MAPAL exhibited its QTD cutting insert drill that was produced by additive manufacturing for 8–12-mm diameters. Previously QTD insert drills smaller than 13-mm diameter were not available because they were difficult to produce with the required smaller coolant channels through the tool. Central coolant supply weakened the core of the drill and as the cooling channels get smaller, the flow of coolant to the insert is reduced. Full Article

Mobile Robots Increase Worker Productivity, Safety



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

3/1/2016

A mobile fleet of Universal Robots now receives daily work orders to solve ever-changing tasks for high-mix/low-volume electronics manufacturer Scott Fetzer Electrical Group (SFEG; Fairview, TN). Supplied by Universal Robots USA Inc. (East Setauket, NY; Odense, Denmark), the collaborative UR robots have optimized production by 20%, taking over monotonous and potentially hazardous tasks from employees now reallocated to more rewarding jobs. Full Article

CAD CAM Software Crafts Fine Edge Custom Knives



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

3/1/2016

Rick Hinderer Knives (Shreve, OH) is well known within military and law enforcement circles for its custom-designed and expertly crafted knives. The company began 29 years ago as a one-man operation (Rick Hinderer) that fashioned knives by hand from horseshoes in a shop located within a chicken coop on the family farm. Before long, Hinderer’s reputation as a skilled designer and producer of custom knives grew. Full Article

Medical Device Shop Thrives with Multitasking



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

3/1/2016

Constant innovation is the life force behind business success at Conmed Orthopedics in Largo, FL. The company specializes in medical devices for orthopedic, arthroscopic, and laparoscopic surgery. Conmed Largo currently manufactures about 4300 different part catalog numbers and introduces many innovative new products each and every year. Competition is tough, and Conmed must continuously boost efficiency and shorten product development lead times to get its innovations to market as quickly as possible. Full Article

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