Industry News

ESPRIT CAM Now Supports Binder Jetting Technology

Grenoble, France (February 25, 2021) – ESPRIT CAM, a leading computer-aided manufacturing software that supports a variety of CNC machines, has deepened its existing partnership with France’s Technical Centre for Mechanical Industry (CETIM) to include additive manufacturing. CETIM was established in France in 1965 in order to improve companies’ competitiveness through mechanical engineering, transfer of innovations and advanced manufacturing solutions.

Additive manufacturing, or AM, creates parts in 3D, breaking out limits and supplementing historical manufacturing processes. AM technology is made of several sub-technologies, as described in the AM Field Guide. ESPRIT supports both direct energy deposition (DED) and powder bed fusion (PBF) with products that have been tested and validated by industrial partners.

In 2020, teams from ESPRIT continued to develop products to enhance the support of additive technologies. ESPRIT released a new feature which adds support to several new slice formats such as 3MF and Binary CLI, further improving interoperability between software and machines. Binder jetting uses a liquid binding agent to bind powder particles one layer at a time until the final product is complete, or “printed.”

Relying on an established collaboration with CETIM, ESPRIT teams validated the support of a third AM technology: binder jetting. By preparing data in ESPRIT Additive Suite products, CETIM was able to build a job made of six impeller parts with a binder jetting machine from Sweden’s Digital Metal.

“We used the ESPRIT Additive PBF product to slice the 3D model and produce a compatible file format that would be readable by Digital Metal’s machine,” says Clement Girard, ESPRIT’s additive product manager. “All data preparation was done using a version of ESPRIT Additive PBF that’s still in development.”

Although ESPRIT Additive support for binder jetting technology is not yet commercially available, this success demonstrates what’s possible when both teams collaborate closely.

Figure 1: Impeller 40mm Design by CETIM, prepared with ESPRIT & printed on a Digital Metal equipment. Credits: CETIM/ESPRIT

 

Figure 2: Sintered impeller 40mm Design by CETIM, prepared with ESPRIT & printed on a Digital Metal equipment. Credits: CETIM/ESPRIT

About CETIM

CETIM, the Technical Centre for Mechanical Industry, was established in France in 1965 in order to improve companies’ competitiveness through mechanical engineering, transfer of innovations, and advanced manufacturing solutions.

With 1,100 experts and 8,000 customers in more than 50 countries, CETIM has become a world-leading player, providing customers with independent expert advice and support through:

  • Innovation projects (from R&D to solution industrialization)

  • Design and redesign of products and processes

  • Testing (standardized and customized tests to qualify and characterize materials and components)

  • Consultancy (advice, failure analysis)

  • CETIM Academy® trainings

Its multidisciplinary competencies (metallic and composites materials, surface treatments, manufacturing processes, assembly, sealing, fluid and flows, NDT) and its 50 years of experience make it an essential actor for the industry and the future challenges and technologies, especially in the aerospace, automotive, energy, oil and gas, mechanical components, and process industry.

CETIM is labelled Carnot institute, member of the Réseau CTI and of the Alliance Industrie du futur.

About DP Technology

DP Technology is a leading developer and supplier of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software. ESPRIT, DP’s flagship product, is a powerful, high-performance, full-spectrum programming system for milling, turning, wire EDM, and multitasking machine tools as well as metal additive manufacturing. ESPRIT and the personnel who support it embody DP Technology’s passion for excellence and vision of technology’s potential.

DP Technology reinforces its commitment to technical excellence by dedicating nearly 20% of its annual revenue to ongoing research and product development. This long-term focus has produced powerful technological innovations that have placed ESPRIT in an industry-leading position since its market launch in 1985.

By leveraging its vast experience with the ESPRIT CAM system and the industry’s best technical support and R&D infrastructure, DP Technology has developed a high-performance software suite for metal additive manufacturing (3D printing) that will continue the company’s commitment to excellence and deliver the world-class technical support that is the hallmark of DP Technology and ESPRIT software.

For additional information about ESPRIT, call +1 805.388.6000, email esprit@dptechnology.com, or visit www.espritcam.com.

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First Mitsui Seiki Blue Arc™ Machine Installed at Aerodyn Engineering

 

[Indianapolis, IN – February 2021]  Mitsui Seiki has produced the first commercial CNC machine tool that incorporates the Blue Arc™ HSEE (High Speed Electro Erosion) material removal process technology that is exclusively licensed by General Electric. The first “HW63TD BA” machine has been installed at Aerodyn Engineering, Indianapolis, IN. There, the two companies – Aerodyn and Mitsui Seiki – are partnering on multiple process development applications for their existing and prospective customers in aerospace, outer space, mold and die, power generation, oil and gas, and other critical component industries. 

Fundamentally, Blue Arc™ HSEE is a non-conventional rough machining process utilizing a controlled thermal metal removal method using a high-speed beam of electrons to erode and remove metal, driven by an electrical pulse between a tool electrode and a workpiece. Where EDM delivers a single point of material discharge, Blue Arc™ generates a multiple point discharge event resulting in rapid material removal. Blue Arc™ technology eliminates the need for high-powered spindles, highly engineered cutting tools, and reduces wear on the machine kinematics. It is known to be an extremely efficient roughing metal removal method for hard, difficult to machine alloys, such as nickel and titanium alloys as well as stainless and tool steels. Certain alloy components are being rough machined in a fraction of the conventional milling time and with less stress on the machine as Blue Arc™ is a non-contact method. The process can cut machine-tool capital costs by 30 percent or more and cutting tool costs by 70 percent, according to the company. 

“We are excited to have the revolutionary Blue Arc™ technology in our facility to continue its development and showcase its remarkable benefits to manufacturers of hard metal parts,” said Robb Hudson, president and CEO of Aerodyn Engineering.

Providing more details about the specific Blue Arc™ machine installed at Aerodyn, the Mitsui Seiki HW63TD BA machine is a high performance 5-axis machining center platform featuring a standard CAT50 spindle. Basic specifications include an X, Y, Z axes work envelope of 1000mm (39.38”) in X and 850mm (33.46”) in Y and Z. The B and C rotary axes are driven at speeds of 60 and 90 rpm respectively. The machine also includes Fanuc drive motors and a Fanuc F30iM-B control system. 

Mr. William (Bill) Malanche, COO of Mitsui Seiki USA, said, “There is a solid team in place at Aerodyn that is solely dedicated to the Blue Arc™ initiative. Both Robb Hudson and Cameron Perkins were both heavily involved in the development of the process and the machine with our company and GE when they were on staff at Mitsui Seiki. They have a deep understanding that will serve customers well to determine the optimal and most efficient applications for Blue Arc™. From Mitsui Seiki’s perspective, having the BA machine installed at Aerodyn makes perfect sense for all involved, and it’s a thrill to see the machine ready, willing, and able to take on suitable projects.”

Mr. Hudson adds, “We are currently reaching out to companies who fit the Blue Arc™ process spectrum, such as aerospace and power generation turbine, rotor, and structural parts manufacturers. We also welcome inquiries from companies who want to learn more about Blue Arc™ HSEE for their operations,” said Mr. Hudson. “They need to see it for themselves, that’s how stunning the efficiency benefits can be with this process. General Electric, when they first developed the process, were famous for saying, ‘Blue Arc™ cuts through titanium like a hot knife through butter.’ And it really does!”

For more information, contact Mitsui Seiki at (201) 337-1300; www.mitsuiseiki.com; or 

Aerodyn Engineering’s Cameron Perkins at (317) 334-1523, extension 1113; www.aerodyneng.com.

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LoadMate Plus Robotic Cell From Mitsubishi Electric Streamlines Part Loading, Unloading, and Palletizing in Low-To-High Volume Applications

[LORAIN, OH – February 2021] The LoadMate Plus Machine Tending Robotic Cell from Absolute Machine Tools partner Mitsubishi Electric Automation streamlines part loading, unloading and palletizing in low-to-high volume applications. It features portability, easy setup and programming, high performance, and a safety-first design that make it appropriate for both job shops and larger scale production environments. 

Mitsubishi and Absolute jointly designed the plug-and-play cell. It consists of a Mitsubishi industrial robot, a wheeled stainless steel base, a clear polycarbonate cell enclosure featuring a safety door with an interlock switch, and a side table extension. The cell accommodates Mitsubishi 6-axis RV-series robots ranging in load capacity from 7 kg to 20 kg and reach up to 1,388mm. Integrating the robot cell with a CNC machine is a one-step process using a single Ethernet cable, Mitsubishi’s Direct Robot Control function and the Mitsubishi M8 series control. The LoadMate Plus can also interface with other control types via remote I/O connectivity. 

Built-in casters enable users to move the LoadMate cell from machine to machine. The cell enclosure is designed to handle heavy payloads and significant part momentum. Additional guarding and fencing may not be necessary when the cell is positioned correctly in tandem or in close proximity to the CNC machine. Depending on the application, the cell can be secured in position using built-in ratchet pads or an optional floor-mount latching system. 

Courtney Ortner, chief marketing officer at Absolute Machine Tools, said, “The Mitsubishi LoadMate Plus cell provides a cost-effective, easy-to-implement automation solution for both beginners and manufacturers already familiar with automation systems.”

About Absolute Machine Tools, Inc.

Absolute Machine Tools, Inc. sells and supports Mitsubishi Electric Automation Robots, Productive Robotics Cobots and Robots; Johnford Bridge & Gantry Mills; You Ji Vertical Turret Lathes; Tongtai Horizontal Machining Centers (former Hitachi-Seiki OEM); PCI Horizontal Machining Centers; Quicktech Multi-Axis Multi-Spindle Mill/Turn Centers; Lico Multi-Slide CNC Screw Machines and Twin Spindle Multi-Slide Mill/Turn Centers; Nexturn Swiss-type Lathes; AccuteX Wire EDM and Die Sinker Machines; APEC 5-axis Gantry-style Linear Motor Machining Centers; and Precihole Gun Drilling Machines. The company has worked with several of its principal machine tool partners for over 25 years to offer some of the most heavy-duty, accurate, and productive machines in the industry. The company has built its reputation on exemplary applications engineering, service, customer support, comprehensive training, and effective preventive-maintenance programs. In addition to its headquarters in Lorain, Ohio, the company has established direct full-service technical centers in Mason, Ohio and Livonia, Michigan. For more information, contact Absolute Machine Tools, Inc. at 800-852-7825 or www.absolutemachine.com.

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Rollomatic spotlights 5 Grinding Machines for Dental Burs and Rotary Instruments

Mundelein, February 2021. Rollomatic, a leading machine tool manufacturer based in Le Landeron, Switzerland, maintains its global leadership position in the dental industry by highlighting a number of upgraded models for manufacturing dentals rotary cutting tools. The various Rollomatic CNC grinding machines can be used for high-volume geometry grinding and blank preparation of a number of dental cutting tools, such as:

∙ Surgical and laboratory dental burs
∙ 1– or 2-piece construction, solid tungsten carbide, steel or stainless
∙ Gates-Glidden
∙ Rotary endodontic files
∙ Lindemann cutters
∙ Implant twist drills
∙ Implant taps
∙ Endmills for CAD/CAM dentistry
∙ and more

Dental tool grinding on the 5-axis GrindSmart® Nano5 grinding machine offers exceptional flexibility in comparison to conventional single-purpose grinders. With its 5 fully interpolating CNC axes and a pick-and-place automatic tool loader, the machine can easily be adapted for any type of dental cutting instrument, both for short and long runs.

Compared to 5-axis machines, the model CNC246F is a prime example of a dedicated and highly productive 3-axis fluting machines suitable for flute and relief grinding of rotary files. The machine is equipped with 2 grinding stations and a pick-and-place automatic loader. Highest productivity can be achieved due to its compact design. The machine is equally suited for flute/relief grinding of drills, taps, reamers and other rotary cutting tools.

The GrindSmart® model 530XW 5-axis tool grinding machine with new and innovative capabilities relating to the production grinding of dental burs and rotary files is equipped with a pick-and-place automatic loader and a wheel/nozzle changer. The compact and versatile design allows full and user-friendly interchangeability between different tool types as well as industrial tools such as inserts and round-shank tools. The machine is particularly suited for grinding carbide endmills for the CAD/CAM dentistry.

With a choice of 4 and 5 CNC axes, both ShapeSmart® NP30 and NP50 precision pinch and peel grinding machines are based on the proven method of pinch grinding, a technology invented by Rollomatic, that ensures polished surface finishes and unmatched performances achieving micron precision. The machines are particularly suitable for cylindrical grinding or blank preparation of CAD/CAM endmills, drills and burs. Quick-change attachments can also be ground with these machines.

The RPG is a hydraulically operated precision plunge grinding machine for cylindrical grinding operations and blank preparations. The machine is equipped with a V-type magazine loader and is therefore suitable for unattended high volume production grinding. The shank guidance and following steady rest allow precise grinding results with a TIR below 1 micron. This machine is highly recommended for blank preparation of dental burs.

The Rollomatic 5-axis CNC tool grinders are equipped with tool design software called VirtualGrindPro which runs the multi-axis GrindSmart® series machines. In addition to the already extensive tool diversity, further tool geometries have been added both for dental tools as well as industrial cutting tools. Rollomatic’s strategy with this expansion is based on helping operators and programmers to facilitate an environment of efficiency and collaboration within the user’s organization. This powerful software offers the highest possible speed, ease-of-use and flexibility. These machines can switch over from dental to industrial tools in an operator-friendly and timely fashion.

In addition to the software expansion, the 3-dimensional simulator has been updated with a faster and more accurate
version. The impressive stability and instantaneous rendering of 3D images will enable users to save valuable programming time and effort.

Rollomatic provides outstanding service/support from its North American headquarters in Mundelein, IL, and satellite offices in CA, FL, IN, MA. For more information visit: www.RollomaticUSA.com or e-mail solutions@RollomaticUSA.com.

North American Headquarters:
Rollomatic Inc.
1295 Armour Boulevard
Mundelein, IL 60060
Phone: 847 281 8550
E-mail: solutions@rollomaticusa.com

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Abaco Systems Wins Order to Support Upgrade of AC-130J Gunships

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.— February 9, 2021 Abaco Systems, Inc. announces a design win with an initial value of $505k, and a lifetime potential of $4.5m supporting a major defense prime upgrade to an existing Side Head Up Display platform in AC-130J gunships. This Side HUD application is to enable operational visibility of the battlespace for the platform. 

Abaco’s newest high performance embedded computing system, the MAGIC1A, was chosen after a competitive selection process, by meeting and exceeding the requirements for key upgrade features including increased storage space for mission and flight data, higher processing capacity, and cybersecurity capabilities. Abaco was selected for its ability to innovate and deliver while meeting critical schedule requirements. 

Abaco has delivered ~50 legacy MAGIC1 systems over the past several years for this application. The MAGIC1A delivers the latest in Graphics and Computer Processing to a rugged SWaP-C3 improvement on a legacy design, which ensures seamless integration and an extensible technology roadmap. The operational stability of the legacy product combined with a clean tech insertion and upgrade path to current generation capabilities with the MAGIC1A system made Abaco the ideal choice for this design win. The customer required pin-compatibility with the legacy system and an upgrade to the MAGIC1A met that need. Abaco’s innovative approach will allow the customer to reduce the technology footprint on the platform via an SDI I/O upgrade on the system. Delivery of these systems is planned for the first quarter of 2021.

John Muller, Chief Growth Officer at Abaco Systems, Inc. said, “We have had an excellent source of relationship capital with this customer from years of exceptional service. Our innovative approach met synchronized expectations to deliver exactly what the customer needed to succeed. This design win is a prime example of Abaco’s ability to innovate so that we can deliver best in class military and aerospace contributions.”

About Abaco Systems

With more than 30 years’ experience, Abaco Systems is a global leader in open architecture computing and electronic systems for aerospace, defense, and industrial applications. We create innovative, modular solutions based on open standards that are characterized by outstanding price/performance, ultimate rugged reliability and minimal SWaP. Our goal is to be a significant contributor to our customers’ success, partnering with them to reduce cost, time-to-deployment and risk and supporting them over the long term.  With an active presence in hundreds of national asset platforms on land, sea and in the air, Abaco Systems is trusted where it matters most. www.abaco.com

 

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Conversational Programming Feature Now Standard on Select Okuma CNC Machines

Okuma’s Advanced One Touch (AOT) conversational programming software enables shops to easily create programs without the need for highly-trained programmers, achieve faster setup times, and increase machine productivity.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (February 1, 2021) – Okuma America Corporation, a world-leading builder of CNC machine tools, announces that select machines from Okuma’s core product line now come equipped with the Advanced One Touch-Interactive Graphics Function (AOT-IGF), a conversational programming software designed for Okuma’s lathes, machining centers and multitasking machines. AOT enables shops to easily create simple part designs without the need for highly-trained programmers, achieve faster setup times, and increase machine productivity.

Maximize a Machine Tool’s Full Potential

With AOT onboard, a highly-intuitive graphical user interface provides step-by-step instructions that guide operators through the process of selecting material type, tooling, processes, and cutting motions for the desired part design. From there, the system then simulates the cutting process in a 3D graphical view before exporting the NC (numeric control) program. Using AOT to create custom programs allows shops to maximize their machine tool’s full potential, while eliminating concern regarding correct program syntax.

 

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Advantages of Using Advanced One Touch

A key benefit of AOT is that it allows shops to get the most out of their machine tools while avoiding typical manufacturing pitfalls. Specifically, it allows users to:

  • Easily create and edit part designs directly at the machine tool
  • Follow step-by-step instructions to streamline the process of selecting material type, shape, tooling, processes and cutting motions
  • Import 2D drawings straight into AOT using the DXF (drawing exchange format) import function
  • Simulate the cutting process and show a cutting time study
  • Program conversational files and run the NC (numeric control) code
  • Import NC code straight into AOT from CAM (computer-aided machining) systems or other programs
  • Automatically post program notes for future reference
  • Perform a process restart from the conversational file, making it easier to re-run features without knowing specific line numbers to restart from

Shops that do not currently have AOT installed on their machines can give Advanced One Touch a try by downloading a free 60-day trial. The trial version is for use on a PC and will provide an interactive preview of the functionalities and benefits of the software. For more information and to download the free trial visit Okuma’s AOT webpage.

About Okuma America Corporation

Okuma America Corporation is the U.S.-based sales and service affiliate of Okuma Corporation, a world leader in CNC (computer numeric control) machine tools.  The company was founded in 1898 in Nagoya, Japan, and is the industry’s only single-source provider of CNC machines, controls, drives, motors, encoders, and spindles, all manufactured by Okuma. The company designs its own CNC controls to integrate seamlessly with each machine tool’s functionality. In 2014 Okuma launched the Okuma App Store, the industry’s only centralized online marketplace for machine tool apps and related content. Along with its extensive distribution network (largest in the Americas), and Partners in THINC network of enhanced manufacturing technologiesOkuma is committed to helping users gain competitive advantages through the open possibilities of machine tools today and into the future. For more information, visit https://www.okuma.com/ or follow us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter.

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For First Time on Record, Yearly Non-Automotive Robotic Orders Higher Than Automotive Orders

ANN ARBOR, MI – January 28, 2021. For the first time, yearly orders of robots from non-automotive sectors surpassed automotive robot orders, as sales of robotic units in North America increased 3.5% in 2020 from 2019. This growth was driven by a strong Q4 that was the second-best quarter ever for North American robotic sales with a 63.6% increase over Q4 2019.

Industry statistics – released today by the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), part of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3) – show that North American companies ordered 31,044 robotic units, valued at $1.572 billion in 2020. In Q4, companies ordered 9,972 units valued at $479 million.

“The surge in robot orders that we’re seeing, despite the pandemic, demonstrates the growing interest in robotic and automation solutions,” said Jeff Burnstein, A3 President. “It’s promising to see the growth of robotics in new applications and reaching a wider group of users than ever before.”

Year-over-year orders in life sciences increased by 69%, food and consumer goods grew by 56%, and plastics and rubber saw a 51% increase. Automotive orders increased 39% in 2020.

“In 2020, we saw two trends in particular that propelled growth in non-automotive orders for robotics technology,” said John Bubnikovich, Chief Regional Officer – North America, KUKA Robotics. “First, the automation competence level in general industry has grown, and that matured into greater demand for the technology. Second, consumer behavior shifted significantly and the expectations created by this shift were tough to satisfy without automation.”

At the same time, Bubnikovich said, supply chain disruptions and instability in the workforce made industries accelerate automation strategies.

The same trends are being noticed by other major robot manufacturers.

“With the changes in people’s personal buying behavior caused by COVID, robots have been utilized in record numbers to allow for the fulfillment of orders in the e-commerce space while allowing for correct social distancing practices,” said Dean Elkins, Segment Leader – Handling, Yaskawa Motoman. “In addition, robots largely aided in the production of personal protection and testing equipment and the medical devices needed to keep our society healthy and safe.”

“We have seen a substantial increase in activity in non-automotive sectors, as customers focus on making their production lines more flexible and better able to efficiently achieve high mix, lower volume production in response to constantly evolving customer demands,” says Mark Joppru, Vice President – Consumer Segment & Service Robotics, US ABB Robotics and Machine Automation.  “In food applications, for example, where robots were traditionally used to automate simpler processes like case loading, they are increasingly being commissioned for higher value processes, like directly preparing food, resulting in improvements to food safety and hygiene.  While these trends have existed for several years, COVID has changed perceptions and priorities for customers, accelerating the adoption of robotic automation.”

In August of 2020, A3 reported on the strain to supply chains and economic uncertainty due to COVID-19. Alex Shikany, A3 Vice President, Membership & Business Intelligence, noted that despite a drop in orders, industry leaders showed optimism about the remainder of 2020, and accurately predicted the strong finish to 2020.

“The pandemic has created a sense of urgency for manufacturing companies to invest in automation like never before,” said Mike Cicco, President and CEO of FANUC America. “Traditionally, companies have implemented automation to reduce cost, increase output, and improve quality.  However, the pandemic has added an additional factor that is driving manufacturers to re-examine their supply chain to increase flexibility, minimize disruptions, and move it closer to their customers. With this mindset, there are more opportunities for scaling robotic applications across multiple facilities, especially for larger companies. The untapped potential for automation is a promising sign for our industry; the opportunities for automation today are truly limitless.”

To help educate users and potential users about how to successfully apply robotics and automation, A3 will hold Automate Forward, the premier virtual automation trade show and conference. Register free and join industry peers March 22-26 to hear from more than 80 speakers and see the latest technologies from more than 160 leading automation suppliers.

About Association for Advancing Automation (A3)

In the spring of 2021, the Robotic Industries Association (RIA) will become the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), the global advocate for the benefits of automating. A3 promotes automation technologies and ideas that transform the way business is done. RIA is one of four allied associations, including AIA – Advancing Vision + Imaging, Motion Control & Motor Association (MCMA), and A3 Mexico, that will transform into A3. Combined, these associations represent over 1,100 automation manufacturers, component suppliers, system integrators, end users, research groups and consulting firms from throughout the world that drive automation forward.

A3 hosts a number of industry-leading events, including the new virtual Automate Forward (March 22-26, 2021) and the Automate Show & Conference (June 6-9, 2022, in Detroit, MI).

www.a3automate.org

#

For More Information

Jackie Rose                          

Association for Advancing Automation

(734) 929-3264

jrose@a3automate.org

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Esprit launches On-Demand Learning Center

Camarillo, California – ESPRIT, a developer of CAM software for CNC programming, optimization, and simulation, has released its on-demand training platform, ESPRIT Learning Center, to the general public.

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Traditionally, ESPRIT’s applications engineers lead in-person trainings in ESPRIT offices and also on-site at customer facilities around the world, but not everyone who needs software training has the resources to travel to an ESPRIT office.

To support customers throughout the pandemic, ESPRIT began conducting instructor-led, online training sessions in early 2020. To further satisfy users’ growing appetite for online training, ESPRIT has now introduced the ESPRIT Learning Center to the general public.

The ESPRIT Learning Center is an online training platform with on-demand, self-paced training courses created for ESPRIT CAM programmers. The first learning paths to be released are “New User Milling,” “New User Turning,” and “New User Mill-Turn.” Each learning path includes five to seven training courses that guide users through several different machine models and part models to introduce different machining processes in ESPRIT.

The main purpose for creating discrete online learning paths is to replicate what a student can learn from an on-site training class. ESPRIT customers can learn at their own pace while saving the time and cost associated with traveling. Each learning path also comes with one ESPRIT student license for each learner, so users can take the courses at home or in their free time, without interrupting their daily programming or production work.

“ESPRIT Learning Center gives us the exact learning experience that we’ve been looking for. The courses are very thorough, wasting no time getting to the point. Having all the supplied files and models within the course window makes access quick and convenient,” said Scott Hornbeak, programmer at Cassavant Machining. “This online training will not only make it easier for existing ESPRIT users to transition to the new ESPRIT—it will also help our new programmers rapidly get familiar with ESPRIT, without the need to travel to a training site.”

“ESPRIT Learning Center is a game-changer for our customers who want to learn ESPRIT,” said Yijun Fan, Director of Product Marketing at DP Technology, the makers of ESPRIT. “Our end goal is to make high-quality ESPRIT training courses more accessible to our global customers. We want to share our best practices with users so they can optimize their machine programming to reduce the cycle time, machine setup time, and machine downtime. We want our users’ machines to start running as soon as possible and keep running at the highest efficiency. And that’s always going to be our priority at DP Technology.”

To learn more about the ESPRIT Learning Center, visit: https://www.espritcam.com/learningcenter

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What is Plastic Extrusion and How to Select the Best Manufacturing Partner?

When choosing a partner in plastic extrusion production, please take the time to get to know the candidates personally and professionally.

Are you looking for the best extrusion manufacturers to create profiles for your business? It is crucial to identify a company with years of experience and rich characteristics. Remember that not all plastic profile extrusion companies are the same. There must be a strong clear record of the company you wish to do business with or for partnership. Moreover, it should provide affordable, high-quality plastic extrusion profiles. 

This means 

  • Using raw materials from the best suppliers, 
  • Having the most advanced machinery and 
  • Having a qualified team of experts to do this work.

Having a business partner can help your business grow. Keller Products is a leading Plastic Extrusions company, and they aim to grow your business by partnering up with you, so do check them out.

Plastic Extrusion

Plastic extrusion is to convert plastics from solids to liquids and then recreate them in the final product. In other words, the plastic melts and then turns into useful items. 

There are benefits of using plastic extrusion. However, there are particular vulnerabilities to be careful of.

Extruded Plastic Profiles

Extruded plastic profiles are formed by melting raw plastic granules and converting the molten material into continuous profiles. 

An elevated procedure that can be used to manufacture a wide range of items is plastic extrusion. 

This includes LED diffusers, custom-sized tubes, rack spokes, bumpers, conveyor guards, bumper strips, edge protectors, ducts—electrical insulation.

Plastic extrusion, with low pollution, is an eco-friendly procedure and is recyclable. Experts have several years of experience, enabling the company to evaluate the right pace for extrusion to manufacture components efficiently.

Types of Extruded Plastic Profiles

Plastic profile extrusion is a dynamic process that enables creating unique forms in compliance with your specific requirements. The dies used to extrude plastics have tight tolerances to create complex shapes and consistent wall thicknesses. 

This method is also the best alternative for extruded profiles that involve more width and length. The more common shapes of extruded plastics include:

  • Bumper
  • Acrylic LED lens
  • Trims
  • Deflector
  • Distributor/dividers
  • Conveyor belt cover
  • Custom tubes (0.188 inches to 4.5 inches OD) and more.

High-Quality Materials

The use of high-quality products is a common feature of the production of plastic extrusion. Focus on using engineering thermoplastics to create custom profiles for plastic extrusion. 

You can extrude a variety of basic thermoplastics. Your profile includes products with unique physical properties if you select the right balance of longevity and endurance.

Advantages

Low cost: Plastic extrusion has a reasonable budget and higher performance compared with several other molding methods. The extrusion process uses thermoplastics that melt and harden many times, allowing you to reuse waste rather than throw it away. 

There is a huge reduction in raw design and production costs. The plastic extruder eliminates the threat of a paucity. This also makes processing for 24/7.

Better Flexibility: Stamping will provide great flexibility to produce products with consistent cross-sections. Extrusion molding can produce complex shapes. 

Manufacturers can apply them to plastic sheets or produce plastic properties. The plastic extrusion process varies for different companies.

Alteration: Once the plastic has been removed from the extruder, the plastic is still hot, allowing for post-extrusion operations. Many manufacturers will take advantage of this and use various rolls, shoes, and molds to reshape the plastic as needed.

Disadvantages

Expansion: After taking the thermoplastic out of the extruder, it will expand many times. This is called expansion. 

Trying to predict the exact degree of expansion is problematic. Since the exact expansion is difficult to predict, manufacturers tend to accept varying product size variations.

Product restrictions: Plastic extrusion restricts the types of products that can be manufactured. An investment in a particular form of extrusion system is required for certain approaches.

Plastic markets are about to reach USD 100.13 Billion by 2027– Check it out!

For standard profiles, consider a leading supplier of extruded plastic. However, suppose you need custom parts or components or want to invest in companies offering custom solutions. 

In both cases, the reputation speaks for the expected results. Whatever your goal, you should look for these traits.

Can They Fulfill Your Requirement?

Look for an experienced, quality-oriented thermoplastic extruder that is designed for mass production. As a partner in the production of extruded plastics, understanding your expectations and challenges from the start is critical to your products’ success. 

Depending on the product application, they try to provide the best suggestions for design, materials, and production technology. 

This early-stage involvement helps resolve any design issues in the extrusion process, helping to achieve high cost and time efficiency when the product is marketed. 

It also helps to have enhanced internal service capabilities for the entire project within time and budget constraints.

What Is the Processing Method?

For extruded plastic profiles, be sure to look for a company that specializes in this particular process. Different processing technologies exist. 

Rather than extrusion processes, you might choose to recruit or invest in manufacturing. These manufacturers have incredible knowledge and skills in the extrusion process.

What Materials Do They Use?

The best plastic profile extrusion companies use high-quality plastics. The foundation of each profile of this is that manufacturers use the best quality raw materials. You may be interested in extruded plastic profiles today or invest in a plastic product extrusion company. 

Suppose you require extruded rubber, aluminum, or other metal parts and components at some point. In that case, you should select a company with extensive experience and professional knowledge of all materials.

Capabilities

The capabilities of plastic extrusion companies, including design, tooling, fabrication, and fabrication, are also essential.

Finishes

For profiles that look good, be sure to look for companies that can create a variety of unique finishes like texture, matte, and gloss.

Tooling

Compared to the injection molding process, the molds used for custom plastic extrusion parts and assembly processes are cheaper. 

The appropriate organization must have the most sophisticated tooling facilities, whether for extrusion goods or productive investments.

Manufacturing Methods

Be observant of the various manufacturing methods used by various firms. For example, look for devices that can use routers, punches, printers, drills, deburrs, etc., to create complex contours.

Ensuring Customer Satisfaction

As you can see, there are many things to do to find the right plastic extrusion company or investment company. 

Summary

Make sure they have a dedicated customer service team. They must provide positive, rewarding, and friendly experiences for the customer. 

When choosing a partner for extruded plastics production, are they capable enough to respond quickly and professionally to every communication?

Please make sure they meet and exceed all requirements when required.

Check out the global plastic processing industry trends and more right here!

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Why Custom Manufacturing is The Future

The whole world is going custom. More and more people are looking for that personalized touch in both products and experiences. Everyone is different – different tastes, preferences, and needs. And businesses have been taking notice.

That’s not to say that customization is new to the world of manufacturing. Engineer-to-order, made-to-order, and assemble-to-order manufacturing modes have been part of the business-to-business (B2B) manufacturing sector for a long time. A certain level of customization is needed to allow the production of specialized products or slightly customized vehicles, for example. However, traditionally, the approach of general manufacturing has always been to produce large quantities of identical goods to make them affordable and accessible to the global market.

Of course, as we’ve mentioned, consumers are no longer satisfied with buying products that everyone else is enjoying. They want something that calls to their individuality. Products that have been made to their specifications to meet their specific needs. This demand for customization has greatly impacted manufacturers in the business-to-customer (B2C) space in more ways than one.

Traditional Manufacturing is Risky

As we’ve already mentioned, the traditional approach to manufacturing is the mass production of identical consumer goods. This allows the company to lower the cost of production which makes the product more appealing to customers while allowing the company to still profit. 

Of course, this approach carries with it some risk since you’re basing your production on a prediction of future demand. If the demand for the product is less than that of the supply, the business may have to sell the products without making a profit at all. Or worse, have to scrap the product altogether which means a lot of waste that will impact the environment. This kind of situation is nothing new. A lot of businesses have created millions of products that were unsuccessful upon their launch in the market (hello, Google Glass) which meant a great deal of money lost and material wastage created. 

What is Custom Manufacturing?

Custom manufacturing is quite different from traditional or general manufacturing. It is a process of designing and producing a unique product that has been tailored specifically for a single customer. Unlike the traditional approach, the production of goods is based on current, genuine demand instead of a nebulous idea of future demand. 

This process allows for short production runs, creating build-to-order parts or one-offs when ordered. And because only small quantities are produced, customers can receive their orders in the shortest amount of time possible. 

What does this mean for the business? Several things actually. 

  • First of all, it helps ensure that all manufactured products have a buyer. The business won’t be manufacturing goods that nobody wants to buy. There will be less of a financial risk and it will help lower material wastage. 
  • Second, custom manufacturing eliminates the need for aggressive marketing, trying to get everyone to buy your product and make a profit. This kind of practice can easily cost a business large amounts of money.
  • Third, consumers are now part creators. Because of the rising demand for personalization and customization, consumers are becoming more engaged in the creation of products. They are no longer passive recipients of a product; they are active participants. By allowing them to customize your product, you add more value to it. And when customers receive good value, they’re more likely to feel loyal to your brand. Their loyalty will ensure that they keep coming back. It will also help generate more customers. Moreover, it will help your business stand out in a highly competitive market.
  • Fourth, custom manufacturing gives businesses insight into their customers. Letting customers get involved in product design will allow manufacturers to gather critical information regarding their requirements, preferences, and purchasing behavior. This data will help give them valuable insight on how they can improve their existing products as well as what future products would appeal to their market.

The Future of Manufacturing

Over the years, there has been a fundamental shift from traditional manufacturing to custom manufacturing. And it’s easy to see why. The benefits are many, leading many manufacturers to build to order instead of building to stock. Plus, the continued advancements in technology such as custom 3D printing has lowered the barriers to entry, enabling more small-scale local manufacturing companies to become more competitive. The factory of the future will no longer be made of assembly lines. It will be filled with smart, automated assembly workstations capable of flexibility in production.  

About the author: Louisa is a content marketing professional and editor creating her successful career past 2 years at D3D Printing. She is a goal-oriented, creative individual with a unique voice in writing, editing, and optimizing content for various projects. She’s a devoted mom and an excellent piano player.

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