Industry News

Mazak showcases machining centre with ‘world’s fastest CNC’

Mazak has demonstrated a new machining centre which it says has the “world’s fastest CNC”.

Mazak says its Integrex i-400S Multi-Tasking machining centre at the upcoming Autosport Engineering and Southern Manufacturing 2019 exhibitions.

The i-400S features a large 1500mm machining bed with a completely new design offering higher performance machining and greater workpiece capacity than any other multi-tasking machines in its size range.

At the heart of the machine is an 30 kW 3,300 rpm main spindle, supported by a powerful 26kW 4,000 rpm second spindle, which combine to deliver high-speed, high-accuracy machining of medium to large workpieces up to Ø658 mm and 1,519 mm in length.

The Integrex i-400S is equipped with SmoothX, the world’s fastest CNC, which not only contributes to improved cycle times, but can also reduce programming and set-up times to provide unsurpassed productivity.

Alan Mucklow, managing director UK and Ireland sales division at Yamazaki Mazak, says: “The Integrex i-400S combines the capabilities of a high-powered turning center and full-function machining centre to produce a wide range of complex parts, from fully prismatic to round or highly contoured parts, in one single set-up.

“The integrated second spindle also reduces the amount of non-cutting time and set-up times, further improving productivity.

“This ensures the i-400S can be used across small batch, prototype work, in addition to volume production, to deliver outstanding productivity and performance above and beyond any other machine in its size range.”

On Southern Manufacturing, Mucklow added: “Subcontract manufacturing provides the supply chain backbone for so many sectors of UK industry.

“With an increasing number of subcontractors diversifying their sector mix in recent years, the need for machine tools that can adapt to a variety of different applications, materials and batch sizes has never been greater.

“The i-400S is tailor-made for this audience, and we are very much looking forward to showcasing it to the UK’s subcontract manufacturing base at Southern Manufacturing.”

On Autosport Engineering, Mucklow says: “Given the UK’s manufacturing pedigree in the motorsport industry, Autosport Engineering is always one of the highlights of the machining year.

“The Integrex i-400S is an exceptional machine, perfectly suited to autosport and automotive applications, and equally adept at small batch and prototype work, or in volume production roles.”

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FANUC’s New CRX-10iA Robot Raises the Bar in Collaborative Technology

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– FANUC, the world’s leading supplier of factory automation, robotics, ROBOMACHINEs and Industrial IoT solutions has introduced the new CRX-10iA and CRX-10iA/L (long arm version) collaborative robots that set new standards in terms of ease of use, reliability and safety. FANUC debuted the new collaborative robots at the 2019 INTERNATIONAL ROBOT EXHIBITION, Dec. 18-21 in Tokyo.

FANUC offers the widest range of collaborative robots that can handle products from 4-35kg. The new 10kg payload CRX-10iA and CRX-10iA/L provide a reach of 1249mm and 1418mm respectively. Like the entire family of collaborative robots, the CRX-10iA and CRX-10iA/L are designed with FANUC’s world-renowned technology, proven reliability and sensitive contact detection that allows them to work safely alongside people in a variety of industrial and manufacturing jobs.

FANUC’s new CRX-10iA and CRX-10iA/L collaborative robots offer customers unique advantages including:


  • Safety rated contact stop detection like all FANUC collaborative robots.

Easy Installation

  • Customers – even those with no experience using a robot – can set up the new collaborative robots straight out of the box.
  • Ergonomic design includes a lightweight and compact arm that fits in virtually any floor space configuration.

Extremely Easy to Program and Use

  • A compact R-30iB Plus Mini Controller.
  • Lead-though teach programming and a new tablet interface with icons for touch control – no programming knowledge required.
  • The CRX-10iA/L arm’s swing motion makes it easy to access/grab parts located behind the robot.
  • Easily connects with third-party grippers.
  • Supports FANUC’s intelligent features such as integrated iRVision® and iRPickTool software.

Ultimate Reliability

  • FANUC’s new collaborative robots offer the same world-renowned technology and proven reliability that customers expect from FANUC.

The new CRX-10iA and CRX-10iA/L collaborative robots will be available in Q2 2020. For more information visit


FANUC CORPORATION, headquartered at the foot of Mt. Fuji, Japan, is the global leader and the most innovative manufacturer of Factory Automation, Robots and ROBOMACHINEs in the world. Since its inception in 1956, FANUC has contributed to the automation of machine tools as a pioneer in the development of computer numerical control equipment. FANUC technology has been a leading force in a worldwide manufacturing revolution, which evolved from the automation of a single machine to the automation of entire production lines. For more information visit:

About FANUC America Corporation

FANUC America Corporation is a subsidiary of FANUC CORPORATION in Japan. FANUC’s innovative automation technologies and proven expertise help manufacturers in the Americas maximize productivity, reliability and profitability.

FANUC embraces a culture of “Service First” which means that customer service is our highest priority. We are committed to supplying our customers with parts and support for the life of their FANUC products.

FANUC America is headquartered at 3900 W. Hamlin Road, Rochester Hills, MI 48309, and has facilities in: Auburn Hills, MI; Atlanta; Boston; Charlotte; Chicago; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Houston; Huntington Beach, CA; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; Montreal; Pine Brook, NJ; Pontiac, MI; Birmingham, AL; San Francisco; Seattle; Toronto; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sao Paulo, and Manaus, Brazil; and Aguascalientes, Monterrey, and Queretaro, Mexico. For more information, please call: 888-FANUC-US (888-326-8287) or visit our website: . Also, connect with us on YouTubeTwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.

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Increasing Demand from Automotive, Construction, & Manufacturing Industry Across all the Regions to Drive the Demand for Industrial Fasteners: TMR Study

According to a new market report, the global industrial fasteners market is expected to reach a value of US$ 104.94 Bn by 2026. In terms of value, the market is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 2.2% during the forecast period from 2018 to 2026. In terms of volume, the market stood at around 26.7 million metric tons in 2017. The Asia Pacific industrial fasteners market is projected to have the highest growth during the forecast period in terms of value (US$ Mn). The market witnessed considerable growth in this region due to increased growth in construction, automotive, and manufacturing industries, leading to positive growth in the industrial fasteners market.

The industrial fasteners market is influenced by market dynamics with the prime driving factor of increasing fasteners demand from the construction industry. In terms of commodity, the screws segment is anticipated to gain the largest share with total value of US$ 21.30 Bn by 2026 at a CAGR of 1.6% annually. In terms of application, the global figures for automotive OEM segment are anticipated to be valued at US$ 30.67 Bn by 2026 at a CAGR of 2.6%. However, fluctuating prices of raw materials such as steel, copper, and aluminum have impacted the margins of manufacturers and is one of the major challenges restraining the growth of the industrial fasteners market.

The bolt and nut segment is expected to expand at a CAGR of 2.6% and 2.9% respectively in terms of value over the forecast period due to their increasing applications in the automotive and construction industry. Furthermore, growing manufacturing of medium commercial vehicles, light commercial vehicles, heavy earth moving equipment, textile machinery, machine tools, aircrafts, and utility vehicles have led to the enhanced growth of the fasteners as their sub or main assembly part. The market for industrial fasteners is fragmented in nature and is characterized by large competition with small and large players in the industry competing to maintain their respective positions. High tensile fasteners are majorly utilized in engineering applications which include industrial, automotive, and various other sectors.

The top companies considered while studying this report for the global industrial fasteners market are Acument Global Technologies Inc., Arconic Inc., Bulten AB, STANLEY Engineered Fastening, Fortana Group, Hilti Corporation, LISI Group, MacLean-Fogg Company, MISUMI Group Inc., Nifco Inc., Precision Castparts Corp., The SFS Group, A&G Fasteners, SA Fasteners, etc.

These insights are based on a report on Industrial Fasteners Market by Transparency Market Research.

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Join a Community of Makers at ESPRIT World: June 8–12 in Las Vegas

Camarillo, CA (December 11, 2019): DP Technology, the parent company of CAM system ESPRIT, announces the 2020 dates for its popular annual conference. ESPRIT World 2020 will be held from June 8-12 in Las Vegas–the location of the company’s first conference in 2003.

In 2020, DP Technology is taking a “back-to-basics” approach to the event. By focusing more on client training, DP Technology aims to refocus their meeting to emphasize hands-on software training with ESPRIT engineers. “Our very first conference was also held in Las Vegas back in 2003. As we revisit the city 17 years later, it seems fitting that we return to our origins and focus on the face time and interactivity that made us successful,” says Paul Ricard, co-founder and president of DP Technology.

While ESPRIT World 2020, held at Las Vegas’s iconic Flamingo Hotel, will include a number of engaging speakers, the primary focus will be on product training and education. DP Technology offers multiple training tracks to attendees, ensuring machinists and specialists of all industries and skill levels can benefit from attendance. Classes, workshops, and 1-1 sessions led by ESPRIT engineers offer attendees unique opportunities to explore the software’s capabilities as it relates to their own industries—whether aerospace, automotive, medical, energy, or any other industry that requires the extensive abilities of ESPRIT’s world-class software.

In addition to speakers and in-person training, attendees can anticipate favorite events like sports night and a “secret” special nighttime event, the details of which remain under wraps until the last minute.

“ESPRIT World is the highlight of our year. We’re pulling out all the stops in 2020 to ensure attendees enjoy the perfect balance of intensive training, up-to-the-minute education, valuable networking, and fun. It’s going to be a great event that we’re already excited about,” says Ricard.

To be notified when registration for ESPRIT World is open, visit For additional information about DP Technology and ESPRIT, call +1 805 388 6000, email, or visit


ESPRIT® is a powerful CAM system for CNC programming, optimization and simulation — supporting the entire manufacturing process. With factory-certified post processors delivering machine-optimized G-code and ESPRIT’s ability to solve unique challenges with automation solutions, ESPRIT is the smart manufacturing solution for any machining application. With world-class technical support, ESPRIT empowers you to get started quickly and keep running at top efficiency. ESPRIT is the only CAM system you’ll ever need.

About DP Technology Corp. 

DP Technology Corp. is a leading developer and supplier of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software. ESPRIT®, DP Technology’s flagship product, is a powerful, high-performance, full-spectrum programming system for milling, turning, wire EDM, multi-tasking machine tools and metal additive manufacturing. ESPRIT and its support personnel 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 percent 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.

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Latest WORKNC Makes Smart Factories Smarter

Rethink Manufacturing With WORKNC 2020.1

The latest release of WORKNC, from Hexagon’s Production Software portfolio, is said to make smart factories even smarter with new and enhanced functionality that addresses a number of manufacturing issues.

WORKNC Product Owner Walter Neveux says that developers have looked at several production questions, including: 

  • How many rest-roughing processes do you apply, and how lengthy are they? 
  • How much stock material do you leave for pre-finishing and finishing, and could it be less? 
  • Could we eliminate pre-finishing altogether?

He says that, when machining with high-feed cutters and calculating with a theoretical circular insert, the resulting stock left will be inherently uneven. WORKNC 2020.1’s Roughing with Advanced Toolform technology allows the milling process to deliver a more accurate roughing stock, eliminating imprecisions characteristic to the traditional parametric toolpath calculation. “While the main roughing cycle took the same time to machine, the more precise result allowed all subsequent rest-roughing toolpaths to be significantly faster in both calculation and machining times. Our tests presented improvements in the rest-roughing area of up to 70 percent.”

WORKNC CAM Senior Developer Pierre Bassomo supports those findings: “The use of the modern Advanced Toolform technology, even when applied to regular parametric tool shapes, improves the quality of the toolpath, and allows the user to break free from limitations such as stepovers or negative offsets bigger than the tool’s corner radius, even on conical tools.”

WORKNC Designer

WORKNC’s Advanced hybrid modelling system, WORKNC Designer, introduces an Electrode module, with intuitive and simple dedicated functions designed by engineers with experience in the mold and die industry. WORKNC Designer’s Technical Product Manager Hayley Burrows says, “The combination of the new, streamlined electrode functionality, easy-to-use direct modelling commands and powerful surfacing and healing tools means electrodes from imported models can be extracted quickly to create finer details on parts which can’t be machined using traditional milling techniques.”

WORKNC Designer also brings an enhanced link to WORKNC Traditional, now preparing the entire workzone before sending it to the manufacturing planning phase of the process. Die Product and Market Manager Miguel Johann says, “The workflow has been streamlined, making sure the process is as simple, automated and straight-forward as possible. The WORKNC solution is now empowered by a modern CAD preparation platform that will continue to bring WORKNC users closer to the digital thread.” 

WORKNC 2020.1 also brings an integrated link to Hexagon’s simulation solution, NCSIMUL, meaning that manufacturing data created in WORKNC is brought automatically into the application, including fixtures, roughed stock, part design, program origins, machine programs, and complete cutting tool library. From the WORKNC to NCSIMUL link interface, users can elect the Digital Twin Machine available to prove out post-processed G-code programs. This seamless process can transfer multiple part set-ups for verifying multiple operation G-code.

Silvère Proisy, simulation solutions sales manager for the Americas, says, “This link between the two solutions is designed so that no further manipulation is required in NCSIMUL for the project set-up. After the interface has done its job, NCSIMUL verification is ready for troubleshooting the new machining jobs through the unique and easy three-step verification process. It means no more file manipulation, lower risk of error, and faster programming-to-verification time.” NCSIMUL provides feedrate optimization, and shop floor documentation.

Concluding, Johann says, “Overall, as part of Hexagon’s philosophy of building smart into all our solutions, the new and enhanced functionality in WORKNC 2020.1 provides more interconnected data, which contributes to smart factories becoming even smarter.”

About Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence Division

Hexagon is a global leader in sensor, software and autonomous solutions. We are putting data to work to boost efficiency, productivity, and quality across industrial, manufacturing, infrastructure, safety, and mobility applications.

Our technologies are shaping urban and production ecosystems to become increasingly connected and autonomous – ensuring a scalable, sustainable future.

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division provides solutions that utilize data from design and engineering, production and metrology to make manufacturing smarter. For more information, visit

Hexagon (Nasdaq Stockholm: HEXA B) has approximately 20,000 employees in 50 countries and net sales of approximately 3.8bn EUR. Learn more at 

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Xometry Acquires Shift, Europe’s Largest On-Demand Manufacturing Marketplace

GAITHERSBURG, Md. and MUNICHDec. 3, 2019

Xometry, the largest marketplace for On-Demand manufacturing, announced the acquisition of Munich-based Shift, the largest On-Demand manufacturing marketplace in Europe. Through the acquisition, Xometry will accelerate its international expansion into 12 new countries, leveraging a worldwide network of over 4,000 manufacturers.

“Global expansion is a key step for us,” said Xometry CEO Randy Altschuler. “Many of our customers, like BMW and Bosch, have a global presence and we can serve more of their needs with a global network. Our AI-driven algorithms and intelligent sourcing platform give us a competitive advantage as we expand across new geographies and manufacturing technologies.”

“We are thrilled to join the Xometry team,” said Albert Belousov, Shift co-founder and Managing Director of Xometry Europe. “Our customers and suppliers will benefit from us joining forces with Xometry.”

Dmitry Kafidov, Shift co-founder and Managing Director of Xometry Europe, agreed. He said, “We’re eager to leverage Xometry’s technology to continue to scale our business in Europe. We look forward to providing our customers additional manufacturing capabilities, including additive manufacturing and  injection molding.”

Shift co-founder and Head of Technology for Xometry Europe Alexander Belskiy noted, “There are huge opportunities in enabling Xometry’s Instant Quote Engine and other product features in the European market.”

Shift has built the largest On-Demand manufacturing network in Europe and a customer base that includes some of the leading manufacturing companies in Europe. Shift will operate as Xometry Europe and continue to be headquartered in Munich, Germany.

Shift’s lead investors include Cherry Ventures who will become investors in Xometry. Christian Meermann, Founding Partner, Cherry Ventures stated, “The custom manufacturing industry is a massive global market of over $100 billion. We’re excited for Shift to utilize Xometry’s industry-leading technology as well as leverage the global manufacturing expertise from other Xometry investors, including BMW i Ventures and Robert Bosch Venture Capital.”

Xometry has raised $118 million since it was founded in 2013. Over the past two years, the company has grown from 100 employees to over 300 while more than doubling revenue each year.

About Xometry
Xometry is the largest marketplace for On-Demand manufacturing, connecting customers with optimal manufacturing solutions through proprietary AI algorithms. Xometry provides custom manufacturing and industrial supply materials to a diverse customer base, ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies around the world. Our international network of over 4,000 partner manufacturing facilities enables us to maintain consistently fast lead times while offering a broad array of capabilities, including CNC Machining, 3D Printing, Sheet Metal Fabrication, Injection Molding, and Urethane Casting. Xometry’s customers include BMW, Bosch, Dell Technologies, General Electric, and NASA.

SOURCE Xometry

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Dry ice blasting helps contractor improve industrial robot cleaning process


Since 1992, RobotWorx has been refurbishing industrial robots, restoring the workhorses of manufacturing environments to like-new condition. Robots are commodities today, performing everything from welding tasks to more intrinsic materials’ handling in solar panel clean room environments. RobotWorx receives used robots from a variety of sources and in a variety of conditions. Some of the robots have been used on busy automotive lines while others may have only been required to perform infrequent routine tasks that did not result in significant wear and tear. For RobotWorx, opportunity begins when companies upgrade their plants or close their facilities, or when old robots are replaced with new shinier models. Regardless of their condition, RobotWorx gives used and old robots new life.


When used robots arrive at RobotWorx, they typically show evidence of their past processes and environments. Many are covered in grime, welding residues, paint, grease and other debris; validation of their grueling applications. In order to prepare these robots for resell or integration into pre-engineered turnkey cells, they must be cleaned. A RobotWorx maintenance crew typically spends a full day per robot manually scrubbing them with traditional solvent-based cleaning solution and towels. While the process worked, it was not the most cost effective or efficient cleaning method, particularly for a company that buys and sells hundreds of used robots each year.

“In many cases, we are bringing in dozens of robots each week in a variety of conditions, and we need to be able to quickly clean them and get them ready for a potential buyer,” said Matt Schrift, RobotWorx shop manager. “Our cleaning process, while critical to our business, was presenting a challenge for us, and we needed to find a solution that could clean the robots without damaging electronic components.”

Many of the robots acquired by RobotWorx have been used non-stop for years, and as a result, exhibit significant build-up of grease and debris. RobotWorx needed a cleaning solution that could help remove the dirt from the robots’ hard metal surfaces, as well as from the more sensitive electrical components, controllers, cables and wiring. While the manual cleaning process helped RobotWorx avoid any issues with the electrical components or the metal surfaces, it was tedious and cumbersome.


To speed up and simplify the cleaning and refurbishing process, RobotWorx replaced its traditional solvents and manual cleaning methods with a Cold Jet Aero Series dry ice blast cleaning system. The dry ice blast cleaning process is similar in concept to sand or soda blasting, where the respective media is accelerated through a pressurized airstream. The main difference is that rather than sand or soda, Cold Jet’s system use recycled CO2 in the form of dry ice pellets to clean surfaces. The CO2 pellets are accelerated at supersonic speeds through a specialized hose and nozzle. Once the pellets hit the surface of the robots, the combination of kinetic energy and thermal gradient effects of the dry ice blast breaks the bond between the surface and the residue. Upon impact with the robots’ surface, the CO2 sublimates, returning to its natural gas form, and without leaving any secondary waste to clean up.

Since replacing its traditional cleaning methods, RobotWorx has dedicated an area of its 100,000 square foot headquarters to cleaning robots with the dry ice blast cleaning system. The company has also trained multiple people on how to use the system, which allows RobotWorx to clean robots as often as necessary. RobotWorx uses about 500 pounds of dry ice to clean four to five medium-sized robots and their controllers.

“Dry ice blasting has made a significant impact on our entire robot refurbishing process,” said Schrift, “Cold Jet’s dry ice blast cleaning process allows us to clean effectively without damaging any of the robots’ components. It is much faster than the tedious and time-consuming solvent alternative and saves us time on the initial cleaning of the robots, which in turn speeds up the entire refurbishment process, allowing us to prepare more robots for customers.” Schrift added, “The major advantage of cleaning robots ahead of time is that they are much more attractive to buyers, particularly when most of our customers learn about our inventory from our website. If a clean robot sits in storage for too long, it has to be cleaned again, which makes having a fast and effective cleaning solution even more important.”


With dry ice blast cleaning, RobotWorx has dramatically reduced its cleaning time per robot. The company’s manual cleaning process required several employees to clean robots by hand, taking as much as eight hours per robot. With dry ice blast cleaning, RobotWorx has reduced the cleaning time to less than two hours with a one-person cleaning crew. Since dry ice blast cleaning produces no secondary waste, there is nothing to clean up except the debris that was blasted from the robot’s surface. RobotWorx estimates that it now saves more than $60 in labor costs per robot and was able to reduce its use of cleaning solvents by 75%, as well as the costs of other supplies needed to clean the robots by hand.

Unlike steam cleaning or water, dry ice blast cleaning also allows RobotWorx to clean its electrical equipment without leaving a moisture blanket on or inside the robot. Dry ice blasting dramatically reduces the need for solvents or chemicals, creating a safer work environment for RobotWorx employees.

The dry ice blast cleaning method is part of RobotWorx comprehensive reconditioning process, which helps to restore the used robots to like-new conditions, and in some cases, adds 15 years to the robot’s life. Unlike sand or soda blasting, dry ice blast cleaning is a non-abrasive process that will not damage manufacturing equipment, and saves companies time and costs by reducing the necessary cleaning resources.

For a remanufacturer like RobotWorx, dry ice blasting is helping to give years of service back to hundreds of robots each year. The dry ice blast cleaning process has provided RobotWorx with an efficient, user-friendly, environmentally responsible cleaning solution that is literally helping to bring robots back to life.

For more information on dry ice blasting and other solutions, visit

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BIG KAISER Brings Back Popular Boring Kit Promotion Just in Time for the Holidays

Hoffman Estates, IL – For the second consecutive year, BIG KAISER is offering to gift your favorite manufacturing skills training program with a free high-precision boring head kit. Now through the end of December, when you buy one boring kit, BIG KAISER will donate an identical kit to an educational institution of your choice.

The SERIES 112 BORING KIT is a ready-to-go high-precision boring head kit that provides everything you need to tool up for boring jobs in a range of diameters from ø0.700″ to 6.000″ with just one boring head. The tooling and carefully selected accessories come stored in a custom carrying case with foam inlay to keep the components organized and to protect the instruments when not in use. The kits includes inserts suitable for fine boring of general steel and cast iron. The only necessary item not included is the shank, which must be purchased separately to match the taper of your machine.

There are two easy requirements to purchase your SERIES 112 Kit and give one as a gift.

  1. Place the order with your local distributor and request “Drop Ship from BIG KAISER.”
  2. Mention promo code BOGO2019.

The free kit will be sent to the school on behalf of you or your company, and you will be notified when the kit ships from BIG KAISER. Be sure to place your order before December 31, 2019, to benefit your local school.

BIG KAISER is a worldwide leader in high-precision tooling systems and solutions for the metalcutting industry that guarantee extreme accuracy and repeatability. Our products are of the utmost quality — manufactured with materials and craftsmanship that enable superior performance. As a member of the BIG DAISHOWA Group (Osaka, Japan), BIG KAISER has grown into a well-recognized global tooling provider, with manufacturing facilities in North America, Switzerland and Japan. In addition, BIG KAISER is the North American representative of Speroni tool measuring machines, Sphinx high performance drills, mptec measuring stands, Tekusa spindle cleaners and the UNILOCK zero point work holding system by Innotool.

For more information, contact BIG KAISER, Hoffman Estates, IL, at 224-770-2999, e-mail or visit

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New Thomson video spotlights customer’s use of electric linear actuators’ synchronization option

10.23.2019 – RADFORD, VA – Thomson Industries, Inc., a leading manufacturer of linear motion control solutions, has released a video showing how the synchronization feature available with its Electrak® HD electromechanical linear actuators helped Spika Design and Manufacturing address a growing customer demand.  Spika is a Montana-based provider of commercial and custom industrial work platforms suitable for a wide variety of assembly and maintenance operations.

Thomson’s latest video is now available on its website and YouTube channel.

Prior to adopting electromechanical actuators, height variability for Spika’s work platforms relied upon manual screw jacks and hydraulics, which carried many drawbacks. Load distribution and uneven platforms still posed challenges for customers, even with standard self-synchronizing electric actuators. As a result, Spika engineers began to search for alternative solutions to optimize their platform designs.

“In the past, we have used hydraulics, and we found that they were messy for the end user, and we had a hard time keeping the platform level from one side to the other,” said Kyle Whitecraft, Director of Quality Assurance at Spika. “With more unique customer needs, where we need up to 12 or 14 feet of adjustability, we realized we needed to source other actuators with more strength, synchronization options and longer strokes to continue meeting our customers’ expectations.

When Thomson introduced their line of Electrak HD actuators, it was very well custom made for our requirements,” said Tom Spika, the company’s founder and CEO, referring to the product’s optimized speed, power and control for dynamic loading with the right stroke lengths. “Thomson also offered simplistic installation, everything was integrated within the actuators and took very little time to assemble into our system.” 

The Electrak HD provided greater static strength, which was important for Spika,” said Chad Carlberg, Product Line Manager – Linear Actuators with Thomson. “Anytime they faced a cantilever or an uneven load, they needed synchronization. The Electrak HD also moved faster than previous actuators. Plus, when Spika faced hard challenges with delivery and long lead times for their customers, we were able to deliver in 2-3 weeks.

As Spika’s platforms became more proficient, they received additional requests from customers and were able to get rid of the counter weights for the cantilever parts; as well as resolve the onboard counter weighting to address the uneven loading conditions. With Thomson’s synchronization feature, the speed of actuation remains constant even in the presence of uneven loads on the actuator. This was particularly important in applications where different actuators in sync on the same platform experience different types of loads such as small or large, compression or tension, while still delivering stable movement.  

“Synchronization has allowed us to ensure accuracy,” added Spika. “With the Electrak HD series, we can also connect more than one deck together, link actuators and elevate all platforms at one time to ensure they are all consistently elevating.”

Spika’s customers require a safe access platform capable of a variety of heights that allows them to work ergonomically. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations had required Spika to load test all of their platforms to a 4x safety factor. One of the immediate benefits that Thomson’s actuator provided was static load ratings, holding loads up to 18 kn. “With our Electrak HD electromechanical actuators, we have been able to help Spika provide customers with greater variation of work platforms with stronger static control and faster delivery,” said Carlberg.  

In the future, Spika hopes to expand use of Electrak HD actuators with servo motor control and PLCs. “As we go forward, we are going to be designing new and unique products to address the application needs of our customers,” said Tom Spika. “Without a doubt, Thomson is going to be a part of that process of development.” 

To view the full video, please visit:

For more information about Thomson’s Electrak HD Linear actuators, please visit:

About Thomson

With more than 70 years of motion control innovation and quality, Thomson is the industry’s premier producer of Linear Ball Bushing® Bearings and Profile Rail Bearings, 60 Case® Shafting, ground and rolled Ball Screws, Linear Actuators, Gearheads, Clutches, Brakes, Linear Systems, and related accessories. Thomson invented the Linear Ball Bushing Bearing in 1945, and has set the standard ever since with an unsurpassed set of mechanical motion control solutions serving global commercial and aerospace & defense markets. Thomson Industries, Inc. has facilities in North America, Europe and Asia with over 2000 distributor locations around the world.

Thomson Industries, Inc., 1500 Mittel Boulevard, Wood Dale, IL 60191-1073; 1-540-633-3549; 1-540-633-0294 (fax);;

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BIG KAISER Enhances Online Access to 2D and 3D Tooling Data

Hoffman Estates, IL – BIG KAISER, a global leader in premium high-precision tooling systems and solutions for the metalworking industries, has redesigned one of the most popular tools on—the manuals, DXF and STEP (STP) Search. The improvements make finding 2D and 3D data and specific product manuals easier. As users type a catalog number into the search field, a drop-down menu will display available DXF, STP and manuals.

“After gathering feedback from our customers, the tool was completely redesigned for the North American market,” Alan Miller, engineering manager, said. “The hope is that making both DXF and STP models available online helps customers’ work a little faster and their day-to-day jobs easier.”

DXF standard allows customers to combine products from multiple companies with unified layer structures. The STP standard keeps things simple for program simulation. DXF access is open to anyone but STP downloads will require a login (application link on download page).

The tool can be found here:

BIG KAISER is a worldwide leader in high-precision tooling systems and solutions for the metalcutting industry that guarantee extreme accuracy and repeatability. Our products are of the utmost quality — manufactured with materials and craftsmanship that enable superior performance. As a member of the BIG DAISHOWA Group (Osaka, Japan), BIG KAISER has grown into a well-recognized global tooling provider, with manufacturing facilities in North America, Switzerland and Japan. In addition, BIG KAISER is the North American representative of Speroni tool measuring machines, Sphinx high performance drills, mptec measuring stands, Tekusa spindle cleaners and the UNILOCK zero point work holding system by Innotool.

For more information, contact BIG KAISER, Hoffman Estates, IL, at 224-770-2999, e-mail or visit

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