Industry News

Dirty Work For Robots: How Two Young Immigrant Entrepreneurs Created Oven-Sized Roombas To Chase A $5B Opportunity

By Amy Feldman, on

On a recent late-winter afternoon, 31-year-old Faizan Sheikh, cofounder and chief executive officer of Avidbots, shows off what the company’s 1,050-pound cleaning robot, Neo, can do. Inside an enclosure made of thousands of giant white, blue and yellow Lego bricks at the company’s factory in Kitchener, Ontario, the robot goes through a quality assurance test, turning corners and scrubbing the floor as it goes. Lights along the bottom of the machine glow blue as it moves autonomously, then turn fuchsia as it stops to remap its route, aided by artificial intelligence. Once the machine is fully vetted in the Lego test zone, it will be loaded into a wooden crate and lined up with a handful of others that are waiting to be shipped to customers. Walking the floor, Sheikh, wearing a gray puffy jacket over a blue Avidbots T-shirt, can barely contain his excitement. “Avidbots,” he says, “is like a fantasy space for engineers.”

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We Belong Here

By Emily Probst, Managing Editor of Modern Machine Shop

Three women—a young welder, an experienced machinist/setup person and a shop owner—share what it is like to be a woman in manufacturing and illustrate that a more inclusive workforce helps the industry thrive.

While a good deal of the talk at this year’s International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) focused on big data, automation and 3D-printing technologies, what struck me most was the undercurrent of change in our industry. There was a palpable uptick in the number of female attendees learning about new technology, leading seminars and making purchasing decisions. Moreover, a walk through the show’s Smartforce Student Summit revealed nonchalant, coed groups of young people seemingly unconcerned with the industry’s historic gender divide, foreshadowing change on the horizon and illuminating what could be a key piece to solving the workforce development puzzle.

This is such an important change that it is worth noting for its own sake. Greater inclusiveness in manufacturing is good for our industry, and it is playing out in very real ways in businesses across the United States. By examining the experiences of…

Read the complete story on Modern Machine Shop.

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If at First Your CNC Machine Shop Doesn’t Succeed with Robots, Automate Again

By Derek Korn, Executive Editor, Modern Machine Shop

Alexandria Industries struggled with its first robotic machining cell. However, the aluminum extrusion components manufacturer—now with more than 20 robots—discovered that by simplifying and standardizing its automation strategy, it could reap the benefits of unattended machining even for relatively low batch sizes.

On one hand, Alexandria Industries’ first attempt at machine-tending robotics was Rosie. On the other, it was not so rosy….

Read the full article on Modern Machine Shop.

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To Register For This Year’s Event, Visit

The Technical Program Committee continues to improve this premier training and networking event for the precision machining industry. The content of this conference is targeted to the cross-section of talent and machining capabilities used by precision machining shops today. Track programming is targeted to three groups of personnel: Technical, Quality, and Leadership Development. Each ‘block’ of programming will have sessions designed for each track.

NOTE: For your convenience, Individual Acknowledgement Packs will be distributed at the NTC registration desk along with show badges.

Related Web Pages and Sites:
Official Cleveland Visitors Guide
Download Cleveland Maps
United Airlines Meeting Travel Package – Use Code DCLE18
NTC Info Page


Registration includes: 
– Access to all NTC sessions
– Lunch & Keynote Speaker
– Lunch & Awards
– Breakfast on Monday and Tuesday
– Meet & Greet Networking
– Reception


Registration fees will be refunded in full if cancellations are received by 5:00 p.m., Monday, March 25th. Fees for cancellations after March 25 cannot be refunded, but substitutions are encouraged.


Attendees of the 2019 PMPA National Technical Conference are eligible for 1.1 units.

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NEW PRODUCT: EXAIR Soft Grip Back Blow Safety Air Gun for Cleaning Small Inside Diameters

EXAIR’s new Soft Grip Back Blow Safety Air Gun uses the smallest back blow nozzle available to deliver a blast of air to effectively blow debris and liquids from inside small pipe or hose diameters, channels, bores, holes, internal threads and other internal part features. The ergonomic design of the air gun keeps the operator’s hand in a comfortable position so it can be used for hours of continuous use without fatigue.

An array of holes on the Model 1004SS M4 Back Blow Air Nozzle provides a forceful back-facing 360-degree airflow to clear out coolant, chips and light oils from machining processes. This nozzle prevents blowing chips further into a part, tube or pipe and eliminates any safety hazard created by blowing debris out the far end of a pipe or tube. Air consumption is only 4.5 SCFM at 80 PSIG with a low sound level of 75 dBA. The nozzle is manufactured to clean inside openings as small as 1/4 inch (6mm) and up to 1 inch (25mm). It is constructed of type 316 stainless steel to provide durability and superior resistance to corrosion. The air gun with nozzle is OSHA and CE compliant.

A variety of Safety Air Guns with Back Blow Nozzles are available for cleaning diameters up to 16 inches (406mm). Chip Shields to protect the operator from the exiting debris are included with the Soft Grip, VariBlast Compact and Heavy Duty Back Blow Safety Air Guns. Extension pipes from 6 inches (152mm) to 72 inches (1829mm) are available to provide reach for longer tube and pipe clean out. Prices for the Soft Grip Back Blow Safety Air Gun start at $161. 

For more information, contact: 

EXAIR Corporation
11510 Goldcoast Dr.
Cincinnati, OH  45249-1621
Phone: (800) 903-9247
Fax: (513) 671-3363

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Mazak to Host Midwest Advanced Manufacturing Technology Event

Mazak to Host Midwest Advanced Manufacturing Technology Event

Company will welcome TMA Precision Machining Competition for high school students

FLORENCE, Ky., February 12, 2019 – Mazak will host an annual Discover More with Mazak™ Technology and Education Event at its Midwest Technology Center in Schaumburg, Illinois, on May 9, 2019, featuring live machines showcasing advanced Mazak technologies. This event also will incorporate the 28th annual Technology & Manufacturing Association (TMA) Precision Machining Competition for Illinois high school students who demonstrate outstanding skills with manufacturing technologies.

Through interactive presentations, attendees will experience the capabilities of 10 advanced Mazak turning, vertical, 5-axis and Multi-Tasking machines, including high-quality equipment manufactured in Mazak’s Florence, Kentucky, U.S. headquarters. Attendees also will have opportunities to discuss machining challenges with Mazak personnel and to learn more about how Mazak partners with its customers.

Attendees also will interact with MAZATROL Smooth CNCs, which allow for both EIA/ISO and conversational programming. These controls offer advanced machine design and unequaled engineering resources for unsurpassed ease of use and productivity. Mazak’s comprehensive suite of digital SMOOTH TECHNOLOGY solutions and network connectivity options make remote monitoring simple for advanced productivity and production efficiency, adding digital manufacturing functionality with support for the MTConnect® open-source, royalty-free manufacturing protocol that enables data collection from the CNC on any networked machine.

The TMA Precision Machining Competition will enable local high school students who create and submit machining projects to be considered for 25 eligible award options in six categories. Student attendees, parents and instructors also will network with representatives of the local manufacturing industry to gain answers to questions and discuss career opportunities. More than 240 students from 20 high schools submitted nearly 300 projects for the 2018 competition.

The event will feature live demonstrations of the following Mazak machines:

  • QT-PRIMOS 100 light-duty 2-axis turning center with high speed, accuracy and torque for big productivity advantages in a compact footprint. This machine also features an integrated gantry loader.
  • HC-5000 machining center with high-speed tool changer and 84-tool drum-style magazine.
  • HQR 250MSY Multi-Tasking Turning Center with twin-spindle, twin-turret configuration for single-setup machining and high-volume throughput.
  • Kentucky-made QTU-350MY HP CNC Multi-Tasking Turning Center with high-performance turning spindle and powerful motor for rotary milling tooling.
  • VC-500A/5X 5-Axis Vertical Machining Center with trunnion-style rotary/tilt table for accurate, cost-effective processing of small complex parts.
  • VC-500C Vertical Machining Center with 3-axis table for accurate processing of small parts.
  • VTC-300C Vertical Machining Center with powerful 40-taper spindle, full traveling column design and fixed table for machining extremely long and heavy workpieces.
  • INTEGREX i-150 advanced Multi-Tasking machine that combines the capabilities of a high-powered turning center and a full-function machining center for versatile, precise single-setup production and high throughput.
  • INTEGREX i-300ST advanced Multi-Tasking machine with combined turning and machining capabilities, along with a second turning spindle for DONE IN ONE® processing and a lower turret.
  • INTEGREX j-300 5-Axis Multi-Tasking Turning Center with increased axis travels and a powerful milling/turning motor for efficient production in a robust machine platform.

For a complete list of machine tools running live demonstrations, presentation schedules and to register for the Midwest Event, visit

Discover Mazak Midwest: Preliminary Schedule

Thursday, May 9, 2019

9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.  Exclusive customer interactive machine presentations

11:30 a.m.-2:00 pm  Lunch

5:00 p.m.        Guest arrivals and TMA Precision Machining Competition begin

6:00 p.m.        TMA awards presentation

About Mazak Corporation

Mazak Corporation is a leader in the design and manufacture of productive machine tool solutions. Committed to being a partner to customers with innovative technology, its world-class facility in Florence, Kentucky, produces over 100 models of turning centers, Multi-Tasking machines and vertical machining centers, including 5-axis models. Continuously investing in manufacturing technology allows the Kentucky iSMART Factory to be the most advanced and efficient in the industry, providing high-quality and reliable products. Mazak maintains eight Technology Centers across North America to provide local hands-on applications, service and sales support to customers. For more information on Mazak’s products and solutions, visit or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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The Big Reveal: Hydromat’s 40th Anniversary Commemorative Motorcycle to Appear on “American Chopper”

In celebration of Hydromat’s 40th anniversary, To commemorate the milestone, the company brought in Orange County Choppers (OCC) of the Discovery Channel TV series, “American Chopper,”  to build a custom motorcycle. The bobber-style bike is themed with the classic Hydromat logo style. OCC’s head designer, Jason Pohl, utilized the red color theme of the new Hydromat Eclipse 12-100 machine to tie the past to the present.

The design and build of the 40th Anniversary Hydromat bike will be featured on the first episode of American Choppers 2019 season, airing on the Discovery Channel on February 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. 

Hydromat CEO Bruno Schmitter, President Matthias Walter, and other Hydromat associates welcomed OCC’s founder Paul Teutul Sr. to the 2018 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) for the unveiling of the Hydromat motorcycle. The unveiling will be aired as part of the upcoming show, which will also include scenes from OCC’s visit to Hydromat’s campus in St. Louis, Missouri, along with their design and building processes.

Orange County Choppers is featured on the reality TV series “American Chopper” on the Discovery Channel. After a five-year hiatus, the show has returned to the network as Paul Teutul Sr. and Paul Teutul Jr. rejoin the custom bike building industry.

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Ecoclean at PMTS 2019

Solutions optimally adapted to the challenges in precision parts cleaning

(Southfield, Michigan) In precision machining, parts cleaning is a decisive manufacturing step for the quality and functionality of components. At PMTS 2019, Ecoclean Inc. (booth 7061) will discuss developments in its product portfolio that help in achieving cleanliness requirements quickly, reliably and economically. In addition to a broad range of solutions, from which some can be seen live, a presentation from Ecoclean at the Parts Cleaning Conference will discuss the influence and future of Industry 4.0 and
Digitalization in industrial parts cleaning.

The requirements for component cleanliness are decisive factors in the selection or optimization of a cleaning process for machined parts that must operate perfectly as a finished product, or be prepared for subsequent production steps, e.g. heat treatment, welding, adhesive bonding, sealing, coating, as well as assembly. The size and geometry of the components, materials, type and amount of contamination, throughput, the required flexibility and any automation / manufacturing integration also play an important role. This results in different demands on cleaning systems and processes. At PMTS in Cleveland (OH), which will take place from April 2 –
4, 2019, Ecoclean will be presenting a future-oriented range of solutions. They are designed to provide the required cleaning quality in a stable and sustainable manner, with minimal cost per cleaned part.

The standard in solvent-based cleaning

With the EcoCcore, Ecoclean will showcase a cleaning machine, which sets standards in solvent-based cleaning. The fully enclosed system is designed to for the efficient cleaning of large quantities of parts to meet tight cleanliness specifications. It works either with non-halogenated hydrocarbons or modified alcohols. The base EcoCcore system owes its performance to a feature packed standard equipment list which comprises, e.g., two flooding tanks, heat recovery, full-flow and bypass filtration, plus assorted details minimizing non-productive cycle times. In addition, the machine cuts per-unit costs due to its high throughput while achieving
a superior cleaning quality at the same time. This high quality is attained, among other factors, by an innovative preliminary steam degreasing technology wherein the oil-containing solvent, contrary to common practice, does not end up in the flooding tank but is directed straight into the distillation unit. The steam pre-degreasing step also provides advantages where high oil input rates are encountered and in cases where the second flooding tank is used for a corrosion protection treatment. For applications in which coarse and fine cleaning as well as corrosion protection is required, it can be equipped with a third flooding tank. The optional automatic loading unit enables fully automated cleaning processes. For the ultra-fine degreasing treatment that commonly follows wet chemical cleaning with a solvent or aqueous medium, Ecoclean offers an innovative plasma solution. It permits an additional low-pressure plasma cleaning step to be performed in the cleaning chamber of the wet cleaning system, e.g. EcoCcore. By means of this combined cleaning cycle, the free surface energy that is key to optimum adhesive strength can be raised to 50 to 80 mN/m in virtually one single process.

Optimally adapted water-based cleaning

Information will also be provided on solutions for water-based cleaning. In these fields Ecoclean provides different cleaning machines that meet various requirements regarding part geometry and size, throughput and cleanliness. When it comes to fine and ultrafine cleaning, e.g. in machine tool production, precision mechanics, medical engineering and the optical industry, the ultrasonic cleaning systems made by UCM, a member company of the SBS Ecoclean Group, shine with many advantages at both the machine and
process technology levels.

Presentation on Industry 4.0 and Digitalization in industrial parts cleaning

Sandro Siminovich, Director of Sales at Ecoclean Inc, will make a presentation talking about “The influence and future of Industry 4.0 and Digitalization in industrial parts cleaning” at the Parts Cleaning Conference, providing an even deeper insight on future trends of parts cleaning. The presentation will discuss how new technologies and approaches such as Smart Manufacturing, Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 could affect industrial parts cleaning equipment and impact plant productivity. Attendees will leave with a thorough understanding of possible solutions, trends, capabilities advantages and pitfalls of remote connectivity and diagnostics of industrial cleaning systems. Sandro will speak on Thursday, April 4th, at 9.00 am.

Ecoclean, Inc. is located in Southfield, Michigan, and employs just over 50 staff members. Besides sales, service and spare parts departments, the company manufactures many machines locally, including the EcoCcore presented at PMTS. This yields an improved local support for customers and an increase of local knowledge. Customers have easy access to the production facility to check progress of machine build and runoff their equipment prior to delivery. In addition, a local build machine reduces the influence
of foreign trade policies in end price to the customer. Ecoclean has a Showroom and Test Center in Southfield that is equipped with different machines capable of performing tests with different cleaning media, deburring, hot air and vacuum drying. Customers are always welcome to visit and bring their parts to see the results simulating real production conditions. The on-site laboratory will be able to evaluate contamination and residual analysis to make sure the process meets customer demands.

Ecoclean Inc. at PMTS: Booth 7061

Contact: Ecoclean Inc., Sandro Siminovich, Phone +1 (0) 248 450 2000,
26801 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, MI 48033, USA,

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HEIDENHAIN’s New LC 201 Single-Section Linear Encoder for Absolute Applications

SCHAUMBURG, IL (January 2019) – Long machine tool axes are increasingly being equipped with linear drives, and HEIDENHAIN’s new LC 201 absolute linear scale was introduced to specifically meet those drive position feedback needs. This new scale is a single-section METALLUR tape encoder which is ideal for use in linear motor applications that may be required to reach high acceleration levels within the linear drive systems.

HEIDENHAIN’s LC 201 scale is especially useful in the machine tool and aerospace machining sectors, but will also work in applications for electronics, automation, medical technology and metrology industries. The encoder has an absolute 2-track graduation and a large single-field scanning window – using a reflective light method of scanning. This produces high signal quality, resistance to contamination – all with no homing routine required at start-up. This new single-section encoder is available in measuring lengths from 440 mm to 4240 mm, and the multi-section version goes up to 28 meters or more with the TNC Control. This new encoder uses the same reader head and cables as its multi-section older brother.

Developed as an addition to the LC 200 linear encoder family, the LC 201 has its same form, fit and functionality.  Also, the entire LC 2xx series encoders are bolt-hole compatible with HEIDENHAIN’s LB 382 series encoders, thereby providing a simple upgrade path for existing machines from incremental to absolute feedback.

Special features of the LC 2xx series encoders are:

  • Absolute feedback in a one-piece scale body.
  • Selectable thermal properties.
  • Improved end blocks with integrated sealing air throttle.
  • Multiple scanning units can be installed on one scale.

The encoder is produced with the ultrafast Endat 2.2 interface and allows speeds up to three meters per second. It is also made Fanuc αi and Mitsubishi interfaces as well.


DR. JOHANNES HEIDENHAIN GmbH, headquartered in Traunreut, Germany, develops and supports motion control feedback solutions for the machine tool, semiconductor, electronics assembly and test, metrology, automation, medical, energy, biotechnology and other global markets. HEIDENHAIN employs approximately 6,000 people worldwide in its core business activities. The North American subsidiary is HEIDENHAIN CORPORATION, headquartered in Schaumburg, IL, and San Jose, CA, and has been serving the U.S. industry for over 50 years.

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The Okuma GENOS M460V-5AX offers the most machine at the best price

The New Standard in 5-Axis Machining – the Okuma GENOS M460V-5AX

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (January 15th, 2019) – Okuma America Corporation announces the debut of the new 5-axis, GENOS M460V-5AX vertical machining center, combining a full 5-axis simultaneous control with rigid, cast iron, double-column construction and a high-speed spindle. These features give this CNC machine the ability to easily cut a variety of complex parts and exotic metals with speed and precision.

Key Features of the GENOS M460V-5AX

    • Spindle: The spindle motor design produces less vibration and power loss at the tool tip for excellent surface finishes
    • Pre-Tension Ball Screws: High precision ball screws generate smooth roller guide movement to all three axes and allow for better control of the machining process
    • Solid Trunnion: Using a hypoid gear drive, the sturdy trunnion has outstanding accuracy, rigidity and table rotation speed
    • OSP Control: Okuma’s open architecture machine control is PC based and allows customization for optimum machining performance
    • Thermo-Friendly Concept: Designed and built to be thermally stable to compensate for ambient temperatures around the machine and heat generated during machining – enabling increased accuracies
    • 5-Axis Auto-Tuning System: Maintains precise machining and easily fine tunes the machine by measuring geometric errors and automatically adjusting as needed

The GENOS M460V-5AX delivers machining excellence through a small machine footprint, rapid feed rates, precise cutting and smooth surface finishes. For more information on Okuma’s newest 5-axis VMC visit:

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, founded in 1898 in Nagoya, Japan. The company is the industry’s only single-source provider, with the CNC machine, drive, motors, encoders, and spindle all manufactured by Okuma. The company also designs their 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, Okuma is committed to helping users gain competitive advantage through the open possibilities of machine tools, today and into the future. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @OkumaAmerica.

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