Industry News

Kennametal and Mazak Provide Expertisefor Increased Productivity at Spring Aerospace Events

(LATROBE, PA) – The latest developments in multi-tasking machine tools and cutting-edge tooling will combine for the benefit of aerospace industry manufacturing companies at April and May events highlighting Kennametal tooling and Mazak machine tools at Mazak’s Northeast Regional Technology Center in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

Events are scheduled for April 13-14 and May 25-26 at the Mazak facility located near Bradley International Airport. Connecticut and the New England region is home to such leading engineering, research, design, and manufacturing companies in the aerospace industry as Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky, Hamilton Sundstrand, General Electric, GKN Aerospace, and scores of aerospace machine shops.

Francois Gau, Director, Global Segment Leadership at Kennametal will provide an overview of aerospace manufacturing issues at the April event. Other Kennametal speakers will include Mark Huston, vice president, research, development, and engineering on custom products; Alexander Momm, global product manager on turning tool developments; and John Riordan, product manager, on new milling products.

“There will be demos for milling, turning, and holemaking as well as news on the latest geometries, coatings, and material advances for achieving higher productivity in titanium, nickel alloys, and other advanced work materials,” says John Feehan, regional key account manager at Kennametal.

Mazak will showcase the latest in multi-tasking CNC machine tools for aerospace component manufacturers, including its new Quick Turn SMART machines, designed for high accuracy aluminum machining with enough rigidity for heavy-duty steel machining.

“We’ll also have at least seven multi-tasking machine tools under power at the event demonstrating machining aerospace parts,” says Mazak General Manager Steve Wilkins. Among them will be the Integrex 2004S featuring Kennametal KM™ quick-change tooling, the VCN 510C vertical machining center with pallet changer, and the E-420HST horizontal multi-tasking machining center.

Special guests will highlight the spring events, including Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis for The Teal Group (Fairfax, VA), who will keynote the May event.

Registration information is available by clicking “Events” on the Mazak website at

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Nagel ECO 40 Honing System with Automatic Tool Wear Compensation & Form Error Detection and Correction System

Nagel Precision’s (Ann Arbor, MI) high volume honing systems have been the automotive industry’s gold standard for decades, with over 60% market share in North America for honing engine blocks, connecting rods and pinion gears.

Nagel has now introduced a new of state of the art flexible stroke honing system ECO 40, developed specifically for low and medium volume production applications to hold submicron bore sizes and mirror finishes.

The system can have up to 3 honing and post process gauging stations and can finish bore sizes from 3 to 40 mm. The honing spindle and the stroking system are driven by AB servo motors. Compact gear driven index table enables part loading unloading during the finishing operation. The system can either be fully automated or tended manually.

Also standard on the Nagel ECO 40 is an automatic tool wear compensation system integrated into the post process gauging system and the honing spindle. The system controlled by AB servo monitors bore size on each and every part and automatically compensates for tool wear in all the honing stations by making fine submicron level adjustments.   This ensures great bore accuracy.  This is a huge improvement over the manual compensation systems that are more prevalent in the market place for low and medium volume applications. In a manual compensation system, operator has to frequently measure the finished bore and manually compensate for the tool wear.  Over / under compensation is common problem and leads to reduced control of bore size and also excessive machine down time as the operator has to stop the machine frequently to compensate for the tool wear.

The Nagel ECO 40’s tool wear compensation system is designed to further minimize the non cutting time while improving the bore quality. Once the tool is inserted in the bore, the tool expands at a rapid feed of 200 um/sec and at high torque (45% of available) till it reaches a predetermined position close to the bore, it will then switch to a rapid stock removal mode of about 4 um / sec at lower torques (15% of available) to avoid tool damage, and towards the end of the cycle it will further reduce the expansion rate to about 2 um /sec at 10% of the available torque. The system constantly monitors both the tool feed (u/sec) and the applied torque (as % of available), if the desired feed is not reached at the preset torque, the operator can either reduce to tool expansion rate if tighter tolerances are desired or increase the torque if quicker cycle times are needed. This is an added key process control parameter provided to the operator.

The tool expansion is rapid when there is no cutting and is slowest for the final finishing cut, which results in a consistent bore in terms of finish, size and cylindricity.

In addition The Nagel ECO 40 automatically senses the form error (for example taper, hour glass, barrel shape, ovality, bend, etc.) and makes automatic adjustments to correct it.

Most of the machines on the market today have a fixed stroke (as illustrated in figure 1) that is designed to hone a perfect bore, which as we are aware is not the case.

However some machines do offer control to the operator to dwell for a longer time at the bottom of blind bore or program a different stroke length to correct form errors. This however would require operator to know the exact nature of inaccuracy coming in and generate a program to address that particular form error. The configuration will not be effective should the type of form error change. Hence it would require a skilled operator to inspect the incoming part and modify the stroking accordingly, which however not always feasible and could be time consuming. The Nagel ECO 40, equipped with post process gauging can sense the form error coming in on each and every part, and make automatic adjustments in stroke to more effectively correct it.  ECO 40 raises the bore quality to all new different standard. Quality and productivity is not an accident, it is engineered in the system.

Nagel ECO 40 Spindle Automatic Tool Wear Compensation

Fully integrated with Pneumatic Post Process Gauging

Nagel ECO 40 Honing System

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Merrill receives Michigan Clean Energy Grant, adds boring mill for manufacture of large wind parts

Michigan job shop strengthens position in wind energy manufacturing with MAG horizontal boring mill – its sixth MAG machine tool acquisition since 2006.

March 2010 — Merrill Technologies Group President Bob Yackel (center) presents a plaque to Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm in recognition of the Governor’s support for the Clean Energy grant awarded by the state’s Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth. The presentation was made March 9, 2010 at the company’s facility in Merrill, MI. Merrill will use the grant to purchase a MAG MC 1600 to manufacture large wind turbine parts. The MC 1600, a machining center-type horizontal boring mill, automates large-part production and reduces non-cutting time with a pallet shuttle system and tool changer. The machine’s 1600 mm x 1600 mm (63 in x 63 in) table handles parts up to 15,000 kg (33,100 lbs).

This is the sixth MAG machine tool purchased by Merrill since 2006, as the company continues to diversify its customer base and serve the wind energy industry. Merrill also has two MAG RT 1600 boring mills, two vertical turning centers and a horizontal machining center. The new machine will be delivered to Merrill on April 1st, and Yackel says the first parts on the machine will almost certainly be wind-related, as a result of recent new business acquisition.

Michigan’s Centers of Energy Excellence program provides seed funding for clean-energy projects that create jobs in wind and other alternative energy sectors by leveraging the state’s research and development expertise in advanced manufacturing, engineering and materials sciences.

The federal Department of Energy (DOE) has said that Michigan is in the top five states for wind power generation potential and in the top four states for wind manufacturing jobs potential. DOE estimates Michigan has the potential to create more than 30,000 jobs by 2030.

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Joe LaRussa Named Director of Membership of Society of Manufacturing Engineers

New Director is Long-Time SME Member

DEARBORN, Mich., March 18, 2010 ― The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) announced today that Joe LaRussa, PE, has been named its Director of Membership. LaRussa will be responsible for increasing awareness of the value the Society has to offer manufacturing professionals. Debbie Holton, who was previously responsible for SME’s membership activities, will be assuming a leadership role as Director of Industry Strategy and Product Development, focusing on both existing and new event strategies which engage SME members and outside organizations.

“Joe will be a tremendous asset to the SME management team,” says Mark C. Tomlinson, executive director & general manger of SME. “His work as a volunteer and his understanding of manufacturing at a practical level will assist in the nurturing and development of existing and future members.”

Before joining SME, LaRussa was project manager, customer quality office for Chrysler Group LLC. Prior to that, he held various positions in product development, project management and manufacturing engineering at Visteon Corp., culminating with his position as a mobile electronics project manager. During his tenure at Visteon, LaRussa was responsible for generating profitable revenue and achieving production cost savings for the organization. He holds a BS in electrical engineering, an MS in automotive systems engineering and an MS in engineering management. He has been an SME member since 1994, previously serving as an SME Membership Consultant and was appointed to the SME Member Council in 2009. In 2008, he received the SAE Foundation’s Young Manufacturing Leadership Award.

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MAG receives second outstanding supplier award from SGMW

MAG Powertrain division honored by Chinese automaker for its XS 211 and XS 321 production lines.

March 2010 — MAG Powertrain recently received an “Outstanding Supplier” award from SAIC-GM-Wulin (SGMW) at a ceremony in Liuzhou, China, held to recognize suppliers for excellent technologies, products and service provided in 2009. This is the second consecutive outstanding supplier award MAG has received from SGMW, the largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles, such as minivans and transporters, in China. The supplier award recognizes the high performance and reliability of MAG’s systems and services that have contributed to SGMW’s success.

As a leading supplier of automotive production systems, MAG focuses on complete solutions, tailored to the customer’s requirements, for high volume manufacturing of engine components. According to MAG Powertrain, the cooperation with SGMW has been comprehensive from the start. “Based on a detailed analysis of the entire manufacturing process, we were able to provide a solution that will enhance the overall productivity, improve efficiency and reduce overall production costs,” says Dr. Hans-Ulrich Golz from MAG Powertrain.

MAG Powertrain has provided the largest gasoline engine production lines in China for SGMW. The capacity of these production lines – made up of 104 XS 211 and XS 321 horizontal machining centers – is 350,000 cylinder heads and blocks per year. Based on the success of these lines, SGMW chose MAG to supply 100 additional machines of this same type for a second installation with similar capacity at its Qingdao plant.

MAG supplied the first production line to SGMW five years ago, and it continues running at full capacity under 24/7 conditions. At the award presentation, SGMW expressed its satisfaction with the productivity and quality of the manufacturing system.

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Partners in THINC Welcomes KUKA Robotics as a New Partner

Charlotte, NC (March 10, 2010) – Okuma America Corporation is pleased to announce that KUKA Robotics, a leading supplier of industrial robots, has joined Partners in THINC.

KUKA Robotics core competencies include the development, production and sales of industrial robots, controllers, software, linear units and omniMoves™.  KUKA robots are utilized in a diverse range of industries including appliance, automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, logistics, food, pharmaceutical, medical, foundry and plastics industries.

As a member of Partners in THINC, KUKA Robotics’ mission is helping companies develop and implement ideas – optimizing their production to be quicker, more efficient and more accurate.  In conjunction with the KUKA System Partner Network and KUKA’s unrivaled range of industrial robots spanning payloads from 5kg to 1300kg, any integrated solution or application conceivable is possible.  All KUKA Robots utilize a common PC-based control platform, enabling them to easily connect to and communicate with the Okuma THINC control.

KUKA Robotics products can be seen and demonstrated at the Partners in THINC facility in Charlotte, NC.

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OJT News from NIMS

Great news from the On-The-Job Trainer Program! Nine persons participating in two day workshop at Portland, Maine on January 28-29 earned certifications as NIMS OJT Trainers. The workshop was co- sponsored by the Manufacturing Association of Maine.

The new credential holders represent five Maine companies:

  • Alan Aschoff and Ken Davis of Southern Maine Industries
  • Chuck Bates of General Dynamics ATP
  • Norm MacIntyre of MacIntyre Consulting
  • Joni Amalfitano, Shane Bouchard, Alison Hurlburt, and Wei Zhang of Northeast Laboratory Services
  • Andre Drouin of Mountain Machine Works

During the workshop each participant successfully completed three actual Training Performance Demonstrations, during which they were evaluated with skill checks against the NIMS competencies of Training Methodology, Communication, Coaching and Adult Learning. Each participant successfully passed the NIMS OJT Trainer theory examination, which led to official OJT Trainer Certification.

Congratulations to these nine individuals!

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Mr. Jochen Reichert

SUDBURY, MA. U.S.A. (March 1, 2010) – Methods Machine Tools, Inc., a leading supplier of innovative precision machine tools, has selected Mr. Jochen Reichert for the position of Western Regional Technical Sales Manager. He will be covering the United States west of the Mississippi River, Mexico and Costa Rica.

“Jochen brings a unique skill set to Methods,” commented Mr. Dave Lucius, VP of Sales at Methods Machine Tools, Inc.  “Having been an applications manager specializing in Five axis in CNC machining, in addition to owning his own machine shop, he has an in-depth understanding of the manufacturing process for many different applications and can help customers streamline their processes.”

Prior to joining Methods, Mr. Reichert spent eight years as Applications Manager at the North American Headquarters for the German-based 5-axis CNC-operated machine tool builder Hermle Machine Company LLC.  There he managed all applications projects including turnkeys, time studies, test cuts and training.  Mr. Reichert specialized in improving manufacturing processes for a variety of turbo machinery products, including impellers, turbines and blisks.  Before that, Mr. Reichert operated his own machine shop in Alberta, Canada. For seven years, he produced parts for many industries including oil drilling, snowmobile manufacturing, agricultural equipment, the computer industry and more.

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GibbsCAM 2010 to be Demonstrated at WESTEC 2010

Includes New Plunge Roughing, Additions to 5-axis and Advanced 3D Machining, Plus 64-bit Implementation

MOORPARK, CA – March 1, 2010 – Gibbs and Associates, developer of GibbsCAM® software for maximizing programming efficiency of CNC machine tools and a Cimatron company, announced today that it will be demonstrating GibbsCAM 2010 during the WESTEC 2010 show at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California from March 23-25, 2010 in booth #2236.  This new release includes multiple new features, additions, enhancements, and productivity tools.  

“We have been working very hard to provide customers new functionality across the GibbsCAM product family,” says Bill Gibbs, founder and president of Gibbs and Associates. “We added many capabilities to make programming and machining easier and more efficient, especially with new features in 5-axis and solids machining. We also implemented 64-bit operation to enable faster processing of long programs and complex parts, added support for new tools and tool holders, extended functionality within various modules, and extended and updated interoperability with various CAD systems,” he adds. “All this is in addition to the recent integration of VoluMillTM and making GibbsCAM compatible with the Windows® 7 operating system.”


Key GibbsCAM 5-axis Enhancements

These include more spiral machining options, new gouge check projection options, a new lead in/lead out “flip” option, a new axial shift damp option for trimming applications, and support for countersink and keyway cutters. More specific additions are the following.

Geometry Creation – A Surface Tools plug-in has been added to create surfaces for repairing or improving machinability of surfaces from solids.

Adaptive Cuts – This new option enables regulating the distance between paths based upon the angle of the surface to be machined to provide a consistent surface finish, regardless of surface angle.

Impeller Roughing – Has been enhanced with functionality that covers more contingencies, especially useful when roughing near and around splitter blades.

Tool Retraction – A new option, Retract Through Tube Center, enables retracting cutting tools from angled pockets while avoiding walls, especially useful for machining cylinder head ports and similar geometry.

Key Enhancements to Solids Machining

New, More Capable Plunge Roughing – No longer a plug-in, it is a tile in the CAM palette, with the ability to calculate material removal strategies that accommodate carbide-inserted drills, which require special motion for no-drag retractions, while avoiding collision in tight or narrow areas.

Enhancements to Advanced 3D Machining – These include the addition of Hit Flats with specified tools for Pocketing, the ability to specify flatness tolerance in Flats Cut to ensure all desired “flat” areas are machined, locking high feed rate for Shortest Route and Minimal Vertical retract styles, addition of Trim to Ramp Advance as a Contour option for waterline cuts, specifying surface finish with step-over distance or scallop height parameters, and using Stock Bounding Box as an additional machining boundary.

Addition of Option for Stock – Facet bodies, generated from a previous machining process, or brought in through a data file, can now be used as initial stock in solid pocketing.

64-bit Implementation

A significant development, the 64-bit implementation allows taking advantage of the more powerful, multi-processor PCs equipped with 4GB or more of RAM. This provides tighter interoperability with 64-bit CAD systems that are co-resident with GibbsCAM on a PC. Also, 64-bit operation reduces computation time when processing extremely long programs or working with complex geometry. It will also enable users to take advantage of system enhancements when running under the Windows 7 operating system.

Even More Enhancements

GibbsCAM 2010 includes many more features, some for ease of use, and others to extend functionality, including enhancements to the user interface and for the Milling, MTM (multi-task machining) and Wire EDM modules, as well as new add-ins for data exchange to support Inventor 2010, SolidWorks 2010, and additional CAD file import and translation. Furthermore, the Macros menu was enhanced with changes for easy access, uninterrupted operation, and support for 5-axis and Advanced 3D processes and calls to plug-ins.

For more information about GibbsCAM, or to locate your local GibbsCAM reseller, go to, call 1-800-654-9399, or email

GibbsCAM 2010

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Planit appoints Ambo Technologies as new Radan Reseller

Planit have extended their relationship with Toronto-based Ambo Technologies to include Radan, the market leading software for sheet metal fabrication.

Ambo have been an Edgecam Reseller for more than 13 years and made the decision to switch to Radan from their current sheet metal application after careful technical and commercial consideration.
Radan provides solutions for design (2D & 3D), manufacturing (punching, profiling, nesting and bending) and production control (cost estimation, process management).

“By offering both Edgecam and Radan, we are able to better serve the Canadian market and our existing customers by providing solutions for nearly every sector of metals manufacturing. We have already seen a number of existing customers of our previous sheet metal solution switch to Radan with great success.” said Bogdan Steiu, owner of Ambo Technologies.

“Ambo Technologies have been an important partner for many years and this new agreement further cements our relationship. Bogdan Steiu and his team continue to provide great products and services to their customers, helping them remain competitive in this challenging economic climate” commented Steve Sivitter, Planit’s Regional Director for the Americas.

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