Industry News

Makino Establishes New Global Titanium R&D Center at Mason, Ohio Facility

Mason, Ohio – April 2010 – Makino announced today that its Mason, Ohio facility has been designated Makino’s Global Titanium Research and Development Center, where a specialized group of engineers will further the development of titanium milling technologies. The facility will include state-of-the-art machine tools, specialized titanium machining and tooling experts, CMM equipment, and all the necessary tools and talent to further titanium machining technologies. Makino is releasing several new technologies in titanium machining in 2010.

“Titanium machining is very process driven, meaning the machine tool, cutting tools, machining process, and coolants must all be developed and integrated specific to titanium’s material properties,” says Tom Clark, Vice President of Makino. “Our mission at Makino’s Global Titanium R&D Center is to provide manufacturers with the best in titanium application expertise by combining Makino’s titanium machining capabilities with the world’s leading process technologies. This is an ideal opportunity to work with vendors, suppliers, and partners to develop improved metal removal rates and longer tool life in titanium milling.

“The Mason, Ohio facility was chosen based on the increasing importance of titanium in the aerospace industry which is centralized here in North America. Our past experience in aluminum aerospace applications and grinding of hard metals will serve as an advantage to the continued development of titanium aerospace processing techniques.”

Makino’s Global Titanium R&D Center will be managed by a select group of engineers with knowledge and experience around Titanium in both academic and industrial backgrounds. The group will be working with tooling and consumable vendors from around the world for a wide knowledge base in all types of titanium applications.


Mason, Ohio facility

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Partners in THINC Welcomes Mastercam as a New Partner

(Charlotte, NC) – Okuma America Corporation, US based affiliate of Okuma Corporation, a world leader in the development of computer numeric controls (CNC) and machining technology, is pleased to announce that CNC Software/Mastercam, a CAD/CAM pioneer, has joined Partners in THINC and is the first CAD/CAM supplier to become a member.

Mastercam, industry leader for over twenty-five years, offers solutions for designers and NC programmers in a spectrum of industries, including milling, turning, wire EDM, router programming, plasma cutting, lasers, and 3D design and drafting. CNC Software’s customers range from one-person job shops to Fortune 100 manufacturers. The same software that is utilized by corporations such as Boeing, IBM, and Sikorsky is still affordable enough for the small job shop. Mastercam also makes its software available to educational institutions at discounts to ensure a new generation of trained metal and woodworking personnel is available.

“Partners in THINC offers us the chance to work with some of the top people and companies in the industry,” says CNC Software Marketing Manager Ben Mund. “Partners in THINC exists to help further the cause of manufacturing, and we’re excited to see what new ideas and solutions we can create together.”

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

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Stotz Air Gages and Measuring Systems Becomes Part of Advanced Machine & Engineering’s Family of Products

Advanced Machine & Engineering (AME) in Rockford, IL, is excited to announce that they have become the exclusive North American distributor for Stotz Measuring Systems, which includes air and electronic gaging devices.

Chris Koehn

Chris Koehn

Advanced Machine & Engineering (AME) also announces the appointment of Chris Koehn as Business Unit Manager for the Stotz product line. Chris has over 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the machine tool industry. In his new position, he will focus on marketing the Stotz products, which include air and electronic gaging devices, to existing customers as well as development of new accounts. He will also be selling the complete product lines for Advanced Machine & Engineering and sister company, Hennig, Inc. Chris has worked in the air gaging industry for over 10 years and has been integral in the design and implementation of measuring systems from small table top devices to automated robotic manufacturing cells

Stotz Feinmesstechnik GmbH has been a leader in gaging technology for almost 60 years. They design, manufacture and sell air-electronic gages and control devices. They are constantly striving to improve their designs and develop new products to solidify their position as a leader in new measuring technology. Numerous patents within the last few years have solidified their position as a trendsetter for new measuring technology and pneumatic measuring systems. Their diverse customer base covers many industries, including manufacturers and suppliers to the automotive, aerospace and medical industries.

Advanced Machine & Engineering Co., is a manufacturer located in Rockford, Ill., serving the Machine Tool Industry with precision components and accessories, including spindle interface components, workholding devices, and, through our sister company, Hennig, machine enclosures, chip removal and filtration systems. The Fluid Power – Safety markets are served with cylinder rod locks and safety catcher devices; and the Production Saw market with the AmSaw carbide saw machines and Speedcut blade products. AME has manufacturing partners and customers around the world and across the U.S. To learn more, visit




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Island Park, NY… Northfield Precision Instrument Corporation, a leader in the design and manufacture of precision workholding chucks, introduces their Model DPH-400W 4 inch diameter diaphragm chucks with special jaws and stops. The stops have 3 small “Air Detect” holes for part seating conformation. Air is pumped through these holes, and when the part rests on the stop, the air pressure rises, tripping a pressure switch telling the machine to start machining. The 4 clover adapters have grooves for a CAM follower to snap into to orient the chuck when stopped. Up top is an eight passage rotary union to actuate all four chucks independently. These are mounted to a 4 spindle Theilenhaus machine.

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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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