MACHINE TOOL CONTROLS Reducing cycle time & increasing productivity – p38
NOVEMBER 2015 PM 40065710
PUSHING THE EDGE Cutting tool considerations for maximizing speeds & feeds – p44
FABRICATING EFFICIENCY Energy-saving machines improve bottom line – p70
CONTROLLING EXPOSURE Limiting exposure to Manganese in welding fumes – p84
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High-security groove milling CoroMill® QD meets many of the demands of deep groove operations. It combines internal coolant, damped Silent Tools™ adaptors and optimized insert geometries to offer a secure, low-vibration, economical process that extends tool life. When milling narrow and deep grooves, chips often get stuck in the groove, causing low production efficiency, poor component quality or tool breakage. Common remedies are up-milling with critically reduced tool life and the time-consuming and risky task of removing the chips by hand. A better solution is CoroMill® QD, the first cutter of its kind that features internal coolant. The chips are deformed by the insert geometry to a more narrow shape and then flushed out by the coolant, saving valuable tools and production time.
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• 10% deposit with purchase order • 3-Month payMent skip available • 3-Year warrantY available for Matsuura range • interest rate starting froM 2.5% (rate contingent on the canadian bond rate) • credit decision bY elliott-Matsuura canada • offer expires deceMber 31, 2015
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NOVEMBER 2015 ß VOL. 110 ß NO. 09
A LOOK INSIDE SPECIAL ISSUE: INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY FEATURES LOOKING BACK: ELECTRIC DRIVE — 26 110 years of Canadian Metalworking
CHANGING A PRODUCTION MENTALITY — 32 Build-A-Mold, Windsor, ON
MACHINE TOOL CONTROLS REDUCE CYCLE TIMES — 38 The latest in machine tool controls
PUSHING THE EDGE — 44 Cutting tool considerations for maximizing speeds and feeds
COVER STORY — 28
BOOSTING PRODUCTIVITY WITH ROBOTS Collaborative robots are changing the shop floor environment
DOING IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME — 52 In-process inspection is an important step in the machining process
BUILDING A STRONG BRAND — 62 MacGregors Industrial Group, New Glasgow, NS
NOVEMBER 2015 | 7
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NOVEMBER 2015 ß VOL. 110 ß NO. 09
A LOOK INSIDE FEATURES (CONT.)
WORKING TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY — 66 R&D Welding & Mechanical Contractors Ltd., Minto, NB
SAVING ENERGY, GROWING PROFITS — 70 Newer fabricating machines are more productive and cost less to operate
SAFETY FIRST — 80 Tips to keep metal finishing workers healthy and productive
CONTROLLING EXPOSURE — 84 Ways to limit exposure to Manganese in welding fumes
DEPARTMENTS VIEW FROM THE FLOOR — 10
UPCOMING IN METALWORKING
NEWS — 12 KEN HURWITZ ON FINANCE — 20 BUSINESS MANAGEMENT — 22 BUSINESS OF WELDING — 25 CNC SOLUTIONS — 50 TOOL TALK — 56 TOOL TECH — 60 FAB AND WELDING NEWS — 76 BY THE NUMBERS — 90
8 | NOVEMBER 2015
Our February 2016 issue is all about the Aerospace industry. We will be focusing on aerospace machining exploring machine tools, cutting tools workholding and toolholding for aerospace. Features on micromachining, boring tools, workholding for small parts and NDT will also be included. The Special Feature for the upcoming issue is all about Additive Manufacturing. Don’t miss out on all of the exciting changes we have in store for 2016. Check out our website, www.canadianmetalworking.com for the latest coverage of Canada’s metal removal industry! We look forward to hearing from you in the upcoming year. And don’t forget to follow along and engage with us on social media – look for us on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook!
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Amada_8-2015_CM_Aloma_Shim_Layout 1 7/15/15 8:53 AM Page 1
Single-Source Fred Grove, President (left) & Bob Wolpink, Plant Manager of Aloma Shim and Manufacturing.
Leader. “The exceptional ROI and outstanding service on our first purchase made Amada the clear singlesource choice for our next two purchases.” — Fred Grove, President Aloma Shim and Manufacturing
Amada provides the optimal fabricating solutions. Aloma Shim is a leading full-service ISO 9001:2008 Registered Contract Manufacturing Company. Located in a 98,000 sq. ft. facility in Verona, Pennsylvania, the company specializes in the manufacturing of precision OEM & custom fabricated parts, standard & custom shims, alignment devices and accessories. To maintain a leadership position, the company partnered with Amada and leveraged the latest technologies in fiber laser cutting, tube & angle laser cutting and robotic bending. Aloma Shim’s president, Fred Grove, comments on that decision: “The FOL AJ Fiber Laser with automation improved production efficiency by over 70%... one would think we added two new lasers not just one. We effectively operate the FOL AJ 24 hours a day with one operator and one laborer as opposed to 3 operators and one laborer on our other lasers.” Plant Manager, Bob Wolpink comments on Amada’s robotic bending solution which has made a huge impact on Aloma Shim’s bending production: “The Astro 165W NT with its Automatic Tool Changer has reduced brake setup times by 500% and increased work center output by 150%.” To gain the ability to quickly switch between flat sheet cutting and tube cutting, the company also purchased Amada’s FOM2 RI laser cutting system with an integrated Rotary Index. Bob Wolpink reflects on new levels of speed and efficiency: “The FOM2 RI increased our tubing material utilization by as much as 20% and increased our tube/angle cutting speeds by as much as 40%!”
The FOL 3015 A J Fiber Laser achieves cutting speeds up to 9,400 inches per minute and rapid traverse of over 13,000 inches per minute. ASLUL automation provides high-speed material handling at a rate to match the productivity of the Fiber Laser.
The FOM2 RI’s Rotary Index is located on one of three shuttle pallets — making it extremely easy to switch from f lat sheet cutting to tube or pipe cutting.
Amada’s leading-edge systems and technologies ensure: • Unmatched Productivity (The FOL AJ Fiber Laser provides cutting speeds up to 4 times faster than CO2 laser and a 7/8" rating in steel plate. An ASLUL system maximizes “green-light-on” time by providing high-speed, automated storage and load/unload). • The Ultimate Robotic Bending Solution (The Astro 165W NT processes large and heavy parts quickly and safely while outperforming manual operation times by up to 22% and reducing labor costs). • Maximum Versatility (The FOM2 RI can process round, square, rectangle, C-channel, and angle iron — making it the most versatile Rotary Index laser cutting system available. An integrated Rotary Index provides the ability to switch from flat sheet cutting to tube cutting in 2 minutes or less).
Amada Canada, Ltd. The Astro 165W Robotic Bending System provides the ideal high-speed solution for large parts and thick materials.
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VIEW FROM THE FLOOR
2016 will see the launch of Canadian Fabricating & Welding magazine, while we dedicate our pages to all aspects of metal removal. I look forward to your feedback.
anadian manufacturers have been accused of having a “risk averse” attitude. It’s a business approach that maintains a steady course, but it’s not enough to keep an industry or an economy advancing. This point is driven home in a recent KPMG 2015 Canadian Manufacturing Outlook that emphasizes that companies should be innovating in order to fuel growth for themselves and the country. “Today, being risk averse is the real risk. Instead, Canadian manufacturers need to invest now in their futures and take the risks that make sense,” notes the report. Basing their opinions on a global manufacturing study, the firm found that when it comes to driving growth and innovation, global competitors said that adopting new technology and boosting R&D spend were their top two points of focus. Among Canadian manufacturers, new tech and R&D spending ranked at the bottom. The authors suggest that our manufacturers need to sharpen their aim, clearly define and understand their markets and take the actions required to lead the way. As a publication dedicated to serving the interests of the Canadian manufacturing industry, we are making a move in 2016 to sharpen our focus and provide greater detail to the two market sectors we address. Next year marks the launch of Canadian
PUBLISHER STEVE DEVONPORT 416.543.1641 ß email@example.com
Fabricating & Welding magazine, a title dedicated to providing insights into all aspects of Canada’s vibrant metal fabricating business. This magazine will be led editorially by Rob Colman, who has spent the last six years at the helm of Metalworking Production & Purchasing (also published by Annex Publishing & Printing Inc., MP&P is ending its run after 2015). And after 110 years of addressing both machining and fabricating, in 2016 Canadian Metalworking becomes a dedicated “metal removal” magazine. This specialization provides us the opportunity to further explore the trends, technologies and processes that you, our readers, need to be aware of in order to take your businesses to the next level. Refining our focus through two distinct publications positions us to better serve your interests. And I’m convinced that while the broad Canadian manufacturing industry may be viewed as “risk averse,” there are plenty of innovators across the metalworking spectrum, and we’ll continue to uncover and share their stories with you. If your operation involves fabricating and welding, expect to find an issue of the new Canadian Fabricating & Welding on your desk early next year.
DOUG PICKLYK, EDITOR firstname.lastname@example.org
ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER ROB SWAN 416.510.5225, cell 416.725.0145 ß email@example.com
HOW TO REACH US Published by Annex Publishing & Printing Inc 80 Valleybrook Drive, North York, ON M3B 2S9 Phone: 416.442.5600 ß Fax: 416.510.5140
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CM, established: 1905 is published 9 times per year by Annex Publishing & Printing Inc.
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ART DIRECTOR STEWART THOMAS 416-442-5600 x3212 ß email@example.com CIRCULATION MANAGER BEATA OLECHNOWICZ 416.442.5600 x3543 ß firstname.lastname@example.org MARKET PRODUCTION MANAGER BARB VOWLES 416.510.5103 ß email@example.com PRINT PRODUCTION MANAGER PHYLLIS WRIGHT 416.442.6786 ß firstname.lastname@example.org PRESIDENT OF ANNEX BUSINESS MEDIA MIKE FREDERICKS VICE-PRESIDENT OF ANNEX BUSINESS MEDIA TIM DIMOPOULOS
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Content copyright © 2015 by Annex Publishing & Printing Inc, may not be reprinted without permission.
CM accepts no responsibility or liability for claims made for any product or service reported or advertised in this issue. DISCLAIMER This publication is for informational purposes only. The content and “expert” advice presented are not intended as a substitute for informed professional engineering advice. You should not act on information contained in this publication without seeking specific advice from qualified engineering professionals. PRIVACY NOTICE From time to time we make our subscription list available to select companies and organizations whose product or service may interest you. If you do not wish your contact information to be made available, please contact us via one of the following methods: Phone: 1.800.668.2374 Fax: 416.442.2191 Email: email@example.com Mail to: Privacy Office, 80 Valleybrook Drive, Toronto, ON M3B 2S9 Canadian Publications Mail Agreement: 40065710. ISSN: 0008-4379 We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.
CM receives unsolicited materials (including letters to the editor, press releases, promotional items and images) from time to time. CM, its affiliates and assignees may use, reproduce, publish, re-publish, distribute, store and archive such unsolicited submissions in whole or in part in any form or medium whatsoever, without compensation of any sort.
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IN THE NEWS
Honda of Canada Mfg. associates perform final inspections on an all-new 2016 Honda Civic Sedan as it rolls off the assembly line.
HONDA CANADA KICKS OFF PRODUCTION OF 2016 HONDA CIVIC SEDAN Honda is ramping up production at its Alliston, ON facility. The automaker has announced the global start of mass production of the new from-theground-up 2016 Honda Civic Sedan. The all-new 10th-generation Honda Civic Sedan is the most ambitious remake of Civic in the model’s 43-year history. The Honda Civic is the company’s best-selling model globally and the outright best-selling car in Canada for 17 consecutive years. “Our team also set a new benchmark, taking on the incredible challenge of being the lead plant for the global launch of this new Civic, and we’re committed to delivering worldclass Civic quality for our customers here in North America and around the world,” said Dan Smith, president of Honda of Canada Mfg (HCM). As the global lead plant for this 10th-generation Civic, HCM will be the first plant in the world to launch the new Civic into mass production. The Alliston facility will be responsible for developing the manufactur12 | NOVEMBER 2015
ing processes and technologies that will form the manufacturing base for Civic production at all 11 Honda plants globally that will build the new Civic model. Honda recently announced a significant investment of $857 million over three years for its production facilities in Alliston. More than 9 million Civics have been produced in North America since 1986, including more than 4.5
million in Canada. Cumulative sales of Civic in Canada since its 1973 launch exceed 1.9 million. The Civic sedan is the first in a series of new 10th-generation Civic models that will include a sedan, coupe, high-performance Si models, a 5-door hatchback and the first-ever Civic Type-R model for the North American market, comprising the most diverse and innovative lineup in Civic’s 43-year history.
Honda of Canada Mfg. associates install a rear bumper fascia on a 2016 Civic Honda Civic Sedan.
Honda of Canada Mfg. associates install a front-end module on a 2016 Civic Honda Civic Sedan.
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IN THE NEWS
ALCOA TO SUPPLY TITANIUM FOR F-35 JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER Alcoa has been awarded a contract to supply titanium for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II aircraft program, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). From 2016 to 2024, Alcoa will be the titanium supplier for airframe structures for the F-35 program. The contract has an estimated value of approximately $1.1 billion. Alcoa will supply titanium plate and billet from several operations gained through the RTI International Metals acquisition. “Through our expansion in titanium, Alcoa is sharpening its leadership edge on state-of-the-art aircraft, including the most advanced fighter jet in the world—the F-35,” said Alcoa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Klaus Kleinfeld. “We are expanding Alcoa’s range of multi-material offerings for this program while helping Lockheed Martin meet aggressive weight, range and fuel efficiency targets.” The titanium will be used to manufacture airframe structures for all three F-35 JSF variants: The F-35A Conventional Takeoff and Landing (CTOL) aircraft, the F-35B Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft and the F-35C Carrier Variant (CV). Alcoa will also use the metal to forge
14 | NOVEMBER 2015
all of the large titanium bulkheads. In addition to the forged titanium bulkheads, Alcoa already supplies several key, multi-material components for the F-35: • Multiple structural aircraft body components including the largest forged aluminum bulkheads, which Alcoa manufactures in one piece—as opposed to multi-piece assemblies. • Advanced aluminum die forgings for the critical wheel and braking systems. • Fasteners and installation tooling that hold the aircraft together. • Machined aluminum and titanium
“vane box” assemblies that direct air flow. • Several high-performance components for the F135 engine, including seamless rolled rings that encase the engine parts, titanium forged disks, and advanced single-crystal, nickel superalloy blades and vanes. The F-35 Lightning II is an advanced fighter aircraft combining stealth, speed and agility, designed for many kinds of missions. Lockheed Martin’s full-rate production goal is 13 aircraft a month by the mid-2020s, up from an average of three aircraft delivered per month in 2014.
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IN THE NEWS PHOTO: JEFFREY SAUGER FOR GENERAL MOTORS
GM’S LANSING STAMPING FACILITY RECEIVES FIRST STAMPING PRESSES
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It’s time to start stamping! General Motors has announced that they have finally received the first line of massive stamping presses for its $174 million stamping facility in Lansing, Michigan. This facility is part of the Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant (LGR) where the first 2016 Chevrolet Camaros were produced and shipped for dealers. The new presses will stamp parts for the Camaro and the Cadillac ATS and the CTS family of vehicles. They will also save about $14 million a year in logistics costs tied to material handling. The load, weighing in at more than 210,000 pounds, is for the second press in the first of two stamping lines at LGR. The entire stamping line weighs more than 7.2 million pounds. The next line will arrive at the plant in December with production for both starting in 2016. Built in 2001, Lansing Grand River is GM’s second-newest U.S. assembly plant and the manufacturing home of the Camaro and ATS, CTS and CTS V-series performance cars. www.canadianmetalworking.com
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IN THE NEWS
EMO Milan 2015 (October 5-10), Europe’s major biennial machine tool expo attracted 155,362 visitors, up 25 per cent from the last Milan show in 2009. A strong “Made in Italy” presence demonstrated the strength of local machine builders, represented locally by Machines Italia. With 12 halls covering 120,000 sq. metres of space, EMO Milan hosted some 1,600 exhibitors including the largest players in the world.
EMO MILAN 2015 HIGHLIGHTS Next-level digital integration with a focus on Industry 4.0, new machine tool control systems and a growing focus on additive manufacturing were key topics at Europe’s largest biennial machine tool expo.
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EMO returns to Hanover, Germany in 2017 (Sept. 18-23) and in 2019. The next EMO Milan takes place Oct. 4-9, 2021.
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IN THE NEWS DMG MORI executives (l-r) Rüdiger Kapitza, chairman; Masahiko Mori, president; and Christian Thönes, announced world premiere products and highlighted a new “Machine Tool 4.0” project—a collaboration with Schaeffler Technologies—labeled a “milestone on the road to future-orientated production, process and maintenance optimization.” A machine tool with over 60 sensors capturing information on running conditions, with real-time data analyzed in the cloud.
Mazak’s INTEGREX i-400 AM Hybrid Multi-Tasking machine made its European debut at EMO. The machine integrates a 1kW fiber laser to melt metal powder via cladding heads stored in its tool magazine allowing for the instant switching between additive and subtractive tooling.
Okuma introduced a new slogan “Open Possibilities” and five world premier products. The company also highlighted the increased machining efficiency of OSP suite, its open CNC controller that allows the incorporation of third-party apps.
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Schunk introduced new toolholding, workholding and gripper products, but the biggest draw may have been its brand ambassador, soccer goalkeeping legend Jens Lehmann who posed with fans.
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NOVEMBER 2015 | 19
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YEAR-END PURCHASING ADVICE BY KEN HURWITZ
ow that we are nearing the end of another year, I thought it would be relevant to talk about yearend purchases and how they can best be handled on a company’s financial statements. As the year commences, the market generally starts off slowly, sometimes due to a hangover from December, but from a standpoint of finalizing purchases, it is quiet. Activity in March, April and May then picks up, inquiries that were made at the beginning of the year start to turn into purchase orders. At this point, shop owners have a good idea of what they need to get equipment in place so they can deliver product. By the middle of June shop owners are starting to take vacation and/ or are looking at shutdown dates for the summer, which in turn leads to a quiet July and August. This year the summer was exceptionally quiet, which was most likely due to the falling cost of crude oil and the large economic implications that has for manufacturing in Canada. The fall tends to be busy with a strong market and a show year, like 2015, which leads to a flurry of activity until the end of the year. As a general rule, most companies tend to put off purchases until the fall, and that is usually because they want to see how the year goes before making a big commitment. There is a lot of pressure to get it done because budgeted money needs to be spent or it will be lost going forward, or there are financial reasons to get a purchase “on the books” before the year end. The ancillary benefit of having a strong market during a CMTS year 20 | NOVEMBER 2015
is availability of inventory, machinery manufacturers and distributors will have had booths full of stock machines which are ready to be delivered before the end of the year. Now if the equipment is in stock anywhere in North America, it can normally be delivered and invoiced in a matter of days or a few weeks, so getting the purchase into the current year is easy. There are however times where a machine may need to come from another part of the world, and getting it on a buyer’s floor by the end of the year could be challenging from a logistical standpoint. From an accounting perspective, one question I get a lot from customers is related to how a purchase is actually accounted for from a financial perspective. When a piece of equipment is bought outright, either in cash, by using a bank loan or line of credit, the buyer will take immediate ownership, meaning the equipment will become an asset on their balance sheet. A standard company balance sheet has three parts: assets, liabilities and ownership equity. The difference between the assets and the liabilities is known as equity, or the net worth of the company. From a taxation perspective the benefits of ownership will also allow the company to depreciate the asset, which is a fancy way of reducing earnings and in turn paying less taxes, hence the motivation to get the purchase on the books. However if the purchase happens near the end of the financial year the tax savings could become minimized because the full year’s depreciation may not be allowed to be taken. A preferred transaction method would be to set up an Operating Lease. Equipment leases are classified into two main categories: Capital Leases and Operating Leases. Capital Leases are treated in a fashion similar to the outright purchase of the equipment. An Operating Lease is a contract that allows for the use of an asset but does not convey rights of
ownership of the asset—the leasing company maintains ownership. The equipment is not put on the books as an asset but accounted for as a rental expense in what is known as “off balance sheet financing.” Operating leases have tax incentives as well, but they do not result in assets or liabilities being recorded on the balance sheet. From a financial perspective, the company’s efficiency will improve dramatically since a new income generating piece of equipment has been installed allowing the company to return more sales and in turn profits from the same amount of assets. An additional benefit of a capital or operating lease is how GST or HST are handled. Even though most businesses get all GST or HST back at some point, when equipment is purchased or if the funds are borrowed from a bank, the federal and provincial taxes are either paid in cash or must be borrowed (and interest paid). When equipment is leased it is the leasing company who pays the taxes in full up front and the lessee pays tax on each payment, so there is a positive impact on cash-flow. What I have outlined here are some basic ideas for how transactions can be handled from a financial perspective, but it is imperative to reiterate the importance of having a discussion with your accountant or financial advisor before you proceed. They are experts who are best equipped to provide both a short and long term strategy for handling purchases from an accounting perspective. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading as much as I have enjoyed sharing some of my personal experiences. Best wishes to you and your family for the holidays and a prosperous 2016. Ken Hurwitz, Senior Account Manager with Blue Chip Leasing Corp. in Toronto, has years of experience in the machine tool industry and now helps manufacturers of all kinds with their capital needs. Contact Ken at (416) 614-5878 or email@example.com. www.canadianmetalworking.com
15-11-06 12:13 PM
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MATERIALIZING VISIONS 15-11-05 2:10 PM
STRATEGY DURING CRISIS AND DISRUPTIVE TIMES It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest but the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself. — Darwin
BY ALMA JOHNS
ompanies will continuously face challenges because of changing business environments. And situations will gradually become very difficult for management teams who keep themselves complacent and remain comfortable with legacy systems and processes. An “if-itain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it” mentality hurts companies as they fail to adapt and respond quickly to changing market conditions. That same mentality can be attributed to troubles that can ultimately lead to a business’s demise. Existing business models are subject to disruption and displacement faster than even a decade ago. Management’s intuitive response to problem-solving and their prevailing thought process cannot remain as archaic as the legacy systems that support them. Some of our friends in the industry have had significant challenges in recent years. There is no margin for error when providing estimates for any type of job, whether fabricating, installing or machining metal parts. Competitive pricing has turned into a race-to-the-bottom phenomena. As a result, margin contributions are squeezed, bottom lines are negative and balance sheets depleted. Those who fail to innovate, are too complacent, and are too short-sighted to invest in cutting edge technology are the obvious losers of this zero-sum game. Continuous improvement is inevitable and no longer a luxury of the past. Those who subscribe to this thinking and adapt not only survive 22 | NOVEMBER 2015
but thrive over the long term. During my banking career, I have seen business owners in their 50s, sometimes their 70s, lose their shirt in the end because of complacency and a lack of responsiveness. Even those who admit that their businesses did poorly the year before are quick to dismiss the situation, asserting that the industry goes through a cycle and things will get better again next year. While that may be true to some extent, there are times that the long awaited turn-around event for the company doesn’t materialize. Management continues to be in denial. One more fatal blow, such as a loss of a major customer, can ultimately lead to bankruptcy. When the dreaded phone call from the bank or CRA comes, often management panics, losing its ability to deal with the situation rationally. Responsive managers on the other hand plan ahead. When warning signs become apparent, they embark on making frantic phone calls. They invite people who may be able to provide a solution long before the numbers slide further. The following are my essentials to business survival during crisis and disruptive times. Do not pursue the top line at the expense of the bottom line. If sales are growing fast but profits are not, prepare to turn customers away through premium pricing tactics or by focusing on profitable customers. Change the way you sell your products and services. If your workforce continues to sell traditionally, i.e. providing estimates where winning the bid is based solely on pricing, you need to challenge your conventions. Avoid bidding for money-losing projects at all cost. Adopt an ERP system that maximizes existing tools and equipment.
It will minimize labour intensive tasks and prevent estimating errors. Invest in state-of-the-art equipment to improve efficiency. Leasing the equipment will minimize the upfront costs. If equipment that costs $100K reduces manpower requirement by 100 hours per month, it will pay for itself within two years. Improve your trading cycle. Ask customers to put a larger down payment and request suppliers to temporarily extend credit terms. Remember to honour your commitment to revert back to normal payment terms once financial performance improves. Be prepared to inject equity when needed. Banks are reluctant to lend when your bottom line is negative. Scale up or down when necessary. When work is scarce, lay off redundant employees and only keep the key employees. Parting with an underperforming estimator may well be part of the solution to the problem. This harsh reality is a better alternative to going bankrupt. Establish practical key performance goals for those that you keep. Determine growing markets to exploit. I remember a client during the recession in 2008, while others struggled through the automotive industry slowdown, he diversified into aerospace. A bold move. Set hubris aside and pursue consolidation and strategic partnerships to rationalize costs. If two companies are barely surviving, perhaps it’s time to merge operations. Large corporations do it, why shouldn’t you. Alma Johns is president of Bench Capital Advisory Inc., an independent corporate finance and debt advisory firm based in Toronto. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.benchcapital.ca. www.canadianmetalworking.com
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THE BUSINESS OF WELDING
ONE LAST TIME… BY IAN CAMPBELL
ell folks, as this is my last article for Canadian Metalworking I thought I would put a couple final ideas across your bow before signing off. Over the past couple of years the editors have allowed me a lot of freedom in what I wrote about—allowing me to walk you through some ideas that do not traditionally get a lot of coverage within a technical focused magazine such as this. So thank you for the opportunity! Clearly there is no shortage of smart technical people who are happy to lend their technical knowledge to you, the reader, and that’s a good thing. While this knowledge is important, I would encourage you to also spend time thinking about other aspects of your business. Knowing about the latest technology, or processes, or technique, or piece of equipment will help make your business better, but only if you or your business is able to act on it. What I mean here is that business, and I’m talking about all businesses here, not just welding, need more than just technical information. They need trained staff, a supply chain, a marketplace, places to network, government support, and an awareness of how to position themselves in the marketplace. This is not information you are going to get from an ad, or a technical article, this is information you will need to source yourself, likely by going somewhere and meeting with others. Being a passive consumer of information is not a way to solve problems. Solutions come about by taking action. Yes, you need some information to start the process moving, but a lot of www.canadianmetalworking.com
what you are going to need you are going to have to proactively find by yourself along the way. Some might say, “Ian, that’s an obvious statement,” but when you look at the stats for things like local shows, conferences, chapter meetings, and networking events, it’s surprising how many people in the industry simply don’t bother with them. I’m hoping that collectively we can fix this in the near future. If we don’t take action then we only have ourselves to blame for our own downfall. Canadian industry and the people it employs need Canadian support. We need to support Canada, by supporting Canadian events and organizations. It’s simply not reasonable to assume that a foreign organization will invest in Canada. For most we are simply a market to be “tapped”, expanded into, taken over. Keep in mind that something like 50 per cent of all products manufactured in Canada have some form of weld used in their production. Think about that for a second. That makes welding a huge part of most manufacturing and fabricating taking place in this country. So, if you are attempting to create a product, and you (or your staff, or consultants) don’t know about welding, you are going to run into trouble. Do you really want to rely on a foreign body to service you, provide you with information, training, events, connections to your market, stan-
dards and best practices? We know we are large enough to do this ourselves. The Canadian Welding Association alone has over 60,000 members. We have the knowledge and the people required. What seems to be missing is the commitment to move forward and back our own initiatives. Simply put, everything south of the board is not better, and just because it’s made in Europe does not mean it is great. As I’ve said in the past, our industry is ours to lose. Being a passive “consumer” of others’ efforts will only speed up the process. So, with those words, I’ve reached the end of my final piece in Canadian Metalworking magazine. I hope that I have provided some value over the years, and that moving forward you will have the utmost success in everything you put your hands and minds to. While this marks the end of my columns, I would like to say that the CWB Group, CWA, and the CWA Foundation will have an ongoing involvement with the content in this publication, as always we are happy to help. Feel free to connect on LinkedIN, or follow my team on Facebook and Twitter. All the best. Ian Campbell is director of marketing and new product development with the Canadian Welding Bureau.
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LOOKING BACK: INTRODUCING ELECTRIC MOTORS T
here have been many major turning points in the evolution of metal working and manufacturing machine shops, and the introduction of the electric motor fixed directly on machine tools to drive the systems marks one of those times. Electric motors are something we take for granted today, but the technology was still and up and coming in 1905 when Canadian Metalworking first began publishing. In our continued celebration of this magazine’s 110th anniversary, this time we focused on an article in the February 1905 issue “Electric Drive for Machinery”. The piece outlined many of the foreseen advantages of a new generation of electric motor driven machine tools. The technology could move a shop away from needing to use a centralized power system that would drive multiple machines through a network of belts and shaft lines. “Managers and superintendents have been somewhat In electrical-related news, in the February slow in adopting 1905 issue of Canadian Metalworking the electric drive, it was reported that the New York City partly because they subway (an electric railway) had recently have not recognized opened and reportedly cost the city $35 its advantages and million. Construction of Canada’s first partly because the electric subway system in Toronto began electric motor has in September, 1949, and opened in 1954 been regarded as a at a final cost of $67 million. rather delicate piece A hollow-hexagon turret lathe driven by a Westinghouse Type S motor. (1905)
ELECTRIC SUBWAY NEWS
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of apparatus,” noted the writer. “It is the intention of this article to place in the hands of managers and superintendents the general characteristics and behavior of motors as applied to machine tool work, with the belief that this treatment will reach many to whom the electric motor has been more or less of an enigma.” The article goes on to acknowledge that early electric motors were “crude and weak mechanically”, but it also reports that over the previous 10 years electric motors were being implemented in a much broader range of applications, and the time to adapt the technology in machine shops had arrived. There was an emphasis placed on the efficiencies and productivity advantages of the new electric drive machines. “In the machine shop and manufacturing plant the electric motor is today effecting economies in operation and an increase in production to a marked degree, and the time is not far off when the plant adhering to the older method of driving must fall behind in the race for commercial supremacy.” A stumbling block to wider adoption at the time was the expense of the new technology, but the advantages to setting up a new shop with only direct electric motors was seen as an obvious choice. “When directly driven tools are used the cost of overhead building construction is materially lessened…In the case of the mechanical drive the complete line shafting must be run in order to permit the use of a single machine tool. This presents an interesting contrast to the individual tool drive where only the tools in actual use are consuming power. “The individual drive goes a step farther. With this system each machine tool has a separate motor and may be located wherever it is deemed advisable. Under these conditions any tool, even in the most remote part of the shop, may be operated, and it will draw from the power house only the energy required to drive that tool and to perform the necessary work on the material.” And as commonplace as plug-and-play www.canadianmetalworking.com
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technology seems to us today, in 1905 even a description of how the machines would receive their power needed to be explained: “A pair or at most three wires are all that is necessary to convey power to drive the machine.” And even in 1905 the energy efficiency of the electric motor was being applauded: “Under average conditions the horse-power wasted in driving belts and shafting is astonishingly large…the percentage of the total horse-power output of the engine which is actually useful at the machines varies from 22 to 77 per cent. “Too much stress cannot be laid upon the importance of economic transmission. While the cost of power is but a small percentage of the total cost of the product, the possibility of effecting a reduction in this item of expense should not be passed over lightly.”
A Brown & Sharpe milling machine driven by a Type S Westinghouse electric motor. (1905)
Aside from the economics, the individual electric drive was also embraced because of its ability to allow small variations in speed may under load with very little effort. The argument for transitioning to machinery driven by electric motors versus mechanical drive systems was very strong back in 1905, and the list of reasons was compelling: “The advantages of the electric drive might be summed up as follows: safety of operation; economy www.canadianmetalworking.com
in space occupied, in transmission and in application; reduction of waste load; skilled attendance unnecessary; flexibility as regards location of tool; heavy foundations unnecessary; no vibration; absence of strain on roof and walls of building hence a reduction in the cost of construction, and lessened risk of breakdowns.” We know today that breakdowns still occur and skilled operators are necessary, but for the time the move to electric drive was a step in the right direction.
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BY NATE HENDLEY
wo years ago, Etalex faced a problem. The solution this Montreal-based manufacturer came up with underlines a once radical notion, that far from being destructive, robots actually create jobs and boost productivity. According to proponents, robots will make North American manufacturers more productive and therefore more competitive against off-shore companies. Founded in 1966, Etalex manufactures shelving and racks for supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations, etc. The company currently has around 150 employees, about a third of which are involved in production. One of these workers spent his day unloading punched parts from a press brake. The job was tedious and potentially dangerous, given how close the employee had to put his hands by the press brake.
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The solution—automate the process with a robot—seemed obvious. However, practical considerations made it difficult to carry this out. Not because the company was opposed to robotics: Etalex has been installing robots from Japanese firm FANUC since 2004 and is delighted with their performance for the most part. The FANUC robots do “many things” in the plant, including “assembly, spot welding, cutting with plasma, palletizing, etc.,” says plant engineer Jean Francois Rousseau. Helpful as they were, the FANUC industrial robots required safety barriers—cages or fencing—to prevent them from accidentally coming into contact with a plant employee. Such contact might result in injury for the worker. There was limited space in front of the press brake to install such safety measures, however. If Etalex were to automate the press brake job, they needed a compact robot www.canadianmetalworking.com
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that didn’t require a safety cage or fence. Etalex found its solution in the form of UR10, a robotic arm from Danish firm Universal Robots. While traditional industrial robots are bolted in place, the UR10 is small and light enough to be moved around. The six-axis robot arm weighs only 28.9 kilos (63.7 pounds), with a payload of 10 kilos (22 pounds) and a working radius of 1,300 mm (51.2 inches). The UR10 boasts a repeatability of +/-0.1 mm /+/-0.0039 inches (4 mils) and control box size (W x H x D) of 475 x 423 x 268 mm (18.7 x 16.7 x 10.6 inches). The robotic arm is programmed via a 12-inch touchscreen. In addition to being small, the UR10 can be classified as a “collaborative” robot. “In general, collaborative means a robot that can work side-by-side with people. If it were to see you in the workplace, it would slow down or if it contacted you, it wouldn’t hurt you, unlike traditional industrial robots, which are programmed to complete their cycle and if you’re in the way, that’s not a good thing,” says Jeff Burnstein, president of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), a pro-robot trade group based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Indeed, the UR10 required no safety caging or fencing and came equipped with sensors that could pick up the presence of nearby humans. “When someone goes into the space of [the UR10],” its speed is automatically reduced, says Rousseau. The UR10 was installed in January 2014, freeing up seven employee-hours’ worth of labour a day. The person who previously unloaded the press brake by hand was reassigned to more challenging duties. Etalex was so impressed with its UR10, two more were purchased. The company now has a total of 30 robots, 27 from FANUC. The two additional UR10s are being used for palletizing. Rousseau won’t give exact figures, citing corporate confidentiality, but says robots have allowed Etalex to halve the price of its shelving units and double production while maintaining roughly the same number of workers the firm had a decade ago. He says it took roughly two years to recoup the factory’s investment in the UR10. Through such measures, Etalex stays competitive. “We compete with American companies. In Quebec, salaries are not the same as in the United States. They are higher here,” says Rousseau. Asked how Etalex would be faring without www.canadianmetalworking.com
robotics, Rousseau laughs. The company would be closed without robots, he says. The presence of so many robots has “saved 150 jobs,” he adds. As evidenced by the Etalex example, industrial robots excel at doing work humans might disdain or find difficult to do consistently well. “Within the manufacturing environment, our robots tend to be used where fast and accurate movements are required, as well as in areas that are dirty, dull and dangerous,” says Nigel Smith, president of TM Robotics (Americas) in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. “Specific examples include pick and place applications, high precision assembly and loading/unloading machines.”
“WITHIN THE MANUFACTURING ENVIRONMENT, OUR ROBOTS TEND TO BE USED WHERE FAST AND ACCURATE MOVEMENTS ARE REQUIRED, AS WELL AS IN AREAS THAT ARE DIRTY, DULL AND DANGEROUS.” A sales, service and support partner for Toshiba Machine Industrial Robots of Japan, TM Robotics recently showed off two robots— the six-axis TVL500 and THL300 SCARA industrial robots at the Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show (CMTS) in Toronto. Both robots are made with manufacturing in mind. “As you know, reshoring has been a hot topic in manufacturing for the last few years and we don’t see any sign of it slowing down. We believe that finding a way to keep more manufacturing functions in North America will continue to be a huge area of focus for companies in 2015, 2016 and beyond,” says Smith. “Adding automation from robots like Toshiba Machine’s is one of the key ways organizations are going to improve productivity and stay competitive. The more efficient companies become, the more streamlined their manufacturing will be, saving them time and budget and eliminating the need for offshoring.” At present, automotive and food-packaging companies are the biggest users of industrial robots from TM Robotics in Canada, he states. This jives with recent studies. The German-based International Federation of Robotics released a white paper called “Positive Impact of Industrial Robots on Employment” in February 2011. The report estimates that three million manufacturing jobs were created worldwide up to 2008 thanks to robotics. Roughly half of these jobs were in the automotive sector. NOVEMBER 2015 | 29
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A Universal Robots UR10 robotic arm being programmed on a press brake at Etalex in Montreal.
30 | NOVEMBER 2015
“For the future, 700,000 to one million new jobs [will] be created by robots in the next five years,” states the paper. The paper’s basic conclusion: when industrial robot sales rise, unemployment falls. In a separate report, the Federation notes that robot sales are rising: “In 2014, robot sales increased by 29 per cent to 229,261 units, by far the highest level ever recorded for one year. Sales of industrial robots to all industries increased compared to 2013. The automotive parts suppliers and the electronics industry were the main drivers of the growth,” reads the IRF’s “World Robotics – Industrial Robots” 2015 survey. Besides generating jobs, robots can boost productivity in unexpected ways. “Tedious manual jobs tend to have high turnover, which drives up costs for recruiting and training, while workers who stay in those positions can drag down productivity with low morale. Repetitive operations can make it difficult for human workers to maintain consistent output quality and the use of potentially dangerous equipment can lead to on-the-job injuries,” reads an A3 report titled, “Robots Fuel the Next Wave of U.S. Productivity and Job Growth”. Released October 2015, this paper strongly supports the position that robots are job creators and productivity enhancers. “In the last few years, we’ve all seen stories about how robots are going to put everyone out of work. But companies say
this isn’t even an issue—robot versus jobs. The issue is staying globally competitive. Some companies said if we didn’t have robots and automation, we’d have zero jobs. We would have to send those jobs to China and shut our company down,” states Burnstein. So what happens then, when off-shore companies acquire the same robots? If robots and automation “help our overseas competitors improve quality and production,” that’s even more reason to invest in robotics and automation at home, says Burnstein. If Asian companies in low-cost countries buy the same robots, it would still be risky for North American manufacturers to do business with them, he says. Problems dealing with Asian manufacturers include transportation difficulties, political instability and the risk of losing intellectual property. “So all things being equal, if everyone is using the same technology, you still have a big advantage being closer to your customer,” he states. The advent of collaborative robots means manufacturing jobs that were previously off-limits to robotic systems are now open. In manufacturing settings, industrial robots are traditionally used for tasks such as painting, welding, palletizing, packaging and material handling. As in the case of Etalex, such robots are usually segregated from human workers with safety cages and fencing. The arrival of collaborative robotic systems, however, means robots can be used for assembly work and other jobs alongside human co-workers, without fear of injuring them by accident. techThanks to advances in tech nology, robots are also more manufacaccessible to smaller manufac turers, say boosters. “For a long time, there’s been the feeling that robots were for big companies only, not small companies. That they comwere too costly or too com plex or required in-house comparesources that compa nies didn’t have,” says Burnstein. Compact collaborative robots that don’t require elaborate safety gear and feature user-friendly touch-screen technology www.canadianmetalworking.com
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tivity perspective. might appeal to small firms with tight bud“It’s always been our view that robots gets and limited space and technical knowenable companies to operate much more how, he continues. efficiently and in doing so, they’re then able Robots allow manufacturers to run on a to increase productivity. With a tangible lights out basis, although so far, Etalex has increase in productivity, we find many of been reluctant to go down this road. The our customers have then been able to take company currently runs two shifts and has no plans to introduce a third in order to run 24/7. that added revenue and use it to hire more skilled workers,” says Smith of TM Robotics. “If something wrong happens with the “Robots have proven time and time again robot, we don’t want to be producing bad they can directly improve a company’s abilparts all night long,” explains Rousseau. ity to hire more employees.” FANUC is working on a solution that might put some of Rousseau’s worries to rest. The company has teamed up with IT and networking giant Cisco to “establish a secure and reliable Internet connection between FANUC MORE robots operating in our customers’ INFORMATION UNDER: manufacturing facilities and our vl-vt.emag.com cloud-based ZDT Data Center,” says Joe Gazzarato, director of FANUC America’s Customer Resource Center. ZDT stands for “Zero Down Time” and is “a FANUC cloud-based appliVERTICAL MACHINING: cation that allows us to predict and SAFE AND EFFICIENT prevent unexpected downtime events that can occur if a robot component fails during production … by connecting our machines to our cloudbased ZDT Data Center, we can collect data from our robots and routinely analyze the overall health of each machine. If we detect a pending issue, the system notifies the customer and our service team so we can send replacement parts and service personnel to the site to help the customer and prevent an unexpected WorkWorkdowntime event,” explains Gazzarato. SLHFH š P D[ SLHFH š P D[ The end-result is, less down4 in 12 in WorkWorkWorkpiece height Workpiece height time, faster cycle time and higher SLHFH š P D[ SLHFH š P D[ P D[ P D[ 8 in 16 in 6 in 10 in productivity. Workpiece height Workpiece height As for the future, it’s almost a given P D[ P D[ 8 in 12 in that manufacturers will continue to embrace robots. THE NEW EMAG VL-MACHINES “We see a lot of activity in aerospace, electronics (particularly electronics assembly), food and consumer + Machining of chucked parts = + Short travel distances = goods…everyone is facing the same Standardized machine platform Minimal idle time, high challenge, regardless of industry. You performance + Small footprint = have to be able to compete and often Reduced ﬂoor space cost + Operator friendly = using robots and other forms of autoQuick set-up, change-over + Integrated automation = mation allow you to compete more + Standardized parts strategy = No additional cost successfully,” states Burnstein. Low maintenance costs + Simple workpiece conveyor & Proponents of automation stress interlinking = Flexibility and + High energy eﬃciency = www.emag.com again that increased use of robots in lower automation costs Reduced energy costs email@example.com manufacturing is a good thing, from both a human resources and produc-
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NOVEMBER 2015 | 31
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BUSINESS PROFILE: MACHINING
BRINGING A PRODUCTION MENTALITY TO A CUSTOM MOLD SHOP
Build-A-Mold, Windsor, Ontario COURTESY OF MAKINO
uild-A-Mold, of Windsor, Ontario decided the company motto for 2014 would be ‘change.’ “One of the core challenges we were facing was how to apply a production system to our custom mold shop,” says Rob Caixeiro, moldmaker manager at Build-A-Mold (BAM). “We wanted to find better ways to open up capacity on a CNC machine and improve our EDM workflow by replacing our outdated equipment. We needed to understand how high-performance equipment would fit our needs and help us change our shop.” Caixeiro led the capital investment project and he and his team spent a lot of time reviewing machinery and automation and analyzing the anticipated paybacks. They found their solution in several high-performance machines spanning from horizontal mills with automation to high-precision 3- and 4-axis vertical graphite mills with automation and a large 6-axis horizontal mill, all from Makino. In just over a year, the shop floor at BAM transformed, along with the business’ overall efficiency, capacity and profitability. “We have seen a 70 per cent increase in production and efficiency in our mold inserts, thanks to the higher RPM and reduced monthly tooling cost generated from our new equipment,” says Caixeiro. “We are using this newfound capacity to expand the business and to capture additional revenue opportunities from repeat work.” 32 | NOVEMBER 2015
A STRONG PRESENCE BAM got its start in 1978 with just two employees in 2,000 square feet of rented space. Today it has 110 employees in Windsor and serves as a “one-stop shop” to the plastics industry—handling part design and concept, machining, plastic injection molding, assembly, painting, chroming and shipping finished parts to customers. The OEMs it works with include Chrysler, GM, Toyota and Honda. Owned by A.P. Plasman, the company has production in Windsor and Alabama. In its other locations in Canada, Michigan, Wisconsin and Japan, it is able to focus on steel cores and cavities and small parts. BAM has a strong presence in the Windsor moldmaking market due to its reputable performance and service. The company’s decision about which equipment to purchase was driven by its desire to compete with the offshore market. Caixeiro and the BAM team spoke with other moldmaking companies in the Windsor area to find out what kind of equipment they were using. “When doing research on equipment, we like to get feedback from the people actually using the machines,” he says. “We wanted equipment that is well known and that already has a footprint in this area. “People around here are very forthcoming about sharing their positive experiences. As a result, we don’t feel like we are competing with each other, but we are competing with companies overseas. “In our research with our peers, Makino’s name kept coming up. Not only is their [Makino’s] equipment used at the majority of area operations, but their reputation and www.canadianmetalworking.com
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local service from SST-Canada are also highly regarded. “I had experience with the company from a prior job, and we saw the equipment in action at IMTS 2012. All of these factors caused us to choose Makino. We knew we could start producing quality parts right away. We feel that you get what you pay for. This is a solid product that can produce without any issues. We have confidence in its reliability.” In total BAM purchased five new Makino machines in 2014: the F3 and F5 vertical machining centers with robotic automation system to use in its graphite electrode production; an MCC2013-VG 6-axis horizontal machining center for its large mold finishing; two a61nx horizontal machining centers and the MMC2 automated 12 pallet-handling system for small-mold components In addition, BAM purchased the FCS clamping system for the MCC2013VG and a61nx machining cells in an effort to reduce setup times and adapt to a production mindset. “SST’s Tony Facione was a huge support in helping us identify the equipment that would suit our needs,” says Caixeiro. “During the installation of our equipment, we sent many of our operators to training in Auburn Hills, Michigan and Mason, Ohio. We knew there would be a bit of a learning curve, especially going from the vertical machining centers to the horizontal equipment. Our employees embraced this change.”
IMPROVING EFFICIENCIES The new robotically automated F-Series cell, which includes the F3 and F5 with a rotary table, has helped BAM to improve current electrode production efficiencies by eliminating costs, increasing machine utilization, improving quality, and enhancing the flexibility of EDM workflow scheduling. When it comes to production efficiencies, the company used to have a backlog cutting graphite, but the new equipment has allowed it to open up capacity and take on more work. “Before getting the F-Series cell, we relied upon outsourcing $150,000 in electrode production with our five older VMCs,” says Tony Couto, EDM supervisor at Build-AMold. “Now we can perform all of this work in the cell with fewer machines, and operators can be redeployed into more value-added roles around the shop. We’re talking some huge savings. Less capital consuming floor www.canadianmetalworking.com
space, less labor time spent babysitting machines, lower maintenance, less energy consumed around the clock, fewer fixtures, less tooling—the list just goes on. We have one operator loading the cell to max capacity, and the machines just keep cutting. It’s that simple.” According to the company, the electrodes being produced today are high quality, and previous issues, such as graphite dust pollution, are eliminated, thanks to the machine being designed for graphite machining. “This investment has allowed us to cut more detailed and complex electrodes faster,” says Couto. “We can use smaller tools and attack the part from the sides. This has helped us increase our efficiencies.” Efficiencies were also realized with the addition of the MCC2013-VG. The company is experiencing added versatility with multiple axes and can shorten tooling, eliminate multiple operations and remove more material, especially on larger blocks with this machine. “With the MCC2013VG, we can cut bigger blocks because the equipment’s spindle will rotate, picking up a larger machining envelope,” says Dave Ives, senior CNC technician at Build-A-Mold. “We can get everywhere we need to be, including hard-to-reach areas, and the quality coming off of the machine is phenomenal. We have brought the finishing operations of large molds back in-house and are achieving greater quality than ever before. We are achieving tool blends of 0.0005 inch and parting lines of 0.001 inch, leading to a 70 per cent reduction in secondary grinding operations and cutting time from fitting and spotting.” Costs are saved not only in secondary operations but also in tooling. “Investments in advanced technology have led to a 40 per
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BUSINESS PROFILE: MACHINING
cent reduction in tooling expenditure,” says Billy Ayres, CNC operator at Build-A-Mold. “Quality of work has been night and day, with tolerances all in spec. We no longer have to put all of our focus on how we are going to cut something. The new equipment has opened up our options. We don’t have to second-guess what we are going to do.” Operators no longer worry about working around the limitations of their previous machines or babysitting them to control errors. The machines just run. “After installation of the MCC2013-VG, we immediately 34 | NOVEMBER 2015
started accomplishing our goals,” says Caixeiro. “It ran unattended that first week and hasn’t stopped. It has replaced seven older 3- and 5-axis machines while simultaneously increasing capacity, improving quality and reducing lead-times. Our new challenge is optimizing processes to utilize the full capabilities of the MCC2013-VG and its horizontal work orientation. We feel that this machine can help us become more competitive and win more business.” BAM has had equally positive results with its a61nx cell. The company is able to mill rib features that would have previously required EDMing. “The a61nx cell has cut lead-times in small mold components by as much as 50 per cent,” says Joe Hindi, CNC supervisor at Build-A-Mold. “The flexible scheduling capabilities have enabled us to hit or surpass the timelines given to us.” The company is not only meeting shorter lead times in small mold components but has also opened up revenue opportunities for repeat work. “When we went to training in Mason, they told us that the a61nx cell would be one of the best workers that BAM would ever see,” says Hindi. “They were right. It’s smart enough to know where it has left off, and it feeds itself without stopping. It’s a great machine.”
FCS ADDS TO PRODUCTION TRANSFORMATION The addition of the FCS clamping system on both the a61nx cell and the MCC2013VG has also contributed to changing BAM into more of a production operation. “The FCS has been the perfect sidekick to the Makino equipment,” says Keith Andreoff, senior CNC technician www.canadianmetalworking.com
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BUSINESS PROFILE: MACHINING at Build-A-Mold. “Operators estimated that the use of FCS has reduced setup times by an average of 50 per cent by eliminating the need for manual indicating of fixtures and components.” The system helps BAM be more flexible by helping it adjust to new builds and engineering changes. “We notice that everything is operator-friendly. With the FCS you don’t have to put much thought into it. The software knows where the FCS is and where the component is, and you just cut, knowing what the outcome will be. Before, we worried about how we would hold something, and we had to tweak things to get it close. Now we get it perfect,” says Andreoff. Between the FCS and its new high-performance equipment, BAM has evolved its custom mold shop into more of the production operation it desired. It can run the machines around the clock with less indirect labor cost, greater reliability and improved quality.
CHANGE FOR THE BETTER All of these changes have enabled BAM to focus on what matters most to the company: the quality of the products, its customers, employees and stakeholders. Investments in technology have been a crucial step in making all this happen. “We aimed for ‘change’, but I think ‘transformation’ is a better word to describe our business over the last year,” says Caixeiro. “From the way we order materials to how we process work and manage on-hand inventory, we’re operating more efficiently, more profitably. But most importantly, we’re now able to provide customers better quality workpieces and shorter lead times with greater
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reliability, and at a lower cost to boot. By creating greater efficiencies and cash flow throughout other segments of the business, BAM has also become a more highly valued asset within our parent company, A.P. Plasman.” Throughout these changes, BAM remains dedicated to producing quality parts at competitive pricing, always on time, for its customers. These customers are excited about what the company is doing, especially the fact that it is staying ahead of the curve through this change. “Customers have confidence in us,” says Caixeiro. “They have taken notice that we are supporting them through our investments. They have shown their appreciation by placing more orders with us. Outsourcing has been reduced by 70 per cent already with our additional capacity. Our initial return on investment projection is already ahead of schedule and is anticipated to happen in just two years. Based on this success, we plan to purchase additional equipment.” BAM’s operators, who no longer have to work 60 hours a week to finish a project, also approve of the new equipment. “Everyone is pleased with the change that has occurred due to the performance of the machines,” says Caixeiro. “The equipment has allowed us to improve our morale and our results. Employees come to work happy and confident in the business because we’ve invested in state-of-the-art equipment and their training on industry-leading technologies. We want them to go home feeling they’ve accomplished something, because that makes us happy. We wouldn’t be able to do all of this without our high-performance equipment.” www.canadianmetalworking.com
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BY NATE HENDLEY
series of new or newly updated machine tool controls promise to make machining more productive and easier for operators in firms large and small. “Shops of all sizes are continuously looking for ways to monitor their shops more effectively…because, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” notes Mike Cope, senior product technical specialist at Hurco Companies, Inc., of Indianapolis, Indiana. Cope offers a forecast of where machine controls might go in the years ahead. “I think we will see new products becoming available in the future that will allow shop owners to monitor everything from something like a ‘master console’. We already see this beginning with third-party software like MT Connect, and even from machine tool builders like Hurco, with UltiMonitor. Both of these are examples of software that can allow the user to log on, via the Internet, and monitor what is going on in his shop ‘real-time’,” he says. Ray Buxton, general manager at Mazak Corporation Canada in Cambridge, Ontario, cites “digital integration” as the wave of the future. “Mazak is working with companies like Cisco and Memex to develop complete digital integration in factories. I don’t think this will be limited to just big plants. This emerging technology—some call it “The Internet of Everything”—will link machines, ERP systems, scheduled and predictive maintenance and customers directly with each other for real time sharing of information,” says Buxton. As for the present, here’s a look at what’s new and/or noteworthy in machine tool controls:
“MILLPWRG2 is a simple conversational 2X or 3X control / 3X readout system for a manual knee or bed type milling machine that can be retrofitted The ACU-RITE to an existing machine MILLPWRG2 CNC or purchased on a from Heidenhain new machine from a machine tool builder. MILLPWR G2 provides the capability to make an operator more efficient and productive,” explains John Parker, product manager, Heidenhain Corporation, Jamestown, NY. MILLPWRG2 has 3D contouring capabilities and an operating console featuring a 12.1 inch flat panel, colour LCD display, colour-coded keypad and USB and remote stop/go pendant. ACU-RITE is the name of a brand of products offered by Heidenhain. As to what exactly MILLPWRG2 does, Parker says the control “has built in can cycles for simple line, arcs, holes and pocket routines. It also allows programs to be imported such as .DXF files and G-Code programs.” On top of that, MILLPWRG2 is user-friendly. “After installation has been completed with minimal start up training, parts are typically being made within a few hours,” says Parker. Heidenhain recently added an optional AMIG2 console to the control. “The AMI (auxiliary machine interface) provides additional I/O functionality for machines that require spindle control integration for spindle speed, to control coolant pumps, automatic oilers, indexers, etc.,” says Parker. www.acu-rite.com
HURCO HEIDENHAIN The ACU-RITE MILLPWRG2 CNC (Computer Numerical Control) is intended for knee and bed-type mills. 38 | NOVEMBER 2015
Introduced earlier this year, the MAX5 control “offers more features and benefit to the user than any other Hurco control in the past,” says Cope. www.canadianmetalworking.com
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Hurco’s MAX5 control
“The MAX5 control is a newly designed control console that is present on all new Hurco machines—both mills and lathes. For the most part, the software and control capabilities haven’t changed, but there are many new useful operator features on the MAX5 console, such as larger 19 inch high resolution monitors, retractable QWERTY keyboard tray, operator shelf for mouse or notepad, flip-out hook mounted on the side of the control for hanging tools, etc.,” explains Cope. A newly designed remote jog unit with touch screen “allows the operator to remotely switch between part and tool setup modes. An updated graphic user interface allows the operator to quickly switch between regular graphics, large digital read out (DRO) with smaller graphics, or larger graphics with a smaller DRO readout,” he continues. MAX5 has AdaptiPath, a conversational pocketing feature used in CAD/CAM packages that boosts metal removal rates, reduces cycle time and enhances tool life. AdaptiPath also creates a smooth tool path motion, controls chip load and provides conconstant tool engagement. Cope was asked if increased productivity is the main benefit from using MAX5. “Yes, you could say that. The main focus for the design of the MAX5 console was to update the look and ergonomics of the Hurco control, as well as provide the user more features that can assist them in faster job setups and overall machine operation,” he states. In addition to being ergonomically-friendly, MAX5 is also relatively simple to master. “The control is very easy to navigate and use,” says Cope. www.hurco.com
SIEMENS Siemens rolled out the latest Version 4.7 of the Sinumerik Operate user interface. The company focused on improving the multitasking machining. Sinumerik Operate and the Sinumerik 840D sl CNC control combine several machining technologies such as turning, milling and drilling, as well as workpiece and tool measuring on one machine tool. This ensures the complete machining of highly complex workpieces. With its cross-technology, standardized and intuitive look-and-feel 40 | NOVEMBER 2015
Sinumerik Operate supports the user in performing everyday tasks. Sinumerik Operate Version 4.7 includes extended setup and manual modes (JOG), which now interactively support the user when setting up milling-turning machines. There is also a new measuring function for approached turning tools. In addition, the workpiece measurement has been improved, now enabling the user to easily check and specify the workpiece zero on the component. www.siemens.com
MAKINO Makino hasn’t fully rolled out its new Professional 6 (Pro6) control but has provided some background details about the new offering. Pro6 is designed “to enhance the operator’s experience and improve the productivity of the machine. If [the operator is] more effective at the The machine he’s going to get Professional 6 (Pro6) more output,” says Mark control from Rentschler, director of Makino marketing at Makino in Mason, Ohio. Pro6 features touch screen commands that resemble Internet web browser controls. New functions include Geometric Intelligence (for 2D corner control), optimized canned cycle indexing, micro-remicro-re verse filtering and vibration suppression. Pro6 also offers MDI recall of the past 20 inputs and three GB of memory for program and subprogram storstor age with an option to expand to 20 GB logi“The Pro6 control really takes a logi cal flow for the operator of the machine proand helps him and guides him and pro vides a lot of useful information in his control process and the machining process. Plus there’s some new features that really help organize cutting data, tooling data, programming information and the ways in which you can operate the machine more effectively,” states Rentschler. Currently only available on certain select Makino machine tools, Pro6 will be widely rolled out in the near future. www.makino.com www.canadianmetalworking.com
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FANUC FANUC America Corporation of Hoffman Estates, Illinois, introduced the new Series 0i MODEL F at IMTS last year, the latest control in the company’s Series 0i CNC. The Series 0i MODEL F offers a 15 inch display, I/O Link i, FSSB high speed rigid tapping, function for loader control, tolerance control, axis name expansion, program folder management, quick program restart, flexible path axis-assignment, multi-path PMC function, ladder dividing management, EtherNet/IP and PROFINET. “The FANUC Series 0i MODEL F is designed for high-performance commodity machine tools, from simple entry level, 2-axis CNC lathes to multi-axis turning centers with C-axis/Y-axis and live tooling and dual path, dual spindle turning centers, from entry level 3-axis milling/drilling machines to 4-axis machining centers, and other applications including features for grinding, punching and more,” says Mark Brownhill, program manager, at FANUC America. The FANUC Series 30i/31i/32i MODEL B, meanwhile, “is designed for the most demanding applications (32 axes/10 paths and 5-axis+ simultaneous interpolated axes). It can be highly customized and optimized to meet the machine tool builders’ exact requirements for their application. Common applications include 5-axis machine (31i MODEL B5) and mill-turn applications, dial-index and emerging technologies (additive, tape laying etc). Each path can be turning or 3-5 axes milling,” continues Brownhill. www.fanucamerica.com
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Okuma is currently rolling out OSP suite, an open architecture CNC system, on new machine tools. “Okuma’s OSP suite is the newest generation of Okuma’s intelligent technology. This control platform is centered on intelligent technologies and provides users with a pleasing operating interface, a customizable layout and easy to use applications at your fingertips. OSP suite achieves shorter cycle times, improved lead times and enhances productivity, while realizing optimum machining conconditions,” says Brad Klippstein, con trols product specialist at Okuma America Corporation, in Charlotte, NC. OSP suite works only with CNC machines. It is a stand-alone platform that controls a single machine and is user-friendly.
“OSP suite’s easy to use operations takes very little time and effort to learn. The intuitive design features allow users to quickly learn the functionality of the key features, widgets and settings,” states Klippstein. www.okuma.com
MAZAK Mazak released the SmoothX CNC, part of the company’s Smooth Technology platform, at IMTS 2014. “SmoothX is more than a CNC control upgrade. It is a fundamental control change for the machine. In many cases the machine design had to be upgraded to support the capabilities of this control. When we introduced SmoothX we changed encoders to 64 million pulse per rev resolution, we changed motors and drives and of course introduced the very powerful touch screen control,” says Buxton. According to Mazak, SmoothX CNC’s processing capability is four times faster than its CNC predecessors. “We have conducted tests on customer parts and seen dramatic reductions in cycle time. We demonstrated an example of this at CMTS. There are very many improvements with this control, one of the main ones being processing power. This enables the coordination of axes (especially rotary axes) to be done much faster enabling constant cutting speeds in tight corners and eliminating undercutting,” explains Buxton. In addition to “being the fastest control available, SmoothX is extremely user friendly ... while of course SmoothX is designed to handle EIA/ISO input from third party software programs like Mastercam, Powermill etc., it also includes the option to program in Mazak’s Mazatrol intuitive programming language,” he continues. “Our plan is that within the next 18 months, we will expand the Smooth platform across all of our 350 different machine models. There will be three variants of Smooth control: SmoothX, SmoothG and SmoothC. Each one of the controls has somewhat different capability and aligns with machine models of differing complexThe SmoothX CNC ity,” says Buxton. from Mazak www.mazak.com www.canadianmetalworking.com
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Cutting tool considerations when maximizing speeds and feeds BY NATE HENDLEY
The MFH-Raptor high feed end mill from Kyocera Precision Tools
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o, you want to maximize cutting speeds and feeds to reduce cycle times? If this is your goal, there’s a series of cutting tool factors to be considered, including coatings, coolant, materials, applications, etc. We asked industry experts if any particular applications stand out in the quest for high speeds and feeds. “A low arc of engagement tends to lend itself to high speeds and feeds…reducing the contact area of a square shoulder tool keeps the heat low and allows us to increase feed to compensate for chip thinning that occurs at the low arc of engagement. An example of this is often called Trochoidal milling in slots but applies to any shape,” states Brian applicaMacNeil, milling products and applica tion specialist, Sandvik Canada. “Also Dynamic milling is a common method supported by CAM software that uses small arc of engagement with higher speeds and high feeds,” adds MacNeil. applica“Almost every applica tion lends itself to cycle time reductions,” says John Mitchell, general manager of Tungaloy
Canada. “The options available to reduce cycle time are almost endless. When turning, the maximum feed rate should not exceed half of the insert nose radius, therefore use the largest nose radius possible to increase feed rates. If the part requires a good surface finish or has some corner radii restrictions, use a wiper insert.”
HIGH SPEED, HIGH FEED We also wanted to know what materials work best in high speed/feed operations—and what materials are best machined slowly. “High feed milling works well in a variety of materials including, but not limited to, carbon steels, alloy steels, stainless steels, heat resistant alloys, and titanium. Cutting conditions vary depending on the type of material,” says Paul Rice, applications engineer at Kyocera Precision Tools. “For example, slower feeds and speeds are used when machining heat resistant alloys and greatly increased when machining low carbon steels.” “Another option for finishing or semi-finishing is to use cermet,” suggests Mitchell. “Cermet is capable of running at higher speeds than carbide, produces excellent surface finish and lasts a very long time. Use CBN in hard turning applications. Some shops are still grinding their hardened parts. It is much faster to produce these www.canadianmetalworking.com
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parts on your CNC lathe using a CBN insert,” notes Mitchell. “Higher than normal speeds and feeds can be applied to any material group by changing from conventional techniques,” suggests MacNeil. “Techniques allow for cutting data increases relative to material (for example, Titanium 6al4v at 250 sfm using standard toolpath can achieve 450-500 sfm with high feed side milling techniques),” he says.
COATING SOLUTIONS Cutting tool experts were also asked about the ideal coatings for maximum speeds and feeds. “CVD grades have a thicker coating and are better able to withstand heat in larger arcs of engagement and high speeds,” explains MacNeil. “PVD inserts are thinner and sharper which is better at low arcs of engagement. They do not withstand heat as well, but we have less heat in the process when the arc is low,” says MacNeil. “When it comes to high speed machining, we usually like to look at ALTiN [aluminum titanium nitride] coatings, primarily because of their heat resistance and their abrasion resistance,” says Jay Ball, product manager for solid carbide endmills, NAFTA at Seco Tools “In high speed machining, there’s a lot of heat generated.”
TOOL WEAR Tools wear out faster in high speed/feed operations, a fate that doesn’t unduly alarm cutting tool company officials. “Until the process is secure and the programming suits the machine, material and fixturing, I don’t worry about wear. We can do a lot of damage before a tool wears,” says MacNeil. “To me it is the last factor left in the equation…wear is inevitable. Slow controlled wear that is predictable is the goal after we have everything else in the process secure.”
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PROPER PROGRAMMING Other tips from the experts: “Programming is the key in high feed milling,” says William Fiorenza, die and mold product manager at Ingersoll Cutting Tools. “Proper programming that utilizes high speed machining techniques and programing features such as corner welding and corner smoothing promotes free and smooth cutting and constant chip load. These are all key things you need to have to effectively high feed mill.” It’s important to note certain cutting characteristics when maximizing speed and feed. “Typically when you deal with very, very high feed tooling, you’re also dealing with very, very light depths of cuts. So that’s the trade-off,” says Steve Geisel, senior product manager at Iscar Tools Inc. “Unfortunately, there’s really no tools that exist that allow you to take a very, very large depth of cut and also take a very, very aggressive feedrate. Because of the heat that’s generated, you either take a big depth of cut with a light feed or a small depth of cut with a high feed…you can only generate so much heat in a cut. The minute you generate more heat than what is needed, you’re going to burn out your cutting tool.”
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as you can, within reason. If you have to go in and index your insert every three minutes on the machine [then speed is not a benefit]. You have to balance tool wear and speed,” he says.
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Heat has the greatest impact on tool life, and speed has the greatest impact on heat. With this in mind, we asked pundits about the role of coolant in maximizing speeds and feeds. “Because we’re talking about the heat generated, the quicker you can reduce the heat, the more aggressive you can be. Coolant is one means that you can reduce the heat in the cut. One thing we’ve developed, we call it our Jet HP line. It’s a high pressure coolant, tooling system. With our Jet HP line, people can run the coolant pumps up to 5,000 psi,” says Geisel. “Pretty much all of our tools are designed with coolant through www.canadianmetalworking.com
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applications in mind,” says Cullen Morrison, business development manager at Komet of America. “We also have applications for MQL [Minimum Quantity Lubrication]… we’re looking at how can we run these components as fast and as stable as possible,” he adds. That said, sometimes machining dry works best while trying to attain high speeds and feeds. “When you’re running an interrupted cut in a turning situation, it’s almost always best to turn the coolant off and run dry [due to the risk of] thermal cracking,” states Mitchell.
HIGH SPEED/FEED TIPS Other tips: if maximizing high speeds and feeds is the goal, use a rigid machine tool—“As rigid as possible. Rigid will benefit everyone,” says Morrison. Cutting tool companies have some new products on the market, built with high speeds and feeds in mind. “We have a new tool we’re releasing to the US market—the Brinkhaus ToolScope machine monitoring system. It monitors load on spindle, torque forces and other key indicators of
AVOIDING CHATTER A previous Canadian Metalworking story noted that on the first indication of premature tool wear, chatter or chipping, machinists will often turn down the override controlling the feedrate. In such situations, however, might it be better to boost the feedrate instead? “I would say that’s very relative to what the process is … a low feed rate does cause increased wear. If that is the reason for the wear, then a higher feedrate would be better. If the cutting speed is too high, a higher feed rate is not going to help. If you’re talking about turning hardened steel at 60 Rc, the wear on the tool is just going to be a fact of life,” says Morrison. Tweaking the feedrate “depends on the situation…if you’re dealing with chip thinning, then yes you really need to ramp up your feed rate. If it’s not chip thinning, I’m not sure I would agree [with increasing the feedrate],” adds Mitchell. “Be conscious of average chip thickness,” echoes Fiorenza. “All high feed tooling has a feed rate multiplier associated with the tool that is different for almost every cutter. That multiplier allows you to compensate for chip thinning. You do have to be aware of slowing down the feed rate and possibly generating too thin of a chip in which case you end up rubbing the material … it’s a very important thing for end users of high feed milling tools to understand what their feed rate multiplier is,” he says. www.canadianmetalworking.com
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The Gold-Quad F high feed mill from Ingersoll Cutting Tools.
machining performance,” says Morrison. “We have a new Plura endmill optimized for high feed side milling. This tool also incorporates new coating process technology designed to keep the coating intact at higher speeds,” says MacNeil. “We have several new products out: Gold-Quad F and “MORRISON ADVISES MACHINISTS Gold-Quad XXX LOOKING TO MAXIMIZE SPEEDS [high feed mills]. The AND FEEDS TO TAKE A MOMENT first one, Gold-Quad TO REFLECT BEFORE COMMENCING F, is a 12-degree lead WORK.” angle style tool. It does an excellent job of managing cutting forces and has up to seven different insert styles to address different milling scenarios,” says Fiorenza. “Kyocera recently released an innovative high feed milling line-up. The MFH-Raptor and the MFH Mini high feed end mills and face mills utilize new insert grades with complex geometries that drastically
Tungaloy’s DoOcto and DoQuad inserts cover a range of milling operations.
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reduce spindle loads and are capable of extremely high feed rates for maximum material removal,” says Rice. “Tungaloy recently expanded its DoOcto line…this milling cutter can now take a double positive eight-edged insert or an eightedged high feed insert. The high feed insert can be used as a conventional milling tool when the depth of cut exceeds the recommended depth for high feed,” says Mitchell.
SYSTEM APPROACH Of course, as most all of the experts insist, a cutting tool is only as good as its toolholder. “I always recommend the highest quality holder you can get,” says MacNeil. “High feed and speed is used to maximize metal removal rates. Investing in a high quality machine and programming methods and not investing in quality tools and holders … is equivalent to owning a Ferrari and putting the cheapest tires you can find on it. You won’t win the race, and you may end up with damaged components.” One final piece of wisdom: Morrison advises machinists looking to maximize speeds and feeds to take a moment to reflect before commencing work. “We tell them, ‘look at everything as a system.’ Balance everything. You can’t put the cart in front of the horse. What are the limitations of the machine? What are its speed characteristics? You have to look at the whole system … it’s all about controlling the process,” states Morrison. www.canadianmetalworking.com
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BOOSTING PRODUCTIVITY AND EFFICIENCY WITH DATA-DRIVEN MANUFACTURING BY JAMES BROWN
hanks to the advent of many types of production software and hardware technology, along with the accessibility of telecommunications technology and the Internet, getting the most out of a shop-floor environment is just a mouse-click away. When multiple machines are connected to a single network to a centralized computer, data-monitoring software can enable a manufacturer to retrieve, store and analyze high volumes of actionable machine data in real time, eliminating the need for manual data collection. This data can provide detail about part counts, cycle time and tool life. In addition, production and status data can be collected directly from the machines. Such information enables shop personnel to react quickly when bottlenecks occur, ultimately preventing downtime and yielding more parts per machine. Data monitoring is employed in many manufacturing environmentsâ€” from very low-mix automated environments to high-mix automation or stand-alone machinesâ€”and should no longer be considered exclusive to large companies. Data can potentially be accessed from anywhere in the world to improve productivity and help a company reap the most from its machine investment. Those shops wanting to implement a monitoring solution must first decide what data is most important to record and retrieve. Some of this information includes machine utilization data to help calculate ROI, and machine downtime to eliminate load and 50 | NOVEMBER 2015
unload bottlenecks. Data monitoring software has a wide range of standard and advanced features: Standard actionable data that can be tracked Multiple machine status Machine utilization Power monitor Camera monitoring E-mail notifications Advanced monitoring features offered by select vendors Probe data analysis Tool management Work scheduling Spindle monitoring The open-architecture machine communications protocol called MTConnect gives manufacturers the ability to connect their software packages to all types of machines.
This software is becoming more widely available in newer machines, but it can be retrofitted into older machining systems as well. Implementing the data-monitoring software requires several preparations including Ethernet and wiring, training, backup, introducing it to the staff, and determining how to handle all of the stored data. When choosing the right monitoring solution, it is critical to have the support of a provider that offers tight integration between the software and the machines. The ideal software provider should be able to speak knowledgeably to both machinists and IT personnel, ensuring that machine settings and processes are optimized and networks are compatible with company security protocols. Training should also be offered to help users learn how to analyze the data and gather insights. Once the data-monitoring software is set up and is collecting information, the data can then be reviewed to determine if there are any bottle-
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necks or opportunities for improvement in the manufacturing process. The manufacturer can then work through each gridlock, perfecting processes to achieve optimum workflow efficiency. With improved efficiency comes better cost per unit, which goes right to the companyâ€™s bottom line, and enables it to expand the operation. Manufacturers should be prepared to store large volumes of data.
With access to plenty of historical machine process data, companies can be more effective at tracking progress and identifying opportunities for process improvement. By using production monitoring software manufacturers can have greater confidence in their operation than ever before. James Brown, Controls Software Development Manager, Makino Inc.
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A look at how in-process inspection makes machining good parts easy BY LINDSAY LUMINOSO
n today’s manufacturing environment, time is money. Manufacturers are constantly worried about cycle time, meeting tolerances, and getting the parts to the customers. The traditional relationship between machining and inspection is changing to adapt to meet the ever-growing needs of the manufacturing process. Customers are only paying for good parts, so it is important to get it right the first time. Parts that are machined incorrectly, have features out of specification, or missing completely, can mean that materials are scrapped and time is lost making a new part, all which negatively affects the bottom line. In-process inspection is one way to ensure that a part is being machined correctly the first time. “The traditional relationship between machining and inspection is that machining is completed first, and the component is then transferred to a dedicated piece of inspection equipment to be approved or rejected,” explains Brett Hopkins, North America manager of Delcam Professional Services. “However, as machining techniques become more sophisticated, and as components become larger and more complex, there are a growing number of cases where closer integration is required to give higher productivity and reduced wastage.” When it comes to large, expensive workpieces, the last thing any operator wants to 52 | NOVEMBER 2015
find out is that the part they’ve spent the last couple hours machining is out of specification. In the manufacturing process, checks can be put in place to ensure that the part continues to be made correctly. “It is so important to do in-process checks, and be able to catch any process variations or issue as quickly as possible,” says David Chang, technical sales manager (Measurement & Automation Products) for Renishaw. If a part is incorrect and the error is not caught until a post-process inspection, oftentimes it is too late and the entire thing needs to be scrapped. What is worse, additional parts may incur the same error before the operator is able to catch and correct the problem.
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“During any machining, mistakes can be made due to operator error, tooling wear, thermal issues—inspection is imperative to ensure the error is caught early or not repeated,” adds Scott Warner, Canadian regional manager for Heidenhain. One way that in-process inspection can be done is through machine tool probes, which ensure that key features on the workpiece are correct to allow the machine to continue the machining process. One of the greatest advantages of the machine tool probe is that it allows for verification to take place on the machine without having to remove the workpiece. This can be beneficial if you are working with a large or heavy workpiece. “For example, let’s say you have a 500 kg part that is taken off the machine and brought into an inspection lab,” says Philip Smith, technical sales manager for Renishaw. “If they find there is a problem, the part then needs to be taken back and put into the machine. And if it can be, then it needs to be reworked. For a lot of specific jobs, you may only get one shot at it.” If the part is inspected and is out of specification, the amount of time it takes to remove the part, wait for the part to acclimatize to the lab, inspect the part, and fixture the part back on the machine, can be costly. Not to mention that it is almost impossible to re-fixture the part in exactly the same position. On-machine verification can ensure that a critical feature is machined within specification before any additional processes are started. “In process inspection saves repeating cycles of machining and inspection, interspersed with long set-up times on the respective pieces of equipment,” explains Mary Shaw, Delcam Marketing Manager. “Depending on the complexity of the part and the size, the overall production gains can be very significant, anywhere from hours to days, saving time and money on overall manufacturing costs.” The main purpose of in-process inspection is to gauge the part and if a specific dimension changes, determine what part of the process has changed. www.canadianmetalworking.com
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“This can be due to temperature, tool wear, or tool breakage,” explains Chang. “You want to catch that quickly.” The part can be verified but other important elements are also assessed to ensure a productive process. These assessments allow for decisions to be made immediately as to whether or not the process can be continued or parts should be scrapped. It also allows for process variations to be corrected based on generated reports. For example, tool breakage on the shop floor can be assessed accurately and a decision made immediately to determine whether the part can still be completed within tolerance or whether it will have to be scrapped. One of the challenges, when it comes to using machine tool “CYCLE TIME IS THE AMOUNT OF TIME probes for verificaIT TAKES TO MAKE ONE GOOD PART. tion, is that you are CUSTOMERS DON’T PAY FOR BAD not getting a true PARTS. NOT EVERYONE THINKS inspection of the THIS WAY.” part. Both Chang and Smith stress the importance of understanding the total production process before going forward. You have to start at the process foundation, the machine itself, and get to know the parameters of the machine tool before entering into the world of in-process inspection. “We don’t call it on-machine inspection. We can’t really say it’s inspection because you can’t use the machine that is machining the part to inspect the part,” explains Smith It’s really more about verifying that the part is correct and features are accurate. However, before the verification process can occur, the machine needs to be functioning correctly. 54 | NOVEMBER 2015
“That foundation is there. Once we know that the machine is working to within specification, then we use one of our probes in conjunction with software, we do a comparison of the actual part on the machine, and we compare that to a CAD model that has nominal values,” Smith continues. One of the great advantages is that inspecting at the machine using touch probes on the machine allows a more immediate inspection. “However this can be dangerous as it is not an independent inspection, as the inspection is done on the same machine as the part was produced on. Errors associated with the machine will not show up on the inspection,” adds Warren. This is why shops should get to know their machining process. Right from the process foundation with the machine through the process settings in order to understand how in-process inspection will work for you. “Normal inspection in the quality department takes time and during this period the mistakes continue causing more rework and therefore [wasting] time and [money],” says Warren. The advantages of using in-process inspection are numerous. Manufacturers working with high-value, low volume parts can use machine tool probes to verify that features on a part are machined according to specification, allowing the part to continue through the manufacturing process. Ensuring that a part is correct during the machining process can ensure that good parts reach the customer quickly and the manufacturer is not left with a ton of scrap. “Cycle time is the amount of time it takes to make one good part. Customers don’t pay for bad parts. Not everyone thinks this way,” says Chang. A machine can be up and running all day long, pumping out hundreds of parts, but if there is even a little variation in the process, you can end up with a day’s worth of bad parts. And no one wants that. www.canadianmetalworking.com
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MAZAK’S MARCH TO THE SMART FACTORY On November 3rd, Mazak Canada invited over 160 of its Canadian customers to the Florence, Kentuckybased National Technology Center, as part of its Discover 2015 (Oct. 27-29, Nov. 3-5) event. Customers from coast to coast in a wide range of industries had the opportunity to explore the facility, speak with experts and enjoy Mazak’s hospitality. With over 30 machine tool models operating on the floor of its Mazak’s Discover 2015 event revealed the company’s wide range of products and its commitment to the future of manufacturing. Anticipating 2,500 visitors over the six-day event, there was an emphasis on multi-tasking “done in one” machine tools, with many North American debut products including
the INTEGREX i-400AM HYBRID Multi-Tasking machine. A highlight of the event was the introduction of Mazak’s launch into the connected cyber world with the introduction of the SmartBox, a platform that serves as a conduit between machine tools, shop floor management, and the Industrial Internet of Things. The SmartBox incorporates connectors, a processor, software and an cyber-secure industrial switch. The “box” reads the standardized MTConnect common language sent from the machine tool, and reveals the data in viewable reports for management and shop floor workers. It also provides a constant stream of real-time data to be analyzed by sophisticated algorithms which ensure
optimized performance and, when necessary, trigger preventive maintenance alerts and other value-adding functions. A collaboration among Mazak, IT giant Cisco, and Canadian software company Memex, the SmartBox is a connection that moves manufacturing to next-level efficiency. As a demonstration of its commitment to connectivity, Mazak was offering tours of its 536,000 sq. ft. North American manufacturing plant, where the company demonstrated its iSMART Factory concept. The digital integration of the Mazak factory was part of a recent $30 million investment in its Kentucky campus. www.mazakusa.com
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SANDVIK COROMANT HOSTS STUDENTS FOR MFG DAY On October 8, 2015, over 50 students joined Sandvik Coromant at their Mississauga headquarters to celebrate Manufacturing Day. Grade 9 and 10 students from East York Collegiate Institute were given a glimpse at how rewarding a career in manufacturing can be. The event kicked off with a presentation by Edge Factor’s Jeremy Bout, who helped “open students’ eyes to the art of manufacturing, inspire the workforce of tomorrow and begin a movement in the community.” After the presentation, which explored the wide scope of the manufacturing industry, students were broken into groups and given a more in-depth look. Tyler Magri, a recent graduate of the Georgian College precision skills program, was on hand to share his success at the World Skills
competition and in his burgeoning career. He stressed that youth today are “entering into one of the most exciting times in manufacturing.” The opportunities are ripe for the taking. Experts from Sandvik Coromant, In-House Solutions, and Octopus were available to demonstrate different areas of manufacturing, which included 3D printing, automation, metrology, machining, and CAD/CAM. The students asked questions, gained hands-on experience, and learned a great deal about not only what Sandvik does but the unique and wide-ranging jobs that are available to them in manufacturing. The goal of Manufacturing Day is to bring awareness to youth and help inspire them to get involved in the industry. North American manufacturers open their doors and share
Students watch as a workpiece is machined in a mill.
their successes. The event is starting to gain momentum in Canada. Although, Bout admits that Canada really can do more and needs to do more in order to reach young people. “We can’t wait for the government to step in. It needs to be a conversation we are always having.” www.sandvik.coromant.com
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CMTDA HOSTS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING On Wednesday, October 21, machine tool distributors gathered at Rattlesnake Point Golf Club in Milton, Ontario for the Canadian Tejal Mehta takes Machine Tool over as CMTDA Distributors’ President. Association’s (CMTDA) 73rd Annual General Meeting. Tejal Mehta, vice president of operation with EMEC Machine Tools took on the role of CMTDA President, taking over the position from Frank Haydar, president of Elliott Matsuura Canada. “My role as President will be to continue the lines of communica-
tion between our Association and its partners,” said Mehta. “We also want to work in synergy with a few of the other manufacturers associations, sharing best practices. Our goal is always to help promote skilled trades and education. We will support bursaries to young members in trade schools to help continue further their education.” Mehta outlined the status of the machine tool industry in North America and touched on the global manufacturing sector. He then reported on the CMTDA’s “order intake” data for the first three quarters of 2015, which showed a decrease of 24 per cent in Metal Cutting CNC Machine orders over the same period last year, however, he did note that there was an increase of 28 per cent for Metal Cutting Non-CNC Machines.
“My take on the industry is that Canada still has one of the strongest manufacturing sectors in the Western Hemisphere,” explains Mehta. “Automation and high technology/innovation has to be front and center in our country to be competitive and profitable. Low oil prices will continue to affect Western Canada, but I feel Ontario and Quebec will drive the engine for manufacturing. Our weaker currency against the U.S. greenback will also help automotive suppliers to bring back work into Canada to increase their balance sheets.” Overall, the event stressed the need to support metalworking and manufacturing in Canada. The CMTDA aims to strengthen the industry through building its membership and supporting local businesses.
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FERRO TECHNIQUE ANNOUNCES NEW APPOINTMENTS Ferro Technique is pleased to announce its newest appointments. Brian Donnelly, president of Ferro Technique, announced the addition of Roger Jefferies and Wayne Felker to new roles within the team.
Roger Jefferiesâ€™ new position is Sales Manager. Jefferies has been active in the metal cutting industry in Ontario for the past 35 years and has been with Ferro Technique as a regional salesman for five years. Wayne Felker has been appointed
regional salesman. Felker has been active in the metal cutting industry in Ontario for the past 18 years and brings with him a vast knowledge of machine tools and accessories. www.ferrotechnique.com
HARDINGE ADDS NEW WEST COAST REGIONAL SALES MANAGER Hardingeâ€™s announced a new regional sales manager, Meghan Tranchina, for the territory including Western Canada along with Northern California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. Tranchina recently joined Hardinge as the west coast regional sales manager for the turning & milling group. She began her career with HS&S Machine Tools and Metrology and most recently held the position of sales engineer covering Northern California and Nevada for Methods Machine Tools. Tranchina will report to Brooke Sykes, director, sales & service turning/milling group. hardingeus.com www.canadianmetalworking.com
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MACHINING INTELLIGENTLY THE GREEN WAY BY ERAN SALMON, IMC QUALITY ASSURANCE MANAGER
he growing tendency of companies to list their environmental accreditations alongside their management and quality standards illustrates manufacturers’ desire to reduce their impact on the environment and to minimize the use of the earth’s natural resources. Rather than being an expensive policy to pursue, ISCAR finds that the use of greener strategies, such as recycling and the pursuit of reduced energy consumption, increases profitability. In addition, the kudos gained by adopting more sustainable methods raises potential customers’ perceptions and often leads to improved levels of business. To help support the global manufacturing industry’s search for ‘greener’ means of production, suppliers such as machine tool companies and tooling manufacturers have introduced a wide range of impressive innovations. Led by Germany’s mechanical engineering association, schemes such as the Blue Competence Machine Tools initiative focus on sustainability. Under the Blue Competence initiative, machine tool companies agree to meet pre-determined ecological, economic and Fig. 1
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social values and principles, while implementing sustainable production solutions in their production plants, products and business services, with the aim of achieving greener manufacturing. Increasingly, major machine tool manufacturers are introducing advanced energy saving features to their ranges, such as reduced machine warm-up times, drive modules with lower power ratings, electric motors that are optimized to the machines’ specific requirements and standby features such as spindle deactivation. In addition to being ecologically beneficial, these advantages considerably reduce users’ costs whilst ensuring high levels of productivity and quality. Ecologically sound production methods are in use throughout our high-tech manufacturing plant, and a policy of continuous improvements is practiced within this area. Through the work of the company’s R&D department, we have launched a wide range of advanced cutting tools that help users to dramatically reduce a machine tools’ energy needs by speeding-up metal cutting processes. Many cutting tools are multi-functional, enabling users to minimize their tooling inventories. Our HIGHQLINE is typical of the many energy saving, highly efficient cutting tool lines. ISCAR contributes to green machining with innovative tool geometries that demand less Fig. 4 energy and reduce
machine power consumption. One of our milestone innovations, the HELIMILL (Fig.1), reduces machining forces by the use of helical cutting edges, while our fast feed milling and turning inserts were designed for efficient, high volume metal removal, thus reducing machine power consumption. (Fig.2) The SPINJET coolant-driven HSM spindles (Fig. 3) recycle lubricants, which in return promote a greener environment by utilizing the machine tool’s existing coolant supply driven by a high pressure pump as an energy source to rotate a turbine. Fig. 3
Another environmental and efficiency program includes the recycling of used carbide inserts and tools. To make the collection of used carbide a highly efficient process, we introduced the automated MATRIX RECYCLE Solution (Fig.4). Participants in the scheme simply deposit their used carbide inserts and tools into an ergonomically designed receptacle. The weight of the carbide scrap is automatically calculated and displayed every hour. When the contents of the container reach a pre-set maximum weight, an LED warning light turns red and an email alert is sent prompting collection. Eran Salmon is IMC Quality Assurance Manager with Iscar. www.canadianmetalworking.com
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BUSINESS PROFILE: MACHINING
BUILDING A STRONG BRAND
Nick MacGregor, business development manager, stands outside the shop his family started.
MacGregors Industrial Group, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia BY LINDSAY LUMINOSO
t was in 1976 that Hugh and Margaret MacGregor started the family business, a custom machine shop out in the outskirts of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Today, Hugh and Margaret are no longer active in the business but have the pleasure of watching their shop grow into a multi-faceted business from their house across the street. “It truly is a family business,” explains Nick MacGregor, business development manager and grandson of Hugh and Margaret. “I’ve been with the company full time since 2011, and part time since as far back as I can remember.” His father, Andy, and uncle, Glen, are now the co-owners of the company and each operate their own respective divisions. Andy oversees the fabrication and modular building divisions, whereas Glen oversees the financial operations and machine shop. “It’s a good mix,” explains MacGregor. When Hugh and Margaret first started the shop, it was a machining only shop, called MacGregors Custom Machining. Since 1976, the company has grown and expanded its capabilities to include not only machine shop services. In the early 90s the company added industrial sales to service the local market offering industrial products. In the late 90s, they got heavily into the fabrication business, going after more of the steel structures business, expanding above just equipment repair, which is something they’ve always historically done. This is why, three years ago, the company underwent rebranding and is now known as MacGregors Industrial Group. 62 | NOVEMBER 2015
“We came to the point that, although our service offerings were well known to the local market, as we were expanding into Atlantic Canada, U.S., and the Caribbean, we had a lot of barriers to marketing ourselves as a fabrication shop, pre-fab building supplier, with the name as it was,” says MacGregor. “It’s been a really positive change for us. It’s helped us build a stronger brand as a result.” Their shop sits on about 20 acres of land, and they have about 35,000 square feet of shop floor space. However, everything is separated to better manage the growing business. “We separate things. The fabrication division is under one roof, and then we have the machine shop and another area for industrial sales—which also acts as shipping and receiving,” says MacGregor. “We do our modular buildings through the fabrication shop as well.” Over the last year, the fabrication shop has expanded to meet ever-changing demands. The facility increased by over 4,000 square feet. However, MacGregor notes that there is always more room to grow. Having such a wide ranging business has been key for the MacGregor family. With approximately 60 employees
A view of the machine shop, managed by co-owner and brother, Glen MacGregor.
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The fabrication shop recently expanded 4,000 square feet and is managed by co-owner and brother, Andy MacGregor.
spanning the different divisions, MacGregors has found a way to keep constantly busy—balance. “It balances really well,” says MacGregor. “And it works because if one division is quiet, the other is typically busy. A lot of the projects we do involve all of the divisions. They are all complementary services, and we are adding new things all of the time, like logistics management. We’ve moved all of our drafting and detailing services in-house. We get into some electrical automation services as well.” However, on thing MacGregor stresses is the company’s commitment to customer service, boasting that they have customers that were on the ledger in the 70s that still come through the door today. “We never forget about the customers that got us started,” he says. “But we also aren’t afraid to jump into new markets.” The company services a wide range of industries but is heavily tied power generation, including hydro projects. The company is doing more and more in the renewable energy sector, building components for wind farms, as well as involving itself more in the tidal energy sector that is growing in the province. Historically, the main customer base was pulp and paper—forestry industry. “We are fortunate that the industry is fairly strong in Nova Scotia compared to other areas. We have one of the two large mills left in the province, here in town, Northern Pulp. We still service those customers.” 64 | NOVEMBER 2015
However, general manufacturing has also helped deal with the ebbs and flows of industry. Whether it is tire equipment manufacturing, whole assemblies, to part replacement, MacGregors is up for the job. For the most part, the shop focuses on small to medium size parts in both the machining and fabricating divisions. In the machine shop, there is a diverse range of conventional and CNC machines. As of now, it is approximately 50/50, but they are growing more towards CNC. “CNC machining is a hyper-competitive market,” says MacGregor. “We have about 25 to 30 pieces of machine shop equipment right now. We usually replace or add one or two new pieces of equipment yearly to stay current.” The fabricating shop offers a larger floor space to accommodate some larger parts, and the company tends to focus on structural steel, custom manufacturing and material handling equipment. MacGregor Industrial Group is focused on being a competitive manufacturer, adding a wide range of certifications including ISO 9001:2008, for which Nick MacGregor is an internal auditor. This certification was important for their international customers. They are also CWB certified for carbon and stainless steel, and recently added aluminum welding certification. “We are one of very few companies in Atlantic Canada that has certification for structural aluminum,” boasts MacGregor. “That’s a nice touch for us.” In the last few years, the company has added WCB safety certification and controlled goods certification so they are able to meet more customer needs. There is a cost to doing all these things, but MacGregor believes that the benefits outweigh the cost, explaining that it really opens more doors and improves the company as a whole. “We have such diverse operations going on right now,” he adds. “It’s very diverse and we are very lucky we have such a talented crew to adapt to the changing requirements.” It hasn’t been easy finding machinists and skilled workers, though. One thing that has really been an asset to the company is their close connection with the local community college, which is one of two in the province that still www.canadianmetalworking.com
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BUSINESS PROFILE: MACHINING
MacGregor Industrial Group has separate shops for machining and fabricating. The round metal structure in the centre is the original shop established by Hugh MacGregor in 1976.
maintains a machining program and is just a short distance from the shop. “My grandfather retired from the community college, which at that time was called the vocational school,” recalls MacGregor. “He taught machining and took an early retirement to start the business here. We take apprentices in from [the college] every year; it’s a very important relationship to maintain.” MacGregor believes that the company’s success is a combination of a family-operated environment, a commitment to customer service and being in the right spot at the right time.
The company focuses on manufacturing small and medium size parts and has a talented workforce to help them provide quality services to customers.
“For a small area, we are lucky we have a lot of industries around. We are in a great position here,” he says. It is evident from the business’s growing capabilities and expansion of the shop floor, that MacGregors Industrial Group has positioned itself as a competitive manufacturer and strong community presence. www.canadianmetalworking.com
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BUSINESS PROFILE: FABRICATING
WORKING TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY R&D Welding & Mechanical Contractors Ltd., Minto, New Brunswick BY LINDSAY LUMINOSO
he “R” in R&D Welding stands for Rene LeFait, the founder of the company. The “D” stands for David, Rene’s son and current manager of the small shop located in Minto, New Brunswick. “This is a family business,” says David LeFait, shop manager of R&D Welding. “My father started the company back in 1977. Now, both my brother and I work here.” The company started with only two or three people doing welding in the yard, “that was before there was even a shop here,” adds Stephanie LeFait, inside sales and wife of David. The company started off as primarily a repair shop, doing work for the local mill. Initially, Rene did miscellaneous steel work for construction jobs.
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“My father was an ironworker by trade,” explains David. “He started picking up odd jobs and work like handrails and stairs. After that, we built the shop as he was getting more and more work.” It was in 1982 that they broke ground on the first building, and it has continually grown since then. It was that same year that David graduated high school and opted to become a machinist, attending New Brunswick Community College. David credits their work with the local coal mine, NB Coal, that helped bring their business to what it is today, which consists primarily in manufacturing their own products—attachments and buckets. The coal mine is no longer operational, but when it was, the LeFaits did a lot of work on the big draglines and whatever work was needed. www.canadianmetalworking.com
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“That’s how we got into the excavator buckets side of things, through working with NB Coal, repairing their buckets,” explains David. “We got to know how to work with the materials. It’s not just normal material, it’s special high strength material, and there are certain welding procedures. We got our experience there.” It wasn’t until a local company asked R&D Welding to build an attachment for them that the company really decided to get into the bucket business. “We did it for an old Drott 40,” says David. “We moved on from that, and we hired an engineer to design the first couple of buckets. One of the first designs was for a CAT 235; it went to Saint Pierre and Miquelon.” And from there the bucket business grew. They now sell their products to many of the big names like Caterpillar, John Deere, Hitachi, and many more. “We’ve been doing it long enough now that we have a group of repeat customers,” David boasts. This has been a big advantage for the company. Prior to the success of their attachment line, they did a lot of road work, specifically
for Irving Mills. The company would send a crew up to the mill for 13 months at a time to build equipment. “It was really no life, working seven days a week,” says David. This is one area that R&D Welding worked to improve for their employees. “We wanted to find a way to increase our productivity.” And about five years ago, David did just that, cutting back the traditional fiveday work week to four, running a 10-hour shift. “We don’t work Fridays. We did this for a trial and we never looked back,” he says, explaining that the employees love it and it makes more sense for the business. Although, Stephanie does add that they will work on Fridays if a job calls for it, but for the most part, they haven’t needed to. After seeing how such a change can enhance productivity, David looked for other solutions. “They guys are always wanting me to tell people about the welding wire drums,” David laughs. Recently, David switched from buying rolls of welding wire to drums. At first, the cost of buying a drum, which is the equivalent to about 10 rolls, was off-putting, but he soon realized the cost and time savings were worth it. When R&D Welding was working with the rolls, they would often require replacing. “The guys would take off the roll, walk across the shop, talk to their friends, come back and change it,” says David. “It could take upwards of 15 minutes.” With 10 rolls in a drum, that eliminates approximately 2.5 hours of changeover that the welders can be working on projects. The shop itself has limited floor space, explains David. So every inch of space is important, and R&D Welding utilizes it really well. The buckets they manufacture can range
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BUSINESS PROFILE: FABRICATING
in size, with the largest being 25 feet and over 7.5 tonnes. With over 90 per cent of their business in excavator buckets, David looked for a way to make the job more efficient. “As you can imagine, the buckets are really heavy,” he says, explaining that they obviously cannot be moved by hand. Traditionally, the workers have to flip the buckets back and forth with cranes in order to weld them. “I went to the guys and said ‘See if you can eliminate on flip of the bucket.’ They were skeptical, asking ‘What difference is one flip going to make?’” Over 100 buckets, it makes a huge difference. “That’s just one of the little things we are doing to enhance productivity,” David explains. “It’s these things that increase the bottom line.”
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With all these enhancements, R&D Welding has hit its comfort zone. This year has been extremely busy for them, and they try their best to stock a range of their products ahead of time to provide customers with quick turnover. In order to do this, David knew that he needed to invest in equipment and new technologies. “We bought a very large piece of equipment two years ago and we put in a new insulated tarp building,” he says. “We are always upgrading our equipment and moving towards new technology.” R&D Welding also recently added a Creaform scanner to enhance the quality of its products, “which is pretty advanced for what we do.” David adds that he doesn’t mind spending money this way, because in the end it only adds to his business. David is excited for what lies ahead at R&D Welding and is still looking for new ways to make his shop more efficient and profitable.
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15-11-05 2:21 PM
Newer machines are more productive and cost less to operate BY NESTOR GULA
ome say it was steam power that launched the industrial revolution. That may be so but steam power was soon harnessed to create electricity and that is what really set the industrial revolution alight (pun intended) and is ushering in this new “communication/technological” era. Electricity costs money to produce and usually involves burning non-renewable fossil fuels. While fabricating machines have been getting quicker and more efficient at producing parts at a faster rate and a higher quality, they have also become more energy efficient. “Energy consumption has a direct effect on the cost per hour,” says Frank Arteaga the head of product marketing, NAFTA region for Bystronic Inc. “Costper-hour affects cost-per-part. Lowering the cost-per-part provides either for a higher margin or a lower cost for bidding.” There was a time when the cost for electricity was negligible and manufacturers did not consider this as a big draw from their profitability. With electricity rates spiking in the
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past few years and set to go higher, many in the industry are taking a look at energy efficient machines. “When considering new equipment, manufacturers in the recent past did not give much consideration to energy consumption,” said Matt Garbarino, marketing manager for Cincinnati Incorporated. “Today this is changing. Questions on energy usage are asked more often and manufacturers are adding an ‘energy consumption’ line to their comparison spreadsheets in an effort to anticipate usage.” Another aspect that he adds is the general productivity of the plant. “Productivity plays a part in energy consumption. An operator that is less productive than his/her colleague drives up energy costs by producing less during a shift. Controls that alert maintenance that a machine is not running to an OEM’s specification offer energy cost savings—a machine operating at its peak produces more parts with higher quality, rework is eliminated and maximum productivity is achieved.” It is simple to note that different machines will use different amounts of electricity – some use very little. “The electric power conwww.canadianmetalworking.com
15-11-06 12:11 PM
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15-11-05 1:59 PM
sumption of press brakes and punch press is so low that the energy cost is negligible,” said Wim Serruys, the head of engineering at LVD Strippit. “For lasers, energy consumption is important: not only electricity, but also assist gas, which can be much higher than the electricity bill!” When looking at investing in a new machine it is important to compare like products as “energy consumption differs from machine model to machine model,” says Garbarino. “For example, a 90-ton press brake uses considerably less energy than a 350-ton press brake. Same applies for a 2kW laser resonator when compared to a 4kW. Manufacturers try to compare apples to apples.” There has been a general reduction of energy use across the board, but some machines still use a great deal of power because of the process they perform. According to Serruys, “CO2 lasers consume the most, fiber lasers a lot less, and punch presses and press brakes—less than 10 per cent of the consumption of CO2 lasers. Fiber laser have a much lower consumption and higher efficiency levels than CO2 lasers.”
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Energy conservation has been fueled by new technologies. “Ytterbium (Yb) fiber laser resonators consume far less energy than CO2 . The wall plug efficiency of a CO2 is 5 to 15 per cent, whereas the wall plug efficiency of an Yb fiber laser is 28 to 35 per cent. In the future, direct diode lasers will bring a wall plug efficiency estimated to be 40%-50%,” says Garbarino. Vendors agree that fiber lasers have provided the greatest reduction in energy consumption. “The machine with the most reduction in use of electric energy are laser cutting or combination (punch/laser) machines,” says Brian Welz, product group manager at TRUMPF Inc. “This is due to the development of solid state lasers, (TruDisk) lasers, for metal cutting. The reduction is over 50 per cent compared to CO2 lasers and in addition, there is a marked increase of productivity, especially when cutting light-gauge material. “A further possibility for reducing electrical energy consumption can be found in the automatic shutdown of the laser after a certain time, if the machine is sitting idle.” Various techniques and technologies are used to get the energy consumption figures down. “For punch presses and press brakes
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LVD’s ERS “Energy Reduction System” automatically reduces power consumption when the machine is idle,” says Serruys. “ERS reduces energy consumption by up to 15 per cent compared to previous LVD Strippit punch presses. On press brakes, ERS saves on average 30 per cent of energy consumption.” Having the machine’s motor idle or shut down when not in use is a technology that is spreading in the industry. “In punching, TRUMPF has also developed technologies such as On Demand drives to reduce energy consumption. During normal operation, the machine uses the standard amount of energy, but when the system sits idle for more than one minute the On Demand feature will engage and the hydraulic motor speed is reduced,” said Welz. “This reduces operating costs whenever the machine sits idle. It also has additional advantages, such as a reduction in the load on the hydraulic system and in the noise produced by the machine.” Many manufacturers will be loath to get rid of a well-functioning machine that might be using a bit more electricity than the newer models. Sometimes the projected energy savings, and the slight increase, if
any, in productivity will not be enough to offset the capital investment. “A manufacturer can increase energy efficiency in an older machine by updating the controls and making sure the machine is in good operating condition,” says Garbarino. “Though an older machine will never reach the efficiencies of a new machine, updated controls and machines in good operating condition offer improved efficiencies.”
Power and Performance The TruLaser 2030 fiber has an energy-efficient fully integrated 4kW TruDisk laser and offers flexible and economic laser processing across a variety of materials and thicknesses. The 60- x 120-inch working range provides cost-efficient productivity and flexibility as well as achieving optimum energy efficiency with minimal space requirements. Suitable for job shops that run up to three shifts per day, as well as for first-time laser users looking for laser cutting capabilities, the TruLaser 2030 is controlled by a touch screen interface that graphically displays all essential information—keeping operators in control, regardless of their experience level. www.us.trumpf.com
Canada’s leading source for metalworking news and information The best press alternative on the market for unitized tools and small die sets. MULTICYL INC
640 Hardwick Road, Unit 1, Bolton, ON, Canada L7E 5R1 Tel.: 905-951-0670 - U.S. Toll Free 1-800-388-6359 - Fax : 905- 951-0672 www.multicyl.com - email@example.com
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Offering the largest turret capacity of machines in their class, the Strippit M-Series of CNC turret punch presses has a 47-station turret providing high flexibility and reduced set-up time. Built on a heavy-duty frame with an advanced table positioning system that achieves accuracy of ± 0.10 mm with a repeatability of ± 0.05 mm over the entire table, it’s also equipped with LVD’s Energy Reduction System (ERS), According to the company, Strippit M-Series punch presses consume up to 30% less electrical power than comparable machines and are less costly to operate and maintain. www.lvdgroup.com
Part of Amada’s Eco Products which are engineered for energy conservation, the ENSIS 3015 AJ Fiber Laser is equipped with AMADA’s own fiber laser oscillator and the latest beam control technology for maximizing energy efficiency, while supporting higher efficiency in production. The power requirements for ENSIS are substantially less than CO2 systems since there are no optics to keep cool, a smaller, more efficient chiller further enhances cost savings. The oscillator is designed as an integrated unit allowing this system to deliver a high-power, high-quality laser beam in a remarkably small footprint. www.amada.ca
Speed and efficiency The Bystronic BySprint 6 kW Fiber laser cuts 1/8th inch stainless steel up to 70% faster than a 4 kW Fiber laser. This laser will also cut three times faster than a 6 kW CO2 laser. It can cut steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and non-ferrous metals, such as copper and brass. The electrical consumption of the BySprint Fiber is up to 70% less than conventional CO2 lasers, this results in lower operating and maintenance costs, in addition to significant energy savings. The cutting head is engineered to cut both thin and thick material with optimum performance, providing job shops added flexibility. The BySprint Fiber 3015 has a 5- x 10-foot cutting area; the larger 4020 model provides a cutting area of 6- x 13-feet. www.bystronic.com
Based on its experience in press brakes and servo electric machine tools for sheet metal working, Prima Power developed the new eP-Series press brakes. The machine concept, called Green Means, combines productivity, accuracy, flexibility and reliability with respect to ecological aspects. Available in three models, the eP-0520, eP1030 and eP-1336, all have different press tonnage and bending length. Boasting an energy saving of 50% lower consumption than hydraulic brakes on average, this system is more productive averaging 30% shorter cycle times and short setup times. www.primapower.com
Dutch-based SafanDarley, inventor of the servo-elecservo-electronic press brake, offers a range of E-brakes from 20 to 300 ton and working lengths of 33 to 160 inches. With its E-Brakes cycle times are shortened by up to 30 per cent compared to traditional hydraulic press brakes, and the machines are up to 50 per cent more energy efficient than comparable hydraulic brakes, as the machine only consumes energy when the upper beam is actually moving. www.safandarley.com
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Efficient and powerful Combining low operating cost of fiber laser technology with the company’s high-performance 12,000 ipm linear-motor axis drives (combined X & Y axis speed) The CL-900 series fiber laser cutting systems from Cincinnati Incorporated cuts thin steel two to three times faster than similar wattage CO2 lasers. With a power efficiency greater than 30 per cent this solid state fiber laser will reduce operating costs. Available with bed sizes of 5- x 10-ft., 6- x 12-ft, and 8- x 20-ft, the PC-based HMI control comes standard with Cincinnati’s programming and nesting software to optimize machine performance. www.e-ci.com
15-11-06 12:11 PM
Canada’s premier event for welding, metal fabricating and finishing
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CWC is Canada’s Largest Welding and Joining Conference. 15-11-05 2:22 PM
FABRICATING & WELDING NEWS
EXPLORE “DOCUMENTED COST SAVINGS FOR ABRASIVES” WITH WALTER SURFACE TECHNOLOGIES Walter Surface Technologies has published an industry white paper entitled “Documented Cost Savings for Abrasives.” In today’s competitive environment, it is important for industrial suppliers and distributors to show off their solution offerings to their customers. One was to do this is through demonstrating and documenting cost. “Documented cost savings (DCS) programs are part of a larger movement towards providing value-added solutions to customers,” says Dan Pirro, Vice President of Marketing at Walter Surface Technologies “More than three decades ago, Walter recognized the need to document cost savings,” Pirro adds. Walter’s earliest Productivity Analysis program was originally designed as a simple method to demonstrate right on the shop floor why a grinding wheel priced at $3 was actually more efficient than a competitive model priced at $2 per wheel. 76 | NOVEMBER 2015
“As the DCS movement evolved, Walter developed a three-step program to provide important and relevant information to the end user and centered on the end user’s plant and shop.”
The 3 step program includes: Step 1 – Bucket Program: A simple process where used and discarded abrasives are collected and analyzed.
Step 2 – Safety Seminars: Seminars to encourage a safer work environment. Step 3 – Productivity Program: A personalized performance analysis of the user’s work environment. Product Manager Tom Morris, the author of the white paper, spent several months conducting comparative tests, including those done in a laboratory setting, as well as in-field tests performed on the customer’s own equipment. The Documented Cost Savings for Abrasives white paper formally reports on four companies—large, medium, and small—and a range of industry types. The final investigation on just how much money can be saved by switching out an abrasive is surprising. Download the full white paper at www.walter.com/en_CA/ download-white-paper-form. www.canadianmetalworking.com
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FABRICATING & WELDING NEWS
COSEN SAWS LAUNCHES A CLOUD-BASED MONITORING TECHNOLOGY Cosen Saws has introduced MechaLogix Cosen Predictive Computing, a cloud-based system. This new system monitors the performance of a blade and can accurately forecast the number of remaining cutting hours left before a saw blade dulls and is no longer cutting with precision or a complete breakage. MechaLogix also gives users realtime performance data and can report issues like excessive vibration, overheating and changes in fluid line pressure. The root cause of an issue is reported in real time which equates to minimal down time and more efficient operations. The technology is intuitive and user customizable. Adjustable
alert notification settings work seamlessly with the mobile app. The comprehensive program includes: • Blade Life Assessment – Monitoring and alert notification of a saw blade’s remaining useful life. The technology will provide advance notice of required saw blade replacement. • Increased Machine Efficiency & Machine Life – The technology provides real time analysis of individual components and overall machine health status. It can send notification of abnormal conditions from motors and bearings. It also
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alerts on frequent consumable items like hydraulic and cutting fluid. • Increased Operational Efficiency – This technology can provide production reports to aid in identifying best practices and training needs. The company’s monitoring and notification system alerts operations when machine maintenance is needed which aids efficiency in the scheduling of planned events. www.MechaLogix.com
HELP OUR WELDING STUDENTS Have surplus equipment, material or supplies? Donate it to local secondary schools in need through our new online repository. Visit cwa-foundation.org/donations for more information.
Secondary Schools in need
Scan here to see the repository Charitable Registration Number: 83634 0539 RR0001
weldquality.org | 1.800.844.6790
78 | NOVEMBER 2015
cwa-foundation.org | 1.800.844.6790
15-11-06 12:12 PM
LVD Style press brake tooling
Welder Now Available with Digital Meter Now available with optional digital meter for more precise control when presetting of monitoring welding amperage, the stick and TIG-capable CST 280 Series from Miller Electric is ideal for welding pipe and plate in power plant construction, petrochemical construction, maintenance and repair and shipbuilding applications. The 41-lb machine is highly portable and can be easily moved around the shop or at a jobsite. The welder delivers up to 280 amps of output power and superior stick arc performance even on the most difficult-to-run electrodes like E6010. Adaptive Hot Start for stick arc starts automatically increases the output amperage at the start of a weld should the start require it. When TIG welding, Lift-Arc start provides TIG arc starting without the use of high frequency. www.millerwelds.com
Wilson Tool announces a complete line of press brake tooling called LVD Style. The LVD Style press brake tooling comes standard with the following features including punches and dies which are laser hardened for increased life and durability. Dies are Nitrex treated for optimal performance. LVD’s patented STONE radius die design assures accurate bend angles along the full length of the bend and reduces friction between material and die, especially when used with the LVD Easy-Form system. Die heights are designed to work with LVD’s Easy-Form system. Wilson Tool offers a full line of standard LVD Style tooling as well as special tooling. www.wilsontool.com
Pneumatic clamping systems with self-locking mechanism Wila’s new line of upper and lower new standard premium pneumatic clamping systems with patented self-locking mechanism for press brakes are designed for use with all Wila New Standard punches and dies. These pneumatic clamping systems use normal shop air pressure. Tool segments are clamped and positioned individually using clamping pins, which are in turn controlled via special self-adjusting wedges. When the wedges are engaged, they become an integral part of the tool and ensure that the tools remain clamped even if there is a loss of air pressure. Clamping is also released pneumatically; thus, no hydraulic oil is needed. www.wilausa.com
Extra welding power and performance The White Tail Camo Ranger 250 GXT engine-driven welder from Lincoln Electric is an engine-driven welder featuring not only a graphic wrap treatment but also a camouflage design. A VIKING 3350 Series White Tail Camo auto-darkening welding helmet with a matching camo graphic pattern is also available. The Ranger 250 GXT delivers plenty of welding power with 250 amps for AC or DC stick and DC wire welding, including TIG, MIG and flux-cored options. www.lincolnelectric.com www.canadianmetalworking.com
The NEW Tiger X flap disc raises the bar for professionals who are driven to get the job done right – and done fast. Tiger X holds nothing back with its industry first X3 Technology that combines an advanced grain anchoring system, dual flap design and engineered backing. The result is a disc that delivers the ultimate combination of faster grinding, longer life, and greater versatility. For those who demand uncompromising performance in a disc that doesn’t quit there’s only one choice. Tiger X.
Unleash Tiger X at weilercorp.com/tigerx
800.835.9999 / weilercorp.com NOVEMBER 2015 | 79
15-11-06 12:12 PM
A review of safety tips to keep metal finishing workers healthy and production moving along BY DOUG PICKLYK
he wide variety of applications requiring the use of handheld grinders crosses many metal fabricating and welding activities, and while the role is essential the tasks are often cumbersome, tiring and potentially dangerous. Because of its challenging nature, handheld grinding is a position that may be seen as less desirable and can be an area with low retention rates or high absenteeism with time off due to injury. To ensure the well being of employees and combat the costs incurred due to lost time and constant retraining, it is wise to consistently review safety standards at your shop and keep workers operating in the most user friendly environment as possible. Fortunately, for most all applications that require using abrasive cutting or grinding disks, the manufacturers of abrasives and grinding tools offer a large variety of safety information either directly or through their websites. Earlier this year the Parisbased Federation of European Producers of Abrasives (FEPA) launched www.abrasivessafety.com, a website dedicated to the cause.
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German-based abrasive and tool manufacturer PFERD will send application specialists to visit shops and conduct an onsite ErgoCheck or ErgoScan—measuring noise levels, dust levels and vibration loads for workers, providing comparisons to national and international standards and recommending solutions. The program is part of the company’s health and safety PFERDERGONOMICS approach. “What this means is that our products are made to positively influence the health, safety, and comfort of the user. This is because we realize that the best value truly comes from focusing on the health and safety of the tool’s operator. This results in effectively reducing costs and increasing productivity,” notes the company literature. PFERD’s approach places the focus on four areas: vibration, noise, emissions (dust) and optimized haptics (the touch and feel of the products in people’s hands). By introducing tools that cause less stress on the operator, improving the quality of the abrasives and teaching better methods of handling the tools in optimal positions, company’s will experience enhanced grinding productivity and the grinding operator will be able to work more effectively and longer. There are occupational health and safety exposure limits for noise, dust and handarm vibration levels. In the case of excessive noise, ear protection that complies with safety standards is suggested for handheld working tools. It is advised that users also ensure the correct abrasive product is used for the application, as an inappropriate product can create excessive noise.
BY INTRODUCING TOOLS THAT CAUSE LESS STRESS ON THE OPERATOR, IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF THE ABRASIVES AND TEACHING BETTER METHODS OF HANDLING THE TOOLS IN OPTIMAL POSITIONS, COMPANY’S WILL EXPERIENCE ENHANCED GRINDING PRODUCTIVITY. FEPA advises that if an operator experiences tingling, pins and needles, or numbness while working with handheld tools after 10 minutes of continuous use that action be taken. It also notes that the effects of vibration are pronounced in cold conditions, so it recommends that users keep their hands warm and exercise their hands and fingers regularly. Excessive vibrations can lead to blood circuwww.canadianmetalworking.com
15-11-06 11:57 AM
PFERD POLICAP Abrasive Caps
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TRUST BLUE PFERD POLICAP® Abrasive Caps and Cones are all about performance. Special manufacturing processes result in substantial performance advantages compared to competitive products. Their seamless design allows for very smooth operation. Available in several shapes and sizes. For more information, contact PFERD today! www.pferdusa.com/policap
PFERD CANADA INC., 5570 McAdam Road • Mississauga ON L4Z 1P1 Phone: (905) 501-1555 • Toll-Free: (866) 245-1555 Fax: (905) 501-1554 • email: firstname.lastname@example.org
15-11-05 2:23 PM
MANUAL LABOUR WITHOUT HARM A workplace poster developed by PFERD, part of its PFERDERGONOMICS program, places an emphasis on safety and quality in the workplace by offering an easy visual reminder of best practices to avoid injuries. Beyond common solutions such as wearing suitable protective equipment (eye protection, masks, ear plugs, gloves, safety shoes, and close fitting work clothes), the poster recommends other ergonomic advice: Make sure that you have the optimum working position and working height. Position the work piece to be processed horizontally, slightly below the elbow, to prevent postural damage. • Clamp loose work pieces in a vice • Work as near as possible to the fixed-point (little cantilever) in order to reduce vibrations. • Take brief breaks, and loosen your muscles by walking around. •
Prevent postural damages with a firm stance and sufficient space to move. Avoid back pain by maintaining the optimal posture. Stand upright with a straight back in a relaxed posture and avoid a hollow back. • Take the pressure off your back muscles by leaning forward slightly and using your body weight. • Keep the drive with the clamped tool close to your body. • •
Avoid tension in the shoulder and neck area. Avoid extreme arm positions (e.g. stretched arms). The hand and lower arm should always form a straight line when force is applied. • Keep upper arms close to the body (angle < 20 degrees). • •
Pay attention to the correct hand position for more safety. A relaxed “hand position” is recommended. Hold the tool with both hands for more stability. • Guide the tool with as little force as possible and let the tool do the work. • Protect hands and fingers with vibration reducing measures. • •
Pay attention to the correct position when working vertically and working above head. Stabilize back muscles by pulling stomach in and avoiding a hollow back. • Regularly relax a stretched position and therefore relieve the strain on your back. •
Ensure that your posture is optimal when working in a kneeling position. Keep back straight. Use ergonomic knee pads. • Stand up at regular intervals. • •
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lation issues (leading to numbness and loss of grip), bone or joint disorders, neurological or muscular conditions, back pain, or even damage to the spinal column. Even low levels can lead to discomfort and reduced productivity. Vibration data for tools can be sourced from tool manufacturers, so it is advised to select newer, vibration-reduced tools. Other solutions include: again, making sure operators are using the right tool for the job and also ensuring the proper abrasive disks are being used. Regular maintenance and servicing of power tools is key. An ineffective tool will contribute to strain on the user. It’s also recommended to limit a worker’s daily exposure time to heavy vibrations by spreading a job over more time and rotating with other workers where possible. Plenty of easily-accessible safety information from how to read product labels to mounting instructions and working angles is available on Montreal-based Walter Surface Technologies’ website (walter.com) under “Support”. It’s Safety First section is loaded with links and tips. For example, in the “Prior to Mounting Instructions” here’s one rule: “Stock abrasive wheels in a dry environment at temperatures between 5°C (41°F) and 45°C (113° F). Do not expose wheels to intense cold or sudden temperature changes, high humidity conditions, water and chemical products such as solvents.” And among its long list of “Must Dos” when working with abrasive wheels, here are three: Make sure the work piece is secured to make sure it will not move in operation; rotate the wheel manually to ensure that it runs freely before turning on the grinder, and run the wheel for at least 30 seconds at operating speed after mounting before working. While these recommendations may seem elementary to experienced operators, there is always a place for safety reminders. And, in an occupation that can experience high turnover rates, there’s always someone new to teach. Successful businesses place an emphasis on occupational health and safety because they recognize their companies are built around people. Proper equipment handling and safety training not only ensures the well being of operators on the shop floor, but also their co-workers or anyone who enters the workplace, including customers or suppliers. It’s in every shop’s interest to invest in the necessary equipment, supplies and training that will keep their workplace safe and productive. www.canadianmetalworking.com
15-11-09 2:54 PM
THE NEW E-WELD
Total nozzle protection for up to 8 hours! • One spray protects for up to 8 hours! • UNIQUE APPLICATOR ensures a thin, even protective coat.
• Perfect for all types of welding, resists up to 1000 °C.
Spatter build up obstructs gas flow, resulting in inconsistent weld quality.
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15-11-05 2:25 PM
CONTROLLING EXPOSURE TO
rc welding fume contains very small particles from the consumables, base metal and base metal coating. The substances in the fume particles vary depending upon the constituents of the electrode and the chemistry of the base metal being welded, including any coatings, paint or plating. The most common compounds in arc welding fume when welding on mild or carbon steel are complex oxides of iron, silicon and manganese, although many other compounds may also be in welding fume. Welders who are overexposed to substances in welding fume may potentially be at risk for various short-term (acute) or longterm (chronic) health issues. The two most common U.S. exposure limits are established by OSHA in the form of Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) and by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) in the form of Threshold Limit Values (TLV). Employers are required by OSHA to keep exposures below the PEL and may choose voluntarily to keep exposures below the TLV.
COURTESY OF LINCOLN ELECTRIC THE NEW TLV FOR MANGANESE A change by the ACGIH was published in the 2013 Edition of its TLVs and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) publication. The new TLV of 0.02 mg/m3 for respirable manganese, which is applicable to welding fumes, represents a ten-fold reduction from the previous 0.2 mg/m3 TLV. The new TLV for manganese includes a 0.1 mg/m3 limit for inhalable manganese particulate. The Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 5.0 mg/m3, ceiling, remains the U.S. exposure limit for manganese enforced by OSHA.
METHODS FOR CONTROLLING EXPOSURE To thoroughly explore your welding fume control options, you should identify and assess your actual needs and operating conditions. Start by having an industrial hygienist take and analyze the appropriate number of samples of the air in the workers’ breathing zone to provide a baseline relative to any exposure level. This is particularly important if you are welding with stainless or hardfacing products, which contain greater amounts of substances that have low exposure limits, for example, manganese and chromium. Be sure to check the safety data sheet for the products you use. Fumes are not exclusive to the welder’s work area as they may migrate to areas where other workers may be exposed. When measuring to a TLV limit, the measurements should be averaged throughout the worker’s shift, which is typically eight hours. Where exposures are assessed to be over the TLV, many approaches can be considered to reduce exposures to acceptable levels.
ENGINEERING CONTROLS If there is any potential employee exposure to manganese or other compounds above their respective PELs, OSHA requires that engineering and work practice controls be installed first. The various types of control options for arc welding fumes are described below. The control options listed below should be used before considering a respirator. The use of ventilation/exhaust is often the most feasible method for controlling exposures. Respirators can further reduce exposures and can only do so to those who wear them. • Substitution – Review your current welding process, consumable, gas, welding procedure and equipment technology to determine if it’s feasible and practical to replace it to generate less welding fume. 84 | NOVEMBER 2015
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Isolation – Review your welding operation to determine if it’s feasible and practical to isolate and separate the operation by moving it to a regulated area, by automating/ventilating the welding process and/or placing a barrier between the worker(s) and the source. • Ventilation/Exhaust – Review the welding fume path to determine if it’s feasible and practical to control the path between the source and the worker through source, local, general shop ventilation equipment.
WORK PRACTICE CONTROLS This involves adjusting the way a task is performed and periodic inspection and maintenance of engineering control equipment. Work practice controls should complement engineering controls in providing employee protection. These practices include safe welding habits as well as housekeeping, maintenance and general administrative procedures, such as scheduling operations/tasks at a time to minimize potential exposure. If adequate ventilation is not feasible, it may be necessary to protect employees with the use of personal protective equipment.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Why did the ACGIH make a change that lowers TLV for respirable and inhalable manganese? The ACGIH’s change is based on reports of pre-clinical neurobehavioral and neuropsychological changes in workers exposed to chronic low levels of manganese. Some reviewers have pointed out methodological flaws in these studies and that they have demonstrated notably inconsistent findings after several decades of research. Nevertheless, the ACGIH decided to move forward with the reduction. Does the new Threshold Limit Value (TLV) distinguish manganese in welding fume from other types of manganese? No, the new TLV does not distinguish between the two. What is the ACGIH and is it part of the government? The ACGIH is a non-profit, non-governmental corporation dedicated to promoting worker health and reducing exposures to environmental health stressors in the workplace. What exactly is the TLV? According to the ACGIH, its TLVs represent conditions under which nearly every worker repeatedly can be exposed without adverse health effects. They also caution that TLVs are not intended to represent fine lines between www.canadianmetalworking.com
safe and unsafe exposure levels. Is the TLV a regulatory exposure limit? No, the TLV is not a regulatory limit such as OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL). Some governmental entities utilize its TLVs in adopting standards. Should we follow the new TLV? The ACGIH is a long-standing body that is comprised of professional industrial hygienists that review applicable health studies, monitor reports related to the health effects and risks of exposure to compounds encountered in the workplace, and advice regarding safe exposure levels. Do countries outside the U.S. adopt the ACGIH TLV as their legal regulatory exposure limit? In short, yes. For example, many countries, and the State of California, adopt exposure limits that are equal to the ACGIH TLV. Countries with exposure limit standards equivalent to TLVs include most Canadian provinces, many European countries, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico and much of South America. How do I know if a welder’s exposure is below the TLV? As an initial observation, the welder’s breathing zone and general area should be clear of any visible fume or particulate. The most effective means for confirming that exposures are below the TLV is to have a qualified individual such as a professional industrial hygienist conduct an exposure assessment in your workplace. If any exposures are over the TLV, how can they be reduced to acceptable levels? Many approaches should be considered to control exposure to welding fume constituents for the workplace. These might include a change in the welding process or procedure to reduce the rate of fume production where consistent with application requirements, the use of engineering controls such as local exhaust ventilation, work practice improvements and work process design changes. More than one of these may be implemented.
CONCLUSION The same solution(s) will not work for everyone because many factors can affect exposure levels; however, you should confirm that welding fume exposures in your work area are well controlled by providing enough ventilation and to keep the worker’s exposure to hazardous substances in welding fumes and gases below the applicable exposure level. Courtesy of Lincoln Electric NOVEMBER 2015 | 85
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BY THE NUMBERS
NEW ISO 9001:2015
REVISION ISO 9001:2015 has finally arrived. There are a number of significant changes to the latest version of the highly recognized quality management standard (QMS) that will affect all businesses currently using it. The standard is published by ISO (International Organization for Standardization). And with the business landscape changing considerably over the past decade, the revisions in ISO 9001:2015 intend to reflect these changes and ensure the standard is still relevant today.
By September 2018, companies certified against the 2008 version must transition to ISO: 2015
By September 2016, certification will be solely against ISO: 2015
New 2015 revision was annoucned
Since September 2015, companies have been able to certify against the 2015 revision
Composition Comparison OLD 2008 REVISION
NEW 2015 REVISION
8 PRINCIPLES 8 CLAUSES
7 PRINCIPLES 10 CLAUSES
6 MANDATORY PROCEDURES
26 MANDATORY RECORDS
What does the 2015 revision bring to the QMS?
RISKS AND OPPORTUNITIES CONTEXT OF THE ORGANIZATION • INSERTED PARTIES • •
CONTROL OF EXTERNALLY PROVIDED PROCESSORS, PRODUCTS AND SERVICES • QUALITY OBJECTIVES AND PLANS FOR ACHIEVING THEM • DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT • PERFORMANCE EVALUATION • DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT • PRODUCTION AND SERVICE PROVISION • QMS SCOPE •
DOCUMENTS 6 MANDATORY (not necessarily procedures)
26 MANDATORY RECORDS
Degrees of Difference
QUALITY POLICY LEADERSHIP • COMPETENCE, TRAINING AND AWARENESS • MANAGEMENT REVIEW • INTERNAL AUDIT • CORRECTIVE ACTION • •
Better integration with other business activities • Enhancement of the process approach and plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle • Decentralization of the system and spread of responsibilities for the QMS throughout the organization • Greater involvement of the top management in the QMS • Introduction of risk-based thinking in the QMS • Higher emphasis on performance monitoring •
REQUIREMENTS ADDED IN ISO 9001:2015 REVISION Context of the organization (Clause 4) • Actions to address risks and opportunities (Clause 6.1)
REQUIREMENTS FROM ISO 9001:2008 REVISION THAT ARE GONE
Quality Manual Management representative • Preventative action • •
SOURCE: 9001 Academy
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