We have many blessings in our lives, the love of family, friends chief among them.
Most of us enjoy an unparalleled material well-being, and a lifestyle of modern convenience that is the envy of the world.
Thanksgiving provides us the chance to recognize and thank the engineers, machinists, and entrepreneurs who have designed and built these modern technologies that keep us safe, comfortable, and make our modern lifestyle possible.
Precision machined components enable almost all modern technologies to function safely and efficiently. It makes me smile to understand where all this behind the scenes technological “magic” is sourced. Thanks to the machinists who make them, the engineers that design them, and the investors who tool up their shops to be able to produce them.
Thanksgiving is also about recognizing how our loved ones contribute to our ability to produce our highly engineered components. How they help us keep in mind what “Safety Critical” really means. How they make sure we have what we need when we arrive on the job. And have a reason to return home, all body parts intact. Now is a great time to recognize the contributions of our loved ones to our success. I am thankful for the blessings of my family and friends.
I am grateful to live in a time where technology makes my life more about the joy of my family’s company than about battling forces to merely survive. Technology works, thanks to machinists.
In our shops, we have calibration routines to help us assure that our output is to spec and acceptable.
Providing lockout/tagout devices and ensuring that equipment is capable of being locked out/tagged out are key management responsibilities. Here is a look at the requirement for periodic inspection of your company’s Hazardous Energy Control Program (Lockout/Tagout).
The ability of a material to deform plastically without fracturing, is called ductility. In the materials usually machined in our shops, ductility is measured by determining the percent of elongation and the percent reduction of area on a specimen during a tensile test.
Ductility is often indicated by chip control issues in certain steels, as the chip readily deforms but does not separate from the work piece. This can result in persistent burrs attached to the work .
Ductility can also mean long stringy chips that can form a dreaded “birds nest” engulfing the tool and work piece.
Long necklace chips are another sign of ductile materials in machining.
Short chips curled into “sixes and nines” showing a bit of heat discoloration are typical of less ductile materials and dutile materials machined at proper parameters using chip breakers and high pressure coolant delivery.
In our machining practice we would prefer materials that are “crisp” rather than ductile. In order to successfully deal with ductile materials, strategies such as chip control features on inserts, wiper style inserts, through tool coolant, interrupted cuts, chip breakers, and high pressure coolant can be considered.
Dialing in the appropriate feeds, speeds and depth of cut are crucial too.
Birdsnest photo courtesy Garage Journal
All other photos by author.
Titled “More High Schools Teach Manufacturing Skills” the article confirms that ” U.S. high schools that have launched or revived manufacturing programs in recent years to guide students toward good-paying jobs and help fill a critical shortage of skilled machinists, welders and maintenance technicians.”
Here are a couple of points that they make that are worth sharing:
There is a glaring imbalance in the labor market. Despite high unemployment since the recession, manufacturers still struggle to fill hundreds of thousands of job openings.
Manufacturing is dogged by an outdated image
Manufacturing is “Actually, “you’re working with computers and robots that are doing what you used to do by hand. That requires a skill set (in math and science) above what was required a generation ago.”
Community colleges also are turning out more prospective employees but not keeping up with demand. Nationwide, community colleges awarded 1,557 associate degrees or certificates in manufacturing last year, according to the American Association of Community Colleges. That’s up from 616 in 2005 but below the nearly 1,600 doled out in 2000.
But the best takeaway from this piece is a quote from a student whose engagement with the manufacturing class has improved his grade performance and motivation: “With this class, I have the motivation…It’s a way out, I don’t want to be working at McDonald’s.”
Thank you USA Today for this positive story.
A new wallet card issued by OSHA willhelp your supervisors understand the changes to Injury and Illness Reporting Requirements that go into effect in January 2015. Get the card here as a printable pdf
What are the new requirements?
“Under the final rule, employers must report the following events: 1. Each fatality resulting from a work-related incident, within 8 hours of the death. This requirement applies to all fatalities occurring within 30 days of a work-related incident. See Sec. 1904.39(a)(1) and (b)(6). This is the same as the current regulation and the proposed rule. 2. Each in-patient hospitalization resulting from a work-related incident, within 24 hours of the hospitalization. This requirement applies to all in-patient hospitalizations occurring within 24 hours of a work-related incident. See Sec. 1904.39(a)(2) and (b)(6). Under the proposed rule, employers would have been required to report all in- patient hospitalizations within 8 hours, for hospitalizations occurring within 30 days of a work-related incident. Under the current regulation, employers are required to report, within 8 hours, in- patient hospitalizations of three or more employees, for hospitalizations occurring within 30 days of a work-related incident. 3. Each amputation resulting from a work-related incident, within 24 hours of the amputation. This requirement applies to all amputations occurring within 24 hours of a work-related incident. See Sec. 1904.39(a)(2) and (b)(6). Under the proposed rule, employers would have been required to report all amputations within 24 hours, for amputations occurring within 30 days of a work-related incident. Under the current regulation, employers are not required to report amputations. 4. Each loss of an eye resulting from a work-related incident, within 24 hours of the loss of an eye. This requirement applies to all losses of an eye occurring within 24 hours of a work-related incident. See Sec. 1904.39(a)(2) and (b)(6). The proposed rule would not have required employers to report losses of an eye, and the current regulation also does not require them to do so.”- Federal Register
These requirements go into effect January 1, 2015 Get the wallet card and review the upcoming changes with your team now.
“The October PMI® registered 59 percent, an increase of 2.4 percentage points from September’s reading of 56.6 percent, indicating continued expansion in manufacturing. The New Orders Index registered 65.8 percent, an increase of 5.8 percentage points from the 60 percent reading in September, indicating growth in new orders for the 17th consecutive month. The Production Index registered 64.8 percent, 0.2 percentage point above the September reading of 64.6 percent. The Employment Index grew for the 16th consecutive month, registering 55.5 percent, an increase of 0.9 percentage point above the September reading of 54.6 percent. Inventories of raw materials registered 52.5 percent, an increase of 1 percentage point from the September reading of 51.5 percent, indicating growth in inventories for the third consecutive month. Comments from the panel generally cite positive business conditions, with growth in demand and production volumes.”- Bradley J. Holcomb, Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®)
Outstanding October Sixteen of eighteen manufacturing industries reported growth in October.
We were especially pleased to see New Orders up 5.8 points to 65.8.
The October ISM PMI numbers reflected the PMPA’s Business Trends results for September:
“The PMPA Business Trends Index for September increased 2 points (1.7%) from 117 to 119. This is the highest value for
September in the 5 years since the recession’s low of 83. September 2014’s 119 is 7 points, or 6.25% higher than the value for
September 2013. (On PMPA’s recently completed Shop Hourly Wage Survey, we determined that sales had increased 6% year over
year for those shops reporting in both 2013 and 2014.) The Sales Index average, year to date, is 121.9, up 4.9 points from the 2013
calendar year average. Six of the eight months this year have had an index value higher than that of the prior year. “
PMPA member companies continue to report strong sales and increasing lead times as the North American manufacturing economy continues to show its strength.
Now is a great time to be engaged in precision machining as advanced manufacturing continues to grow here in North America.
Kalkaska Screw Products Inc. (KSP) was a machining division of an automotive filter manufacturing company until 1996 when the company decided to eliminate the division. Tedd Stewart, KSP’s founder and member of the company’s board, purchased the division.