Pacific-energy-supplied-by-Kip-2

Red Hot

Electricity is expensive on Vancouver Island. This was a large part of the reason why Pacific Energy Fireplace Products Ltd. had long steered clear of CO2 lasers, opting instead to stick with its tried and true CNC turret punches. Yet fabricators have been successful with lasers for over three decades. Compared to punching, laser cutters[…]

Haimer-nano-shrink-3

Mini Mills

Nineteen minutes into the second period and the University of Ottawa’s women’s hockey team, the Gee-Gees, trails by one. Out of nowhere, the Montreal Carabins’ left wing bruiser Helga Lefèvre smashes Gee-Gees centre Holly McDuff into the boards, fracturing her cheekbone and leaving a ragged gash above Holly’s hairline. Blood turns the blue line red,[…]

Mittman_IMG_6372

5 X 5

Tooling up a vertical machining centre is easy. Just bolt a pair of 6 in. machinist vises on the table and call ‘er done. And while this path-of-least-resistance approach may be limited, it’s also fast, easy and cheap. Unfortunately for the owners of five axis vertical machining centres, machinist vises don’t cut the mustard. Five[…]

Formtek_IMG_4213

Tough Tubes

Ever wonder about the legs on a folding chair? How about the exhaust pipe on your car? Tubing is everywhere, but most of us don’t give it a second thought. The technology used to make this important product is quite amazing, however, requiring equipment longer than a football field and more expensive than a mansion[…]

Renishaw_triumph_3

Shop Floor Evolution

When I started in the shop, machine tools were dumber than fence rails. Load the paper tape, adjust the rheostats for feedrate and spindle speed, click, click, click the offset thumbwheels, push cycle start and pray. Programs were keyed into a Teletype machine; when changes were needed, the printout was redlined and sent back to[…]

Erowa_Palletizing

Choosing wire EDM workholders

There comes a time when some chipmaking shops add wire EDMing to their repertoire. This is often done to reduce costs, because bringing what were once subcontracted, secondary EDMing operations in-house often makes good financial and logistical sense. It can also be due to demands from medical and aerospace customers, who ask their suppliers to[…]

UnivKY_RHP_0424

Leaning towards lean

  I’m not wired for lean. My garage is a disaster, I take too many steps when making coffee in the morning and I have no problem stocking up on paper towels if there’s a sale. Some of this antilean thinking may stem from my early years in a machine shop, where half-day setups and[…]