monster mike

Back in the Saddle: Monster Mike Schultz

When US snowmobile racer “Monster” Mike Schultz lost his leg, he knew life would be different. What he didn’t know was how different. Schultz began his snocross career in 1998 when he was a junior in high school, a time when most of us are still learning to drive the family car. He quickly progressed to semi-pro, and by 2003 he was[…]

look where you're going_1371467592

Look where you’re going: Automated vision machines measure parts quickly and accurately

If you have a handful of parts to check, you’ll probably pick up a micrometer. If you’re going to measure a truckload of them, however, only an automated solution will do. But measurement systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and offer more options than a new car. Deciding which one is best[…]

rotomolded spas

Riding the carousel: Rotomolded spas offer high-end quality at an affordable price.

Rotational molding was invented in the mid-1800s as a means of producing hollow objects with consistent wall thicknesses. Since then, the process has been used to make everything from playground equipment to artillery shells. Today’s molds are filled with polyethylene powder the consistency of granulated sugar (the stuff plastic soda bottles are made of), then[…]

Productivity_Doosan L300 M20

Trending Toward Productivity

The U.S. economy appears to be on the mend. In January, the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation gave a tentative thumbs up to sustained business expansion through the first half of 2013. And the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index rose again in January, painting an optimistic picture. Maybe it’s time to buy that[…]

micro-endmills

Micro-Endmills – not the same old grind

Endmilling is a mainstay of micromachining. And while micro and macro milling operations share certain similarities, there are several key differences—and surprises. One eye opener when shopping for micro-endmills is their cost—as the size goes down, the price goes up. Sometimes way up. Where a commodity 1/8” endmill might cost $6, a micro version 1/10th that[…]

micro-scopes

Micro Scopes: Making Endoscopes Smaller

Once-revolutionary microdevices that allow doctors to examine internal parts of the human body are now commonplace. One of the most commonly used of these devices is the endoscope, and its use is growing. The U.S. endoscopy market was valued at more than $9.87 billion in 2011, according to Sara Whitmore, analyst manager at iData Research[…]

cross-drilling

Why so cross? Cross-hole drilling can test a machinist’s mettle

Drilling cross-holes in some parts is no big deal. These are often simple parts, such as aluminum valve bodies, where the holes aren’t too deep and meet on-center, and the customer can live with a small burr at the intersection. On the other end of the spectrum are P-2 tool steel injection molds for complex[…]

5-axis solution

Finding a 5-axis Solution

Tim St. Martin knew there had to be a better way of fixturing parts on his company’s 5-axis machine tools. “We’d visited some of our suppliers and saw how they were holding parts on their 5-axis machines,” said the senior manager of manufacturing engineering for Carlsbad, Calif.-based orthopedic implant manufacturer Alphatec Spine Inc. “They were[…]