CNC Machining Blog

Automation: it's not just for high production

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, Nov 07, 2014

When people hear the term “automation”, it usually conjures visions of high production processes, where shops are running hundreds of thousands of the same part. But in today’s ever-changing and increasingly competitive industry that is not always the case. Just like many small job shops have begun to migrate toward 5-axis machines to increase multi-sided part efficiency, those same shops are also beginning to move toward automation to help them increase profits and impact their bottom line.

To understand and begin this migration toward automation, you first must understand and “buy-in” to the ideas of standardization and palletization. Winning in the game of “high-mix, low-volume” part manufacturing means reducing spindle downtime, and the first step towards winning that battle is standardizing your setup process. …after all, at the end of the day you can only invoice for the parts that you have completed. So reducing the idle time between jobs is a crucial step to getting more done in a typical eight hour shift.

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Tags: Milling, Manufacturing Industry Insights, control technology, Automation

Part & Tool Probing in a High-mix Low Volume Environment

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, Oct 25, 2013

In today’s industry it’s all about quick setup and changeover between parts...especially in an environment where you run a high-mix of low volumes. In this article I want to discuss how part and tool probing can offer a real advantage for the shops that find themselves in this type of environment.

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Tags: WinMax Conversational Programming, Milling, CNC Control & Software, Manufacturing Industry Insights, Prototype Machining, Automation

3D Printing: will it replace traditional manufacturing?

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, Sep 20, 2013

For the past ten years or so, we have seen 3D printing technology – also called Additive Manufacturing – really gain momentum in the industry. In fact, it has become so common-place that there has been speculation by some that it might actually replace traditional manufacturing in the not so distant future. Although I can see many benefits of this amazing new technology, and although I do agree that it will someday impact our lives – such as how we, as consumers, acquire many common household items - I have my reservations about how much it will ultimately change the need for traditional manufacturing processes as we know them. Because of the limitations on mixing printing materials, and the fact that the materials available for use in printing are not always the best for a particular application - not everything that can be printed, should be printed.

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Tags: Manufacturing Industry Insights, Prototype Machining, Automation

Resources You Can Use: a list of helpful shop products

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, Jun 07, 2013

As machinists we are all aware of the standard tools of our trade; however, there are other non-standard tools available - that not everyone is aware of - that could be very helpful in our day-to-day life in the shop. Just like any other industry, if there is a time consuming and mundane procedure that must be completed, you can bet that somewhere there is someone who has already invented a tool or device that would make that task easier…if we only knew where to go to find those tools.

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Tags: 5-Axis Machining, Milling, CNC Control & Software, Manufacturing Industry Insights, Mill Tooling, Workholding, Turning, Lathe Tooling, Prototype Machining, Automation

The Hurco blog - an introduction

Posted by Mike Cope on Wed, Oct 17, 2012

​Hello, and welcome to the Hurco blog. I will be updating and posting something new each week on a variety of different subject matter: high-speed and 5-axis machining, workholding, the latest control technologies, and Hurco tips-and-tricks…just to name a few.

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Tags: Energy, Aerospace & Defense, Medical, Automotive, 5-Axis Machining, WinMax Conversational Programming, NC / G-Code Programming, Milling, CNC Control & Software, Manufacturing Industry Insights, Mill Tooling, Workholding, Turning, Lathe Tooling, CAD/CAM / Post Processor, Tool & Die, Mold Making, Prototype Machining, High Speed Machining, Automation