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Showing posts from November, 2016

Quantifying Lubricant Thickness Accurately

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Guest Blog: Mike Justice President, UPA Technology
Forming good parts is a demanding and difficult task, mainly because of the many variables that can interrupt the process. Stamping problems can be due to several areas including problems with dies, substrates, press issues as well as incorrect amounts of lubricant. Quickly evaluating and eliminating the possible causes of stamping problems speeds up correction at the press where downtime often is measured by minutes/month.

Quantifying lubricant thickness quickly and accurately can determine or eliminate whether lubricant issues are the cause of forming issues. But, measuring lubricant thickness has not been easy and has been the cause of much discussion and dissension.  

Stampers, processors and mills are routinely tasked with accurately measuring oil-films ranging between 7-120 Milligrams per square foot (mg/ft2) in order to meet specification for making good parts.  As a thickness instead of a weight, this equates to only 2 - 40 m…

Automotive Tooling Industry: Where To From Here?

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Guest Blog: Laurie Harbour President and CEO, Harbour Results, Inc. 
In 2016 the U.S. manufacturing industry was relatively stable with overall production slightly up from previous years. Specifically, the automotive tool and die industry was predicted to be busy with forecasted tooling spend on the rise. However, taking a closer look, the year proved to be a bit more challenging. Data collected through the Harbour Results’ Harbour IQ pulse survey (a business intelligence tool for performance, financial, operational, trend and market data), which was completed by more than 100 tool shops globally in the second quarter of 2016, has shown that capacity reached a low of 81 percent among die shops in late 2015 and early 2016, but was expected to rebound to 78 and 86 percent respectively by year end.

So what caused the slow down?
Program delays—on average, just over 20 percent of vehicle launches were delayed in 2015 and 2016. Work on hold—in early 2016, 18 percent of all work that had been …

A Quick Look at Dry-Film Lubricant

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A Metal Processor's Best Friend
Guest Blogger: Mike Tieri Director of Sales & Marketing, Chemcoaters
Scrap…What a problem! Are you having trouble with higher scrap loss than you can understand or more importantly tolerate? It could be the metal but perhaps it’s a problem in the processing itself. Have you looked at dry-film lubricants (DFLs)? If it’s been a while, you should look again. Largely used by the automotive and appliance industries, you surely know that if it didn’t provide a tremendous benefit, they would never add that cost into the process. When I asked why, I was shown all of the benefits it provided.
CASE: One company monitored costs of using oil against DFL. One item evaluated was worker gloves. They said that bringing material in with oil showed that workers wore 5.6 pairs of gloves per week. By going to DFL, the workers’ gloves didn’t get saturated and usage was dropped to 2.4 pairs of gloves per week. It might not seem to matter much but on 1800 workers the cos…

IIoT’s Cloud Computing in Manufacturing

With all the talk in the last year of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how to best prepare your company for these new innovative technologies, the major question on most manufacturers’ minds is, “But does it work and will it work for me?”

Plex’s 2016 State of Manufacturing Technology Report aimed to explain just that, with a focus on cloud computing and its effectiveness on the shopfloor.  Here are some of the most significant results from their survey of nearly 200 manufacturers who are using IIoT in some capacity.

Cloud computing increases the ability to manage fluctuating business needs.  With cloud computing, manufacturers are able to connect the plant floor with the C-Suite, giving everyone access to either identical versions or tailored versions of real-time data.

Of the respondents who use cloud technology,

98% reported that connectivity of machines, systems, suppliers, and clients delivers value to their business today64% found they were better equipped to handle cha…

2016 Elections: Congress Counts

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Election Day 2016 is not just about the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. There are also races are happening across the country for seats in the House and Senate.  So what is at stake for the 115th Congress?

Control of the House and Senate is particularly valuable in this election year.  The next Congress may tackle tax reform, and many other issues critical to the manufacturing industry.

Here is the breakdown of our current Congress.  Going into Election Day 2016, Republicans have a majority in both the Senate and the House.
















Here is the latest data on how races are faring for these seats:























Current data seem to suggest that it is unlikely that the Democratic party will take back the House.  Still, there are about forty races that remain incredibly close. For the Senate, who takes control is still too close to call, but Democrats are within four or five seats of retaking control. In any event, a newfound Democratic majority would by no means be commanding sinc…