Paul Simons, with his master plumber license and his wife Neatha, opened Hurricane Drain in Corpus Christi in 2000. The plan was to offer basic repairs and drain cleaning.
It wasn’t until 2004 that Simons found the service that would define the company and drive the bottom line. Simons visited the booth of the Underground Utilities and Leak Locators Association (UULLA) at the 2004 Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo and joined that organization. He checked out the required equipment and the process and decided that adding that capability to drain cleaning would help him grow.
By the end of 2010, line locating, leak detection and testing had grown 20 percent of total revenue. It was also the signature offering that brought a large share of other work for Hurricane Drain. The core business focuses on contracting with other plumbers and working directly with real estate agents.
The crew swelled to nine as son Derek Simons, also a master plumber, came on board. He oversees all repair work and acts as liaison between customers and crews. Son-in-law Daniel Wildenhaus manages the recently added cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) service line, and daughter Katrina Newsom is a licensed backflow tester.
Pipe bursting is directed by employee Justin Portier, and Aaron Simons, Paul’s brother, handles general office duties. Neatha Simons takes care of financials. Locating and leak detection remain under Paul Simons’ purview because he enjoys the work and has the relationships with clients for that service.
Right for the times
In Corpus Christi and surroundings, Hurricane Drain deals with failed residential water and sewer with broken pipes, often caused by expansive soil. The firm sees 2- to 4-inch cast-iron and clay pipe and, in newer construction PVC.
“When there is drought, the soil will shrink rapidly, and when there is moisture, the soil expands,” says Simons. “All this causes cracks and breaks. Crews also have to contend with the effects of hurricanes, and in 2010, rainfall totaled 42 inches.
“There is a lot of root intrusion,” Simons says. “Every tree in the neighborhood takes a drink off the sewer pipes. When there is a problem with a water line, it is evident. There is water coming out where it should not be. The water bill is too high. Sewer lines have to be tested to be sure they are intact. In every real estate transaction, lenders in the area demand a hydrostatic test, and it is pass or fail. If the pipe doesn’t get a passing report, we go to an isolation test to find the problem. You can’t have broken sewer pipe in the state of Texas.”
Hydrostatic testing involves introducing water to the required pressure to ensure that the pipe will not leak or be damaged. Isolation testing involves inserting plugs into the system, then checking with a camera to discover exactly where the problem is located.
Simons does the testing and prepares the reports, which must be accurate. Lenders usually require three repair bids based on his design. Hurricane often bids for the work, but the lowest figure gets the job. “We probably get 80 percent of the jobs with our bid, following our inspection,” Simons says.
“When we do a report, for the most part contractors can bid right off the drawing. I have notes to describe the closest area if there has to be a tunnel from one point to another. If there are obstacles in the way to the lines, there might be suggestions to use the opposite side of the house, or other options.”
When tunneling is required, any soil removed must be hauled away. It is replaced with an engineered building mix of sand and clay that will bind and retain its volume. Hurricane Drain engages an engineer when required on tunneling jobs.
Tools of the trade
The company uses equipment from RIDGID including five SeeSnake Compact cameras, a Mini-SeeSnake Plus, and a SeeSnake microDrain inspection system. Locating equipment includes three NaviTrack units from RIDGID and one Goldak Triad Digital 2310.
For jetting there is one trailer mounted (4,000 psi/20 gpm) jetter with a camera and recording equipment along with two Spartan jetters (one gasoline, one electric). For the isolation tests, Simons uses test plugs from Cherne Industries. For water supply testing, he uses the Pulsar 2000 system, and for smoke testing he has a Power Smoker from Hurco Technologies.
Fleet vehicles include Simons’ 2006 Dodge Sprinter 2500 diesel truck, a 2008 Chevrolet 1500 pickup, a 2008 Chevrolet three-quarter-ton van, and a 2005 half-ton Ford Ranger.
Backflow testing is an essential part of the menu. “Anytime you are using city water, there is the possibility of backflow into the water line, and the line must be certified in all real estate transactions,” says Simons. “This requires a backflow prevention device.” His daughter Katrina Newsom takes care of those requirements.
About half of the leak detection and locating work is for real estate agents. Work for other plumbers is on a subcontract basis, and Hurricane Drain never competes for those plumbers’ customers. For testing and reports, Simons provides the drawings to the other company and will perform other services if asked. The majority of work is in residential.
Hurricane Drain does not solicit or advertise the service but will respond to customers who pick up a phone number from a truck and call.
Sometimes engineers request locating and leak detection when there are foundation problems in a building and bad plumbing is known to be the cause. This calls for hydrostatic and possibly isolation testing. Another issue is mold in the walls fed by moisture from a broken sewer pipe.
Where people are experiencing sewer odors, the company uses smoke testing to find the cause. Simons has the homeowner stand in the room where the problem seems to be and watch for a waft from the floor or through a sliding door.
Again, precision reports and drawings are essential. “You have to have plumbing design experience to know what you are testing and recording in order to understand how the plumbing is run,” Simons says. “With a camera, you see what you are blocking off and what is being tested. You have to know there is not another leak. You have to report everything and commit to your findings in writing on the drawing.”
When the time is right
Last year, Simons again saw a need to expand the services while maintaining the same customer base. In mid-2010 Hurricane Drain added CIPP lining technology from Nu Flow Technologies and pipe bursting equipment from TRIC Tools.
CIPP saw significant growth from the start, but Simons believes pipe bursting generated the greatest interest. “We’re expecting this line of repair to go crazy in the future,” he says. “We will be buying more equipment and expect to be doing larger lines.”
When subcontracting these services to other plumbers, the plumbing company does the preliminary work of trenching and access pits. Hurricane Drain then does its work, and the plumbing company finishes up. Where Hurricane Drain is the prime contractor, the company subs out any engineering, tunneling and related tasks.
Hurricane Drain always strives to work better and smarter. “We look for ways to help the customer understand the impact of having trucks in the driveway,” says Simons. “When we are the contractor, we want to be able to walk away with everything looking nice and the homeowner happy.”
Poised for performance
As the company approached 2011, Simons was considering retiring its vehicles and standardizing on 12- to 14-foot vans in a heavier-duty configuration. The trucks would carry more equipment and provide more advertising space on the sides. The firm was also looking at a policy of retiring service trucks at 100,000 miles.
Getting involved with the UULLA gave Hurricane Drain the encouragement to carve out a new niche in the market. Locating, leak detection and testing became vital to the business. “It is so important in our total operation,” Simons says. “It brings in other business and thus keeps us busy all the time.”
Cleaner Magazine is a source for buying sewer and drain cleaning equipment via classified ads or direct from the manufacturer. If you are interested to know something more on Jetter and other details,you are welcome to the Drain and Sewer Cleaning site.
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An overview of Hurco WinMax, the world’s easiest and most flexible control for G-code or Conversational programming. See how easy it is to be more profitable than using any other CNC control.(www.hurco.com)
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Ais used in woodworking shops and some other industrial settings. They are very expensive, so most individuals do not buy them, although used ones can be obtained more cheaply. They are important for speed and accuracy in large, repetitive tasks.
There are many uses in industry for CNC machines. Routers drill holes, for example. Many CNC machines can perform a number of tasks at once, improving efficiency in the manufacturing process.
The technology behind these machines is Computer Numerated Control. This technology was developed in the seventies and it allows for a machine to be programmed in advance so the operations are set up to work almost automatically. The initial setup is a little complicated, but once that is done the machine is easy to operate.
Awould be programmed to drill a hole repeatedly at certain intervals. This is much more efficient than manual calculation and drilling and eliminates inconsistency due to human error or fatigue.
Awould be used to cut pieces of wood of uniform size and shape. Lathes can have horsepower ranging from 15 to 40 HP, and how much power is needed depends upon the job being done. A good will allow you to work at various levels of automation, so that you can work all manual, or all automated, or any combination in between.
The best mill available is the Bridgeport mill. Mills are designed to be used in both large industries and small milling shops, and the Bridgeport mill is built to last in any situation. The price is prohibitive, however, for individual use.
Ais considered specialty equipment. The concept is to use computer programming and robotic operation for speed and accuracy. This kind of speed and accuracy would be impossible to achieve for an individual. The airline industry frequently uses the CNC technology of Bridgetown mills; specifications are entered, and the mill automatically determines which functions to perform and how.
Engravers can also be CNC machines. Engraving can be done on many materials, including wood or wood composite, metal, stone or glass. These machines can do very exact engraving on materials from the smallest to the largest, and have the same result over and over.
Since CNC machines are so expensive most individuals cannot afford them, there may be individuals who do a lot of repetitive machine work and would like to obtain one. An option in this case is a used, which can be as low as half the price of a new one. It is important to make sure the used machine is in good condition, so you may be better off looking for a rebuilt machine. This is one that has had the major components replaced so it is almost a new machine. Frequently, rebuilt machines have a warranty of at least one year, so that you can be assured that it will be working, or you can get it repaired if it does not.
Have you ever looked for a cost-effective CAD program to help with your work? There’s good news for you: the latest version of ZWCAD 2009 was released on January 5. If you’re not familiar with ZWCAD, you can try it by going to http://www.zwcad.org/cad-software-download.html and downloading a free evaluation copy. We think your DWG designs will greatly benefit from ZWCAD 2009.
Current users already know that ZWCAD provides them with a reliable CAD platform at an affordable price. It is an effective solution that offers amazing performance, helps make them work efficiently, and is easy to use.
This newest release of ZWCAD contains powerful utilities and improvements in efficiency. For engineers, the most attractive aspect is that this rapid, powerful, and stable software program is convenient to work with. And ZWCAD 2009 is your best choice with which to work.
ZWCAD 2009 inherits all the advantages and the great compatibility of the previous version. Moreover, numerous functions underwent comprehensive improvements. Many core utilities were reconstructed, such as Regen, Trim, and Offset. These operations take much less time to complete than ever before.
ZWCAD’s stability enables you to focus your energy and time on your design work; you don’t need to worry whether problems will occur. For instance, bugs that existed in the 2008i version of the Hatch and Text commands have now been rectified.
ZWCAD 2009 is equipped with new features. Compared with ZWCAD 2008i, this new release provides you with greater convenience and improved utilities, such as these:
* Aerial View Window is an especially helpful tool for quick navigation, with which you change views easily and conveniently.
* The Plotter Wizard helps you configure plotters, and then add plotter configuration files to the software.
* The Autosave function ensures the drawings are saved even when the operating system crashes.
* eTransmit prepares your drawings for transmittal by collecting together all relevant files.
ZWCAD 2009 is an easy-to-use software program because of its command similarity with AutoCAD. If you are an AutoCAD user, you don’t need to take any additional training to work with ZWCAD.
If you are a new user, you’ll appreciate the many convenient tools ZWCAD 2009 provides for getting your work done. For instance, dynamic prompts show you tips to help you enter the correct instructions. The Tool palettes and the Design Center make you efficient at drawing and drafting with CAD. And the online Help elaborates in detail on all commands.
ZWCAD 2009 is probably the right CAD package for you; it is worth your time in evaluating it.
As the flagship product of ZWCAD Software Co., Ltd. (http://www.zwcad.org), ZWCAD is a powerful CAD solution, which is highly compatible with DWG format. ZWCAD meets the needs of broad-based target groups of 2D/3D design industry, including architecture, engineering, construction, mechanics, manufacturing and electronics. So far it has become the leading brand in China’s CAD industry and now it is competing successfully in over 75 other countries, with more than 150,000 users throughout the world.
For more information, please visit www.zwcad.org or contact ZWCAD team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(C) Copyright 2009 ZWCAD Software Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.
Owen Zi is author of article written on ZWCAD. He is Director of ZWSOFT Overseas Department. For more information, please visit: www.zwcad.org .
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The 10 x 20 Model m1016 Shop Fox Lathe by Woodstock International is the perfect sized lathe for the small shop due to the small bench space required for a lathe that will do surprisingly large tasks. Being a little under 4′ in width and just on 2′ deep, this is a metal lathe worth considering if you’re looking at getting your first lathe or upgrading from a micro lathe.
Powered by a ¾ horse power single phase 110 volt motor that runs at 1725 RPM, there are six spindle speeds from 150 rpm up to 2400 rpm all actuated by a trigger giving you the control required for turnings from delicate to deep, quick cuts with fine finish.
A 5inch, 3 jaw chuck, 9 ¾ inch swing over bed and 20 inch between centers cater for most of the projects any model maker or hobbyist will need from a midi lathe. Gear changes are not difficult and the chuck guard has automatic shut down if lifted. Some things to watch for when using this or any lathe are: Loud motor or overheating when cutting may be feed rate too high or cut too deep. Lathe vibrates on start up and when running may be caused by unbalanced work piece, unaligned belts or worn spindle bearings. But before you get to this problem, a lot of work will have passed over the lathe bed. Bad or rough surface finish will often be caused by incorrect rpm or too high feed, cutting tool set too high, tool incorrect for job or the tool cutting edge needs sharpening.
As with all lathes or machinery, keep the lathe clean. Never clean with bare hands and always with the power off. I have been in many machine shops and been appalled by the condition of the machinery and work areas. I know that some great work comes out of shops that look like a pigsty but would you leave your valuable project in a shop that looks like a bomb just went off? If the chuck jaws are becoming hard to move then they haven’t been cleaned well and there are probably metal chips or filings trapped in the jaw movement. This is the type of lack of attention that will lead to work piece damage due to incorrectly tightening chuck jaws. Cleaning the lathe thoroughly after every use will give you many more hours of maintenance free work time.
The M1016 10 x 20 Shop Fox is not the cheapest lathe of this size on the market but, you get what you pay for and if you want to turn out precise work that you’ll be proud of, you need equipment that has solid rigidity in build and fine adjustment in its workings.
There is a lot of talk on forums about cheaper lathes doing fine work and this may be so. But after you have had your lathe for some time, you’ll appreciate the better quality of the M1016 and how it just keeps on working well giving great finish on a variety of metals and requires just basic maintenance. Parts and accessories for this brand of lathe are readily available and you don’t have end up waiting for an overseas delivery time whenever you want that special tool such as a 4 jaw chuck.
All in all, this is a great midi lathe that you’ll appreciate more and more with the work that you put through the Shop Fox 10×20 lathe. There are more lathes atMetal and Wood Lathes.
Article from articlesbase.com
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Laser cutters work by focusing a beam of light, or laser, on a focused site on a piece of material in order to slice through it rather than using a solid object, like a blade, to cut the object. A computer system enabled with vector graphical software is also necessary. Commands are given to the laser cutter through software which translates design geometry to numericalcode. A laser can also take input from drawings developed with the aid of computer-aided design (CAD) software.
Laser Cutting Machine Configurations
The configurations of the machine are defined based on the way the laser beam will hit the object to be cut. There are three main configurations that act on two axes, the X and the Y. The first configuration is referred to as moving material. In this setup, the material to be cut is put beneath the cutter head. The second configuration is the hybrid laser. The table and the cutter head operate in opposing directions, giving the best stability of the beam’s path. The third configuration is the flying optic configuration, employed by Maloya, where the cutting head is the piece of the machine that is moving. The object being cut is static and this type of setup creates neat work. Its rate of motion is also the fastest among the three setups. The flying optic system also does not require clamping down the material being cut, aiding in the speed of the workflow. There are also machines utilizing up to six axes.
Workflow with Laser Cutting Technology
Loading and unloading can take up valuable production time but the speed of laser cutting can make up for this. The unnecessary need for material clamping can also save time. Another consideration is if the laser cutter can be left on. Workers may have to turn off the power to take materials out of the machine and interrupt the flow of cutting.
Lighting is also important in a manufacturing environment. Light emitting diode (LED) lighting is becoming more popular for saving energy. More green ways of lighting these types of environments are becoming available such as controlling lighting with fluorescent lights by having them turn off through motion sensors.
Laser Cutting Equipment and Maintenance
With the money spent on laser cutting machines, sufficient upkeep can ensure that they operate optimally and safely. Undesirable cuts can be produced if the machine is not running at its peak performance level. Process control such as checking cutting nozzles, lenses and additional optics should be done on a frequent basis. Simply making regular checks on their alignment can save many headaches later. Air sources can affect focal lenses of the laser cutter. Making sure the lenses are clean is of utmost importance. Operators can tell if a focal lens is dirty by visual inspection and checking it with a polarizer. A lens can then be cleaned with alcohol and fine tissue or replaced. Laser optical components are in the category of consumables. Maintenance of chiller units is also important. They should be started prior to cutting. A laser cutter will not be as fast if it has not been maintained. Replaceable parts should also be kept available if they are needed. Keep exhaust systems up to par as well.
Training on Laser Cutting Systems
Laser cutter training should include hands-on and classroom training. It should involve basic operation of the laser cutter such as how to start and shut down the machine, how to properly use the cutter and programming of the machine, safety and maintenance. Oftentimes the supplier of a machine will provide training to the purchaser. Other training involves how to create drawings and load them into the laser machine, scaling, and rotation. Other things to be learned are file usage, code, databases, laser tables and metrics. Users of laser cutters should also understand CAD and computers. One should understand how to measure thicknesses of materials in relation to whether the laser cutters can cut them effectively. A user should also be able to read blueprints. Users need to be trained in quality control and geometric tolerance to know the how precise the laser cutter can get. Material Requirements Planning (MRP) involves planning everything needed for a job as well as inventory taking. Software is used for these tasks. Proper training on these systems is essential as the common problem with them is the data often is erroneous. Some of these errors can be eliminated through training.
One should be able to use measuring tools such as calipers or a vernier caliper which can offer more accurate measurements. Other basic tools someone should be able to use are a ruler, protractor, compass and basic mathematical tools.
In order to keep improving workflow processes, Corrective Action Requests (CARs) and Corrective Action Notifications (CANs) can be done. This involves problem reporting, the cause of the problem, and future problem preventions. There is workflow quality management software that will handle this. For example, if something happens, a notification in a certain form such as an email will go out to a person who handles that problem. The action will then be taken to correct the problem.
Much knowledge and skill is needed to use a laser cutter. Having the wherewithal to operate the laser cutter correctly in a proper environment will keep a machine working optimally on many projects for a long time to come.
An efficient coating machine capable of hardening coating on works in a short hardening time with a small-sized hardening oven at reduced costs. The coating machine has a painting booth, a hardening oven and a work transfer device. The work transfer device has a rotary shaft provided at a center of the coating machine, and a plurality of hangers, each holding one piece of work and being turnable about the rotary shaft. The painting booth and the hardening oven are arranged around the rotary shaft into an arc-shaped configuration, respectively. The hardening oven has an arc-shaped work passage adapted to move the works. One piece of work is coated in the painting booth and continuously transferred to the work passage of the hardening oven while being held with each of the hangers and turned about the rotary shaft. In the work passage, the work is blown with hot air fed from a hot air generating device for hardening the coating on the work.
1. A coating machine for applying a coating to works, and heating the coating applied to the works for hardening, comprising: a painting booth for applying the coating to the works; a hardening oven for hardening the coating applied to the works; and a work transfer device, said work transfer device having a rotary shaft provided at a center of the coating machine, and a plurality of hangers, each holding one piece of the works and being turnable about said rotary shaft, said painting booth and said hardening oven being arranged around said rotary shaft into an arc-shaped configuration, respectively, said hardening oven having an arc-shaped work passage adapted to move the works, whereby the works are coated within said painting booth and continuously transferred in said work passage of said hardening oven while being held with said hangers and turned about said rotary shaft, and then, the works are blown with hot air fed from a hot air generating device for hardening the coating on the works.
2. A coating machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein said hardening oven includes an outside air feeding wall and an inside air feeding wall, each being tubular and having an arc-shaped cross-section, said work passage is defined between said outside air feeding wall and said inside air feeding wall, and further comprising a plurality of screen plates which are respectively provided in an interior of each of said outside air feeding wall and said inside air feeding wall for screening passages for hot air locally.
3. A coating machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein one piece of work is secured to each of said hangers, and said work transfer device rotates to transfer said work secured to each of said hangers to said painting booth and said hardening oven continuously.
4. A coating machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein said outside air feeding wall and said inside air feeding wall are arranged such that hot air is supplied to said interior of each of said outside air feeding wall and said inside air feeding wall from an inlet of said work passage, and is sucked out from an outlet of said work passage.
5. A coating machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the works are weather strips, and the coating is composed of a low friction material.
The coating machine in accordance with the present invention for applying coating to works, and heating the coating applied to the works for hardening has a painting booth for applying the coating to the works, a hardening oven for hardening the coating applied to the works, and a work transfer device. The work transfer device has a rotary shaft located at a center of the coating machine, and a plurality of hangers, each holding one piece of work and being turnable about the rotary shaft. The painting booth and the hardening oven are arranged around the rotary shaft into an arc-shaped configuration, respectively. The hardening oven has an arc-shaped work passage adapted to move the works. One piece of work is coated within the painting booth and continuously transferred to the work passage of the hardening oven while being held with each of the hangers and turned about the rotary shaft. And in the work passage of the hardening oven, the work is blown with hot air fed from a hot air generating device for hardening the coating thereon.
With this arrangement of the coating machine, the work transfer device has the rotary shaft provided at the center of the coating machine, and a plurality of hangers, each holding one piece of work and being turnable about the rotary shaft, so that the painting booth, the hardening oven and the work transfer device can be made small, whereby the equipment costs can be reduced. In addition, the works can be coated one by one so that the number of unfinished works in the painting process can be reduced so as to be efficient. And the works can be secured to and detached from the hanger in the same operation position.
An efficient coating machine capable of hardening coating on works in a short hardening time with a small-sized hardening oven at reduced costs. The coating machine has a painting booth, a hardening oven and a work transfer device. The work transfer device has a rotary shaft provided at a center of the coating machine, and a plurality of hangers, each holding one piece of work and being turnable about the rotary shaft.
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You just ordered your own personal wood turning lathe and you’re fired up to get going on your 1st challenge. If you’re a newcomer to lathe work, take a deep breath. You’ll need to supercharge your knowledge base before you can flick the power switch on your lathe. Mainly, you’ll really want to learn about the different types of lathe cutting tools.
Cutting tools are the center of any lathe work. The accessories establish just how you’ll shape and alter the wood you lock into your lathe. Thus, you really do have to learn about them and their potential.
There exists a vast assortment of diverse cutting devices. However, 4 options usually are used with significantly larger frequency than others are. Let us check out these lathe cutting tools separately. While there’s no replacement for actually putting these instruments into action, a bit of background information can help you to get started moving in the appropriate direction.
Facing Tools: If you spend a great deal of time at your lathe, you’ll find yourself using facing tools often. All of these cutting tools are ground in a way that gives you clearance with an open center. Prepare to cultivate a relatively close relationship with all your facing tools and the devices you will use to help keep all of them sharp.
Roughing Tools: Roughing tools live up to their title. They truly are a powerful element of forming an overall look, nonetheless they really don’t carry the undertaking through to finish. The relief angle on the side of these lathe cutting tools are great for much deeper cuts.
Finishing Tools: You will utilize this equipment only when it’s time for you to round things out and to smother over your handiwork. Finishing tools have got rounded tips and they are rake-free, rendering it impossible to cut with them.
Left-Handed Cutting Tools: You need not turn into a southpaw to work with these cutting tools. Their explicitly developed to produce fantastic results when moved from left to right. Left-handed tools may be used to generate a number of distinctive effects.
Figuring out these distinct devices together with their distinctive uses will give a significantly better notion of ways to get good results from your wood turning lathe. Keep in mind, all the spinning won’t mean anything unless it’s accompanied by the utilization of the most effective lathe cutting tools.
You really need to study the distinctions among these 4 tool types and you will want to establish a serious acquaintance with all of them. That is why we suggest practicing with the different lathe cutting tools on scrap 2″ x 4″ wooden pieces. With a little time behind the lathe, you’re going to start to fully grasp precisely what each tool can do along with the most effective way to make it work.
Subsequently, when you’ve got a stronger awareness of how the cutting tools operate, you’re able to finally get started on your 1st project!
For additional details on lathe cutting tools as well as the correct way to make use of your wood lathe chuck, be certain to look at our website at WoodTurningLathe.net. You’ll also find excellent deals on all the wood turning products you will want.
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Using metal lathe Grizzly 10 x 22 , 2″ dia. AL 6061 (hollow) Aluminum Spacer Collar – work includes turning, facing,parting and chamfering
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I want to know from someone who is a CNC Operator/Programmer, how is the work you do? Is it enjoyable?
I’m thinking about getting a 2-year certificate as a CNC operator/programmer because I know they are in demand, but I don’t know if working that position will lead me to have no fulfillment from that job.
Copyright (c) 2010 Nadine Davis
Injection mould making is taking a leap forward in terms of productivity and accuracy through the acceptance of 5 axis machining technology which has been benefiting other sectors of the manufacturing industry for some time. Being able to machine all 5 sides of a component using the same set-up saves time and reduces the possibility of human error. To be able to transfer these benefits to injection mould making has been a boon for this section of the manufacturing industry. Finding the correct work piece holding system is crucial to the success of the process, with quality engineered solutions emerging to delivery productivity gains and vastly reduce waste.
There is a steep learning curve with 5 axis machining for new operators, and one of the areas where a new player can have difficulty is in holding the work piece so that five sides of the piece can be machined effectively. The following information on the two most common methods may be of assistance to new operators:
Mechanical Clamping Systems:
These are the most common systems, and resemble a vice but with extra clamping force. This method allows minimal interference with the cutting area and enables the exposed surfaces to be machined with a high degree of accuracy.
This clamping system can hold small to medium sized work pieces quite easily, but for larger pieces, a riser is recommended in order to reach the work piece. These are not common type clamps but highly engineered pieces of equipment which apply force were it is most needed. Additional security is provided by the use of pointed grippers in the vice jaws.
A common method is to fix the work piece to a magnetic pedestal. Because the work piece is then elevated, the 5 sides can be machined in one set-up, which also dramatically reduces the margin for error. The actual machining processes don’t change the magnetic pull. This is because the 5 axis high speed methods require a much higher spindle speed, far lighter chip loads and faster feeds overall. These reduce torque and cutter pressure, so there is no danger of the work piece moving while being machined.
Another method is the use of magnetic pallets which enable the movement of the work piece from one machine to another. This method requires careful planning and design at the outset, but pays dividends in the savings gained during the manufacturing process.
Business owners who invest in high-end 5 axis machines and then skimp on the cost of work piece holding systems will not get the full benefit of the efficiency and productivity gains available with this machining technology. Operators at CNC Townsville workshops are already proving that these systems are worth the investment.
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