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May 27, 2020

5 Things to Keep in Mind for Starting Your Own Machine Shop

Recently, Firetrace International had a panel discussion with two entrepreneurial machinists – Adam Demuth of Demuth Tool, and Dan Rudolph of Rudolph LLC, where we discussed how they got started with their own machine shops and advice they had for others looking to do the same. We took that discussion to compile a list of some of the most important things to consider if you’re also looking to start your own shop.

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May 15, 2020

What Is Aerosol Fire Suppression?

After halons were phased out of fire suppression systems back in the 1990s, it created a need for alternatives. The challenge was that halons were very effective in extinguishing most types of fires, electrically non-conductive, safe for limited human exposure, and leave no residue. The disadvantage of halons and why there was a ban placed on them is due to their strong ozone depletion potential. Over the past several decades, several fire suppression agents and technologies have emerged. In this post, we will explore aerosol fire suppression systems.

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May 11, 2020

Top 3 Types of Wind Turbine Failure

The most common types of wind turbine failure are turbine blades, generators, and gearboxes. Regular maintenance and inspections of wind turbines create challenges due to the remote locations of wind farms and the size and height of the turbines. During regularly scheduled maintenance, it can be difficult to access the massive rotor blades and evaluate the blade materials and the complex surface areas. New technologies like the use of drones for blade inspections are being used, which aids in the inspection process. However, without proper monitoring and maintenance, it can lead to component failure.  

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May 4, 2020

5 Machine Shop Efficiency Tips for Immediate Cost Savings

Unlike one-time cost savings like a staff reduction or cutting advertising spend, increasing efficiency delivers cost savings over the long term. That makes efficiency gains an attractive option for many shops looking to cut costs during COVID-19.

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April 28, 2020

5 High Profile Wind Turbine Fires

Fire in wind turbines is the second most common type of accident reported after blade failure. While certain types of wind turbines have a higher occurrence rate of fire, all wind turbines have fire risk factors. Within the nacelle, highly flammable materials including, hydraulic oil and plastics, are located near electrical wiring and equipment. A fire can quickly start and spread if there is an ignition source like an electrical arc or a fault within the transformer.

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April 15, 2020

How will CV19 change global sourcing of precision machined components?

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have been grappling with supply chain disruption. There's been a lot of speculation that as a result, American companies are going to bring more of their supply chains on shore or near shore to North America. We analyze possible outcomes in this Q&A with Cullen Morrison.

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April 14, 2020

6 Factors to Consider for Wind Farm Repowering

The two types of wind farm repowering are full repowering and partial repowering. Full wind farm repowering is when the aging wind turbines are decommissioned and removed and replaced with newer, larger, and more efficient wind turbines at the same site. Partial repowering involves keeping the existing wind turbine and replacing key components to improve power capacity, reliability, and extend the lifespan.

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April 3, 2020

Understanding Wind Turbine Fire Protection Options

Wind turbines stand over 300 ft tall with each blade measuring over 100 ft long with blade speeds of up to 180 mph. Fire protection for these giant structures poses a variety of unique risks. Because there is no formal reporting process of reporting and recording fire incidents in wind turbines, it’s hard to get an accurate count. However, in a 2015 report, Towering Inferno, completed by GCube, a clean energy insurance provider, cited 50 wind turbine fire incidents.

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March 25, 2020

5 Technologies Disrupting Manufacturing

Rapid advancements and changes in technology are challenging how machine shops run. Maintaining the status quo and not adapting and embracing these new developments, will leave you behind. In this era of what has been coined as Industry 4.0, there is a fundamental shift towards digital industrial technology. The ability to gather and analyze mass amounts of data across machines is transforming machining processes and operations to become faster, more efficient, and flexible.

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March 24, 2020

How Can Suppliers Help Medical Device Manufacturers Ramp for COVID-19?

Coronavirus is here. And while our doctors and nurses fight the virus on the front lines, many of us are wondering what we can do to help.

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March 16, 2020

What is Hybrid Manufacturing?

Hybrid manufacturing is a combination of additive manufacturing (AM) and subtractive manufacturing within the same machine. Both processes on their own have remarkable capabilities, but when combined, it opens up a whole new level of design and manufacturing. The machines allow you to make and finish the part in a single setup, reducing error because the AM part does not have to leave one machine to be reset on a second machine.

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March 16, 2020

Understanding the Benefits and Challenges for Hybrid Manufacturing

The purpose of Hybrid manufacturing is to combine the strengths of additive manufacturing (AM) and subtractive machining. Using a single machine, it creates the ability to produce finished parts in the same machine using both processes. Hybrid manufacturing joins the best features of traditional subtractive machining with additive manufacturing.

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