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.
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.
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.
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.
Most machine shops have, at some point, felt the pains from the labor shortage. In July 2019, nearly a half of million manufacturing jobs were left unfilled. Skilled manufacturing and machining jobs are becoming increasingly more challenging to fill, and the skills gap is widening. According to a recent study conducted by Deloitte & The MFG Institute by 2028, we could see 2.4M open positions in the U.S. manufacturing industry due to talent shortage.
Additive Manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, builds parts through a CAD generated 3D model by adding single layers of material and fusing the layers together. AM first emerged in 1987 and has been steadily growing ever since, with more leaps and bounds in recent years. We identify the seven AM processes and their advantages and disadvantages.
The key to having an optimal finished part starts with choosing the right material. By narrowing down the types of machining materials that are best suited for the part will lead to the selection of the most appropriate and cost-effective material. Here are a few things to consider when selecting materials.
As we launched our new blog in early 2019, we posted topics focusing on information relevant to a variety of industries. As we venture into the new decade, we will continue on this path and provide insights on topics that are important to the industries we serve. We are pleased to share the top Blog Posts from 2019.
More and more machine shops are moving to unattended or lights out machining to stay competitive. Having more production hours means higher output and additional revenue. At the Top Shops Conference, we learned that the top 25 percent of machine shops are running 14 hours a day, while the bottom 25 percent are only running 8 hours a day. On average, profit margins in machine shops running lights out were 3 percent higher than those who were not.
Eventually, even with the best coolant management plan in place, coolant will go bad and requires removal and replacement. Once the coolant reaches its useful life, it needs to be disposed of appropriately. With stricter environmental regulations, the burden is put on the machine shop to determine if the coolant and other materials are considered hazardous or nonhazardous waste. The machine shop must test the waste materials or have the necessary information about the waste to assess its status.
Many machine shops never recover after a fire while others, even those that incur significant fire damage, get up and running successfully. What sets these two types of shops apart? Recovery and disaster planning are contributing factors. Having a fire recovery plan in place is crucial to ensuring the survival of your shop. If fire strikes, damage to equipment and property are not the only losses.
Between $100M-$500M worth of machine value is lost each year due to improper machine coolant management. Coolant management mistakes can decrease the working life of a machine up to 10% per year. Having a robust coolant management plan keeps your coolant from going bad and significantly reduces lost value and downtime of machines.