Yearly Archives: 2011

Precise Tube Forming Machines

It’s a consequence of the fact that I’ve never participated in a trade or craft that I see the words “tube bending machine” and feel a bit nonplussed. Tube bending machine? Why not just make the tubes bent instead of making them straight and then bending them? I realize that this is the kind of question that someone who has never taken a shop class would ask (shop wasn’t even offered at my high school, as far as I know). Maybe there are machines that exist that can produce bent tubes right from the start. But the fact that there are so many different kinds of tube forming machines on the market, added to the fact that the market for these machines seems quite large, indicates to me that tube fabrication and formation is a counter-intuitively complicated process. Continue reading

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IQS Newsroom Featured Profile: KALIBURN Inc. – KALIBURN® and Burny®

A division of the globally reaching ITT Corporation, KALIBURN Inc. provides industrial control and automation solutions to the motion and flow control market sector. Comprised of complementary product lines BURNY® and KALIBURN®, KALIBURN Inc. has more than 50 years of experience in the field of precision CNC machining, plasma shape cutting and motion control with products such as servo motors, linear actuators, motion controllers and load cells. Originally founded in 1958 as Cleveland Machine Controls Inc., the company acquired the BURNY® metal cutting brand and continued to grow in the metal cutting industry until being purchased by ITT in 2007. KALIBURN®, founded in 1985, was purchased by ITT in 2008. Today, the cohesive group continues to push the boundaries of shape cutting technology by providing its customers with exceptional cut quality and precise motion control. Continue reading

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IQS Newsroom Featured Profile: Quail Electronics, Inc.

Quail Electronics, Inc. is a world leader in the power cord industry for a reason. In fact, more then one reason has kept Quail at the top of the domestic and international power cord market. First and foremost is their foundation of knowledge and expertise in the industry. Quail Electronics has been manufacturing and supplying power cords for over 25 years. Providing the best in product quality, service, price and delivery ensures that those purchasing power cords from Quail get exactly what they desire. Whether by phone or by way of their easy-to-navigate and informative website, the team at Quail is devoted to assist every customer with excellence. Continue reading

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Ropes: Multi-Millennial Utilities

During my first year of college, I traveled with a small group of students on a month-long trip to New England to tour the cradle of American literature – Concord, Cambridge, Plymouth and Amherst, among many other places. One of our last stops was in Salem, where we visited the house of seven gables mentioned in Hawthorne’s The House of Seven Gables. After counting the gables and trying not to bang my head on the low ceilings, I dollied over to a nearby wharf where a three-masted East Indiaman merchant ship, Friendship, was moored. I spent about an hour on the wharf, and I recall a few of my thoughts from my time there. First, it is too cold to be outside on a wharf in Salem in January. Second, while it may be true that the best ships are friendships, Friendship seems like an ironic name for a boat from Salem, Massachusetts, home of the Salem witchcraft trials. And third, I found myself wondering how anyone could ever make sense of the absurd complex of ropes that suspended and supported all of the various wooden things poking out from the hull. Continue reading

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The Meaning of Screw Machine Products

If you’re looking for evidence of the creative ability of humans, look no further than screw machine products. I’ll admit that humans’ ability to produce machined fasteners in large quantities probably doesn’t impress most people. But think about the entire timeline of the development of the technology of craftsmanship. The scientific consensus as it pertains to human beings’ achievement of behavioral modernity suggests that as a species, we’ve exhibited reasonable evidence of behavioral modernity for several tens of thousands of years. Even if you don’t subscribe to theories that place the age of our species somewhere around the 150,000 year mark, even a few thousand years ago the scope of our technology was still by and large limited to rubbing sticks together. Continue reading

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IQS Newsroom Featured Profile: Electron Energy Corporation

As a fully integrated innovator, designer and manufacturer of rare earth magnets, Electron Energy Corporation specializes in both simple and complex magnet assemblies. Our founder, Marlin S. Walmer, saw the potential in utilizing magnets in high power industries and began EEC in 1970. Because of his innovation and dedication, researchers and engineers from around the world gathered at EEC headquarters to develop break-through magnet materials and new applications for them. This progressive attitude towards the magnet and magnet assembly industry has continued to thrive at Electron Energy. Continue reading

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Roll Forming – Not as Complicated as it Seems

Roll forming is an industrial process that can seem a little cartoony. If you were to look at a long roll forming production line, what you’d see before you might seem like an overly-elaborate, Wiley Coyote sort of contraption. Since I learned what roll forming is, I’ve found myself thinking about it now and then and wondering if there isn’t a better way to accomplish what happens during the roll forming process. That’s not to say that I don’t think it’s amazing and fascinating to learn about. I think it’s probably the most logical, intuitive response to the challenge of forming long metal channels into usable products. But maybe it’s the seeming complicatedness of it that gives me pause. Continue reading

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Wallingford, CT – (November 29, 2011) – When Dexmet Corporation, a manufacturer of precision expanded metal foils (MicroGrid®) and polymer films, wanted to add a high performance polymer to its PolyGrid® portfolio, it chose one of the highest regarded performing thermoplastics in the world, Victrex APTIV® film made with VICTREX® PEEK™ polymer. Utilizing specifically designed proprietary equipment and processes, Dexmet performs an expansion procedure on the high performance polymer to produce a diamond configured, open area mesh product for filtration applications. Providing all of the outstanding properties of VICTREX PEEK polymer in a versatile thin film format, APTIV film was selected for its superior combination of mechanical strength, chemical and high temperature resistance. “While it technically falls under our high temperature PolyGrid product line,” said Ken Burtt, VP of Sales and Marketing at Dexmet, “APTIV film provides much more than just high temperature capabilities. It also has great chemical compatibility as well as mechanical strength that may be required for certain filter applications in harsh environments making it more of a ‘high performance’ PolyGrid material.” Continue reading

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Plastic Bags Go “Green”

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but we are killing the earth, one non-recyclable item at a time. Fixing the damage that has been done to our planet since the dawn of the industrial age is no simple task, nor is preventing further destruction when we continue to create products that will sit in landfills for centuries instead of decomposing back into the natural cycle of life. However, in recent years society has caught on to the environmentally friendly attitude that is turning non-recyclable items into recyclable ones, and manufacturers of a variety of products are following suit. One such example is plastic bags, products that are abundant in our shopping nation. The retail industry utilizes plastic bags in every type of store, including grocery, hardware, home furnishing, clothing and toys, to name a few. Versions of these bags are also used in the medical and shipping industry, and they are also used for storage and movement of parts within manufacturing companies of all sorts. With so many uses, most of which require more then one bag at a time, it is no surprise that the creation and utilization of recyclable plastic bags should be a priority. Continue reading

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IQS Newsroom Featured Profile: Compac Development Corporation

In an industry where perfection in protection is vital, Compac Development Corporation has built a business that does just that. Since 1976, Compac has been developing EMI/RFI shielded enclosures that fit the needs of each customer like a glove. Because EMI shielding and RFI shielding protect sensitive electronic devices from the damaging interference of other electronic devices, they must be built to the specific dimensions of the object they are protecting. If such dimensions can not be found among the five hundred or so standard sizes provided by Compac, such as the spacious enclosures of their Blank Series, then modifications may be made. Continue reading

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Palletizers: Making Industry More Efficient

I once worked in an apparel wholesaler’s warehouse for a summer job. During my short tenure there, I had a variety of responsibilities, all of which related to pulling orders from storage shelves and transporting them to the warehouse shipping area. Never having worked in that kind of environment before, a lot of what went on in the warehouse struck me as quite novel. The biggest novelty was my responsibilities, which involved riding an industrial-sized tricycle, complete with oversized storage basket, up and down the rows and aisles of the warehouse. I would stop to pull a certain number of T-shirts or sweatshirts or shorts from a box based on whichever order I was assigned, making sure to ring my bell every time I approached an aisle break in order to avoid collision with a forklift or another tricycle. Later I moved up the ranks to order checker, and eventually I was allowed to pull and check my own orders. Throughout my time in that warehouse, I was struck by the number of things that have to go right in the warehouse in order for customers to get exactly what they asked for. Continue reading

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IQS Newsroom Featured Profile: Dura-Belt, Inc.

The belts, conveyor materials, parts and pulleys manufactured by Dura-Belt, Inc. are used in applications worldwide and inevitably affect our day-to-day lives in one way or another. Consumer product conveyors, vibratory feeders, packaging equipment, printing machines and power transmissions are just a few of the important areas in which the company’s products are employed. To supply innovative, high quality belting products has always been and still remains the mission of this reputable company, and today, it is no surprise that Dura-Belt, Inc. is an industry leader. Selling millions of conveyor belts and belt components each year and having the capacity to produce up to 60,000 belts daily, the market influence of the company stretches around the globe. Jim Hammond, known as the “Belt Doctor”, purchased the business in 1991 and proceeded to rename it Dura-Belt, giving it a new lease on life. Hammond brought with him the skill and knowledge of a trained physicist with the personal goal of combining technology and belting to achieve a better quality product. The results speak for themselves. Continue reading

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Amazing Plastic Extrusions

For people who haven’t thought hard about it, plastic extrusion might not seem like anything special. In fact, it’s likely that few people outside of industry have a firm grasp of the concept of extrusion. In the interest of enriching general public understanding of industry, please consider the following.

Preferred Plastics Plastic Extrusions

Plastic extrusions image courtesy of Preferred Plastics.

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Georgia: A Major Industrial Player

Flag of GeorgiaWhat’s the outlook for Georgia manufacturing? There’s good news and bad news. Let’s start with the bad news: October was not a good month for Georgia manufacturing. The Purchasing Managers Index, a monthly survey of manufacturing activity released by Markit Group and the Institute for Supply Management, indicated an index value drop of more than five points in Georgia for the month of October. This drop brought Georgia’s overall PMI to just above 43. Based on the PMI scoring system, any figure below 50 indicates contraction, and any figure above 50 indicates growth. This month’s loss is a continuation of a trend that began two months ago. “It’s not clear why Georgia manufacturing is operating substantially below the level of the national PMI,” noted Don Sabbarese of Kennesaw State University in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Mr. Sabbarese speculated that the causes for Georgia’s poor performance may be related to the weakness of the state’s economic recovery. Continue reading

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IQS Newsroom Featured Profile: ADWEST Technologies, Inc.

Environmental equipment designed for air pollution control is a legal EPA mandate for most industrial companies as well as being an important social responsibility. That is why a company like ADWEST Technologies, Inc., which manufactures pollution control equipment for cost effective VOC abatement of solvents, hydrocarbons and air toxic compounds, is vital. Since 1988, ADWEST has been focused on providing quality products that effectively remove up to 99% of the volatile organic compounds (VOC) and hazardous air pollutants such as fumes, gases, solvents, odors and vapors emitted to the atmosphere. Continue reading

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The Machine Vision Team

As children we learn that there is no “I” in “team,” a concept that teaches us to think unselfishly and use our individual skills for one common goal. As adults, those of us who venture into the business realm learn quickly that no company can thrive when every member of the staff is a lone wolf. Success depends on communication and a common vision. The same is true of many of the systems used in the manufacturing industry, such as machine vision. Regardless of how technologically advanced and impressive each piece of machinery is, it must function within the larger context of a full machine vision system to reach its full potential. A comprehensive look at what machine vision is and why the individual parts must work together as a team to make the manufacturing industry more efficient, less expensive and safer for workers will reinforce what has been drilled into our heads since we were small; it’s better to have a team then to go it alone. Continue reading

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Pennsylvania: Manufacturing Optimism

Pennsylvania is a manufacturing superpower. Don’t believe me? Consider this fact. If Pennsylvania were a country, its economy would be the 18th largest in the world, and according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, manufacturing accounts for 12.5% of the state’s economy and 90% of its exports. So why do so many people seem to be down on Pennsylvanian manufacturing’s prospects? Why is Pennsylvania included in conversations about the Rust Belt or about the decline of American industry? Does Pennsylvania deserve that distinction? It’s true that Pennsylvania’s manufacturing sector faces real challenges today, but it’s important to think about those challenges in context.

Flag of Pennsylvania

Flag of Pennsylvania

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IQS Directory Featured Profile: Tanis Incorporated

For almost 25 years, Tanis, Inc. has been shaping brush technology through a corporate commitment to technology, discovery and investments in engineering talent. The innovative product designs developed by Tanis gives them a leading edge over the global competition and offers customers the latest in production and process solutions. Continue reading

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Industrial Marketing – An Opportunity, Not an Obstacle

Every good businessperson knows the importance of product quality and customer service. These two elements will always be at the core of good business practice, and without them no business can be successful on any sustainable terms. However, in a competitive environment, it is not always enough for a company to offer its customers exceptional products and service. In order to compete, a company must make efforts to make its products known to customers and to distinguish itself from competitors. The technical term for this process is marketing, and in the context of industry, marketing has always been important. Continue reading

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New Jersey and the Changing Manufacturing Landscape

In his autobiography, the author and comedian Lewis Black suggested that “…for an industrial economy, we don’t really make anything anymore. And one way or another, people still have to put food on the table.” Of course his second observation is right. Broad access to work and wage earning is a pillar of economic stability. But that access has become less of a guarantee to more people since the recession began, and the ensuing rise in unemployment and the decline of industry have been demoralizing. This backdrop could conceivably lead someone to make a comment like Mr. Black’s first comment. But look around you. How are you reading this text in front of you? Chances are that if you’re in an office or even if you’re at home, everything touching you except for the air you’re breathing is likely to be an industrial product, and many of those products were likely made in the US. Some of them may even have been made in New Jersey. Continue reading

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