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Automation Equipment: Lost Jobs or Efficient Production?

When I’m in the self check-out line at the grocery store, I can’t help but feel a little bitter. In school, I worked part time as a cashier, and here we have this machine that has completely replaced my fine skills. It remembers all the vegetable PLUs, always gives correct change, and even tells me to have a good day. Someday, the cashier may become obsolete, being completely replaced by automation equipment. On one hand, that’s a lot of lost jobs-cashier is the most common occupation in the United States, and if they all become automated, there will no longer be a need for humans. On the other hand, though, the grocery store doesn’t have to pay workers, the machines never make mistakes, and the line moves much faster.

The Countless Applications of Marking Machinery

Look around you for a moment: chances are, many items on your desk have a design, logo or text made by marking machinery. Thousands of common, everyday products are marked for identification or decorative purposes. Bar codes, packaging or expiration dates, graphics and labels are found on just about every product or packaging these days. Embossing machines, a unique kind of marking system that produces 3-D raised text and designs on any malleable material, has many different uses. The embossing process is simple-material is fed through rollers with a patterned surface, pressure and heat are applied, and the material conforms to the pattern; no ink is needed, but it is often used on paper and plastic. Patterns in leather products and designs on greeting cards are embossed, adding detail and decoration. Embossing is a common post-forming process in steel service centers, where products like garage doors, refrigerator housings and metal coils are marked with a logo, text or texture. However, there are more important uses for this product-did you know that embossing machines also help prevent identity theft and aid in communication of the disabled?

Pour all that Loose Change into Die Casted Products

It seems like I never have any change in my wallet anymore. I’m too busy dumping it all into machines everywhere I go-gas stations, grocery stores and city streets are all sprinkled with quarter-eaters, and I fall victim every time. Commercial products that consume my laundry money like parking meters and gumball machines have been around for about a century, and have one thing in common besides accepting change-their metal housings and components are both manufactured by the die casting process. Die casted products are extremely strong, temperature resistant and heavy, making them the perfect candidates for public machines that accept money.

Without Hydraulic Presses Manufacturing as We Know it Would Cease

The full range of today’s hydraulic presses is some of the most powerful and versatile manufacturing equipment. Achieving the highest compressive force of all the power presses, these machines are crucial for the forming and molding of a wide spectrum of materials: metals, plastics and composites, rubber, wood, and laminates. From deep drawing essential parts, such as tanks and fenders, for the production of motorcycles to creating 2,640 plastic credit cards per hour, the manufacturing realm would be lost without hydraulic presses. The scrap metal processing industry also relies on shear hydraulic press force to smash discarded cars and such into compact, manageable squares of reusable material for pop cans, paper clips, etc.

Ah, the Sound of Pulverizers

You can almost hear the grinding and crushing as you say the word pulverizer – the consonants and vowels combine to create hard sounds as you enunciate through the syllables. I enjoy deepening my voice to emphasize the harshness of the word. You try… it’s like a ‘grr’ from the back of your throat. Now, while saying it (and making pounding motions with your fists if you really want to get into it), imagine what it would take to smash stones into powder. The bulk material handling and process industries, including mining, waste recycling, plastics, food & pharmaceuticals, rely on this kind of de-agglomeration controlled at various intensities within pulverizing machines, making materials more useful or reusable. It’s destruction with a purpose; breaking down to make better. Pulverizers take the idea of mortar and pestle to the extreme.

Which Type of Industrial Dryer Best Fits your Needs?

When it comes to drying large amounts of raw material, there are a number of options for manufacturers to choose from, depending on their budget, space and properties of the material being dried. Industrial dryers are often used to remove moisture from materials such as powders, foods and chemicals for the pharmaceutical, paper, pollution control, food and agricultural industries. If your company is in the market for a new industrial dryer, there are 5 main types for different applications, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Dryers that pass material through a large, revolving metal drum and heated by gas, liquid or solid fuel are commonly used in the chemical, food and mineral industries. Rotary dryers have low maintenance costs and allow vast amounts of material with differing particle sizes to dry at one time. However, because these dryers are powered by gas, moisture control is difficult and they often create fire hazards as a result of drying flammable materials. Because the drum is often quite large, these dryers often require a lot of space.

A Primer on Dense Phase Pneumatic Conveying Systems

Dynamic Air Inc., a major leader in the dense phase pneumatic conveying industry, is a specialist in the pneumatic conveying of dry, bulk solids. Applications range from food to poison, from light fumed silica to heavy powdered metals. However, all of these applications have one thing in common, the necessity to control the conveying velocity in order to control particle degradation, conveying pipe wear, minimize air consumption, or eliminate pipe line plugging. What is Pneumatic Conveying? Pneumatic conveying is nothing more than creating a pressure differential along a pipeline and moving a bulk material along with the air as the air moves towards the area of lower pressure. This can be done with a vacuum inducer, or with compressed air being injected into one end of or along the pipeline. Dilute Phase vs. Dense Phase Pneumatic Conveying The two most distinct categories of pneumatic conveying can be described as either low pressure (dilute phase) or high pressure (dense phase) systems.

Precision, Perfection and Enhanced Productivity for Small Parts Manufacturing with Miniature Brushes

Proper brush selection allows manufacturers to reduce cycle time, automate intricate surface finishing operations and deliver consistent quality Small parts requiring deburring, edge blending or other surface finishing operations can present particular production challenges to manufacturers. Often production is taken off-stream where hand-held tools are necessary to perform the intricate secondary finishing operations many of these components require. This action frequently results in reduced productivity and inconsistent product quality. Even in instances where the process is fully automated, specifying the appropriate finishing brush for the application plays an integral role in improving the tool’s overall performance and life span. A miniature deburring brush can solve both the productivity and quality challenges involved when manufacturing parts of various small sizes, contours and materials. These tools are generally best suited to address tight tolerances, edge blending, deburring and other finishing requirements that have a direct impact on overall functionality.

Vibratory Finishing: Versatile, Effective, and Reliable

As industrial manufacturing standards evolve, tried-and-true mass finishing processes must keep in lockstep with end-user demands. Mass media finishing processes have gained widespread acceptance in many industries, primarily as a technology for reducing the costs of producing edge and surface finishes. This is particularly true when manual deburring and finishing procedures can be minimized or eliminated. There are a number of different mass finishing processes in common use throughout industry. Among these are barrel, centrifugal, vibratory, and spindle finishing. Vibratory systems have become the predominant method due to advantages inherent to the method in terms of ease of use, automation, and material handling. When first developed in the 1950s, these systems were typically modest in size, and were used for deburring and finish processing of smaller components. Being able to process larger batch lots of modestly sized parts was important to competitiveness.

Vibratory Feeders Act as the ‘Hands’ for Many Manufacturing Processes

Vibratory bowl feeders are considered the oldest yet still most used automated industrial parts feeding solution. The basic design of the machine is a feeder bowl configured with a spiral track and equipped with a vibrating drive unit. As parts are fed into the bowl, the vibrating motion facilitates the sorting. Parts are vibrated onto the track and only correctly oriented ones leave the bowl. The track is designed to ensure consistent, repeatable positions, according to specified requirements. Incorrectly positioned parts are pushed back into the bowl to be redistributed. Vibratory bowls are great solutions for small parts handling. For example, washers, being small in diameter and quite thin, could have a tendency to overlap on top of each other. Not with the right vibratory feeder! The specially configured track will feed in a single row every time. There is no double-feeding because the parts that try to override others are pushed back into the bowl.

Proceco Acquires MP Tech Blasting Technologies from Deloitte & Touche Inc.

Montreal, Quebec, July 2, 2009 – Proceco is pleased to announce the acquisition of all blasting technologies previously owned by Metal Processing Technologies Inc. (MP Tech) of Cambridge, Ontario. On June 11th 2009, Proceco Ltd. acquired certain assets from Deloitte & Touche Inc., the Receiver and Trustee in Bankruptcy of MP Tech Inc. These assets included patents, engineering data and process test equipment. Proceco will apply its know-how in application and design engineering, project management and quality manufacturing to further develop the patented Slurry Blast Technology, thereby expanding its parts cleaning and surface treatment offerings to its global customer base. The patented Slurry Blast Process is the ultimate metal component surface finishing process designed to degrease, blast clean, surface profile, shot peen and rust inhibit in one footprint.

The Role of Sanitary Stainless Steel Tanks in Beer Brewing

Also used in dairy processing tanks, sanitary grade stainless steel tanks have a very specific type of finish. A sanitary finish, which is typically matte, is applied through electropolishing, as opposed to more typical mechanical and brushed finishes. The electropolishing process consists of a temperature-controlled bath in an electrically conductive solvent and a direct electrical current which is introduced to the bath. The result is that the outer surface of metal is completely removed with the kind of precision that can only be achieved through electrolytic processes. Sub-microscopic peaks and valleys on the surface of the stainless steel are removed, and the stainless steel regenerates a surface layer of passivised chromium oxide to protect it against rust and corrosion.

How Cleaning Your Parts Washer Can Save You Time and Money

We all know that the realm of manufacturing is being hit hard by the current economic downturn. This is why manufacturers need to become lean in all their processes, of which parts cleaning is an essential step. Such industries as automotive, agricultural, material handling & heavy equipment, aerospace, hydraulics & pneumatics, machined & formed parts, medical & pharmaceutical and remanufacturing rely on parts cleaning pre and post production to remove oils, grease, chemicals, burrs, dirt, shavings and particulates. Parts large and small would not be properly prepared for finishing, assembly and distribution if not first put through parts washing machinery; so from equipment selection through preventative maintenance procedures, manufacturers need to be educated on the most beneficial parts cleaning techniques for their particular needs.

7 Common Types of Industrial Mixers

In the process manufacturing community, the mixing experts are the mixing equipment manufacturers, and they understand how different blades, speeds, mixer configurations and bowl shapes interact with different types of substances during the mixing process. There are nearly as many different types of mixing as there are products to be mixed – from industrial slurry adhesives to milk homogenization to bologna meat mixing, industrial mixers work differently to achieve smooth blending…

Blast off that Dirt, Paint, Rust and Debris

From small parts to ships, cars and buildings, sandblasting is a way to clean off unwanted paint, dirt, rust and debris; prepare surfaces for painting, plating and coating; and create texturing, roughening, etching and detailing. Sandblasting is an industrial-strength cleaning method great for eliminating all the caked-on gunk and grime that inevitably builds up on surfaces over years and years. Sandblast cabinets can in minutes get a filthy part down to shiny metal, but they can also perform more delicate procedures as well. Depending on the amount of pressure and type of media used, sandblasters can completely strip parts or just polish and decorate them…

Modern Man’s Fire: Industrial Ovens and Their Many Applications

Our knowledge of curing, tempering and baking has given rise to tools, cars, skyscrapers, utensils, polymer-painted furniture and all manner of processed foods. Food production and metallurgy, two of civilization’s most essential processes, are dependent on heat energy, and today we are more dependent on food processing and metallurgy than any of our ancestors. Ovens are key to these processes, being essential in nearly every type of food processing, metal heat treating and polymer binding. In manufacturing, industrial ovens catalyze the curing, tempering and sintering which cause metal parts and polymers to become solid, strong and resilient. Since industrial ovens have such an extensive range of applications, we’ll review their main types and applications with a list…

Cleaning Parts in the Remanufacturing Process

With demand for remanufactured parts on the rise, leaders in automotive, agricultural, and heavy equipment remanufacturing are looking for parts cleaning systems that can sustain intense parts cleaning while reducing time and labor for maintenance on the washer. To better understand how remanufacturers can keep their aqueous parts washers performing at top quality with ease of maintenance and less down time, one must consider the system design and key elements of parts cleaning in the remanufacturing environment…