Downtime is up and productivity is suffering. Scrap and secondary machining are eating into bottom line profitability Competition is knocking at the front door.
Challenges or opportunities?
Fortunately, the answer is "both." Manufacturing companies and tool suppliers face challenges such as these, in varying degrees, on a daily basis. The good news is that in these challenges lie unique opportunities. On one hand are opportunities to increase productivity and at the same time improve working quality. On the other are opportunities for increased flexibility, reduced downtime, and longer tool life.
A further opportunity lies in developing products with the ability to effect corrections during the machining process. For toolholding suppliers, this opportunity has spawned a growing trend toward the development of new, so-called intelligent tool technologies that maximize machine performance. Bilz will showcase this trend at IMTS 2000 with its HFP Tool Control System, a simple yet reliable method of monitoring tapping operations using the tap itself. With an on-board transmitter, this intelligent tool system electronically monitors and controls the quality of tapping operations on transfer lines, machining centers, and flexible manufacturing systems. Automatic detection of failures, tool breakage, and missing threads before parts arrive in assembly virtually eliminates secondary machining.
Many product opportunities, as industry has discovered, may only be economically realized when new solutions for production problems are found. Consider the heat-shrinking technology behind Bilz' Thermogrip--thermic tool clamping systems. Heat-shrink joint fixing technology, widely considered to produce the most accurate grip possible, has been used in the aviation industry for years. Until recently, however, it was inconvenient and not economical for many other metalworking manufacturers. Bilz adapted this technology and with the innovative single station Thermogrip to be previewed at IMTS 2000, we will be demonstrating both its practicality and portability Compact and operating from 110-volt single phase power, the single-station Thermogrip is an ideal unit for small die and mold shops. It is also well suited for larger facilities in that it can easily be taken away from tool presetting operations to remote...