Nissan Motor Co. is adding a second 250-job shift to its Canton, Mississippi, assembly plant to increase capacity for NV commercial vans. The plant also produces Titan and Frontier pickups, Altima sedans, and the Murano crossover. www.nissanusa.com
Volkswagen will spend $340 million to add a 5-passenger variant of the sport utility vehicle (SUV) to Chattanooga, Tennessee. The 5-passenger Atlas will mark the third Volkswagen model assembled at the Chattanooga factory, joining the Passat sedan and larger, 7-passenger Atlas SUV. www.vw.com
Spartan Motors Inc. is expanding its Ephrata, Pennsylvania, truck body plant to service a $214 million award granted last year for new United States Postal Service (USPS) truck bodies. Spartan President and CEO Daryl Adams says the expansion will help the company target commercial truck body growth throughout the Northeast by increasing capacity in Pennsylvania. www.spartanmotors.com
Hyundai will spend $388 million in Montgomery, Alabama, to build an engine-head manufacturing plant and enhance production of new Sonata and Elantra sedans. The investment will create 50 new jobs. Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) produces cars and engines, and the engine heads from the new facility will also be used by Kia at its plant in West Point, Georgia. www.kia.com; www.hyundaiusa.com
The TMAC 3.0 tool monitoring adaptive control system uses customized sensors for power, vibration, or strain to measure tool wear. The system learns the cut, allowing the operator to visualize actual cutting to make adjustments.
By measuring tool wear in real-time, TMAC will automatically expire a tool if excessive wear is detected (and can signal a redundant tool) or immediately stop the machine and retract the tool in the event of breakage. Direct interface with the CNC allows machines to run unattended.
A web-based user interface has customizable user views with a dynamic display that can be accessed from any device (including smart phones) and monitors multiple processes, even multiple machine channels simultaneously.
TMAC adaptive control overrides the machine tool feed rate to make automatic adjustments based on the cutting power load of the tool. The system increases feed rates with low power cuts and decreases feed rates with high power cuts and as tools wear. Adjusting feed rates optimizes the cutting process, extends tool life, and reduces cycle times up to 60%.
The MunchMan II conveyor chip and scrap removal conveyor manages long, stringy, and bird’s nest chips generated by high-speed turning and milling operations. It employs a twin-belt conveyor arrangement at the lower curve and through the incline and chip discharge areas of the system. The primary and secondary belts run in unison to grab hold of chips, compress them, and securely carry them up steep inclines, eliminating the risk of conveyor jams caused by chip balls tumbling at the lower curve or jamming in the conveyor incline section.
The MunchMan II can be designed to fit into most CNC lathes and machining centers and has little or no effect on the space required vs. traditional single-belt chip conveyors.
The Axia80 force/torque sensor measures all six components of force and torque and offers stiffness, resolution, and accuracy. The monolithic instrumented transducer also features built-in electronics and silicon strain gages. The sensor connects directly to the robot controller and communicates through EtherCAT or Ethernet. The Axia80 is designed for robotic assembly, grinding, and polishing applications.
NHX series high-speed, high-precision horizontal machining centers (HMCs) feature speedMaster motor spindles with high acceleration rates, plus Celos controls with Fanuc NC technology.
The X- and Z-axis guides are arranged to maximize rigidity of the bed, column, and spindle. The third-generation NHX 4000 is more stable than previous versions, supporting 1.2G acceleration in all axes and 60m/min rapid traverses. Hydraulic fixtures support easy automation. A standard pallet changer moves workpieces up to 882 lb.
The CL5, 5-axis workholding system offers faster, more accurate fixturing setups. The CL5 consists of three components: a subplate, a riser, and top tooling made up of a vise or a fixture plate. The subplate transforms a T-slot table into a modular fixturing plate, allowing flexible clamping and locating of other tooling and/or fixtures.
Every plate has built-in clamping and locating for risers, allowing quick, accurate setups. Designed to get the part up from the machine table, the Quintus quick-change riser allows 5-side part access. The Quintus combines the riser, quick-change capability, and precise location in one piece, and various fixture plates or vises can be readily mounted on top of it. Several versions of fixture plates, vises, and jaws are available.
MarSurf CM series Optical 3D surface metrology systems combine confocal technology with high-precision 16-bit high dynamic range (HDR) technology to deliver high-resolution 3D surface topography data.
The technology allows for physical acquisition of a true-height signal as opposed to measuring height via pixel contrast or pattern projection. Confocal technology measures any material from highly light scattering to highly reflective. Stable construction and a robust optical principle produce reliable results for laboratory or production environments.
MarSurf CM systems provide micron and nanometer resolution surface finish and micro-geometry information including: 2D and 3D surface roughness, bearing area, flatness, depth, and volume. MarSurf CM systems deliver automation as part of the standard package.
Hyundai and Kia had to recall 1.4 million cars globally in April 2017 because engines were prone to stalling, increasing the likelihood of a fatal crash. This case highlights the importance of ensuring that your entire supply chain is ISO/TS 16949 compliant. Chris Johnson, managing director of automotive bearing specialist SMB Bearings, says quality assurance is essential, even for the smallest automotive components.
ISO/TS 16949 defines the quality management systems for automotive manufacturing. In 2016, the standard began transitioning to the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) standard, IATF 16949:2016. The technical specification strives for continuous quality improvement in automotive supply chains and aims to prevent defects and waste.
The standard impacts each part of the car, including every nut, bolt, and bearing.
One vehicle could require several dozen separate bearings, each required for a different application. So, different suppliers are sometimes required for similar parts, and all should be compliant.
Some may argue that for smaller components, high quality management standards are not as necessary as they are for the engine or brake pads. However, in a quality-driven industry, reducing the likelihood of faults can have significant financial and reputational effects. For example, using quality electric motor bearings for wing mirrors can guarantee smooth mirror rotation, increasing customer satisfaction and reducing the likelihood of complaints.
Bearings for slow moving parts and controls, such as steering column bearings, can also negatively impact the customer experience if they are not properly specified. Due to the parts’ speed, the lubricant is often a dampening grease which reduces rotation vibration. Any temporary failure in the bearing manufacturing process not picked up by quality control could result in product recalls.
Ensuring quality throughout the supply chain may seem like a colossal task, but identifying problems with suppliers, particularly in the later manufacturing phase, can be costly. Automotive manufacturing executives estimate that production-line downtime costs around $22,000 per minute — that’s $1.3 million per hour.
For example, Japanese manufacturer of miniature, small, and specialty bearings EZO offers automotive bearings with assured ISO TS/16949 approval. EZO ensures the bearings meet ISO standards, and the customer is granted third-party reassurance.
Choosing the wrong bearing supplier may not cause a 1.4 million car recall, but in a quality-driven industry, it makes sense to use quality suppliers, even for small components.
The Vturn-NP16CM CNC lathe is equipped with a 6", 3-jaw hollow hydraulic chuck; C-axis; and BMT-45 live servo turret (12 live tools). A standard rear-discharge chip conveyor supports automated operation, and a right-discharge chip conveyor is available. Roller-type linear guideways and a Meehanite casting, one-piece slant bed support 1,181ipm feed rates in all axes.
An Easyway Robot is seated on the tailstock slideway (which has been removed from the lathe). The robotic parts catcher has three servo motors to rotate the arms and grippers to transport parts between work feeder and chuck.
The work feeder consists of 10, 6.7" x 15.7" pallets to load up to 120 pieces with a max. diameter of 1.65".