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Sodick Ushers in an Era of Change Across EDM, Milling and Additive

At IMTS 2018, Sodick is showcasing an era of change with new offerings in its EDM, milling and additive technologies.

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With a new North American headquarters, a new satellite office in Connecticut dedicated to aerospace, new hiring as well as new product offerings, Sodick Inc. has recently accelerated the pace of change within the company. While both Sodick Inc. (the U.S. division) and the Sodick Group (its publicly-traded entity) have long prided themselves on offering an EDM machine suited to every customer—including the VL600QH, a new high-column economy wire EDM that specifically targets postproduction for additive manufacturing—Sodick is seeking to expand its offerings in both its milling and additive technologies.

These efforts are on full display in its booth, where visitors can see Sodick’s latest hybrid metal 3D printer, the OPM350L. A larger-capacity version of the OPM250L that debuted at IMTS two years ago, the 350L direct metal laser sintering powder-bed printer combines a 500-watt ytterbium laser with a 45,000-rpm linear motor spindle, which can perform milling operations during pauses in the printing process that allow access to internal features that otherwise would be inaccessible when the part is finished. The OPM350L also includes parallel mode technology, a recent addition that optimizes the machine’s 500-watt laser path by allowing it to target four points simultaneously within a build. Available as a recommended option with the 350L is Sodick’s new materials recovery system (MRS). This system automatically delivers powder into the 350L’s’s material feeder for use in the additive manufacturing process. As excess powder is delivered to the powder receptacle, the MRS unit conveys this material back for sieving and return to the material feeder. By continually recycling powder, Sodick says that the MRS unit allows the 350L to run continuously for up to a week using just 30 kg of material.

But Sodick’s ongoing commitment to additive manufacturing via the OPM line doesn’t mean the company is any less committed to its core business. Debuting at IMTS this year are two EDM models: the ALN800G wire EDM, which the company says is the world’s largest drop-tank EDM model, and the VL6000QH wire EDM, a high-column economy EDM specifically targeted at the additive industry.

Sodick has also changed the way these machines and other products are displayed at its booth this year. The company has organized its booth with discrete sections targeting specific industries, including aerospace, carbide machining and additive manufacturing. In its aerospace display section, Sodick is debuting the prototype of its new multi-axis hole drill, which, according to Evan Syverson, additive business development manager, includes high-precision features at a price that will not break the bank. “This all-linear-motor hole drill is based on extensive research into the needs of American aerospace manufacturers,” he says, “in keeping with the customer-first focus that now defines Sodick’s direction as a company.”

Syverson adds that these changes are subtly reflected in Sodick’s new logo, which is displayed prominently throughout its booth. The angled structures mirror the logo itself, adding some cohesiveness to the experience throughout the booth.

Source: https://www.mmsonline.com/blog/post/sodick-ushers-in-an-era-of-change-across-edm-milling-and-additive

Manufacturing

President Biden Just Signed an Executive Order to Examine Supply Chain Weaknesses. Here’s What He Should Do Next

The United States learned the hard way what happens when you become reliant on imports for critical goods. It’s time to do something about it.

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A global shortage of semiconductor chips has led to the shutdown of several auto factories in recent weeks. Getty Images

The United States learned the hard way what happens when you become reliant on imports for critical goods. It’s time to do something about it.  

Americans often take supply chains for granted — until there’s a breakdown or disruptive event. It’s fair to say many more of us think about needing to stock up on toilet paper or secure plenty of masks to protect against infectious disease spread than we did just a year ago. 

But for workers and producers, supply chains are a constant concern. Globalization, financialization, and just-in-time inventory management systems have created a fragile ecosystem for manufacturing. The system can work well when nothing goes wrong.

And in the real world, things go wrong.

We’ve been sounding the alarm for more than a decade about the need for more resilient and homegrown supply chains in the face of economic and national security concerns and to mitigate political risk abroad. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, America has become far too vulnerable because in some cases we are almost entirely dependent on imports—in many cases from strategic competitors like China—for critical goods.

Some examples:

  • Up to 90 percent of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care applications is imported, and nurses still report severe shortages.
  • We are overly dependent on China, India, and other importers for active pharmaceutical ingredients, including lifesaving antibiotics.
  • Ford and General Motors are cutting back production and shifts domestically due to a shortage of semiconductors.
  • America’s handful of producers of armor plate and electrical steel face a constant barrage of dumped and subsidized imports.

So it is encouraging that President Biden and his administration are launching a 100-day comprehensive review of vulnerable supply chains, beginning with pharmaceuticals, batteries, personal protective equipment, and semiconductor chips, and then moving on to these six sectors for a year-long review: the defense industrial base; the public health and biological preparedness industrial base; the information and communications technology (ICT) industrial base; the energy sector industrial base; the transportation industrial base; and supply chains for agricultural commodities and food production.

I previously examined supply chain weaknesses in an op-ed for The New York Times last year. We’ve engaged senior military and homeland security leaders and experts for comprehensive reviews of supply chain vulnerabilities in the defense industrial base in the AAM reports Remaking American Security and Preparing for 21st Century Risks: Revitalizing American Manufacturing to Protect, Respond and Recover.  

Of course, what matters the most in all of this is the policy change that will result. The lethal combination of dumped and subsidized imports and state-owned enterprise competition with our private sector firms has eroded our domestic manufacturing base over the past several decades. Rebuilding it in a way that can be flexible, resilient, and globally competitive will take more than a tweak here and there.

We must dramatically upscale our investments in infrastructure, innovation, and the workforce. We must provide our firms through incentives and deterrents a path to invest more in American production, as opposed to offshore tax havens or their wealthiest shareholders. We must leverage our public procurement policies, as the Biden administration has said it will do, to create domestic markets for these essential goods. Our trade policy must find balance and enable industries to find new export markets abroad while returning high-value production to our shores. No small task, but the administration is likely to find strong allies on Capitol Hill for such efforts.

Time is of the essence. In some cases—think for instance smartphone production—we will have to launch new industries from the ground floor, as we do not make a single mass-market smartphone in America. Or play catch up with China, which already controls 70 percent of the global lithium-ion battery market.

Fools errand? Hardly. From our earliest days as a nation, leaders like George Washington and Alexander Hamilton envisioned America as a manufacturing powerhouse, which ultimately held to define our global rise for generations. They knew it would take public policies to realize that goal. Now it’s Biden’s turn to show skill with the quill.

Source: https://www.americanmanufacturing.org/blog/president-biden-just-signed-an-executive-order-to-examine-supply-chain-weaknesses-heres-what-he-should-do-next/

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Manufacturing

Contract Manufacturing Questions

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I currently make a product part time for which I have brand reputation and a healthy market. I cannot meet demand and believe there is room for expansion. I’d like to explore contract manufacturing in the US. Any information concerning legal issues, contracts, maintaining client discretion etc would be appreciated. I have the models ready to go, specs, materials, it would all be plug and play for a quality manufacturer. Tooling costs would be low. Just trying to get a heads up on pitfalls or bad experiences others may have had.

Source: https://old.reddit.com/r/manufacturing/comments/lrly14/contract_manufacturing_questions/

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Manufacturing

Contract Manufacturing Questions

Republished by Plato

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I currently make a product part time for which I have brand reputation and a healthy market. I cannot meet demand and believe there is room for expansion. I'd like to explore contract manufacturing in the US. Any information concerning legal issues, contracts, maintaining client discretion etc would be appreciated. I have the models ready to go, specs, materials, it would all be plug and play for a quality manufacturer. Tooling costs would be low. Just trying to get a heads up on pitfalls or bad experiences others may have had.

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