Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Look at the Brand New Smartbind Plastic Comb Binding Machine

Are you looking to buy a plastic comb binding
machine so you can easily create great-looking bound documents? If so,
one machine you should consider is the new SmartBind plastic comb
binding machine. This is a brand new binding machine that is affordable
and easy to use, so you can create professional-looking reports,
proposals, booklets, etc. within mere minutes in the comfort of your
own home or office. This review will outline the advantages of using
the SmartBind binding machine, as well as alert you to two of the
machine's possible drawbacks.

  Are you looking to buy a plastic comb binding
machine so you can easily create great-looking bound documents? If so,
one machine you should consider is the new SmartBind plastic comb
binding machine. This is a brand new binding machine that's affordable
and easy to use, so you can create professional-looking reports,
proposals, booklets, etc. within mere minutes in the comfort of your
own home or office. This review will outline the advantages of using
the SmartBind binding machine, as well as alert you to two of the
machine's possible drawbacks.
The Pros:   

 The SmartBind is one of the most stylish binding
machines you can buy. It will look great in any office setting. Plus,
it's easy to tote around because it only weighs 10 pounds and it has a
built-in carrying handle.

 This binding machine
can bind documents that are up to one inch thick using plastic binding
combs. (A one-inch document can contain up to 200 pages.) Plastic comb
binding is binding method that's easy to master and the combs are
available in a lot of different colors so you can easily choose the
right comb for your document.

 The SmartBind is
easy to use, so even if you're new to plastic comb binding, you'll be
able to learn how to use this machine quickly. Plus, it has a built-in
plastic comb opener so you don't need any additional equipment.

This machine can punch 11 sheets of 20 lb. bond paper and it does so
vertically, which makes punching very easy because your pages will be
accurately aligned. The SmartBind can also punch two clear plastic
covers at once.

 The SmartBind is made of metal,
so it's durable and long-lasting. This unit isn't very expensive (it
will set you back approximately $200.00), so it is terrific that this
machine is so well-made considering other inexpensive binding machines
often have plastic components. It's likely that you will really get
your money's worth if you buy this machine.

The Cons:     The SmartBind can only bind documents that are up to 11
inches long. This machine lacks disengageable dies and an open throat,
so binding longer documents simply isn't possible. You also can't
control where your holes are punched. While this machine can
beautifully bind 11-inch booklets, if you need to bind anything longer
or you want a unit with an adjustable depth of punch margin control, a
different machine will need to be chosen.

people will find the punching capacity of this machine to be too small
since it can only punch 11 sheets of paper at once. If you're binding
documents that are an inch thick, you may find that it takes a while to
punch all of your pages. (Just so you know, pre-punched paper can help
you cut down on the amount of time spent punching.)

the SmartBind plastic comb binding machine is a great choice if you
need a simple binding solution. This is definitely not an advanced
machine nor can it be used to bind really long documents, but if you
need a basic comb binding machine, the SmartBind would be the perfect
choice for your binding needs!

Knowing Your Treadmill Parts Can Save You Money

Most people who get a new machine, regardless of what that machine may be, do not really bother to take the time to understand what the machine is and

how it works. However, down the road you will find that only when you pay close attention to every aspect of a machine will you be able to get the most

out of it. In this context, let us look the matter of buying and using a treadmill fits perfectly.
  It is done by everyone; you by a new machine, it really does not matter what type of machine it is or what it does, the procedure is always the same.

You take it out of the package and turn it on without a glimpse of the instructions even though you have no idea how it works. 

It is not until you are totally confused with the machine that you will pick up the information and read the entire manual. Only when you do this will

you understand the inner mechanisms of the machine and how it works.

Why it is Important to Know About Your Treadmill Parts When you Make a Purchase

When you buy the top of the line treadmill, you want it to last forever. However, it will eventually breakdown and need to be fixed. It can save you a

lot of aggravation and maybe even a few dollars if you know which treadmill part is damaged. The only way to find this information is to read the

information that came standard with your machine. You will also be able to determine if any warranties apply and what steps you need to take.

Another reason you should read the information is to distinguish what each part is by name. If your treadmill breaks down, you may be able to replace

the treadmill part yourself. If however you are not able to fix it, you can at least get an estimate of how much it will cost to fix. You can then call

different places to get the best estimate.

The treadmill part that is not covered by warranties is the part that gets the most wear and tear. However most of the other parts that are essential

to the proper function of the treadmill should be covered. It is important to read the information to find out exactly what the warranty covers in the

event that your treadmill breaks down. This will not only save you from undue stress, it can also save you money.

Many warranties offer free replacement of treadmill parts that malfunction within a specific amount of time; usually within a year of purchase. The

warranty will be honored as long as the treadmill has not been taken apart or misused in any way.  This requirement was initiated because many people

try to fix the problem themselves, and end up making it worse. If a product is tampered with in any way, the warranty will be void.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Roar of a V-Twin CNC machine tools

The Roar of a V-Twin

Orange Country Choppers (OCC) is a hugely popular American reality TV programme about a family-run business that designs and builds exotic, custom-made motorcycles with glistening chrome, super-extended front forks, and six-figure price tags. Incidental to the drama – the family disputes and the pressing deadlines – are the unsung heroes of the show: several Haas machine tools, cast in supporting roles and usually referred to by the vociferous protagonists as simply, “the CNCs.”

With a global audience, the show typically appeals to “small boys of all ages,” many of whom also work in precision engineering or manufacturing. It’s where Stuttgart-based Dirk Rothweiler first saw Haas CNC machine tools – before he bought one of the company’s mills and one of its lathes and cast them as stars in his small subcontract engineering business. Entertained by the show’s on-screen shenanigans, and inspired by OCC’s creations, Dirk Rothweiler formed a sister company, Bullwy-Cycles, to create his own Haas-made motorcycles of similar, theatrical proportions and price. On a recent visit, CNC Machining went behind the scenes to meet the talent, and enjoy a sneak preview of Bullwy’s debut production.

CNC: How and why did you come to start your company?

Dirk Rothweiler: I trained initially as a car mechanic, and then as a lathe operator, before I rounded out my qualifications by completing a Master’s degree in precision mechanics. I did this vocationally while working for an employer; but in 2004, I wanted to set myself an occupational challenge by forming my own precision machining company, Rothweiler Feinmechanik, based at Pfintzal near Karlsruhe. My expectation was that it would allow me to turn my ideas into reality, using my own manufacturing strategies and approaches. In 2009, I had the idea of creating a sister company, Bullwy-Cycles. Motorcycles have always been a fascination of mine, and I’ve rebuilt and modified many bikes in the past. It’s a dream come true to develop and manufacture my own motorcycles for a living. My professional engineering experience, as well as my personal enthusiasm, helps create motorcyles that are unique in both design and workmanship.

CNC: Did you have any major challenges to overcome to make your business successful?

DR: The biggest challenge in setting up any new company lies in the fact that you must be in control of all manufacturing processes. At Bullwy-Cycles, I conceptualize each step – from the design to the finished part, ready for installation. It’s true that not all parts are manufactured here at Bullwy, but I retain full control over everything.

CNC: Are there many chopper enthusiasts in Germany? Is the market good for bikes like this? .

DR: There is a continuously expanding market in Germany for high-quality, custom motorcycles and parts. This industry is big business, particularly if you have a unique offer, something that sets you apart from others in the marketplace.

CNC: So, what makes your products unique? How are your motorcycles designed and built?

DR: I conceive the entire construction, down to the smallest detail. Each and every part is made to measure, which I see as a personal challenge. My design of the motorcycle frames became a reality in co-operation with a well-known frame manufacturer. In addition, all commercial frame components can be modified in accordance with customer wishes, and in full compliance with regulation and testing requirements. The special engines are supplied by a high-end, U.S. motorcycle manufacturer. As an example of the bespoke nature of our work, the gears have been developed to accommodate very high forces, while a special drive unit allows a wide drive belt to be utilised. As for the wheels, the spoke rims are custom-made by a well-known manufacturer specializing in this area. There is also a double-six piston brake unit that is developed specifically for these high-powered motorcycles. I build a custom bike that is singular in form and function.

CNC: Do you export your motorcycles?

DR: At the moment, only one prototype has been built. However, the amount of interest generated has been nothing short of amazing. We’ve even been featured in a hip-hop music video. When it comes to custom motorcycles, word soon spreads. We already have enquiries from all over the world.

CNC: How did you first hear about Haas CNC machine tools?

DR: I saw them on OCC, broadcast on DMAX, a lifestyle television channel operated by Discovery Networks, Deutschland. I could see on the show that, with this technology, it is possible to manufacture all kinds of special parts in-house. It seemed, no matter how extraordinary the design, the Haas machines could handle it. I also saw Haas machines in 2006, at the AMB manufacturing technology exhibition in Stuttgart.

CNC: What Haas machines do you have?

DR: Currently, I have a Haas SL-20 CNC turning centre and a Super Mini Mill CNC vertical machining centre with fourth axis. For the future, I am already looking to expand my manufacturing capacity by adding a Haas five-axis VMC to produce different parts more effectively. Along with new staff and a new workshop, this will help improve further my efficiency and production.

CNC: Specifically, how are the machines used? What parts are you making?

DR: All my Haas machines work hard, machining a wide range of motorcycle parts, including fork crowns, the complete belt drive, the pulley set, the brake adapter and the footrest equipment. A big benefit of the Haas machines is that I quickly achieve my objectives, turning the part requested by the customer into reality in only a few steps. I bought the SL-20 for manufacturing turned parts with diameters between 10 mm and 200 mm, and the Mini Mill mainly for producing spacers and miscellaneous parts that demand four-axis machining.

CNC: How do you programme the Haas machines?

DR: We programme directly at the machine control, although for difficult and complex geometries and processes, we use a CAM system.

CNC: Can you summarise your experiences with the Haas machines?

DR: We are very happy with our Haas machines. The price-performance ratio is right, the stability and dimensional accuracy are excellent, and there is no doubting their reliability. We haven’t had any machine failures or breakdowns, and the applications support provided by the local Haas Factory Outlet, Katzenmeier, is superb. I would recommend Haas machines to any company, whether they are making prototypes or involved in serial production. The machines are well-designed and -made, and optional equipment and features can be easily added at any time. With regard to accuracy, repeatability, and durability, Haas machines will match any competitor models. The control is also very easy to learn and use. There are common multi-step functions, such as tool offsets, work offsets, “homing” the machine, and selecting the next tool during set-up, that can be executed at the push of a button.

CNC: And the future?

DR: Our business is based on craftsmanship, flexibility, creativity, and the best technology. On this last point, the performance and reliability of the Haas machines made a big difference when setting up and establishing a successful machine shop. They will also underpin our growth as we move forward, so I’m sure it won’t be long before we invest in more Haas CNC machine tools.

There's No Holding Back Youth

If a knack for hard work isn’t a skill, it’s the next best thing. If you have a good work ethic, skill, and youth to boot, there’s no limit to where your energy might take you. For Bryan Schmidt of TGS Precision, his appetite for hard work took him to rural Tennessee, to run a CNC machine shop 6 days a week, and drive his boat or hunt deer on his days off.

Greenback, Tennessee is an unlikely location to find a flourishing machining business. With a population barely into four figures, it’s an unlikely place to find much at all. But this is leisure and tourism country. Several lakes and a network of waterways, including the Tennessee River, make the area the perfect playground for boating enthusiasts. A number of state historic parks and recreation areas are within easy reach, as are the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Nantahala National Forest, which means it’s great for hunters, too.

As a boy, TGS Precision founder Bryan Schmidt would come to Tennessee with his parents for summer vacations. When he founded his company, just two years ago, the 23-year-old came back, drawn by the outdoor lifestyle as much as the state tax incentives.

Mr. Schmidt is the third generation in his family to ply his trade as a machinist. His grandfather and father started a machine shop in New York State that is still trading to this day. Bryan studied mechanical engineering at university before he followed in the family footsteps. Just 24 months later, his business has 21 employees, a healthy order book, and 12 Haas CNC machine tools.

“We have eight VF-2 Haas vertical machining centers, a VF-4, and a VF-3YT,” he says. “We also have Haas ST-10 and ST-20 turning centers. The Haas machines are the foundation of the business, and play a significant role in the work we do for the boating sector and other industries, including some well known names in food processing.”

TGS has also diversified into sectors such as automotive and medical, which means the Haas machines are cutting metals ranging from aluminum and carbon steel 1045, through to tough alloys such as Hastelloy?, Inconel?, and P20 tool steel.

Visitors to the shop will witness the camaraderie and sense of shared destiny that many companies try, and often fail, to achieve. Bryan’s brother also works for the business, and his mother is frequently on hand to offer words of encouragement.

“We have an awesome group of guys,” says Bryan. “We work across two shifts, from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. I’m here for most of that, working from 7:30 right through to closing time, six days a week. The first seven or eight hours I spend in the office. After that, I’m on the shop floor running a shift and overseeing three or four Haas machines.” People might wince at those sorts of hours, but there’s no holding back youth.

With a fresh and eager team averaging 60 to 70 hours a week each, the TGS work ethic is clear for all the company’s customers to see. And although TGS employees work hard, Mr. Schmidt makes sure he gives back. Days off for hunting excursions, for example, are a common way for the team to unwind together outside company walls. Lunch often consists of a large tray of cured venison, which everyone shares.

“With our determination, teamwork, and the Haas machines, we can push work out quickly, which gives us an advantage,” says Bryan. “People want their parts yesterday, and they want them right – first time. Every single part is checked here for accuracy and aesthetics. If you mess up, you don’t get a second chance; but I’ve been in business two years, and I’m very proud to say, we’ve never had a part rejected.”

Mr. Schmidt says the fragile economy is fueling the “last-minute” trend, with nervous customers waiting until the last possible moment before committing to orders, by which time deadlines are close at hand.

“We’re flexible,” says Mr. Schmidt, “not just in terms of manpower, but with the Haas machines, which allow quick set-up times. What’s more, our four-axis tables offer the capability to reduce the number of operations for a part and reduce cycle times. Each of our guys is familiar with the Haas control, so they can move around the machines.”

Batch sizes at TGS Precision range from 1- or 2-off, up to several thousand. Fixtures play a vital role in processing larger runs, accommodating between 8 and 42 workpieces at once. Simply having two vises set up alongside one another allows the company to perform first and second machining operations at the same time.

“The Haas machines will do anything! And they hold tolerance all day and all night,” Mr. Schmidt notes. “Providing you don’t abuse them and don’t crash them, they’ll last forever, which is incredible, considering the price. What we pay for a Haas machining center is half what others pay for certain Japanese models, and this has been a contributory factor in our rapid growth.”

At the time of my visit, all the Haas machines are busy. One of the VF-2 vertical machining centers is engaged on a run of 4000 parts for a medical industry application. It will run for 10 days producing the same part. Other components being machined at the time include gearbox base plates and hydraulic cylinder manifolds for the boating industry.

“The work around here is unlimited,” states Mr. Schmidt. “We’ve done some parts for an automotive customer, but they could get them a lot cheaper overseas. The problem, however, is that lead times are six or seven weeks, and if it’s wrong it has to be reworked. I’ll do it in a weekend and it will be spot on.”

There is a big automotive community in Tennessee. Volkswagen, for example, has a large plant nearby in Chattanooga. By complete coincidence, Bryan Schmidt’s uncle was a VP for many years at VW in Germany.

“I want to reach the point where my guys are trained to do my job and I don’t have to be here,” he concludes. “Instead, I can be on the road finding more work. I think our biggest hurdle to getting contracts with VW, for example, will be getting our foot in the door. We already have the technology, we have the ability, and we’re not afraid of hard work. All we need is the introduction.”