Friday, October 31, 2014

This Carpenter's Spirit Lives On Through His Machine

In 1968, a man by the name of Alejandro de la Cruz Saucedo started a small family wood shop in the town of Jesus Maria, Mexico. With only a handmade circular saw and the premise of "Making Furniture with Conviction", Alejandro set out to create incredible works of Rococo style furniture characterized by the superior French craftsmanship of the 18th-century.

For over 45 years now, Mueblera Provenzal has been producing outstanding results in fine furniture and has become a pioneer of the furniture industry in the Municipality of Jesus Maria.

Ever since he first witnessed the amazing abilities of CNC manufacturing, Alejandro made clear his dream of one day adding a CNC Router to his shop, now located in a 60,000 sq. ft. facility in the center of San Antonio de los Horcones in Jesus Maria.

Sadly, Alejandro passed away recently and was unable to see his dream come true by his own eyes. After his death, Alejandro's wife set out to make his dream become a reality and honor his life long commitment to the company, his town and his family.

Last month, with much anticipation, Mueblera Provenzal welcomed their brand new MultiCam 3000 Router to their work shop and paid homage to the man they revered so much.

Check out these pictures from the installation ceremony!

MultiCam 3000 Router
MultiCam 3000 Router Machine

MultiCam 3000 Router Machine

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How To Optimize the Cut Quality of Your CNC WaterJet With SigmaNEST

Feedrate edge qualities in waterjet cutting
In CNC WaterJet cutting, when we refer to the feedrate, we’re talking about how fast the waterjet moves along the material per minute. The faster the waterjet moves, the more quickly it will cut the material, but with increased taper. The slower the waterjet moves, the slower it will cut, but the edge quality with greatly improve. Optimizing cut quality with operational efficiency is a balancing act between desired cut quality, material type/thickness, and abrasive feedrate.
When a waterjet moves more slowly over a piece, more water and abrasive is able to erode the material, thus increasing the cut quality. However, the more abrasive you use, the higher your operating costs will be. Many operations will average about 0.7lbs/min of abrasive. When it comes to operating costs, the amount of abrasive used in waterjet cutting is the single largest contributor. It is therefore important to ensure that you’re only using the absolute minimum amount of abrasive that you need for your cut.
To do this, think about the type of cut you’re trying to achieve. Do you require a very smooth cut, with perfect edge quality and negligible taper? Or perhaps you require merely a separation cut, where the edge quality isn’t nearly as important. SigmaNEST has a very simple way of choosing the level of cut quality you require for your job. This is an especially handy tool when your part does not require the same level of quality on all sides.
Feedrate control for waterjetMerely click on the cut line in the dashboard and click on the quality tab. This will allow you to choose from 1 (fastest cut speed, separation cut quality) to 5 (slowest cutting speed, smoothest edge). Having greater control over the quality you choose for each edge on your part means that you’re not wasting abrasive (and operating time), when a lower quality cut could do the job just as effectively.
Proper feed rate control for waterjet cutting is just another way that SigmaNEST software helps you not only cut better, but smarter.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What Are The Key Functions of a Plasma Electrode?

With today’s long-life oxygen cutting technology, CNC plasma systems are the most productive, cost effective way to cut carbon steel from gauge to 1 1/4” thickness. But to get the highest performance, operators need to ensure the consumables in the torch are inspected and maintained to high standards. To do that, a good understanding of the features and functions of each consumable is paramount to getting the most out of your machine.

The primary function for a plasma electrode is to provide power to the plasma arc, connecting to the negative output from the power supply. The plasma electrode’s secondary function is to conduct high voltage (aka, high frequency) energy during the starting sequence, adding energy to ionize the cutting gas, thus allowing the plasma arc to start. Since the electrode is the main contact point for the plasma arc, it gets very hot. As a result, the end emitter on an oxygen electrode, made of the element hafnium, can reach temperatures exceeding 3000 degrees F. In general, most plasma cutting electrodes used at over 100 Amps of cutting current are liquid cooled, as opposed to gas cooled in smaller mechanized and hand held plasma systems.hafnium emitter in plasma electrode
So what are the plasma electrode’s critical features? First of all, the hafnium emitter is the single most important part for the electrode. Since hafnium is a poor thermal conductor, it is bonded to the copper body of the electrode using a proprietary process that ensures an excellent thermal and electrical connection. Hypertherm electrodes use a patented process that matches the diameter of the hafnium emitter to the power level it is designed for, ensuring the most efficient heat transfer. Another very important factor to ensure cut quality is repeatable dimensional stability, where the electrode fits up well to the other internal torch components. If you have the incorrect length or diameter it will dramatically affect alignment and impact the cutting quality.
hollow milled post in plasma electrodeThe second critical feature for the plasma electrode are the very accurately machined bore and step, which insure superior cooling as a result of perfect alignment of the coolant tube to the hollow milled post in the electrode bottom. As well, alignment can provide for very concentric coolant flow around the high temperature hafnium emitter.
locating shoulder on plasma electrodeAll Hypertherm electrodes have a laser etched part number and a batch code clearly marked to ensure proper part match-up. And the threads and locating shoulder are designed to ensure perfect concentricity with nozzle and swirl ring when installed in the torch.
coolant tube around plasma electrode
Finally, the key feature of both the electrode and torch design is a floating coolant tube. How does the floating coolant tube work? The tube is loosely installed in the torch and when the electrode is installed the coolant tube self aligns and positions itself to the internal features of electrode. The coolant enters at the top of the tube at relatively high pressure and is forced through a tight fit around the hollow mill of the electrode. In the end, the squeeze increases coolant velocity, effectively causing the coolant to strip away steam buildup around the hot hafnium, for very efficient heat removal.

For a one stop shop of all your consumable needs, be sure to drop by the MultiCam Store today!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

What Does Modern Manufacturing Really Look Like?

MultiCam CNC Machines

The vast majority of American's today have a very skewed outlook of what modern manufacturing really is. We often recollect images of rough, down trodden workers slaving away in hot, miserable conditions for hours on end until they are freed by the sound of the whistle.

Ask any student today, "Would you rather work for a manufacturing company or a tech company?" Most, if not all will answer the latter. Why? Because tech is cool. Tech is smart. Tech creates images of clean facilities with endless possibilities of grander and prosperity.

But what if I was to tell you that the coolest, most technological company in the world is, at its heart and soul, a manufacturing company.

When we talk about Apple the story that gets lost is, at the end of the day they manufacture products. The iPad, iPhone and Macintosh didn't just come to be with the snap of a finger. These products are the end result of taking intellectual ideas and figuring out a way through processes and technology, how to build somebody's idea.

With more and more factories complaining about a shortage of skilled workers and baby boomers
retiring at a rate of nearly 10,000 a day, there has never been a more important time in our history to raise awareness among the young and expose them to what modern manufacturing really is, and more importantly, what it isn't.

Tomorrow is National Manufacturing Day and I challenge everyone from students to educators to legislators and citizens from every community to take part. Go into that manufacturing facility that you have driven passed thousands of times on your way to work or to school and take a look at what is really going on inside.

When you do, you will see an environment that is innovative and technology driven. There is engineering, math and science. You will find a place where all of these things come together to make great products.

MultiCam CNC Table
In terms of all the geopolitical events taking place around the world right now, it is definitely in our nation's best interest to be able to have manufacturing capabilities. We need to be able to attract people to pursue these careers and to be interested in starting a manufacturing business and to seek all the options and opportunities that manufacturing provides.

To learn more about MFG Day visit 

Not able to make it to one of the events? "How It's Made" will be running an all day marathon on the Science Channel Friday Oct. 3rd. This is a great way for families to introduce their children, maybe for the first time, to what manufacturing is and what it's about.

Witness the innovation, the technology, the smarts and the bright people responsible for making the products we use.