Hot Sheet
prospective customers survey large machines

Parts Inspection

AIMS service engineers retrofit Sheffield coordinate measuring machines, saving job shops replacement costs for new capital equipment.

Retrofit or Replace?

Job shops have options when it comes to tackling parts inspection in today’s volatile environment

Expanding digital capabilities and more efficient materials are fundamentally changing manufacturing. The changes have shattered past quality standards and ushered in a new generation of coordinate measuring machines (CMM). The Oxford Economic Model anticipates a GDP growth rate of 4.1 percent for manufacturing this year. The juxtaposition of positive economic trends with historic labor and supply chain problems has job shops and fabricators looking for ways to automate inspection, collect data and boost throughput. Some companies wonder if the capability to quickly and accurately analyze complex parts during processing cycles, means retiring legacy equipment for a new CMM. One OEM says no.

AIMS Metrology Vice-President Mark Gearding explains. “The decision to retrofit, upgrade or buy a new machine is really about striking a balance,” he says. “Typically OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers will use a CMM until they can devalue the machine to zero. Then they replace it. Job shops, Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers tend to be more cost-conscious. They will do more with less. We try to help customers weigh the needs of the shop against their budget.”

The decision to retrofit, upgrade or buy a new machine is really about striking a balance.
Mark Gearding
AIMS Metrology
Since its acquisition of CMI Technologies in 2017 and Measurement Specialties Inc. (MSI) in 2021, AIMS has seen an uptick in retrofits and upgrades. “A customer with two CMMs from another OEM recently came to us with a dilemma,” Gearding says. “One of their machines was down leaving them at 50 percent capacity. The OEM told them that service techs wouldn’t be able to visit their plant until May of this year. The equipment’s closed architecture prevented the company from going elsewhere for support. If a CMM still supports a shop’s product needs we can retrofit or upgrade the machine by replacing the software, controller and probe.”

AIMS’ Revolution HB or LM Series provides 5-axis inspection of in-process and post process parts. The OEM introduced its 5-axis multisensory Summit 10.10.10 in 2020 for high volume, large parts inspection “We have the tribal knowledge and cross-trained personnel to support our CMMs and other brands like Sheffield,”. says Gearding. “Most of the employees we retained from MSI specialized in Sheffield CMMs.”

Demand for complex parts, 3D shapes and cosmetic surfaces continues to trend making automation and non-contact inspection attractive. “Our CMMs can be automated for lights out operation,” says Gearding. “Our 5-axis mobile HB can be moved anywhere in the manufacturing process to collect information on the fly. Automating CMMs can reduce scrap as well as measure, track and collect data on tool wear.” Whether a job shop invests in a new machine or opts for a retrofit or upgrade, they have the flexibility to make the right choice without compromising quality.”


SAF implements high-tech solution to improve aluminum

two parts, side by side, one with X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) technology incoporated into it coating and the other not

SAF, Atlanta, is has incorporated X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) technology into its polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) finishing process. The enhancement enables SAF to provide its customers with verification that its coatings meet key industry standards for performance and durability set by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA). By using XRF technology, SAF can accurately measure the quality of its conversion coatings. For customers, this ensures an accurate pretreatment, which leads to a successful PVDF application and a long-lasting architectural finish. The XRF analyzer determines whether the metal meets AAMA 2605. Results are available in seconds as opposed to traditional laboratory testing, which can take days.

Gregory Industries to build Alabama plant
close view of a highway guard rail
Steel products manufacturer Gregory Industries, Canton, Ohio, will invest $30 million to build a 325,000-sq.-ft. facility in Athens, Alabama, where it will make guard rails, metal framing channels, tubing and other steel products. The project is expected to create 100 jobs in Limestone County. Construction on the facility is scheduled to begin in March with startup of operations beginning in autumn.
Headshot of Taylor Hehn
Headshot of Bamidele “Bam” Olaleye
Headshot of Taylor Hehn
Headshot of Harry Moser
MC Machinery adds to HR team

Taylor Hehn and Bamidele “Bam” Olaleye have joined the MC Machinery, Elk Grove Village, Illinois, human resources department. Hehn, a talent acquisition recruiter, has held recruiting and sales positions for six years. Olaleye, a human resource generalist, has six years of human resources experience.


Jorgensen partners with chip processing equipment supplier

four employees stand smiling with their hands piled together
To strengthen its breadth of product offerings and provide manufacturers a one-stop-shop for all metal chip processing needs, Jorgensen Conveyor and Filtration Solutions, Mequon, Wisconsin, has solidified an alliance with chip processing equipment manufacturer S.F.H., based in St. Etienne, France. Jorgensen has the exclusive rights to sell S.F.H. products in North America, and will initially focus on products such as chip shredders, briquetters and centrifuges.
Headshot of Scott Orum
Headshot of Scott Orum
American Weldquip appoints president
American Weldquip Inc., Sharon Center, Ohio, has appointed Scott Orum president. Orum succeeds Howard Fisher, who has retired. Orum has been with American Weldquip for 25 years. He held a variety of positions including purchasing, shipping, machining, engineering and plant manager.
Walter acquires Allegro Industries
pieces of ventilation equipment
Walter Surface Technologies, Montreal, purchased Allegro Industries, a Piedmont, South Carolina-based manufacturer of high-quality safety equipment, respirators, air sources and ventilation equipment. Through this acquisition, Walter is expanding its safety and PPE product offering to industrial users, complementing its metalworking products. Allegro will continue to operate under its own brand.

Company wins patent for advanced metal deposition technology

a metal fabrication machine at work
Plus Mfg. LLC, Erlanger, Kentucky, won its first patent for its metal deposition technology, an additive manufacturing process that fabricates metal parts more cleanly, more safely, less costly, and more sustainably than traditional processes. Features of its patented AMD process include: Quenching parts during fabrication so that part temperatures are controlled throughout the fabrication process; building on a non-stick surface so that expensive substrates are not needed; allowing multiple materials in the same build so that the part performance and weight can be optimized; and reducing energy input so that the environmental impact and operating costs are reduced.
Headshot of David Tierney
Headshot of Kozo Abiru
Headshot of Wiley Wells
Headshot of David Tierney
Headshot of Kozo Abiru
Headshot of Harry Moser
Machinery builder adds staff
AIDA-America, Dayton, Ohio, continues to expand and has hired talent in the areas of assembly and welding, along with three customer service engineers, in addition to the following new associates: David Tierney transferred from AIDA Engineering in Japan and is now serving as international project manager, based at AIDA-America’s new Austin, Texas office. Kozo Abiru joined AIDA-America’s Austin office as project manager. He has been with AIDA for six years and previously worked in the marketing, sales engineering, and domestic sales divisions for AIDA Engineering in Japan. Wiley Wells was hired as engineering administrator. He has experience as a manufacturing engineer, including in processes and design.
Tube supplier adds territory manager
National Tube Supply, University Park, Illinois, hired Tom Roehrig as Southeast territory manager. Roehrig worked most recently with IGW USA and Tubular Steel Inc., where he sold, serviced, and led business development efforts targeting customers in the construction, agriculture, transportation, mining and marine sectors. Roehrig has knowledge of mechanical tubing and has diverse background in sales, purchasing and product management.
Manufacturer adds Mitsubishi lasers
full view of a Mitsubishi laser machine inside a factory
BTD Manufacturing, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, a custom metal manufacturer, has installed two 10,000-watt fiber sheet lasers to its facilities. BTD added one laser to its Dawsonville, Georgia, facility and installed the other at its Washington, Illinois, location. The new equipment allows the manufacturer to meet the growing needs of its customers. The Mitsubishi 3015 GX-F 10K fiber sheet lasers feature an auto pallet changer and can be used with sheets as big as 5-ft. by 10 ft. and weighing up to 2,100 lbs. They can process mild and stainless steel as thick as 1 in. as well as aluminum up to 7/8 in. thick.
MC Machinery selects new distributor
a worker standing next to a machine, holding a controller
MC Machinery Systems, Elk Grove, Illinois, has chosen Prosper Machine Tools, Richland Hills, Texas, as its new distribution partner in Texas for its complete line of Mitsubishi wire and sinker EDMs and high-precision machining centers from OPS Ingersoll and Roku-Roku.