Hot Sheet
eVTOLs on a runway

Green economy

Startups around the globe are in the final stage of developing the technology for electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOLs) or flying taxis.
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Aviation industry eyes viable commercial electric aircraft
The electric vehicle market isn’t the only game in town when it comes to green transportation. United Airlines and EasyJet are early adopters. United plans to purchase 100 19-seat, zero-emission electric planes from Swedish startup Heart Aerospace. The aircraft are slated to take short trips within the U.S. in 2026.

Vienna, Austria-based EasyJet Europe Airline GmbH, formed a partnership with U.S. startup Wright Electric Inc. in 2017. Successful production and early testing of a 2-megawatt electric powertrain motor led Wright to obtain certification of its zero-emissions single-aisle aircraft last year. The next phase of development will include creation of an in-house highly efficient inverter, high-altitude chamber testing and collection of test data for future aircraft certifications. The company plans ground tests this year and flight tests in 2023. Wright has plans for a two-electric engine flight in 2024, a four-electric engine flight in 2025 and the entry of the Wright Spirit into service in 2026.

The Albany, New York, company’s development efforts have been funded by NASA, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force. Jeff Engler, CEO for Wright Electric, said, “We know transportation is the single largest contributor to carbon emissions and flying is a big part of that.” An estimated 200 global companies are pursuing electric aircraft projects.

We know transportation is the single largest contributor to carbon emissions right now. And flying is a big part of that.

Jeff Engler, CEO
Wright Electric
In January, Boeing invested $450 million in Wisk Aero, which is building an all-electric autonomous passenger aircraft. Wisk is developing its sixth-generation aircraft and expects it will be the first-ever U.S. candidate for certification of a flying electric taxi. Wisk Aero’s goal is to operate a fleet of electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft within five years of certification. “Autonomy is the key to unlocking scale across all advanced air mobility applications from passenger to cargo and beyond,” Boeing’s Chief Strategy Officer Marc Allen said. “That’s why straight-to-autonomy is a core first principle.”

Besides Wright Electric and Wisk Aero, other manufacturers include Airflow, Beta Technologies, and Universal Hydrogen. The electric aircraft market is projected to see annual growth of more than 6 percent from 2022 to 2027. As airframe builders evaluate advantages such as improved fuel efficiency, reduced maintenance costs and enhanced reliability, technology advances could mean travelers could board a short-range electric aircraft by the end of this decade.

Headshot of Doug Johnson
Headshot of Jeff Aznavorian
Headshot of Doug Johnson
Headshot of Jeff Aznavorian
PMA elects board chairman
The Precision Metalforming Association has elected Doug Johnson, owner and president of Cheshire, Connecticut-based Marion Manufacturing Co., as its 2022 chairman of the board. Jeff Aznavorian, president of Plymouth, Michigan-based Clips & Clamps Industries, will serve as vice chairman and treasurer. Both will serve one-year terms. Johnson succeeds outgoing PMA board chairman Troy Turnbull, president and CEO of Grandville, Michigan-based Industrial Innovations Inc.
Aluminum producer supports academic research
worker looks closely at a tool head
In order to promote student research and training in additive manufacturing, AMAG, Ranshofen, Austria, is donating an 3D printing shop from its inventory of AMAG components to Graz University of Technology. The plant was last used at AMAG components for research and to build demonstration parts made of titanium. In the university environment, insights into material behavior and the achievable properties of the components produced from different metals are to be gained through this partnership.

AWS Foundation launches YouTube series

a female welder stands with her arms crossed
To highlight careers and companies in the welding and metal fabrication industries, the American Welding Society has launched Metal America, a new video series streaming exclusively on YouTube. From roller coaster fabrication to automated welding robots, each episode, ranging from 10 to 15 minutes, follows AWS’ Stephanie Hoffman as she visits fabricators across the country to explore some of the industry’s most unique careers. Viewers will get a peek inside metal fabrication shops, schools, shipbuilders and more. New episodes appear on AWS’ YouTube channel,
Machinery builder buys bending equipment maker
front view of a Thalmann Maschinenbau building
CIDAN Machinery AB, Götene, Sweden, has acquired bending equipment producer Thalmann Maschinenbau, Frauenfeld, Switzerland. The acquisition creates a sheet metal equipment manufacturer and software developer that integrates all unit operation from de-coiling to bending, including folding of wide materials. Thalmann’s location in Switzerland will remain the major hub for long bending innovation and production. The 50 employees of Thalmann will join CIDAN Machinery Group and remain employed at Frauenfeld.
Mercedes-Benz orders AP&T
AP&T machinery

AP&T, Burbach, Germany, received an order from automaker Mercedes-Benz for its patented solution for advanced partial press hardening: TemperBox. The order includes AP&T’s Multi-Layer Furnace, automation equipment, control system and integration. The TemperBox will be used in test manufacturing a number of different parts, a process that demands flexibility.

Headshot of Mike Carpenter
Headshot of Mike Carpenter
Machinery distributor adds sales rep
Northeast Machinery Sales, Agawam, Massachusetts, appointed sales representative Mike Carpenter to cover the state of New York. He will focus on machine tool education and sales and assist customers with parts and service. Carpenter has decades experience operating punches, lasers and press brakes.

LVD acquires robotics assets

LVD machinery

LVD Co. N.V., Gullegem, Belgium, has acquired the solutions business unit of KUKA Automatisering + Robotics N.V. in Houthalen-Helchteren, Belgium, and will launch a new company, LVD Robotic Solutions B.V. The new entity will advance LVD’s expertise and market reach in robotics automation. The new entity will build on LVD’s experience with engineering robotic systems for sheet metalworking, centered on no robot teaching, high throughput, and fast “art to part.” LVD will leverage the proficiency and capabilities of KUKA to put robotized equipment within reach of manufacturers of all sizes and in a wide scope of industries beyond sheet metalworking.The new company will also allow LVD to serve as a single-source provider of automation solutions for their customers’ entire manufacturing business.


Lamprell Energy invests in PEMA machinery

PEMA machinery in a factory

Pemamek, Loimaa, Finland, won an order from Lamprell Energy Ltd., United Arab Emirates, which invests in welding production automation solutions as a response to the increasing demands on capacity in the renewables sector. Pemamek will supply PEMA heavy-duty welding, milling and material handling solutions so that Lamprell can upgrade its capabilities, including building a renewables production line, with jacket components, transition pieces, and monopiles.


Automation, standardization goal of partnership

close up of laser cutting a piece of metal
Sigma Labs Inc. has signed an agreement with AMFG to expand the footprint of both companies’ solutions and provide the marketplace with an optimized AM solution that increases quality and efficiency while decreasing the costs of serial production. Specifically, the combination of the MES and in situ monitoring systems will allow AMFG and Sigma Labs users and OEM companies to: Automate full production workflow, including key visibility into production monitoring, with full traceability from powder to part; Move toward automated part and process qualification; view data in real-time, with ability to dive deep into analytics feed; capture data to support simulation, material properties prediction and final pedigree; perform key quality assurance checks to decrease post inspection needs; and provide data connectivity and integrity throughout the manufacturing process agnostic of equipment environment.
Headshot of Doug Lawrence
Headshot of Doug Lawrence
Drive systems provider hires manager
Precision Drive Systems, a global provider of precision motor spindles, expert support and repair near Charlotte, North Carolina, appointed Doug Lawrence as its product manager and subject matter expert (SME) for its metalworking spindle repair business. Lawrence will train operations staff members in troubleshooting and repairing metalworking spindles and perform on-site analyses of the spindles of customers and prospects for hidden issues. He will oversee metalworking spindle repairs and machining applications engineering in North America.
ESAB goes public
ESAB Corp., North Bethesda, Maryland, completed its separation from Enovis Corp., formerly known as Colfax Corp., and its launch as an independent, publicly traded corporation. ESAB’s common stock began trading April 5 on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “ESAB.”
Headshot of Eric Sonnenberg
Headshot of Eric Sonnenberg
Automatic Feed appoints service manager
Automatic Feed Co., Napoleon, Ohio, promoted Eric Sonnenberg to the position of service manager, responsible for overseeing and coordinating the service department activities and sales of replacement and spare parts. Prior to this appointment, Sonnenberg had been the project management coordinator. His original tenure with Automatic Feed began in 1997. During his time with AFCO, he worked as a mechanical design engineer, service department engineer and project manager. He is also instrumental in several successful AFCO equipment installations.
a Wayland Additive machine
AM companies sign MOU
Wayland Additive, Huddersfield, England, has signed a memorandum of understanding with EWI Inc., Columbus, Ohio, an engineering consultancy with laboratories and advanced manufacturing technology resources dedicated to production process development and improvement. EWI will purchase and install a Calibur3 system to operate at EWI’s Buffalo Manufacturing Works in Buffalo, New York, with full support from Wayland. Wayland Additive developed and commercialized the Calibur3 production system, based on its proprietary NeuBeam AM process. NeuBeam is an electron beam (eBeam) powder bed fusion (PBF) system that overcomes many of the compromises that most users have to contend with when using metal AM—whether laser or eBeam. EWI and Wayland will work together to identify and fulfill collaborative commercial and government projects and work to further advance the eBeam PBF. EWI has capabilities in all seven AM process categories identified by the ASTM.

HGG dedicates new service and support center

workers stand near an operating machine in an HGG factory
On April 7 HGG Profiling Equipment formally dedicated its new 6,500 square-foot center in Houston to better service and support the company’s growing list of customers and profile-cutting machine installations in North and South America. Along with maintaining an onsite staff with service and support capabilities, HGG is using the new facility to warehouse spare machine parts and plasma consumables for quick customer turnaround. HGG is also using the center as a training center for customers and HGG personnel. Demo machinery highlights HGG’s most recent profile-cutting technology while incorporating HGG’s latest software. Some light machine assembly is planned for the center over time.
Carlisle Fluid Technologies adds to team
Carlisle Fluid Technologies, Scottsdale, Arizona, announced that Andres Lacassie has joined Carlisle Fluid Technologies as vice president of sales and marketing. Andres brings over 20 years of progressive leadership experience in sales, marketing, and product development within multi-national corporations such as Panasonic, Danfoss, and United Technologies.
Fabricator starts up finishing machine
Penn Sheet Metal, Allentown, Pennsylvania, has installed a 51-in.-wide FinishLine machine from Mid-Atlantic Global to its shop. This all-in-one line performs deburring, graining, surface polishing, oxide and slag removal and edge rounding. The line has quick-release adapters for top-brush units able to handle 12 brushes, belt thickness compensation, small part processing, a swivel control panel and a HAZ 4800 dust collector with ductwork. It will enable Penn Sheet Metal to produce more finished parts in less time with less labor.

O’Neal Manufacturing Services receives safety award

O’Neal Manufacturing Services workers take a group celebratory picture
O’Neal Manufacturing Services, Birmingham, Alabama, was recently chosen to receive a 2022 Safety Award of Merit from the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International. Open to all FMA company members, the FMA/CNA Annual Safety Awards recognize metal fabrication companies that adhere to excellence in safety. Sponsored by CNA, the endorsed business insurance carrier for FMA, the Awards are designed to promote safety in the industry, and winners are selected by the FMA Safety Council. To be eligible to receive recognition, companies were required to submit OSHA Form 300A, Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses.

Karl Weiler receives lifetime achievement award

Karl Weiler stands smiling in a factory wearing a black plaid shirt
Weiler Abrasives, Cresco, Pennsylvania, announced that Karl M. Weiler, former president, has received the John J. Buckley Lifetime Achievement Award from the Industrial Supply Association (ISA). The award is the ISA’s highest distinction and honors outstanding individuals in the MROP channel for their long-standing service, as well as their contributions to supporting the success of the industrial supply industry. It also acknowledges an earned respect among peers and a passion for giving back and positively impacting the community and their company. “My father’s commitment to the success of both Weiler Abrasives and the industry is admirable,” said Chris Weiler, president and CEO, Weiler Abrasives, and Karl’s son. “He’s always made it a priority to put customers, partners and employees first and to introduce abrasive solutions that can help solve challenges across the many markets we serve.”
Gullco partners with Inrotech
a factory worker supervises a welding robot at work
Inrotech, Odense, Denmark, a provider of mobile robotic welding and adaptive multi-pass welding technologies, has partnered with Gullco International, Macedonia, Ohio, manufacturer of welding and automation solutions. The companies will combine their knowledge to offer automation solutions equipped with special software and sensor technolog, with a focus on applications in shipbuilding, offshore plant constructions and other heavy industries.

Pennsylvania firm to open extrusion plant

Bunting Inc., founded in 1869, has acquired a 333,980-square-foot building manufacturing plan on 24 acres in New Castle, Pennsylvania. The company plans to use the building as an aluminum extrusion mill. This expansion will allow the company to enter the aluminum extrusion market, and produce goods for the building, construction, automotive and transportation sectors. “We are excited to have Lawrence County become the home of our new aluminum extrusion facility,” said Josh Bunting, president of Bunting Architectural Metals. The company specializes in producing architectural signage and ornamental metal products.
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