Sometimes, when parts are not stamped properly, it's not the die that's at fault; it's that the press has become out of square or alignment. Machining the bolster, bed plates, uprights, crowns, and gearboxes can get a worn press back to square and producing good parts again.
“Four things come not back—the spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life, and the neglected opportunity.” Sheet Metal
This Arabian proverb has generated multiple variations, but all of them point to the urgency for both self-restraint at times and action at other times.
It’s true, isn’t it, that some destructive words and actions can never be retracted or undone? Once they’re out there, no glue in the world can make them whole again, and no force can put them back in a box.
That’s also true with stamping machinery.
Some presses, coil processing, and other equipment are just beyond repair.
However, at other times, repair is an option. Two recent articles present options for press repair or retrofit.
Sometimes, when parts are not stamped properly, it's not the die that's at fault; it's that the press has become out of square or alignment. Machining the bolster, bed plates, uprights, crowns, and gearboxes can get a worn press back to square and producing good parts again. Read the article, “Rebuilding a gearbox and press crowns; 60 steps to getting back to square.”
Often a press retrofit does the trick. By retrofitting existing hydraulic and mechanical presses with fully electric systems, stampers may gain the benefits of servo presses. Read how in “Stamping press retrofits with linear servo technology.”
It’s important to discern when a repair or retrofit makes sense, or when an asset is no longer an asset. “Know when to hold ‘em; know when to fold ‘em,” in the words of the great Kenny Rogers.
It’s also true than missing an opportunity can be as detrimental as taking a misguided step. Great new technology is being developed continuously. Missing an opportunity to install an up-to-the-minute press, coil feed, automated conveyor system, or lubricant application system can be the mistake you’ll regret.
“Smart inspection planning boosts quality without slowdown,” and “Conveyors, complete scrap processing systems help automate stamping,” point to some new and improved technology that may help accelerate your productivity.
I hope you were able to capitalize on the opportunity to attend FABTECH to view the technological wonders showcased there, and to listen to NASCAR driver, team owner, and manufacturer Brad Keselowski’s keynote.
If ever there were an archetype of an industry in which seized and missed opportunities play out real time, it surely is the world of racing. One slight oversteer can send a car and driver into the wall, ending the race. And one missed opportunity to put the pedal to the metal and ride the wall can mean the difference between making the NASCAR Championship 4 or not. Ask Ross Chastain.
And if ever there were a prime example of someone who has done both, it is NASCAR Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski. Not only has Keselowski been rewarded and penalized for taking risks and seizing opportunities on the track as a driver, he launched a manufacturing company in 2018, Keselowski Advanced Manufacturing (KAM).
In addition, this year Keselowski seized the opportunity to co-own a NASCAR racing team, now called Roush Fenway Keselowski (RFK) Racing. As he told me in an interview recently, “Now I've got more opportunities to win. But it also means I can lose twice.” He also said, “You're defined by the moments that you take, even the ones you miss. So, I didn't want to miss this one.” Read his fascinating story in “Brad Keselowski on his season of significant change.“
A year’s end can be an opportune time to reflect on risks and opportunities and whether to “Chastain” or refrain. What can you build back to square? On which opportunities should you not hesitate to put the pedal to the metal?
STAMPING Journal is the only industrial publication dedicated solely to serving the needs of the metal stamping market. Since 1989 the publication has been dedicated to covering the cutting-edge technologies, industry trends, best practices, and news that help stamping professionals run their businesses more efficiently.
See More by Kate Bachman
Kate Bachman is STAMPING Journal editor. She is responsible for the overall editorial content, quality, and direction for STAMPING Journal. Bachman has more than 20 years of experience as a writer and editor in the manufacturing and other industries.
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