Blog

A weekly blog, with posts written by a variety of Okuma subject matter experts, to provide you with useful information, to challenge your current way of thinking, and to help you achieve manufacturing success. We welcome your comments and feedback.

Blog Posts

The Art of Making Things Better

The Art of Making Things Better

by Richard Turner

As the CNC machining world continues to evolve with technological advancements, at Okuma the basis for all this innovation can be summed up in one word: monzukuri. Loosely translated from Japanese, monozukuri means “the art of making things better.” This is the heart of our culture and drives us to achieve the high volume of innovations we deliver to our users. While the innovations themselves are impressive, it’s also critical that we train our front-lines personnel, so they can help users take advantage of advanced technology in their shops.

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Your Personal Brand (It’s More Important Than You Think)

Your Personal Brand (It’s More Important Than You Think)

by Matt Roux

I’m not a marketing expert, but I do know that “personal brand” is something every manufacturing engineer should pay attention to. By this I mean: what do you stand for, in the eyes of your customers and colleagues? What if I told you there’s a way you can separate yourself from the pack, and create a name for yourself that instantly communicates your level of knowledge, your credibility and your dedication to excellence?

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The Shocking Truth About “Cost of Quality”

The Shocking Truth About “Cost of Quality”

by Kyle Klaver

When I talk with people in their shops we often get into discussions about “quality.” Of course the pursuit of CNC machining quality is a never-ending quest for most of us. While we all agree about the importance of quality, I think we often underestimate the true costs that multiply quickly when quality is not maintained in manufacturing processes.

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Quick Tour of an Automation Cell (Video)

Quick Tour of an Automation Cell (Video)

by Jeff Estes

Recently we hosted an “ABCs of Automation” event here in Charlotte where we held some walking tours of the various productivity-boosting technologies we had on display. At one of the tour stops we demonstrated a closed loop automation cell – how it works and what kind of benefits you can expect. The event was packed with attendees, but if you didn’t get a chance to attend, you can check out this quick video clip of the demo

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From Sea to Shining Sea

From Sea to Shining Sea

Many of us will be hearing (or singing) “America the Beautiful” as we celebrate the birth of our nation. When you do, think for a minute about this familiar refrain: “America! America! God shed his grace on thee. And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea!” In today’s manufacturing industry, we are brothers. As brothers do, sometimes we compete with each other. But also, we share a common cause. The collective progress we’re seeing in bringing manufacturing back to our shores, and everywhere in between, is both an inspiration and a call for further action.

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Should You Be Using Animated Simulation?

Should You Be Using Animated Simulation?

by Paul Russell

Imagine you’re setting up a new part program to do a production run for a first-time customer. You really want to impress them with your quality and efficiency, because you know they can send a lot of work your way. But perhaps you’re a smaller shop, and haven’t been able to justify purchasing CAM software. If you’re an Okuma user, you’re in luck! With almost any Okuma THINC®-OSP CNC control, you can utilize Animated Simulation. Here’s your Quick Start guide to show you what this function does and how to use it.

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ABCs of Automation, For Any Size Shop

ABCs of Automation, For Any Size Shop

Automation doesn't have to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars or take months to implement. You can start simple, by adding things like automated gaging, bar feeders and parts catchers. Or you can go all out with robotic cells and flexible manufacturing systems. The key to remember is, any shop of any size can benefit from the increased productivity automation will deliver.

Check out the possibilities at our live demonstration event – the “ABCs of Automation” to be held Wednesday, June 25. Even if you’re just getting started, you’ll walk away with ideas that fit your production needs and your budget.

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Enter Our Idea Contest: CNC Control Apps

Enter Our Idea Contest: CNC Control Apps

by Casey Croussore

In my day-to-day work life, I don’t get out much. As a software engineer you can usually find me planted at my desk on a computer. But when I do get out, one of the things I like to do most is attend THINC Developers Group meetings. This is where we developers get our inspirations for the specific kinds of control functions that will make your life easier. To get these ideas, we really need to hear from the people who are standing in front of machines every day to envision what you need. Read on to find out how you can participate.

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Oh, Cam-It!

Oh, Cam-It!

by Brian Kateley

I’m a huge gearhead, and in my career I’ve gotten to spend time working as a machinist for race teams like Chip Ganassi Racing and Robby Gordon Motorsports. This means when I see something here at Okuma that’s a great fit for automotive manufacturers, I really pay attention. Right now I’m fascinated with the cam options for our LU3000 EX CNC lathes, which are uniquely suited for cutting automotive pistons.

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Too Busy to Keep Up With CNC Machine Technology?

Too Busy to Keep Up With CNC Machine Technology?

by Chris Davala

Many of you in manufacturing spend most of your time keeping spindles turning and parts going out the door. This is good! Your production makes the world go round. Yet our world is an ever-changing place, with technology advancing at the speed of light. With little time to research new methods and products, how can you make sure you maintain your technological edge?

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Putting Events In Motion (Video)

Putting Events In Motion (Video)

Recently we hit the road to attend two Open House events where we had the chance to meet with some great job shop owners and industry experts. We arrived equipped with burning questions about the technology on display plus plans for IMTS – and with our video cameras! Check out this video and see some of the candid responses we captured at Hartwig’s event, plus a “super quick-mo” tour of the Technology Roundup at Morris Great Lakes.

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Simple (But Powerful) Tips for Wowing Your Customers

Simple (But Powerful) Tips for Wowing Your Customers

by Joe Sides

Are you ready and prepared to help your customers in their critical time of need – when they have an emergency? In most successful shops, the daily focus is on parts out the door. Keeping up with orders is Job #1, and that’s how it should be. But there’s one, simple extra step you can take that will knock your customers’ socks off if they ever have an emergency and need a part quickly.

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Multitasking Machines – Smarter Than You Think?

Multitasking Machines – Smarter Than You Think?

by David Fischer

Most of us can’t imagine a day without our smart phones. By combining the capabilities of a phone, pager, camera, voice recorder, and even a GPS, we have a more compact, more efficient, more capable device. But what about smart machines? The “smart” convergence has also happened with machine tools. By combining 2 lathes, a machining center or two, and some automation, you have a multitasking machine tool. This simplifies and improves the machining process, as well as adding smarter capabilities. Take a look at multitasking and keep an open mind.

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DIY Productivity Enhancers for CNC Machines

DIY Productivity Enhancers for CNC Machines

by Tony Slagle

Suppose your CNC machine tool builder gave you a square and a triangle cut program and every part you made had to be either cut with those programs or outsourced. Would you work within these constraints or would it be worth your time to learn to write programs in-house? Cutting every part using a square or a triangle would seem normal after you got used to it, but you might not notice how crippled your productivity becomes. And outsourcing things you couldn’t do might even be cost-effective, because your production is so inhibited. But still, this may not be your best option.

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Control Costs With Shop Floor Monitoring (Video)

Control Costs With Shop Floor Monitoring (Video)

by Jeff Estes

Profits can sneak out your door silently, unseen. But today we have tools that can help you determine where your productivity problems are, so you find and resolve them. Check out this video to see how a real time centralized dashboard can be used to pinpoint issues that may be sabotaging your productivity. Shop floor monitoring tools such as those available from 5ME, dataZenMemex and Predator (members of Partners in THINC) help you to focus your energy directly on problem areas so you can control costs.

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