Much has been written on the skills gap, the so-called hole between currently available manufacturing skills and the jobs to be done. A number of solutions have been presented such as the inclusion and enhancement of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) classes in primary and secondary schools as well as increased synergies between the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors.
While both are valid suggestions and actions that we believe to be worthwhile for the future of manufacturing, they both require a significant up-front investment of time and resources, something that’s not often readily available as quickly as most manufacturers may need.
Addressing the Immediate Skills Gap
At CDMC we recently encountered a small-scale version of the skills gap facing the manufacturing industry. This occurred when a customer of heavy construction equipment came to us with a deburring challenge. The customer required a repeatable deburring solution for large spiral bevel gears and their mating pinions. Used in short runs, the 20 to 48 inch-in-diameter parts relied on a deburring method using hand grinders. Because the intricate work could only be done by very experienced employees, production was not as efficient as it could be and could only happen with particular employees. Although it was reasonable that these valued employees could train others in hand deburring, it was deemed to be more time-consuming than the customer wanted.
Filling the Gap
After finding that traditional methods of solving the problem were not as efficient as required, the customer asked for an automatic deburring solution. Knowing that the best solutions don’t always come from a standard approach, the manufacturers at CDMC worked with the customer to create a custom solution for a grinding wheel application. In this case, the deburring specialists attached the grinding wheel application to a GE/Fanuc 200i robot. This application, the 3040-RF, could incorporate specific “recipes” for the processing of particular parts yet still be fully integrated in the custom deburring machine.
The solution required prior knowledge from the skilled employees to be translated into a deburring process that improved product quality, reduced the number of required spare parts, and boosted turn-around times. As a result, the company can adjust for last-minute orders and continue production without the worry of which employees are on the floor. By eliminating a majority of the process variables, the company’s deburring of spiral bevel gears is now more consistent and outcomes more predictable as a result of the deburring solution.
Creating Custom Solutions
Applications such as the 3040-RF are just one way that the CDMC deburring specialists are creating custom solutions to benefit the industry. Each of our custom deburring solutions are led first by the customer’s overall goal(s) and specific customer requirements.
CDMC Deburring Applications
Profile Chamfering – efficient and economical way to deburr sprockets, gears, and other parts through the use of deburring wheels, carbide rotary files, or a combination of files and wheels
- CDMC 1000
- CDMC 1002
- CDMC 2000
Brush Deburring – application of brushes for precise deburring actions
- OLS Model 2003-GB
- OLS Model Mag 1/C