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Monthly Archives: August 2015

31 August3 Reasons why 3D Printing is a Must in Manufacturing!

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3D printing is quickly growing to be 2015’s hottest forms of technology. From the automotive industry to gun manufacturing, the ability to used 3D printing across multiple industries is appealing to manufacturers. However, some still wonder if a 3D printer is a necessary purchase or luxury item. For those who are still on the fence, here are 3 reasons why 3D Printing is a must in manufacturing.

Price
When 3D printing machines made its debut, prices ranged from 20k and above. Small to mid-size Manufacturing companies may not have had the resources for such a purchase. However, the price of 3D printers is drastically falling. Table top systems range anywhere from $300 to $9k. Since 3D printers are available at every price point, it is making them accessible to all levels of manufacturing businesses.

Recreating Parts
Owning an older machine that is still running is wonderful for your bank account. It also proves you made a great investment in a solid machine. However, one of the disadvantages to owning an older machine is having to order replacement parts. Finding replacement parts can be extremely difficult and if the part is discontinued, it can be impossible. So, do you search the internet for a new part or upgrade to a new machine? Neither, if you have a 3D printer. 3D printing allows you to create your own custom parts and tools in-house. The 3D printer can make an exact copy of a part in plastic or metal, which can be used to test in the machine, make necessary changes and move forward to production.

Improvements
As soon as a product is released, it goes through a critiquing process. Engineers and designers ask, “How can we improve upon this product?” However, creating a 2.0 version used to mean a lengthy pre-production and testing phase. 3D printing allows for manufacturers to improve upon their current product line in-house. 3D printing is a flexible tool which allows engineers to correct errors and make improvements early in the design process when it’s less costly.

There are many reasons to consider buying a 3D printer. At Lyndex-Nikken, we made the choice to invest in 3D printing machine after receiving angle head requirements and tool change arm clearance requests from our customers. Since then, we have been able to shorten our clearance verification process from weeks to days. Below is a video demonstration of how we used a 3D printed Right Angle Head to get clearance for an automatic tool change.

21 AugustMillennials in Manufacturing: Part 3

Group pic with text Part 3

If you have been following our series on Millennials in Manufacturing, you will know we have focused on ways to attract Millennials to manufacturing jobs. We have shared what Millennials look for in the positions they consider and ultimately accept. We have also discussed the main differences between the Millennial Generation vs. the Baby Boomer Generation. In case you missed it, here is part 1 and part 2 of the series. In this final installment, we are focusing on what manufacturing businesses can do to expose Millennials to the manufacturing industry.

Education 2.0

When most people think of CAD and 3D modeling, they think it’s a form of technology that is only taught at the college level. Today, advanced programs are finding their way into middle and high school classrooms. The Department of Education’s push of science, technology, engineering and math courses are getting kids interested in technology at an early age. Drafting software, such as AutoCAD, have free downloadable versions for students and educators. Training on AutoCAD allows high school students to create blueprints for buildings, bridges and computer chips; exposing students to possible careers in engineering and architecture.

Here are strategies manufacturing businesses can implement to capitalize on the new STEM initiative:

Partner with Local Schools

The shift public schools are making is perfect opportunity for businesses within the manufacturing community to partner with local schools that teach STEM programs. In Pennsylvania, 19 teams of middle school students created videos using the theme: “What’s so cool about manufacturing?” Contests, games and collaborative labs are a great way to engage with future engineers, designers and technicians.

At Lyndex-Nikken, we have partnered with Chetek-Weyerhaeuser High School in Chetek, Wisconsin, by donating CAT40 Toolholders, collet sets and accessories to their Technology and Engineering Program. Exposing middle and high school students to the “cool” side of manufacturing will create a relationship that could last well into their adulthood.

Offer scholarships and grants

Another way to partner with students is to offer scholarships and grants. Not all manufacturing jobs require a four-year degree. Manufacturing businesses can build relationships with colleges by offering grants to students who plan to continue their education into advanced STEM courses. Continue the relationship by offering summer internships to students and an entry level training program for recent grads.

At Lyndex-Nikken, we offer an Associate Training Program, where trainees are taught every aspect of our product line. Trainees rotate through different departments so they understand the duties of each department. After they complete the program, they are prepared to provide the best solution for our customer’s tooling needs.

STEM courses have opened the door for manufacturing companies to reach the future leaders of the manufacturing industry. In order to sway Millennials from Wall Street and Silicon Valley, efforts must be made by manufacturing businesses. Creating partnerships with schools and building relationships with students will be essential to closing manufacturing’s talent gaps.

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7 AugustEmployee Spotlight: Meet Oscar

At Lyndex-Nikken, we value our employees and their ongoing efforts to provide our customers with the highest level of service. With over 35 years of business, we understand our achievements would not have been possible without our employees’ hard work. Therefore, in this Lyndex-Nikken Employee Spotlight vlog series, we are highlighting our team and their commitment to excellence.

This week we have the spotlight on Oscar. He is a Warehouse Associate who has been with us for 3 years. Watch the video to hear what Oscar thinks about working at Lyndex-Nikken.