Making round holes
• Problem: When drilling through thin sheet metal, often the hole ends up out-of-round and a bolt will not pass. How can the hole be made round enough to pass a bolt?
• Solution: To make the hole round, run the drill bit through the hole until the shank of the drill bit is in the sheet metal. This rounds out the hole to let a bolt pass through.
Contributor: Wayne E. Ellis, Capital Outlay Project Mgr., Virginia Dept. of Corrections, Richmond, VA.
• Problem: When servicing large pumps with woodruff keys, the keys may have to be removed or replaced. Is there a simple way to get the key out of its slot without damaging the shaft?
• Solution: Drill and tap a hole in the center of the woodruff key. When it is time to remove the key, run an allen-head screw into the tapped hole and jack the key out quickly and easily.
Contributor: Peter Gallant, Aerovox, New Bedford, MA.
Protect CNC cabinets
• Problem: Machine shops generate a lot of particles and mist into the air. CNC cabinet intake fans introduce the particle-laden air inside causing problems. How can the intake air be kept clean?
• Solution: Cut and shape steel strapping material to fit the fan grill mounting screws and allow space for air filter pads. Now filter pads can be installed and removed easily as required.
Contributor: Ernie Houle, Taco, Inc., Cranston, RI.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey