06 December 2012

Reduce Tool Change Over Time

One of our main objectives is to provide products and solutions for our customers that will save them money and reduce their cost of manufacturing. Shortly after introducing the 1/8" solid carbide tools we introduced the “QL” boring tool to our line of solid carbide boring tools.

These .125" diameter solid carbide qualified length boring tools feature a repeatable “Z” length of +.001" /-.001" from a nominal set length. The QL tool’s close tolerance length minimizes a machine’s down time when you have to change a tool during production run.  

When a tool needs to be replaced you loosen the collet nut remove the damaged tool, insert the replacement tool, rotate it until it falls into place. The tools closely held locating angle insure the “Z” length repeatability. The locating angle also places the cutting edge on center giving longer tool life and reducing machine down time.

Criterion's Qualified Length Tools and Qualified Length Adapters

There are 17 different bore diameter and length configurations of the new .125" solid carbide qualified length boring tools. Minimum bore diameters will range from as small as .050" to as large as .110" in diameter. The boring tools are able to bore holes up to .700" in depth depending on the bore diameter.

The qualified length tools need to be held in a Criterion qualified length tool holder. The tool holders are available with 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8" and 3/4" shanks and are design for use in Criterion’s precision boring heads.

29 November 2012

Expand Your Boring Head Range with the Right Solid Carbide Boring Tools

Solid carbide boring tools have been around for many years. The number of manufacturers that make small diameter solid carbide boring bars that are not ground on center is limited. When Criterion introduced our TMT-0750 small boring head we looking at the small carbide bars on the market and they were not designed to be used with the boring head. We did not find anyone who was making a tool ground on around the center line of the tool shank. All of the tools were designed to be used in lathe applications and were ground off center for maximum clearance in the lathe.

The reason this is important if you are going to use it in a boring head is the loss of diameter range on the boring head. You have to move your boring head offset just to bring the tool on center. This can be as much as 3/16 of an inch if the boring tool has a .030" minimum bore and the shank is 1/8". You would effectively lose 1/2 of the adjusting range of the boring head in this example.

1/4" Shank Carbide Tools Design for use in Boring Heads

Because of this Criterion introduced a line of 1/8" shank and 1/4" shank solid carbide boring tools and adapter sleeve for use in our boring heads. Our tools are ground around the centerline of the tool shank so you minimum offset to bring the tool its smallest bore diameter. This gives you the maximum off-set possible with the boring head. Being able to take advantage of the offset means you need less boring tools in inventory.

21 September 2012

It's Good to be Appreciated!

This week I got a letter from Tom Hull an educator at Marshfield High School in Coos Bay, Oregon.

The letter reads:

September 2012

Dear Criterion,

Please find enclosed a newsletter I write from the high school shop where I teach. I told everyone how good your boring heads are (yeah, I know I need one at home, but I bought a new set for school).

You stuff works great!

Tom Hull
Metals Teacher

Tom included a copy of his newsletter titled "Quarter Inch Drive" which had a number of short articles about manufacturing and former students involved in manufacturing. It was an interesting and a great read. I am very glad he shared it with me.

This did make me curious about Tom Hull because this is out of the box. I found that Tom won the "Outstanding Educator" award at the Oregon Association for Career and Technical Educators convention. Tom has revitalized the metals manufacturing program at Marshfield according to the article that I read. It was easy to see why with the letter he sent me and his newsletter.

The world of education has many teachers who think out of the box and have the calling of educating and do not ask or seek the recognition they deserve. We all should be thankful for their dedication to a very noble profession.

Tom - I want to say thank you to you for thinking out of the box and teaching the youth in your area the importance of manufacturing. I appreciate what you are doing as I know it is not an easy task.

13 May 2012

Reduced Operation Cost

A customer called who wanted to bore a number of holes from 1.500" to 2.250" in diameter in aluminum. He wanted to know if he could run his boring head at 1,000 RPM. He has a number of Criterion 202 and 203 style boring heads and just wasn't sure what would be the best choice.

The size range of the bores made the 202 style the best choice for the application. He would have been able to reach the desired RPM on most of the bores and his parameters would have allowed him to produce them in about 30 seconds. I asked if he would be interested in producing the bores in 10 seconds or less which startled him because he had not thought about being able to do it that fast.

We then discussed the balance kit for the 202 style boring heads which gives it the capability of operating at speeds up to 5,00RPM. It uses a chart, a series of 6 balancing shafts and 4 balancing weights. The benefit for this customer was he could reducing the producing cost of this operation by 80%. Some additional benefits gained were improved surface finish and longer tool life from operating the carbide insert at the optimum SFPM. There will be less pressure on the spindle from the imbalance for the off-set on the boring head. These are not as easy to put a value on as the reduction in time but no less important as a savings.

If you have any questions on how to possibly improve your boring operations please contact us. We would very much enjoy working with you.

23 April 2012

Inbound Marketing

I have heard the term “Inbound Marketing” a lot over the past week. It might be because I attended a meet & greet seminar at my business bank and the topic was using social media for B2B and this caused me to do some more research on the topic. The topic of social media marketing for B2B is an interesting and comical topic when you are looking at the pros & cons without a passionate vested interest (passionate vested interest is trying to sell your marketing service). 

What is the value of social media and does it have a place in the B2B market? I have been dabbling at it for the past few years and believe it has a place combined with the traditional approaches to marketing. This past week the value shot up when Criterion started thinking about upgrading or replacing our business software system.  We posted a message on a local users group site for our current system asking for feedback on the current version and people's thoughts about the upcoming version due out this fall. The good news for us is the user group participants were not shy.

I went to our Twitter account and looked up the people following us who are associated with the software industry and sent them a direct message inviting them to contact me.  We contacted other people who could possible help after doing more on-line research and invited them to participate. None of this is really new, we have all done research on what to buy and gotten references from others. What is new is the speed at which we can accomplish all of this.

After doing all of this the light bulb came on brighter, “Inbound Marketing”is not the “New Wave” of marketing. It is part of the current business model used by both consumers and businesses alike. I have said this before and I hope it continues to remain true "I hope my competitors don't figure this out before I do."

04 April 2012

Enjoying Trade Shows

Many people make a living from teaching others how to correctly exhibit products at trade shows. You can learn the proper way to greet visitors, the dos and don'ts of booth etiquette, what you should do about handouts along with many other topics. I am not sure you can ever be totally prepared for what can happen at a trade show.

I have always enjoyed trade shows because it gives me a chance to catch up with friends in the industry as well as meet many new people. I can talk face to face with a customer or potential customer about why I believe Criterion's products will do the job for them. I get to hear how people envision making their products and the challenges they face making them. It gives me greater insights into the current world of manufacturing.

It is also extremely interesting watching visitors as they walk by in the aisle. They will casually walk by and then bang! something catches their attention. They may make a bee line directly to it or they may stand and stare for a while trying to figure out what it is or how they can use it. I must confess this is where I fail the classes on how to properly work a trade show because I give you time to ponder your thought before asking you any questions and trying to engage you in conversation.

Conversation at Westec 2012
Over the many years I have done trade shows always leaving with more knowledge than I began because so many people want to talk about what and how they think they can use a product. This year was no different at Westec and it makes the thought of IMTS even more exciting because manufacturing in the US has seen a nice recover from the recession. If you didn't make it to Westec, I certainly look forward to seeing and talking with you at IMTS.  

29 January 2012

Since 1943 Criterion has Participated

I was reading through the original draft of "The First 50 Years of Criterion Machine Works" and came across the paragraphs describing the first time Criterion exhibited in a trade show. The date was 1943 and the event was in Los Angeles. Criterion displayed their skills at manufacturing defense industry products as well as some of tooling applications they used to make the products. Criterion has continued to exhibit in local, national and international events every year since 1943.

This year will be no different. We will be exhibiting at Westec in March and IMTS2012 in September. What is different is Criterion now concentrates on just products being used in boring applications. You will see some of our new ads in the coming months with the theme "Criterion IS Boring" and we don't particularly feel bad about it. In fact, we are proud of what we have accomplished over our 76 year history. We stopped being a job shop and have concentrated on being boring. We originally made 1-1/2", 2" and 3" square boring heads and now we make boring heads as small as 5/8" in diameter to as large as 6" in diameter. We also developed a modular system to compete in the world market place. These are the products we will be showing at Westec and IMTS2012

One of the products we will be showing at Westec is our Cri-Tip Modular Boring System. Criterion developed the Cri-Tip product we can be connected to modular boring systems.

Cri-Tip Modular Boring System

The Cri-Tip Modular Boring System connects to either ABS connections or KA connections and will be shown at Westec in March. We are expanding the connections to meet the growing market of modular systems. You will be able to see what  other connections are being added at IMTS2012 in September.

Being 76 years old does not mean we can't keep up with those companies that are younger than us even if we are boring. We look forward to seeing you at either Westec or IMTS2012.