September Roundup: Machining in the News

In September, GM invested $491M into an Indiana Stamping Plant, Brannon Steel improved productivity and safety with lift system, manufacturers take big steps for handling small parts, a technical college and Siemens partnered to train better machinists, and IMTS Returns After a Four-Year Hiatus. Continue reading our news round-up to learn more about what’s happening in the industry this month.

GM to Invest $491M at Indiana Stamping Plant

General Motors announced it will invest $491 million at its Marion, Ind., metal stamping operations to prepare the facility to produce a variety of steel and aluminum stamped parts. These stamped parts are to be used for future products, including electric vehicles, built at multiple GM assembly plants.

The investment will be used to purchase and install two new press lines, complete press and die upgrades, for renovations, and construct an approximately 6,000-square-foot addition. Work on the facility will begin later this year.

For more information on this new investment click here.

Brannon Steel Improves Productivity and Safety

Family-owned and operated since 1968, Brannon Steel built a strong reputation as one of North America’s premier suppliers of carbon steel parts-to-print. Brannon is dedicated to quality and safety in all areas. This commitment includes selecting only the most advanced equipment and machinery for use within its facility. 

For a while, the facility was using Eriez APL Lift Magnets with great success for most of their cutting tables, but they weren’t appropriate for this particular application due to the thin steel and long flexible parts. So instead, they contacted the Eriez sales office to see what alternatives they may have, and they introduced them to their Full Coverage System.

After Eriez and Brannon discussed the installation requirements, operating procedures, and safety benefits of the system, the Full Coverage Lift Magnet was found to be perfectly suited for the facility and operational requirements.  Given the past performance of Eriez’s smaller permanent lift magnets, it gave Brannon Steel all the confidence they needed to move forward.  

For more information on the new lifts and how they are improving safety around the Brannon Steel facility click here.  

A Big Step for Handling Small Parts

As demand for small parts continues, tooling and work holding has changed. Vises to hold parts for milling have gotten smaller to accommodate parts that can be overwhelmed by clamping force. Also, adjustments have been made so the parts aren’t handled as much.

When working with medium to large parts, you work with one part at a time. On a five-axis machine, you want that part to be held in one position. However, with small parts, you want it to be more efficient, with less handling of parts’ essentially trying to eliminate part handling by the operator.

For more information on micro tooling check out the full article on

Moraine Technical College and Siemens partner to Train better Machinists

Moraine Park Technical College in West Bend, Wisconsin, and Siemens are working together to train workers in the manufacturing sector. With an emphasis on CNC, tool & die design, and tool & die making, the AMTC trains students on state-of-the-industry equipment, controls, and software.

Opened in August 2002, the AMTC is home to the CNC Programmer/Operator track of the Machining Technician program as well as the Tool & Die Designer program of MPTC. The facility also supports the Tool & Die Making track of the program, housed in another part of the campus.  

Click here to read the full article on this partnership.

IMTS Returns After a Four-Year Hiatus

The International Manufacturing Technology Show returns after a four-year break stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. For exhibitors and visitors, it was an opportunity to observe advancements in machine tools, robots, and 3D printers. IMTS normally is held every other year at Chicago’s McCormick Place. But COVID-19 forced the 2020 edition of the event to be canceled. AMT says IMTS accounts for 1.21 million square feet of space at McCormick Place, with 1,815 exhibitors. The event consists of nine technology pavilions.

Click here to read more on the different products unveiled at IMTS.

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