Latest Ellison Technologies News
Jan 15, 2021
Precision Plus ups manufacturing capabilities with new CNC lathes The two new Star SW-20 CNC Lathes with independently controlled, opposing gang-type tool posts, which deliver versatile simultaneous machining, are great additions to the Precision Plus equipment line. Precision Plus is proud to announce the acquisition of 2 additional Star SW-20’s , increasing the platform to a trio of identical, high-volume, state-of-the-art Swiss machines. These Swiss Type CNC Lathes have the capability to remove more raw material faster thanks to their pinch turning/milling capabilities, all while still maintaining the tightest of tolerances for medical, dental, aerospace and industrial controls clients. “The team has been anxiously awaiting the arrival of these two machines for months. Now that they’re here, we can’t wait to get to work on all of our exciting new projects.” – Mike P. Reader, VP of engineering The two new Star SW-20 CNC Lathes with independently controlled, opposing gang-type tool posts, which deliver versatile simultaneous machining, are great additions to the Precision Plus equipment line. The platform, now 3, all equipped with Star 3-Path Motion Control Systems, vastly reduces idle time, equating to increased production output and lower costs for the clients of Precision Plus . Precision Plus understands that all the technology in the world is ineffective without a talented team. The company’s commitment to ongoing investments in technology is coupled with persistent recruitment of passionate individuals who possess a positive attitude, high aptitude, and willingness to learn the art of The Plus. For more information on Precision Plus’s machining capabilities, contact William Wells, VP of sales, at WellsW@preplus.com . Copper alloys offer many properties that can make them ideal for high-speed machining, including excellent surface finishes, superb chip control and long tool life, as well as environmental benefits including high scrap value and recyclability. But beyond ideal manufacturing properties and profitable machinability, brass and other copper alloys also provide self-sanitizing protection against surface pathogens, which makes them a valuable defense against pandemic infections. The built environment includes many objects and surfaces that harbor high amounts of potentially deadly bacteria and viruses, and crafting these high-touch items from brass or other copper-based alloys dramatically curtails their infectious potential. Pathogens can persist on plastic or stainless steel for days, months and even years, enabling them to spread by touch throughout public and private facilities (Kramer, Schwebke, and Kampf, 2006). Because of the large numbers of people who visit and work in public spaces, viruses spread especially rapidly through them, able to move from a single doorknob and tabletop in an office building to between 40% and 60% of its visitors, employees and high-touch surfaces within two to four hours (Reynolds et al., 2016). © CDA | https://www.copper.org To counter this infectious potential, copper alloys such as brass offer proven antimicrobial properties. Alloys with a minimum of 60% copper content continuously kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other human pathogens on their uncoated surfaces (Grass, Rensing, and Solioz, 2011). These self-disinfecting properties apply to the virus that causes COVID-19, as well as to other microbes that cause infections resistant to treatment with antibiotics. Copper alloys kill pathogens through multiple biological mechanisms. First, pathogens identify copper ions as a nutrient that is essential for basic cell functions in small amounts. Once inside a pathogenic cell, copper ions can impede normal functions, including respiration and metabolism, and compromise the integrity of the cell membrane. In some cases, copper ions destroy the DNA of the pathogen itself ( Copper Development Association , 2020, p. 81). Depending on alloy composition, age and oxidation can develop a patina on copper-alloy surfaces , which continue to display the same, if not even better, virus-killing properties as unoxidized alloy surfaces (Grass, Rensing, and Solioz, 2011). Best of all, the antimicrobial properties of copper alloys are inherent to the material itself and do not rely on human behavior for their effectiveness. Despite the well-documented self-disinfecting capabilities of copper alloys, facilities typically rely on manually applied chemical cleaners and disinfectants instead. Hand washing and surface cleaning offer only short-term, limited protection because they rely on human beings to perform specific actions – and to do so correctly. Even after cleaning, pathogens can remain on many common surfaces in hospital settings, and for full antimicrobial effectiveness, many disinfectant chemicals must have time to dry, which can be impractical. Especially in public-health environments, reduction of surface-borne pathogens requires continuous intervention without human action. A one-time investment in self-sanitizing uncoated copper alloys for high-touch surfaces provides continuous protection between cleanings as a highly effective supplement to standard practices of infection control, which enhances efforts during a pandemic. As a recent U.S. government-funded study conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported, on uncoated copper-alloy surfaces, the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the disease COVID-19, became inactive within four hours, compared to 24 hours on paper or cardboard, two days on steel or stainless steel, and three days on plastic (van Doremalen et al., 2020). Additional evidence comes from more than 250 scientific papers and research studies that support copper alloys' antimicrobial properties against a wide range of pathogens, including antibiotic-resistant superbugs such as MRSA, VRE and C. diff. Scientific proof must underlie all claims of antimicrobial properties. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates these claims, and requires researched evidence, along with proof that products do not harm people or the environment. In 2008, the EPA approved public health claims for the antimicrobial properties of copper alloys following extensive testing. That research showed that copper, brass and bronze continuously kill more than 99.9% of six deadly bacteria after eight exposures during a 24-hour period, with no cleaning between exposures. The EPA's registration applies to more than 500 unique copper alloys, including brasses, and makes these alloys the first solid-surface materials to receive EPA registration for public health claims of long-term, residual, continuous antimicrobial properties. (US EPA, n.d.). The use of antimicrobial copper alloys can prevent or at least minimize the staggering costs of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). Every year, 2 million HAIs cause more than 100,000 deaths and over $45 billion in unnecessary healthcare expenditures (Scott, 2009). Abundant research supports the use of copper alloys to minimize the enormous numbers of infectious agents on high-touch surfaces in health-care settings. A multi-hospital clinical trial funded by the U.S. Department of Defense demonstrated that patients treated in hospital rooms with copper alloy touch surfaces experienced 58% fewer HAIs (Salgado et al., 2013). These results required conversion of less than 10% of the surface area of hospital rooms (Salgado et al., 2013). Numerous hospitals around the world have deployed antimicrobial copper and brass materials for high-touch surfaces such as faucet and cabinet handles, door hardware, switch plates, railings, toilet levers, bed rails, patient call buttons and more. These conversions can pay for themselves in short order. Based on U.S. clinical trials, conversion of eight intensive-care rooms pays back its cost in 29.2 days because of the number of HAIs prevented and the moneys no longer spent on treating them ( Copper Development Association , 2020, p. 54). Copper alloys provide lasting antimicrobial benefits over decades of use. A study conducted with the New York City Transit Office of Strategic Innovation & Technology assessed the lasting antimicrobial properties of copper-alloy surfaces installed in Grand Central Terminal, constructed between 1903 and 1913. Brass rails, doors and shelves showed total bacterial loading well under the threshold considered to present risk to human health, whereas comparable steel and marble surfaces harbored pathogen levels nearly eight times the risk level (Copper Development Association, 2020, p. 55-58). Conclusion Handwashing and surface disinfection offer important interventions, but these intermittent events rely on fallible human behavior and do not provide continuous protection. By contrast, antimicrobial copper alloys work around the clock to kill bacteria and viruses continuously on frequently touched surfaces. Manufacturers can position the dramatic, lasting effect of these beneficial properties to increase the market reach of their products. Additionally, manufacturing facilities can deploy antimicrobial copper materials on high-touch surfaces to provide an additional strategic line of defense against infection for their employees and customers. From water taps and flush handles in restrooms to showroom tables, work areas and breakrooms, manufacturers can make simple material substitutions that protect against transmissible disease. This easily implemented step conveys lasting continuous protection without further investment, and demonstrates industry commitment to employee well being as well as to public health. References Copper Development Association. (2020, August 21). Antimicrobial copper alloys: Self sanitizing surfaces to control the spread of human pathogens [PowerPoint slides]. Grass, G., Rensing, C., and Solioz, M. (2011). Metallic copper as an antimicrobial surface. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 77(5), 1541-1547. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02766-10 Kramer, A., Schwebke, I., and Kampf, G. (2006). How long do nosocomial pathogens persist on inanimate surfaces? A systematic review. BMC Infectious Diseases, 6, 130. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2334-6-130 Morrison, J. (2020, April 14). Copper’s virus-killing powers were known even to the ancients. Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/copper-virus-kill-180974655/ Reynolds, K. A., Beamer, P. I., Plotkin, K. R., Sifuentes, L. Y., Koenig, D. W., and Gerba, C. P. (2016). The healthy workplace project: Reduced viral exposure in an office setting. Archives of Environmental & Occupational health, 71(3), 157–162. https://doi.org/10.1080/19338244.2015.1058234 Salgado, C., Sepkowitz, K., John, J., Cantey, J., Attaway, H., Freeman, K., . . . Schmidt, M. (2013). Copper surfaces reduce the rate of healthcare-acquired infections in the intensive care unit. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 34(5), 479-486. doi:10.1086/670207 Scott, R. D. (2009). The direct medical costs of healthcare-associated infections in U.S. hospitals and the benefits of prevention. Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases, Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/hai/pdfs/hai/scott_costpaper.pdf van Doremalen, N., Bushmaker, T., Morris, D. H., Holbrook, M. G., Gamble, A., Williamson, B. N., . . . Munster, V. J. (2020). Aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared with SARS-CoV-1. The New England Journal of Medicine, 382(16), 1564–1567. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMc2004973 United States Environmental Protection Agency. (n.d.) Updated Draft Protocol for the Evaluation of Bactericidal Activity of Hard, Non-porous Copper Containing Surface Products. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/updated-draft-protocol-evaluation-bactericidal-activity-hard-non-porous What products and components offer the biggest opportunities for reshoring? What advanced manufacturing technology is needed to enable the reshoring? To what degree did the pandemic disrupt supply chains, and how did it affect sourcing? To answer these questions and better understand the needs of the manufacturing technology community, AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology is asking industry, including OEMs, job shops, technology suppliers and distributors, to participate in an online survey to help in “ Rebuilding the Supply Chain .” The survey is open through February 28, 2021. The survey takes about five minutes to complete. Results will be published in March. One of the key survey questions is whether or not OEMs and job shops would value an AMT service to connect OEMs with manufacturing technology solutions for reshoring opportunities. “Participating in this survey will provide valuable insight on sourcing issues and which processes, products and components face the most pressure from imports and which offer the biggest opportunities to reshore,” says Peter R. Eelman, vice president & CXO at AMT, which owns and produces IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show. “The input we receive helps AMT and IMTS develop resources to help companies make more detailed sourcing assessments and better informed sourcing decisions.” GWS Tool Group is pleased to announce it has acquired Taurus Tool & Engineering. Taurus is the first acquisition in 2021 for GWS Tool Group, following three previous acquisitions in 2020. Located near Batavia, IL, Taurus is a leading manufacturer of precision custom cutting tools, primarily in the categories of both HSS and carbide hole making and milling tools. The company’s product capability includes complex HSS and carbide step tools for aerospace and automotive applications, custom thread-on modular tooling and combination tools for the elimination of multi-tool operations. The company features a completely re-built (February 2015) 25,000sq/ft facility outfitted with the latest CNC grinding and inspection equipment in the market. Problem resolution at the spindle has been instrumental in the company’s growth. Backing this with superior manufacturing processes and the highest level of quality control has catapulted Taurus to one of the marquee destinations for customers in need of high-quality complex round tool solutions. With the addition of Taurus, GWS further solidifies its position as the premier multi-disciplinary manufacturer of high-performance cutting tools in the marketplace today. “Taurus Tool & Engineering is an obvious match and fit for our organization,” says Rick McIntyre, GWS’ CEO. “On the carbide side, they bring a host of complimentary skill sets to our organization, while bolting on new capability in the areas of high speed tools and custom modular tooling technology know-how. Previously, GWS has had to bypass certain niches like HSS tooling, and now we can offer our customers and partners in distribution another reason to consolidate with GWS.” “I am very excited for Taurus Tool to be joining GWS Tool Group,” says Jim Kantak, co-owner and president of Taurus Tool & Engineering. “We have overcome and accomplished so much in a short period of time and are thrilled to continue delivering our precision engineered solutions via the GWS Tool Group.” The continued expansion of GWS by way of acquisitions and constant investment in world class technology, equipment and most importantly, people, has created an unmatched value proposition for customers operating in advanced machining environments, especially in the areas of custom round and insert tooling. https://www.GWSToolGroup.com United Grinding expands customer, community outreach for 2021 Further expanding its outreach to manufacturers and the greater Dayton region, United Grinding North America has announced several new programs, including those already underway and events planned for 2021. The company launched a new web-based video series, initiated a scholarship program for local students and prepared an online presentation that conveys the need for digitization in today’s manufacturing world. “ United Grinding North America prides itself on partnering with customers and the community through education,” says company President and CEO Markus Stolmar. “With the new web series, scholarship program and other forthcoming resources, we continue to stand by our brand promise to contribute to the further growth of manufacturing and to helping our customers increase their competitiveness.” The new video series, titled In the Shop With United Grinding, is published on the company’s YouTube channel and is part of a wide-ranging initiative by United Grinding North America to reinforce its longstanding commitment to partnering with its customers. The series premieres Tuesday, January 12 with an episode about the best practices for preparing grinding wheels for tool and cutter grinding applications. Hosted by United Grinding Assistant Production Manager Kevis Mitchell, the first episode of the new series also includes Application Engineer Chad Mahurin and Tool Division General Manager Simon Manns discussing the optimal way to build, dress, balance and measure wheel packs for tool grinding applications. Each new episode of In the Shop will focus on key topics that machine operators deal with on a daily or weekly basis. United Grinding North America will then offer knowledge, insight and best practices from its technical and application experts, many of whom garnered extensive first-hand shop experience prior joining the team at United Grinding North America. In addition to those experts, there will be special guest appearances from coolant suppliers, abrasives manufacturers and other United Grinding partners who will weigh in with advice and subject-matter expertise. To encourage even more subject-matter expertise – and promote careers in manufacturing – United Grinding North America has established its Gearing Up For the Future scholarship for students pursuing degrees, diplomas or certificates in manufacturing and engineering-related technical fields. Organized through the Dayton Foundation, the scholarship will award four individual students each spring with financial aid that will help them attain their educational goals and become productive members of the manufacturing community. Applied Industrial Technologies acquires Gibson Engineering Applied Industrial Technologies has acquired Gibson Engineering Company Inc., a provider of automation products, services, and engineered solutions focused on machine vision, motion control, mobile and collaborative robotic solutions, intelligent sensors, and other related equipment. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Neil A. Schrimsher, president & chief executive officer for Applied, commented “We are pleased to announce the addition of Gibson Engineering and the continued expansion of our next generation automation offering and footprint. Gibson is a leading provider of emerging automation technologies across the U.S. Northeast and Mid-Atlantic markets. They bring established customer and supplier relationships, along with an experienced team highly regarded for their technical and engineering expertise that aligns with our growth strategy, market focus, and value proposition.” Based in Norwood, Massachusetts, Gibson’s team of more than 40 associates operates from one location and serves customers across life sciences, medical device, electronics, plastics, and various industrial and consumer industries. Schrimsher adds, “Following three acquisitions in the past 16 months, we are making solid progress in growing our specialized automation offering and accelerating Applied’s growth opportunities into calendar 2021 and beyond. We welcome Gibson and look forward to leveraging their capabilities across our leading technical industry position as we continue to support our customers’ most critical assets and operational requirements.” GF Machining Solutions shifts sales model in several states As part of the company’s ongoing commitment to providing unmatched access to resources and an optimal experience for its customers, GF Machining Solutions announced that it will transition in phases to a direct sales and support model in several key states. Effective January 1, 2021, GF Machining Solutions will directly support California, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota Washington and Wisconsin, which were previously served by Ellison Technologies. “GF Machining Solutions and Ellison Technologies have enjoyed a successful partnership over the years and this transition was a mutual decision on the part of both companies,” says Phil Hauser, president and head of market region North & Central America for GF Machining Solutions. “We are excited to take these important steps to be closer to our customers. Our entire team is dedicated to helping manufacturers across North America improve their operations, compete at a higher level and achieve sustainable success.” Orders placed before December 31, 2020 are being handled by Ellison Technologies in cooperation with the GF Machining Solutions direct sales team. All new orders taken after January 1, 2021 will be accepted and supported directly by GF Machining Solutions. The expansion of GF Machining Solutions’ direct sales and service support organization is backed by its growing team of world-class sales managers, field service engineers, application engineers and phone support associates. The company’s after-sales service team will be further strengthened over the coming weeks, and all support efforts will be streamlined and coordinated through GF Machining Solutions’ customer service organization. Customers in affected states have been contacted directly by GF Machining Solutions, and additional information will be provided throughout the course of the transition.