C-1200 Series Steels- Not Recommended for Applications Requiring Mechanical Properties

December 10, 2019

Question: Why don’t the Certs for C12L14 and C1215 cold drawn steel bars have mechanical properties routinely reported?

Answer: Because these steels ARE NOT recommended for applications requiring mechanical properties, alternating stress applications, cold metal movement and can also be notch sensitive.

Don't do it!

Don’t use these steels for critical applications!

Here are some details from the application notes provided to me when I started as Plant Metallurgist at Bliss & Laughlin Steel in 1985:

  • The 1200 series steels (1215 and 12L14) are not generally sold for applications requiring high standards of strength, hardness, or other related properties
  • These steels are particularly adapted to automatic screw machine production of small repetitive parts. The ideal application is one where bulk and shape, as dictated by the design, are the chief requirements.
  • They may be used for parts which require only nominal strength values providing the factor of safety as in accordance with established practice. This is especially true where the stresses involved are static tension, compression, or shear. Vibratory, torsional, or alternating stress applications approaching the static limits are not recommended; thus these steels should not be used for line shafting.
  • When cold drawn, the C-1200 steels are notch sensitive and while polished fatigue specimens will show expected endurance limit values, poor finish and processing of parts, or faulty design may cause low or erratic results for finished parts under dynamic or alternating stresses of relatively small intensity.
  • These steels are not recommended for applications involving cold metal movement, such as crimping, forming or bending. Operations such as knurling and character rolling can be done satisfactorily.
  • Because of the smaller amount of hot work in rolling, the large size cold drawn C-1200 bars increase in relative brittleness.  The large sizes may also be expected to reveal stringer sulfide inclusions on polished surfaces. Further removal will likely reveal more inclusions as they are distributed throughout the bar cross-section.
  • A cold drawn surface will not plate to the highest quality finish; a turned or ground surface may prove necessary for critical applications

Your customer wants inexpensive parts, and machining them from 12L14 and 1215 minimizes the cost of machining to the desired geometry. But if the parts are not likely to fulfill the properties expected, that is false economy at best.

Don’t do it Image

Little Charlie and the Night Cats If you Dig It, Don’t Do it.


Dealing with Broken Links- A Process

September 24, 2019

Actually I am amazed at how few broken links I encounter in all of my online research.

But occasionally, we do encounter  the challenge of broken links.

A broken link- but what can we do to get the material that was supposed to be there?

I use the following process to meet the challenge of a broken link:

Deconstruct the broken link into a “likely domain” and the “deliverable Sought.” (In this case a .pdf file.)

So in this case the likely domain was “Nuclear Regulatory Commission,” and the deliverable sought was “BR0470 .pdf”

I searched for “Nuclear Regulatory Commission BR0470.pdf “

      1. And Google gave me this :

That top link looks like it!

So I followed the top result that Google provided.

    1. Which took me to the page that has a link to the file that I wanted:

This is the page that the google search found. the link we want is the third bullet (look for the pdf icon)

I then selected the pdf link  on that page which was in fact the deliverable that I was seeking.

    1. Which then delivered this:

NRC Primer on Lean Six Sigma .pdf

 

Which is the deliverable that I was seeking, and a very good reference on Lean Six Sigma!

That’s my process for dealing with the challenge of broken links keeping me from the information that I want.

What’s yours?

 


BLS October Jobs Report: Great News in October- Unless you are looking for workers

November 2, 2018

Our TakeJob gains beat consensus expectations, Unemployment is at its lowest level since I was a junior in High school, Participation rate  matches its best  level this year, and  private non-farm wages have risen 3.1%  this year according to this BLS jobs report.  

Bottom linethe US economy is based on consumer spending. This report shows that consumers are growing their purchasing power a positive indicator for the economy going forward.

Facts keep us bullish on manufacturing.

Key Points

  • “Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 250,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care, in manufacturing, in construction, and in transportation and warehousing.”
  •  “In October, employment in manufacturing increased by 32,000. Most of the increase occurred in durable goods manufacturing, with a gain in transportation equipment (+10,000). Manufacturing has added 296,000 jobs over the year, largely in durable goods industries…On average, 213,000 jobs have been added each month  in 2018 YTD.” 
  • “The labor force participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage point to 62.9 percent in October but has shown little change over the year.
  • “In manufacturing, the workweek edged down by 0.1 hour to 40.8 hours, and overtime was unchanged at 3.5 hours.“ 
  • “In October, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 5 cents to $27.30. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 83 cents, or 3.1 percent.“
  • “The unemployment rate remains at it’s 48 year low, 3.7%- lowest rate since 1969.  Interestingly, not a single industry was reported to have lost any jobs.” 

Quality Quote

October 10, 2018

No spec, no quality. Know Spec, know quality.

Quality means compliance with all terms of the specification.

Know the specification!


August ISM PMI- Highest Reading Since January 2004

September 5, 2018

The ISM PMI was reported at 61.3, the highest reading since January 2004, when it was 60.8.

Prior to that the ISM PMI has not been at this level since 1984, when it was 61.3 in February,  in 1987 it made it to 61.0 in December.

It has been a long time since the ISM PMI was at today’s levels!

Here is the ISM’s Announcement:

“The August PMI® registered 61.3 percent, an increase of 3.2 percentage points from the July reading of 58.1 percent. The New Orders Index registered 65.1 percent, an increase of 4.9 percentage points from the July reading of 60.2 percent. The Production Index registered 63.3 percent, a 4.8-percentage point increase compared to the July reading of 58.5 percent. The Employment Index registered 58.5 percent, an increase of 2 percentage points from the July reading of 56.5 percent. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 64.5 percent, a 2.4-percentage point increase from the July reading of 62.1 percent. The Inventories Index registered 55.4 percent, an increase of 2.1 percentage points from the July reading of 53.3 percent. The Prices Index registered 72.1 percent in August, a 1.1-percentage point decrease from the July reading of 73.2 percent, indicating higher raw materials prices for the 30th consecutive month.” ISM Timothy R. Fiore Press Release

Positive Takeaways:

  1. Manufacturing continues to expand. the 3.2 point jump from July to August was a substantial increase.
  2. The overall economy continues to expand- 112 consecutive months of economic expansion.
  3. The increases from July to August were especially robust for New Orders (up 4.9%); and Production (up 4.8%).
  4. Other indicators for employment, inventories, supplier deliveries  increased on the order of 2% or more.
  5. The Prices Index fell 1.1 percent in August from July, but still showed increasing costs for raw materials, for the 30th consecutive month.

Thoughts to consider: while past performance is no assurance of future performance, we note that the current level of the PMI has been of prior high water marks,  rather than sustainable levels. While “this time it’s different,” is a possible comment, our look at the graph above suggests that we may be nearing the top. Although the values for the 1964-1966 do provide another possible interpretation.

Bottom line: Manufacturing and the broad economy showed remarkable strength in August 2018. Prospects remain positive for sales and employment in manufacturing. The current strong level of performance convinces me that we must be thoughtfully reconsidering all aspects of our business at this time. This trend might have legs- it might also be nearing a top. PMPA’s Latest Business Trend Report was optimistic on Outlook for the next three months.

ISM August 2018

Graph courtesy Calculated Risk


New REACH Status for Lead- PMPA Members Know How to Respond

August 29, 2018

 

On June 21, 2018, the ECHA added Lead to the Candidate List for Substances of Very High Concern under REACH.

Not banned in every application…

While this regulation arguably covers only manufacturers and importers in the EU, the fact of the matter is that  our shops here in North America are producing components (articles) which are incorporated into products in the EU.

Our customers, who specify the use of leaded materials because of the economics of product provision (Leaded materials machine at much higher efficiency rates, lower costs , and seldom need post fabrication operations) are now asking their suppliers for a statement of compliance for the materials that THEY specify us to make THEIR components from. Leaded Steels, Brasses and Aluminums.

Our shops find themselves placed right in the center of a paradox-  how can they certify that the material that their customer told them to use is compliant with this new REACH development?

PMPA has analyzed this and provided our members with a guidance document that

  • Recites the applicable facts and regulatory obligations
  • Describes where and where not the REACH and other EU regulations apply / might not aply;
  • Analyzes the duties to our customers
  • Describes ways to meet our obligations
  • Provides references for understanding this new development

The world of Precision Machining is characterized by Volatility (this regulation just Arrived), Uncertainty (does this apply to me, I’m an North American, not European manufacturer?) Complexity ( So I need to read the ECHA announcement, The ECHA Substance Support Document, the Annex that covers Lead,  and then two more annexes that tell me what I need to do) before I can figure out what I need to do, and Ambiguity (Actually the annexes do not expressly state what the exact deliverable  required is).

This VUCA world is made manageable by  PMPA regulatory sensemaking  to help our shops  first recognize, then intelligently understand and manage their risk.

  • Who is helping you and your team recognize new regulatory risks?
  • Who is helping you to understand those risks?
  • Who is providing answers so that you can concentrate on making those critical parts that the world needs, instead of spending three or four man-Days trying to figure it out? (Presuming that you know the issue even exists!)

PMPA members know who.

PMPA!

PMPA Members Only Guidance Document


A New Era Began Today

February 6, 2018

Autonomy in our technology is real! (Photo courtesy Joshua Andrade- Heinlein Forum on Facebook)

I was privileged to be able to witness the live cast of the Falcon Heavy Lift vehicle today. The photo above shows two booster engine modules simultaneously and autonomously landing. This was just a small part of the technology displayed today by the Falcon Heavy launch.

But here is why I say that a new era starts today:

  1. This is proof that Autonomy in our technology is real. It’s no longer about listening to a reporter somewhere talking about autonomous cars on test tracks. We got to see it ourselves today. It works. Now, it’s just a matter of scaling and networking the technology. We’ll be seeing this in our customers products sooner than we expected.
  2. Private enterprise for the win. NASA’s Bill Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations said that “the NASA SLS (Space Launch System) heavy rocket would cost about $1 billion per launch.” The Falcon Heavy cost is about $90 million per Launch. That’s about $910,000,000 in unneeded taxes per launch.
  3. Today’s launch has proven that the existential joy of engineering is alive and well and making cost effective technology in private enterprise. Space is no longer limited to staid, bureaucratic, rationalizations that it is for research for the common good missions. Today, it is about the human spirit and what we can achieve.
  4. This was not cobbled together by the lowest bidder with a bunch of imported parts. Although the label on a circuit board proudly proclaims “*Made on Earth by humans” this is validation of the capability of US private enterprise, engineering, and the entrepreneurial equivalent of  the gold record on Voyager.
  5. This is the defining event of the new renaissance of Engineering, Entrpreneurialism, and Manufacturing to further mankind’s material progress.  Through our own capable efforts.

Made on Earth by humans (Photo courtesy Joshua Andrade)

I am glad to be a witness to this milestone in the renaissance of manufacturing, engineering, and entrepreneurial accomplishment here in America today.  An electric car, is on its way to Mars. I watched two booster engines land themselves simultaneously. I watched the joy of the engineers as their work accomplished its demonstration of the power of our technology. This is the current generation’s SPUTNIK moment.

Baby boomers can just barely remember what Sputnik did  to transform for our culture, but many of us chose science and engineering and technology careers.  Today, we all had the chance to see a similar watershed for technology, manufacturing, and entrepreneurial spirit, and that it is cool again.

Existential Joy of Engineering- Why shouldn’t we love what we do?

The existential joy of engineering is alive and well, and it has just sent a red car hurtling towards a rendezvous with the red planet.

Red car to rendezvous with a red planet

 

…to be continued

Link to video Space X Falcon Heavy Launch– start at 4:14:24 to start with the launch

Photocredits: for Landing and Circuit board: Joshua Andrade (J Meauho Andrade on Facebook)