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Machinist APPrentice
22. July 2013 by Tonto

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Great Apps For Those Working Within The Manufacturing Trade

In recent years mobile apps have gone from gaming devices and shopping aids to becoming valuable tools for a number of business applications. The manufacturing industry in particular has benefited from this, as there are today a number of apps specifically designed for use in manufacturing. Manufacturing apps come chiefly in two varieties: production apps and sales and fulfillment apps. Any modern manufacturing concern, no matter what the size, should be taking advantage of the many benefits these apps provide.



Some of these apps perform machine calculations. Apple’s Machinist APPrentice performs calculations like cutting speed and turn rate for different tool diameters, threading helix angle, tap drill diameter, drill point length, and more. It also performs measurement conversions, solves math problems, and provides reference material. Apple’s Machinist Journeyman app expands on these skills, offering specialized calculations for increased cutting efficiency, such as chip thinning factors determined from width of cut, depth of cut, and other factors. It can also create G-code for thread milling jobs. Apps such as these allow machinists to effectively carry several reference books and a calculator in a device the size of a smartphone. For more information on apps like these, look at the article in Modern Machine Shop.

The other kind of production floor app that manufacturers will find useful is the material flow analysis apps. These apps can help keep track of parts locations and scheduling information. Some apps can also help with the design of production cells, which is particularly useful for smaller manufacturers that do not perform regular large volume runs of the same pieces. To read more about the possibilities inherent in production apps for manufacturing, see this article in Industry Week.



Manufacturing apps also help streamline the sales procedure. Sales representatives can now have at their fingertips the technical specifications, 3D parts modeling, and even order fulfillment time. This saves sales representatives valuable time looking up information and communicating with the floor managers, which will have a beneficial effect on sales. Some apps are built to synchronize all the departments of a manufacturing business, so that the inbound supply chain is kept at the pace that production requires, order placement automatically triggers order fulfillment, and changing inventory levels can instantly update production schedules. These apps save significantly on managerial overhead and assure rapid responses to changing conditions.



Manufacturing has traditionally been the last industry to take up new trends in IT, but it is finally starting to embrace mobile technology. Especially in today’s economy, a manufacturing business needs every edge that it can get to stay ahead. Office and production integration apps, especially when used in conjunction with production assistance apps, are the wave of the future for the manufacturing industry. In the not too distant future machinists will no longer be tethered to work stations and the sales force will no longer be tethered to information relayed through several layers of people back at the office.

About the Author: William writes for Dynamic Metals stainless steel & titanium suppliers. Look to them for high-grade metals. Metals available include AMS 5643 and many others, visit DynamicMetalsLtd.co.uk today for more information.

Image Attribution:  HwacheonCentreLathe courtesy of Glenn McKechnie from Wikimedia Commons.