Midwest Manufacturing News September 2013 : Page 56
Applying Technology Automation • Machines • Spindles • Tooling • Software • Workholding Multiple Setups no Longer New Technology Expands In-House Capabilities Sample die machined by an LPM. The VMX64 is preparing to machine a large aluminum flange. 56 service after the sale,” said Brad Wad-dle, Owner, Innovators West / Wad-dle’s Manufacturing. “All machines break down over time, and how well machines are supported and serviced can make a big difference to a com-pany’s bottom line.” “After careful evalua-tion, we selected the Hurco TMX8MYS multi-axis mill turn (lathe with live tool-ing and Y-axis),” said Wad-dle. The TMX8MYS has X/Z/W/Y travels of 8.7”/ 22”/25.2”/4.4”, maximum turning diameter of 13.2” with maximum bar capac-ity of 2.5” and turning length of 20.8”. Features of the TMX8MYS include: • Enhanced graphics capa-bilities to represent sub-spindle operations • Bi-directional part trans-fer • Index position within one degree on main spin-dle, sub-spindle and live tool • Live tool turret with Y-axis capability • Faster servo turret in-stead of hydraulic Shown are accessory drive pulleys and harmonic • Hydraulic system with damper hubs. They have gone through the first heat exchanger that pro-operation and are ready for the second operation. motes thermal stability to increase reliability and ex-When the company’s fleet of ma-tend machine life chines started to age, it had to find a re-• Ergonomic design features, such as placement line of machinery that front foot pedals to quickly open/close would provide the same or better qual-the chuck and engage/disengage the ity of parts the shop was producing at tailstock, for convenience and to pro-a competitive price. “We interviewed mote productivity. “With the TMX8MYS, production several machine suppliers to get a feel for both the quality and selection of time has been reduced significantly Continued on Page 58 machines available, and also for their Innovators West makes high qual-ity SFI 18.1 certified harmonic dampers for street and race vehicles. Dampers absorb and dampen the vibrations cre-ated by the engine from the firing pulses of the combustion process. September 2013 • MIDWEST MANUFACTURING NEWS • www.mfgnewsweb.com Superior Plastic Products, Inc. (SPP), a blow molding business, ac-quired the ability to make its own molds, and then decided to expand the business further by adding extrusion capabilities. Outsourcing the tools and dies needed proved to be a challenge due to long lead times, so the company sought a way to overcome this chal-lenge. “When we began looking for shops that could make our dies and tools, we learned that lead times were typically around six months,” said Elmer Weaver, Shop Manager, SPP. “This did not include the time and ef-fort it would take for us to evaluate and accept the tooling. Needless to say, we felt these lead times were unaccept-able and we did not want to incur the additional costs associated with the tooling evaluations. We subsequently decided that we would try to make the extrusion dies and tools in-house.” However, making their own tool-ing presented a new set of challenges. Due to the sheer number and type of tools and dies required, the SPP team would have to become adept at cost-ef-fective small lot machining. This meant that they would have to acquire equip-ment that minimized lot changeover times. The company also faced an addi-tional challenge: how to find and keep skilled machinists. “None of our peo-ple—with the exception of one—had any machine shop experience prior to joining us,” said Weaver. “Everyone else learned on the job, and their capa-bilities were limited. We needed equip-ment that was easy to learn and use.” “Based on our experience, we knew we would need a machine with an automatic tool changer to meet our schedules,” said Weaver. “A 5-axis ma-chine would address our productivity needs, but would also contain many features and capabilities we would never use, so the acquisition of one would not make sense. We then con-sidered new versus retrofitted/rebuilt equipment. The latter would be less ex-pensive, but we were concerned about product support, so we eliminated it as an option.” SPP chose a TRAK LPM machin-ing center from Southwestern Indus-tries because it met all of their requirements. Besides having an auto-matic tool changer, the LPM features the following: • The ProtoTRAK conversational lan-guage based CNC. “We have Proto-TRAK controls on our TRAK mill and lathe, so we know how easy it is for machinists to learn and use this con-trol,” said Weaver. “Most importantly, it does not require our people to have Continued on Page 60 Stair brackets machined using the LPM’s 4th axis capabilities.
Multiple Setups No Longer
Innovators West makes high quality SFI 18.1 certified harmonic dampers for street and race vehicles. Dampers absorb and dampen the vibrations created by the engine from the firing pulses of the combustion process.
When the company’s fleet of machines started to age, it had to find a replacement line of machinery that would provide the same or better quality of parts the shop was producing at a competitive price. “We interviewed several machine suppliers to get a feel for both the quality and selection of machines available, and also for their service after the sale,” said Brad Waddle, Owner, Innovators West / Waddle’s Manufacturing. “All machines break down over time, and how well machines are supported and serviced can make a big difference to a company’s bottom line.”
“After careful evaluation, we selected the Hurco TMX8MYS multi-axis mill turn (lathe with live tooling and Y-axis),” saidWaddle. The TMX8MYS has X/Z/W/Y travels of 8.7”/ 22”/25.2”/4.4”, maximum turning diameter of 13.2” with maximum bar capacity of 2.5” and turning length of 20.8”.
Features of the TMX8MYS include:
• Enhanced graphics capabilities to represent subspindle operations
• Bi-directional part transfer
• Index position within one degree on main spindle, sub-spindle and live tool
• Live tool turret with Yaxis capability
• Faster servo turret instead of hydraulic
• Hydraulic system with heat exchanger that promotes thermal stability to increase reliability and extend machine life
• Ergonomic design features, such as front foot pedals to quickly open/close the chuck and engage/disengage the tailstock, for convenience and to promote productivity.
“With the TMX8MYS, production time has been reduced significantly due to the elimination of multiple setups,” saidWaddle. “Instead of three to four operations, these parts can be fully machined in one operation.”
“In one operation we went from a 7. 5 inch x 1.5 inch piece of 6061T6 aluminumbar,” saidWaddle. “Thismultiaxismachinewith live tooling is able to perform the same processes that previously took three lathe operations and one mill operation—plus we are now able to engrave the numbers in the O.D. of the case. This new Hurco machine has allowed us to go fromrawmaterial to a finished part without the need for multiplemachines andmultiple operators. The operator can load the material, hit ‘go,’ and go back to running another machine. The machine runs nearly unattended for 8+ hours a day.”
“The combination of a rigid machine with cutting edge technology and a knowledgeable representative led us to choose Hurco as the next line ofmachine tools.Hurco appeared to be on the cutting edge of software design, and also had solid wellbuilt hardware,” said Waddle. “We also got a great feeling dealing with Hurco distributor Gage Machine Tool. They took the extra time to answer all of our questions and reassure us that they were there for us should we need any help down the road. They have followed through with those promises along the way.”
“As the machinists at Waddle’s Manufacturing have learned, machining with the TMX8MYS mill turn machine means fewer setups and less material handling which equals greater productivity and profitability,” said a company spokesperson. “While the specifications of the TMX8MYS are impressive, the control’s intuitive user interface that simplifies programming and operation is what differentiates it from others in its class. For example, by simply checking a box, the control activates linear Y-axis motion. The sub-spindle functions are similarly straightforward. The control has multiple milling strategies to simplify programming, such as l ines and arcs, circle, frame, slot, axial flats, and/or lettering.” The slot is an example of the control’s flexibility and easy pro - gramming capabilities. The operator uses linear or rotary coordinates, including the Y-axis, by defining the slot width and then defining the start and end styles using a line or an arc. Additionally, the operator can choose different plunge feed types, including straight, zig-zag or rapid.
The part can be t ransfer red wi th or without a cutoff operation. The two-stage process is designed to simplify part transfer and gives operators control over the process . In the Stage 1 screen, program the rapid and feed position: the chuck opens and closes automatically to transfer the part to the sub-spindle. In the Stage 2 screen, prog r am t h e ma i n chuck to open and define the position where the subspindl e should rapid.
Waddle Manufacturing / Innov ators We strecently pur - chased an additional multi-axis mill turn lathe, the new TMX8MYSi. The company also has one VMX64mill, one TM12 lathe (and another on order), two VM10mills, Cincinnati equipment (Hawk 200 and Hawk 250), Falcon 300 lathes,Arrow 750 and 1000mills, Sabre 2000 mills and two Maxim horizontals (650HMC). In addition to the aftermarket high performance automotive parts it machines for the Innovators West product line, Waddle’s Manufacturing machines parts for several local customers.
Brad Waddle opened Waddle’s Manufacturing & Machine in 1984 in Salina, KS. His business stayed busy machining parts for numerous industrial companies in the area, but he decided to combine his hobby with work in 1995 when he purchased Innovators West, Inc., a manufacturer of customracing parts in Hutchinson, KS. Since that time, both Waddle’s Manufacturing and InnovatorsWest have experienced steady growth, both in machining parts for external customers and machining its own product line of parts. Innovators West also provides specialty services, such as custom designed dampers for special applications, ring gear lightning and REM polishing.
For more information contact:
Salina, KS 67401
Hurco Companies, Inc.
P.O. Box 68180
Indianapolis, IN 46268
KS, N.W. MO, NE
Gage Machine Tool
10668 Widmer Rd.
Lenexa, KS 66215
Read the full article at http://www.virtualonlineeditions.com/article/Multiple+Setups+No+Longer/1493496/173025/article.html.
New Technology Expands In-House Capabilities
Superior Plastic Products, Inc. (SPP), a blow molding business, acquired the ability to make its own molds, and then decided to expand the business further by adding extrusion capabilities. Outsourcing the tools and dies needed proved to be a challenge due to long lead times, so the company sought a way to overcome this challenge.
“When we began looking for shops that could make our dies and tools, we learned that lead times were typically around six months,” said Elmer Weaver, Shop Manager, SPP.
“This did not include the time and effort it would take for us to evaluate and accept the tooling.Needless to say, we felt these lead timeswere unacceptable and we did not want to incur the additional costs associated with the tooling evaluations. We subsequently decided that we would try tomake the extrusion dies and tools in-house.”
However, making their own tooling presented a new set of challenges. Due to the sheer number and type of tools and dies required, the SPP team would have to become adept at cost-effective small lotmachining. Thismeant that they would have to acquire equipment that minimized lot changeover times.
The company also faced an additional challenge: how to find and keep skilled machinists. “None of our people— with the exception of one—had any machine shop experience prior to joining us,” said Weaver. “Everyone else learned on the job, and their capabilitieswere limited.We needed equipment that was easy to learn and use.”
“Based on our experience, we knew we would need a machine with an automatic tool changer to meet our schedules,” saidWeaver. “A5-axismachine would address our productivity needs, but would also contain many features and capabilities we would never use, so the acquisition of one would not make sense. We then considered new versus retrofitted/rebuilt equipment. The latterwould be less expensive, but we were concerned about product support, sowe eliminated it as an option.”
SPP chose a TRAK LPM machining center from Southwestern Indust ries becauseitmet all of their requirements. Besides having an automatic tool changer, the LPM features the following:
• The ProtoTRAK conversational language based CNC. “We have Proto- TRAK controls on our TRAK mill and lathe, so we know how easy it is for machinists to learn and use this control,” said Weaver. “Most importantly, it does not require our people to have detailed G-code programming knowledge. The ProtoTRAK PMX model CNC that comes with the LPM can be programmed in background mode (‘staged’mode) for a future job while it is already machining a part on the table. It provides us with flexibility in terms of file types and storage, and provides documentation features that assist us with our quality control efforts. Most notably, it stores notes and photographs within the program that address set-ups, tooling and other useful information relating to current and repeat orders. All of this information is instantly accessible via the PMX control.”
• A quick changeover system that makes small lot machining cost effective. The LPMcontains an integral Jergens Ball Lock fixturing system that ismachined into its table.With this system, the operator always knows the datum of the part or parts relative to one of the three primary Ball Locks built into the table. So, once the initial set-up has been completed and the dimensional accuracy of the machined part confirmed, it can be repeated at any time with the LPM ready to go within a few minutes. This is because when a program is saved, the Proto- TRAK LPM PMX control not only saves the process information and any program notes, but also the datum positioning data.
• The ability to run CAMgenerated Gcode for complex jobs that could involve hundreds or even thousands of ProtoTRAK program events. G-code editing can be done directly at the machine without having to go through the process of going back to the computer, revising the program and re-posting it. Finally, Southwestern Industries offers a DXF converter software package that allows ProtoTRAK programs to be generated quickly and easily from imported CAD DXF files.
“We also selected the LPM from Southwestern Industries because its salespeople are responsible for customer product training,” said Weaver. “We feel this accountability gives them more credibility. They cannot just sell you their product and walk away— they have to come back and train you.”
“We had our LPM installed on a Tuesday, but delayed our training by a few days because we already owned some TRAK products and wanted to play with the new machine for a few days to learn what questions to ask,” said Weaver.
“When Southwestern’s salesman,Mike McGarry, arrived the following Monday to train us, we had already run three jobs. It is that simple. We spent a few hours learning the Ball Lock systemand the training was completed before noon.”
SPP personnel program their basic jobs directly on the PMX control. For their complex jobs, including 3D surfacing, they utilize the LPM’s GCD and networking capabilities. Operators can retrieve a CAMgenerated program directly from the machine via the network and run it. They use the G-code editor if and when needed to do minor code editing (e.g., feed rates and spindle speeds).
For tooling, SPP generates Proto- TRAK programs directly from DXF files and then completes the programs at the machine—at ask that Weaver says even their least experienced personnel can accomplish.
In order to take advantage of the LPM’s Jergens Ball Lock workholding system, they have built and use standard fixtures that attach directly to the LPM table, or to the Southwestern Industries standard fixture plates that attach to the LPM table. According toWeaver, it allows their changeovers to be easily accomplishedwithin amatter ofminutes.
According to SPP, the LPM allowed them to meet all of their expansion goals. “In fact,wewere so satisfied with the LPM that we bought a second one with a 4th axis,” said Weaver. “When the second LPMarrived we put it to use with no training.”
“It takes us less than one third of the time to go fromdesign to end product on the shelf using the LPMs, versus the time it would have taken had we contracted the extrusion dies and tools out,” saidWeaver. “And, the cost is approximately 50% less.”
The TRAK LPM features a 15 HP 8,000 RPM spindle, table travels of 31” x 18.5” x 21” (XYZ), 16 tool capacity automatic tool changer and integrated 4th axis. The TRAK LPM measures 13.9’ x 7. 37’ x 9’ (LWH) and has a table size of 35-3/8” x 19-5/8”. It has a variety of fixture plates for use with the integrated Jergens Ball Lock positioning system.Acart is included with themobile tool setting system.
SPPmachines and fabricates a wide variety ofmaterials for its products.Materials include: 6061 and 7075 aluminum for blow molds; 4140 pre-hardened (28 - 32 Rockwell) steel for extrusion pullers; A1 and D2 tool steel for stamping tools; 304 stainless steel for tooling for sizing extrusions and vacuumplates; and PVC. The company utilizes SolidWorks for designing, have robotwelding capabilities, metal shears, a press brake and twowire EDM machines.
Superior Plastic Products provides builders and homeowners with maintenance- free vinyl fence materials and vinyl post and railing products. Years of design and vinyl productmanufacturing experience ensure structurally sound vinyl fencing and railing products that meet required building codes. Vinyl fence and railing products from SPP are backed with a lifetime warranty.
“From the time of its inception, Superior Plastic Products, LLC (formerly Quality Fencing & Supply) has worked diligently to provide products that are not only attractive in design but are manufactured of the finest materials available and built to last,” saidWeaver.
For more information contact:
Elmer Weaver, Shop Manager
Superior Plastic Products, Inc.
110 Peters Road
New Holland, PA17557
Southwestern Industries, Inc.
2615 Homestead Place
Rancho Dominguez, CA90220
Read the full article at http://www.virtualonlineeditions.com/article/New+Technology+Expands+In-House+Capabilities/1493502/173025/article.html.
Previous Page Next PagePublication List