Production Machining

AUG 2018

Production Machining - Your access to the precision machining industrial buyer.

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Continuous Production Doubles Shop's Output By Bart Bishop CASE IN POINT 42 PRODUCTION MACHINING :: AUGUST 2018 W hen considering continuous production versus batch production, a shop has to weigh the pros and cons. If a batch of a product is not selling, then the manufacturer can cease production without sustaining huge losses. Batch production is useful for companies that make products for which demand is difficult to forecast. Also, some smaller businesses can't afford continuous production. For shops with high- volume orders, however, the production-cost advantages of decreased downtime from producing parts without stopping are compounded by a reduced need for machine reconfiguration and testing. Faced with an inefficient reliance on batch production last year, GLT Inc. (Dayton, Ohio), a source of precision CNC machining, welding and assembly, decided it was time for a change. GLT opened as a warehousing firm in 1987. By 2002, however, the business had expanded into three facilities for assembly, kitting and machining. "GLT was buying a lot from machine shops, so the owner decided we should start our own machine shop," says Jason Heggs, manufacturing manager for GLT. Mr. Heggs came on board at that point, and three machines were quickly purchased. After 16 years that number has expanded to 31 spindles and focuses on horizontal, vertical and lathe turning. In 2007, the company was bought out by Kevin Knight, Chris Knight, Jeff Banford and Brad Labensky (the vice president of operations). Today, GLT does a multitude of machining— including castings, weldments—and from raw stock including long, skinny stainless steel parts for commercial equipment used in the food service and grocery industry. e shop has 60 employees, with about 35 working in the machine shop. Mostly, it only runs first and second shifts, although machines can run overnight with operators coming by every four hours or so to check on them. ese two daily shifts were producing 600 long rods for a customer with one operator on a Mori Seiki SL 25, a 30-year-old standard turning center lathe the company had purchased around a dozen years earlier. is process, however, involved paying $35,000 a year for an outside saw operation to cut bars to length. When the cut bars were returned in batches, an operator would manually feed them into the turning center all shift long. "It's the same operation on both ends, and it's a 20-second cycle time," Mr. Heggs says. "e poor guy would have to take the conveyor rod and spin it around, and do that all day." is expenditure of time, labor and money wasn't allowing the company to stay competitive, so a decision was made in 2017 for GLT to reach out to distributor Advanced Machinery Companies (AMC). Started in 1978, AMC is a full-service machine tool organization, located in Dayton, Ohio, that distributes and installs new and used CNC machines. AMC's answer for GLT was an RB20Y Swiss-type CNC lathe from Swistek Machinery America, which offers packaged machine configuration systems. e turning center has a tooling system that features eight external and five inner toolholders and accommodates as many as seven side drilling devices. It also includes a :: The FANUC 32i-B control system was provided by Swistek for the RB20Y, as it is designed for complex, high- performance machines with a large number of axes, multiple part program paths and high-speed auxiliary machine functions.

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