Production Machining

OCT 2018

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

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the business, however, the value is signicantly higher. By amortizing the cost of the CNC machine over a 15-year time span and adding in the cost of nancing, mainte- nance, power and rent, the CNC machine costs about $3/ hour to own 24 hours per day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Investments that reduce labor requirements may have a high price tag up front, but usually provide an outstanding rate of return. High Mix, Lo Volume High mix means many di…erent types of parts: bars, shafts, slugs, billets, castings and forgings with many di…erent types of features. Low-volume represents small batch quantities. But the denition of "small" depends on who is asking. Instead of focusing on the number of pieces in a batch, it's often better to consider how long it takes to run the batch, or perhaps what percentage of batch time involves setup. If setup time is more than 10 percent of the batch run time, the job is in the realm of low-volume manufacturing. Žese denitions matter because high-mix manufac- turing relies on 'exible manufacturing equipment, while low-volume manufacturing should have low setup time. When manufacturing is high mix and low volume, making the best equipment choice can be challenging. Shops need to look at the big picture and carefully consider the cost and availability of labor versus the cost of equip- ment. It will help them make better choices in the types of lathes and automation that will work best for any given facility. Lathe Options for High Mix, Lo Volume Underestimating the need to reduce labor is the biggest mistake shops make when choosing a lathe for high-mix, low-volume manufacturing. Žey often eschew milling capabilities in favor of adding an operation to an existing mill. Že extra cost for the subspindle, quick-change tooling or chucks may make these features seem like unnecessary luxuries. But shop managers rarely regret buying pricey options that reduce labor. Machine options that reduce operator labor will almost always have a high ROI. Quick-change chuck jaws, quick-change collets and quick-change tooling should be installed on any lathe performing high-mix, low-volume work. Options that provide the 'exibility to run parts in a single machine, one-and-done, will also have a great ROI. The 'Must-Have' Subspindle Almost all turned parts require two operations. When automating lathes, the subspindle is a particularly benecial option, the value of which is often overlooked or misun- derstood. Even if the lathe only does bar work and the subspindle merely allows the removal of the parting nub, the subspindle will pay for itself over the life of the machine versus an operator reloading the parts or grinding the nub o… by hand. Automating a chucking application is where a subspindle really pays dividends. Without a subspindle, a typical robot or gantry loader is only able to complete a single operation at a time. After the rst operation is :: MultiGrip orkholding is designed specifically for the high-mix, lo-volume automation market and brings unique capabilities for lathe applications. utomation for High Mix, Lo Volume productionmachining.com :: 31

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