Production Machining

NOV 2018

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

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ree to four X-Z in-feed, or compound, slides enable three to ve tools to overlap and work simultaneously. A pick-o device consists of a hydraulically actuated, turret- mounted collet that is servo-driven synchronously with the main spindle. When front machining is complete, the collet holds the part for cuto after which it is indexed to the opposite direction for back machining. e back machining tool platform allows for mounting as many as four gang toolholders or three live toolholders. "We went with the Lico because it was similar to what we had, yet a major step up," Ms. Sommers says. "We wanted a xed headstock. e capacity on our former screw machines was 1 13 / 16 inches, and the Lico machine's capacity is 2 inches, which made it a perfect direct replacement." And the machine's capability to run lights out means, in addition to eight hours manned, the shop gets an additional 12 or so hours unattended. Screw machines are legendary for fast cycle times, but according to Ms. Sommers, the Lico machine is competi- tive. "Everything that came o the older screw machine had to be deburred or required a second operation, and the Lico solved that for us." According to plant manager, Nemesio Fernandez, the machine can apply four tools at the same time. "at'll save you a whole lot of cycle time," Mr. Fernandez says. "I've beat the cycle time on a lot of the former screw machine parts by half. Jobs I was running in 60 seconds, I run them on this machine in 35 seconds." e learning curve for multi-slide machine operation can be steep, but the shop's main screw machine setup person was already accustomed to working with tool slides and turrets. "He learned it really well," Ms. Sommers says. "He got creative with overlapping the slides and doing internal and external work at the same time." e ability to program each part individually facilitates operational creativity. Programming/ERP Shop sta writes its own CNC programs and sends them to the machines with DNC4U software. Ms. Sommers says, "I know as we grow and get more machines, we're going to have to do something dierent than manual program- ming." However, she recognizes her operators' desires to be creative with their program writing. Lakeview Precision has ERP software and is working to take advantage of its capabilities. "We're not using it to its fullest extent because we don't have to yet," Ms. Sommers says. "We're going paperless in the o›ce, and we want to do that in the shop." e strategy is to start with one shop person as a beta tester. "We're trying to capture everything we're doing and document it, so we have a gauge going forward. We are working on ensuring our processes are nailed down, written and standardized, and then we can systematize them even more." e shop's inventory, workpiece stock, parts and production data are in the ERP system, but for now the shop doesn't use it for scheduling, "Because it can't react every day like we can." Ms. Sommers would like to gain the capacity to enable customers to log in and check the status of their orders and request changes, if desired. Ms. Sommers says the shop's largest challenge is dealing with the 25 percent increase in sales experienced in 2017. "We had some growing pains last year. at's why we needed to get the ERP system to where we could get the information out of it and be able to react or prepare. We want to be more proactive; we want to prepare so we can see ahead of time what we have and what we have coming in." Controlling Sales Sings Lakeview Precision's big increase in 2017 sales re¡ected the shop's customer mix, Ms. Sommers says. "Our customer base is a little bit dierent. When everybody's busy, we seem to be a little bit slower; when everybody's slower, we seem to be really busy. A lot of the parts that we make are for consumer products, not business products. We want to even that out a little bit. We are looking at what percentage our sales are for dierent groups of customers and specically target B2B customers." Groth Prospects Lakeview Precision's traditional concentration on turning products is a limiting factor, according to Ms. Sommers. "Right now, all we do is turning. We are not a one-stop shop for our customers. at's why we can't get in with the big boys. Performing only turning is a specialty, however, it is holding :: Cassandra Sommers (Ms. Sommers' daughter) is in charge of production planning and is also certified in shopfloor management. CNC SINGLE-SPINDLE 28 PRODUCTION MCHINING :: NOVEMBER 2018

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