Production Machining

DEC 2018

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

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sometimes for years. Screw machine shops did well for many years. However, that business model eveolved and survivor shops such as Nolte were able to recognize that change and change with it. Mr. Coster says when he joined Nolte, the shop, like many screw machine shops, was running automatics. It ran about 40 Brown & Sharpes, of which the company has three of those machines left on the floor today. "We began the transition from cam to CNC slowly," Mr. Coster recalls. "Our first CNC Swiss was purchased in 1994 specifically for a job we had won the contract for. It was a more complex part and tighter tolerance than much of our normal work, but indicated the direction we needed to take the company strategically." Another confirmation that the handwriting was on the wall in the 1990s for the traditional screw machine shop, as it was defined for many years, came with the name change of the trade association for screw machine shops, which included Nolte and many other shops like it. e association went from the National Screw Machine Products Association to the Precision Machined Products Association. Nolte has been an active member of the association since 1943. "With the addition of CNC machining capability, we began making the infrastructure change, which over time required replacing the cam department with CAD/CAM programming capability. We standardized with DP Technology for our offline programming," Mr. Coster says. Many screw machine shops, including Nolte, discov- ered that with the infrastructure shift to CNC program- ming capability, non-traditional machining operations became doable. Unlike cam setting, G code doesn't care what kind of machine it is running. Doing More Today, Nolte's portfolio of customer services include CNC turning, CNC Swiss machining, CNC milling, sub-assembly and single-spindle/multi-spindle automatic screw machining for medium to high volume production quantities. ese expanded operational capabilities allow for an expansion of the company's customer base attracted a broader number of industries served by Nolte. "We generally don't purchase machines without the work to put on them," Mr. Coster says. "However, having expanded our shop's capabilities into more varied opera- tions, we are able to attract work from our customers that might have otherwise gone to another shop." e centerpiece of Nolte's machining capability is its proficiency with managing production of complex parts across its CNC Swiss machines. After running several brands of CNC Swiss, in 2013 Nolte standardized its shop with Tsugami machines. "Our newest Tsugami machine is a model BO 206," Mr. Coster says. "It's a 20-mm machine with six axis, opposed gang tool setup. It is also equipped with a chucker package that gives us the flexibility to run the machine with or without a guide bushing as dictated by the length-to-diameter ratio of the workpiece. Many jobs run better on a sliding headstock machine even though they are not traditional Swiss-type parts. The key is dropping off the part complete as possible using a single handling." One reason that Mr. Coster believes in focusing on a single brand, such as Tsugami, is the familiarity that the programmers, setup people and operators can establish experience with one brand. Over time, they are able to become proficient with these machines instead of relearning the idiosyncrasies of different brands. The FANUC control that Tsugami uses is also an advantage to standardizing because most of Nolte's people are familiar with it. Whenever possible, Nolte engineers the work flow to keep quality at a high level while reducing excess manufac- turing costs and cycle times from multiple part handling. is is a result of having the right equipment for part processing and personnel familiar with getting the most :: At the 2018 PMPA Annual Meeting, PMPA member Mike Preston (left), with Doug Coster, recognizes Nolte's 75 years of active membership with the association. SWISS-TYPE MACHINING 32 PRODUCTION MACHINING :: DECEMBER 2018

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