Production Machining

DEC 2014

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

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transfer from Op 10 to Op 20. Tey had one machine with a subspindle, but all the secondary turned parts work needed to be performed on the VMCs. It was difcult for Advance to bid competitively for work to run on them, making turning a small percentage of the company's revenue. Ten, 2 years ago at IMTS, Swiss-type machining caught Mr. Dunaway's attention. "My background is in machining larger parts," Mr. Dunaway says. "But the potential of CNC Swiss-type machines caught my attention. It looked like a promising way to augment our metalworking capability efciently. Although I had little experience in small-part production, it seemed like an opportunity to expand our shop's ability to competitively do diferent kinds of work." Like he did on the move from VMCs to HMCs, Mr. Hamilton backed his "guy" on the move into this uncharted water. More than the Machine Mr. Dunaway began to research Swiss machines, checking out diferent models and collecting information on the vari- ous machines on the market. He settled on a DMG MORI Sprint 20-8. "I liked the ergonomics of the machine," Mr. Dunaway recalls, "and I also liked the matching power ratings of the main and subspindle, which take the same collets. Te ability to easily access the workzone for tool changing and setup was an important component of our selection." In 2012, Mr. Dunaway, Mr. Hamilton and their operations manager Chet Colopy attended IMTS to "kick the tires" on various Swiss machines in order to make a decision. "We submitted a bid to DMG MORI on a Sprint 20-8, which they accepted. Advance became proud owners of their frst CNC Swiss-type machine. It was installed in December 2012," Mr. Dunaway says. Like many shops willing to venture from their comfort zone, the question of what do we do now arises. With no experienced Swiss operators on the payroll, Mr. Dunaway decided to create one out of a sharp, 20-year-old man he identifed from the milling department. With no bad habits to break, the operator was really a clean sheet of paper for getting the Swiss department up and running. However, training a new guy in Swiss, in a shop just getting into it is not an in-house activity. An advantage that Advance was able to capitalize on is the DMG Training Academy program available at the company's headquarters in Chicago. "Before the new Sprint was installed, we sent the operator to the DMG MORI Training Academy," Mr. Dunaway says. "It was an intensive 2-week program, including opera- tion, programming and maintenance training run by one of the DMG MORI application engineers. Happily, the operator we selected was like a sponge absorbing, and more importantly, retaining, the information. With the machine installed, we started running some jobs and basically experimenting. In short order, the numbers looked good. We were in the Swiss machined parts business." It Worked Shops of all stripes have been discov- ering the production advantages that CNC Swiss machining can bring to the party. Granted, the technology plays in the small-diameter range, Advance's machines are 20 mm, but it has found the work in that range plentiful. Proof of the concept came within 6 months of the Sprint installation, which by then was running at or near its capacity. Lot sizes varied across the sprint from small lots of 250 pieces to runs of 50,000. According to Mr. Dunaway, "Our sweet spot is around 5,000 pieces, but we will run much smaller lots. Tat's an advantage we have over some other "Swiss" houses that prefer not to quote the shorter run jobs." :: Machining pre-hardened materials is a niche that Advance CNC Machining is carving out for itself. These parts are a small sample of the work. 32 PRODUCTION MACHINING :: DECEMBER 2014 SWISS-TYPE MACHINING

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