Production Machining

NOV 2017

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

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to three times the number of machines versus the horizon- tals. And they do. Azimuth typically purchases four to six machines at a time. When the Zaisers started the company in 2012, they needed equipment fast. ey talked with other machine tool suppliers who were quoting delivery times of six to 12 months out. ey were familiar with Haas machines from their previous company, where they had a small office mill with a 30,000-rpm spindle making electrodes for a sinker EDM. Haas was able to deliver six VF-2SSYT machines in two weeks, and by the end of the third week, all six machines were producing complex parts. e Haas machines are now producing mostly drop-in pistol barrels, bolt carriers and bolts for the AR-15, and recently slides and semi-automatic slides. Material is mostly stainless 416r gun barrel quality or 416 standard, 9310 alloy steel and 8620 alloy. Manufacturing Manager Nick Chylinski says the machines are particularly user friendly. "We get people who come in with little to no experience and put them in front of a Haas mill for a week, and they get it," he says. All of the employees are trained in-house, including a lot of cross-training. Many of the other machines on the floor use FANUC controls, and he says the employees can easily move from a FANUC to a Haas control with little interrup- tion of productivity. Overall, these VMCs have been a good fit for Azimuth. e machines run 20 hours a day, six days a week with 85-percent efficiency or better. e combination of these machine with the efficient work of the Tsugami Swiss machines has helped Azimuth grow beyond its walls. e company has used every inch of the current 30,000-square- foot manufacturing space, and expansion has begun for an additional 30,000 square feet. Clearly its strategy of special- izing in weapons production is paying off. For more information from Azimuth Technology, call 239-352-0600 or visit For more information from Haas Automation Inc., call 800-331-6746 or visit For more information from Tsugami/REM Sales LLC, call 860-687-3400 or visit able to balance more of the work to the subspindle, Mr. Naylor says the savings by keeping it on a single machine, with one setup and one operator makes it a good project. Dayler Botet, the Swiss turn lead, has been heading up the firing pin project. He explains that with the big diameter (3/4 inch), it needs to be done section by section, keeping the part close to the guide bushing to maintain rigidity and reduce vibration. Mr. Botet says he likes the Tsugami machines because they can run non-stop with little maintenance. To show this longevity, he points out one of the B0125 machines that has been running an ejector for the AR-15 for two months straight, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, maintaining tight tolerances. Programming Azimuth uses a few different CAM systems, depending on the machines they're programming. For the lathes, Partmaker is the main resource. "PartMaker has made my life amazingly easy," Mr. Naylor says. He had no CAM programming experience when he started at Azimuth. "It was old school, where I'd take my block of metal to the machine and write my program right there. It got the job done, and it worked, but the time savings we see now by doing the programming offline is amazing." When one part is finished, the next program is already created. Now Mr. Botet does most of the prototyping and programming for the Swiss machines. He says the postpro- cessors for the Tsugami machines have been flawless. He's been able to easily do design changes on the fly as well, including multiple varieties of the Glock firing pin. VMCs Fit Here, Too Much of the production at Azimuth Technology is performed on 35 Haas vertical machining centers (VMCs), each with a fourth-axis rotary indexer. e vertical design was first selected by the company for space considerations, but has proven beneficial in other ways as well. "My father talks about putting parts on machines that are simpler and breaking the process down into its simplest form," the younger Mr. Zaiser says. e vertical design is predisposed to faster, easier setups than the horizontal, which is an important feature for this shop that is often in and out of projects within hours. "We don't have the luxury of running a million of any given part. We're more of a glorified job shop, so we need the ability to change out within a half a day." e Haas machines that the company orders now are loaded with high pressure coolant, a 40-tool carousel, and the Wireless Intuitive Probing System (WIPS) with Renishaw probe. Still they offer cost benefits that Mr. Zaiser says allow the company to bring in two and a half Here's another article on this topic: Advances in Swiss-Type Technology R&D efforts in recent years have led to higher efficiencies, increased agility and expanded capabilities for shops performing Swiss-type turning. LINK :: Firearms Production :: 35

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