5-Axis Helps Engelbrecht Manufacturing Stay Ahead of the Competition
Engelbrecht Manufacturing is a contract manufacturer that has been producing precision machined parts and components for over 25 years. Operating out of Southeast Texas, a large amount of what they produce supports the oilfield industry. When that business slowed down a bit, owner Bryan Engelbrecht decided to diversify and they now serve the aerospace, power generation, medical and transportation industries as well.
Specializing in difficult to machine materials and having an owner who always has his eye on the future made adding 5-axis capabilities to their skillset a no-brainer.
According to Bryan, there was no hesitation when it came to making the leap. Combining operations meant fewer setups, more time saved and reduced production costs. Their first addition through Ellison Technologies came in 2019 in the form of the Doosan DVF 5000, a 5-axis vertical machining center with a fully integrated 500mm rotary table.
“We’ve known our salesman Andy for about 20 years. He’s very quick and to the point, there’s no dancing around with him. They’re a great company to work with,” Bryan said.
They also had software in-house that was capable of 5-axis programming, making the transition much easier. Ellison helped them with streamlining the data to the DVF 5000; all it took was a few parameter changes and they were good to go. In fact, the whole process was so painless that Bryan never doubted that he was making a great investment.
In 2021, Engelbrecht added yet another DVF to the shop. This time it was a Doosan DVF 6500, the bigger brother of the previously installed DVF 5000. Its 650 mm rotary table, driven by a tandem drive A-axis, increased their capabilities even more and gave them the capability to machine larger parts. While the two DVF machines were their first foray into 5-axis machining, they were not the first Doosans to grace their shop floor. That honor went to a DMV 3016 standard C-frame vertical machining center in 1997, back when it was still branded as a Daewoo. Engelbrecht got 25 great years out of it, and recently sold it to another shop.
The biggest reason that the DVF 5000 ended up being their first 5-axis machine is pretty simple: there aren’t a lot of machines that can easily cut the nickel alloys, stainless steel, inconels and more that they specialize in. They also considered machines from Okuma and DMG Mori, but the Okuma didn’t have enough Z-axis and the DMG Mori couldn’t match Doosan’s cost performance. In the end, the DVF’s superior rigidity, extra room and overall value made for a winning combination.
Life after 5-axis
Some of the biggest benefits the two 5-axis DVF machines provide are cycle time savings, high spindle speeds that provide better surface finishes and the overall impact to Engelbrecht’s bottom line. Another additional bonus is how much they impress customers; when they tour the facility, they always want to stop at the 5-axis machines and watch them run.
In the end, Bryan said what every distributor and machine manufacturer loves to hear: “We’d buy another.”
If you’d like to explore the benefits of 5-axis machining for yourself, the experts at an Ellison Technologies location near you are ready to help guide the way.