ChipChat: Done in One
As we look towards the future of U.S. manufacturing, we see the growing trend of manufacturers reshoring their products and consolidating their supply chain. While the need for cost competitiveness remains ever apparent, now is the time for manufacturers to challenge themselves and change the way they operate; to become more efficient and productive. Ellison Technologies President of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Jeff Lage, walks you through ways to remove waste and optimize process steps using multi-axis machining technology. Read along and view the recorded ChipChat webinar, “Done in One” to help ensure your shop is tuned up and ready to MAKE MORE through the current COVID-19 crisis and rise above the competitive landscape of tomorrow.
If you missed the webinar, continue reading and view the recording.
Through our database of owned machines, we see that among those currently in shops, 58% are 2-axis lathes and 3-axis mills, and the other 42% are multi-axis. This tells us that many shops have not fully adopted multi-axis machining and are still utilizing older machining technology and processes. Although many will say that their current processes are adequate and has worked for several years, the mill-lathe-mill setup with 3-4 job steps, excessive part movement and transportation, inspection bottle necks, and long lead times and queues are standing in the way of manufacturers’ ability to improve.
Multi-axis machining presents several opportunities for manufacturers to optimize their process and become more efficient. With newer and more advanced machining technology, manufacturers can get their parts done in one setup, on less machines, and with minimal interruptions. By consolidating processes that used to involve multiple mills and lathes into single machines, shop owners gain the ability to further train and utilize their skilled team members in more meaningful business building roles to improve the quality of their parts, shop, and process. Additionally, with more efficient machines, shops can run lights out and unattended to maximize their productivity.
Where to Start?
As we’ve mentioned in our previous ChipChat webinars, covering Five Axis and Industry 4.0 integration into your shop, the first step to understanding what areas can be improved begins with the parts. Find the right machines for the parts your organization makes and the kind of parts you want to make. The next step is understanding your programming. What platform are you using? Is it time for training or an upgrade? Newer and more intuitive programming systems can help achieve higher quality tool paths, more efficient cuts, and with digital twin capabilities, minimize mistakes. Finally, it is important to utilize PDSA with the future in mind. Are your goals to run lights out, unattended or with minimal attendance? Automation technology such as machine monitoring, collet systems, pallet changers, bar feeders, part conveyors, robotics, and cobots can help you achieve those goals.
Done in One Success Stories
Ronlo Engineering – This shop transitioned into Done in One starting with 3-axis mills and 2-axis twin spindle turning, then utilized the addition of Doosan TT1800’s twin spindle turning center with Y-axis capabilities to further consolidate their processes into less machines. By adopting multi-axis machining, they were able to combine the productivity of eight machines into two, increasing their throughput and efficiency, reducing labor, and freeing up their personnel to MAKE MORE for the shop.
Forward Technologies – The customer came to Ellison Technologies with the intention to acquire a mill to expand their capacity. Instead, Ellison proposed multi-axis turning to consolidate one sawing, two lathe, and two milling operations into less machines. By first adopting the Doosan PUMA 2600Y with Y-axis capabilities and a parts catcher, they realized the productivity enhancing features that led them to later integrate Doosan’s Lynx 220 LSYA and PUMA 2600SY with sub-spindle and y-axis travels.
Midwest Turned Products – The customer achieved Done in One productivity operating with two shifts and a third unattended shift. By utilizing machine monitoring software and a twin turret machine equipped with bar feeder, parts conveyor, high pressure coolant, and collet system, they were able to automate their production and MAKE MORE parts without an attendant.
Jeff Lage is the President of Advanced Manufacturing Technology at Ellison Technologies based out of Los Angeles, CA. Jeff’s mission at Ellison is to evaluate, integrate and promote new and emerging technologies from around the world into Ellison Technologies and their U.S. market base. Jeff brings his passion for industry along with over 40 years of manufacturing experience from the job shop industry to Ellison. Jeff has a keen understanding of machining, lean manufacturing, operational excellence, supply chain management and managing a successful job shop with over 100 CNC machines and $80M in annual sales.