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From machine shop to tooling manufacturer.

Choosing the right machine for the right job has played a key role in OTM's success as an indexable tool maker. Formerly called On Time Machining, the Wapakoneta, OH-based OTM OTM

See: Out of the money.
 has evolved from machine shop, to manufacturer of special tooling, to manufacturer of a full line of standard tooling. Since its founding, OTM has relied on Clausing Industrial Inc as a machine supplier, provider of machine expertise, and now as a customer for its own line of cutting tools.

Started in 1989 with three people, OTM employs 25 workers covering two shifts in a 12,000 sq ft facility. The company has always done some contract machining, but its true growth and success have come directly from its ability to produce special tooling including combination tools, indexable drills, and milling cutters a fluted, sharp-edged rotary cutter for dressing surfaces, as of metal, of various shapes.

See also: Milling

Some of its first steps as a new business included repairing indexable tooling and crudely building special-indexable tooling on older manual machines. When computer aided design (application) Computer Aided Design - (CAD) The part of CAE concerning the drawing or physical layout steps of engineering design. Often found in the phrase "CAD/CAM" for ".. manufacturing".  (CAD) was added, OTM began to shop around for CNC (Computerized Numerical Control) See numerical control.

CNC - Collaborative Networked Communication
 machining centers and CNC milling machines milling machine

Machine tool that rotates a circular tool with numerous cutting edges arranged symmetrically about its axis, called a milling cutter. The metal workpiece is usually held in a vise clamped to a table that can move in three perpendicular directions.
. Fast, dependable machines that were versatile and adaptable a·dapt·a·ble  
Capable of adapting or of being adapted.

 to routine and unique projects were regarded as a must.

"Early on, we searched for a really good CNC machine base to begin with, and we chose the Clausing/Kondia FV1-CNC vertical milling machine," says John Desenberg, OTM marketing director.

"When OTM first came to us they were a new company, didn't have a lot of money, so they were looking for Looking for

In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with.
 a machine that was low in price and would give them increased production," adds Bernie Ibbs, Clausing CNC technical engineering manager.

That machine choice increased production, but Mark Meyer, OTM chairman and chief designer, decided the cutters it came equipped with weren't performing to his expectations. So Mr Meyer sat down and designed his own cutters. Later he was using the cutters in-house to produce more and more tooling. Subsequently he bought more of the same machines eventually totaling five FV-1 three-axis CNC milling machines. Mr Ibbs concludes, "He bought the FV-1s because he knew them and they had given him good reliability and performance." This helped OTM build its reputation for special tooling.

Primary tooling lines manufactured by OTM as specials include: indexable combination tools, custom tool design and build, indexable drills, indexable core drills and trepan tre·pan
A trephine.

To trephine.


 tools, and quick-change chuck jaw systems.

Experiments were conducted on an OTM 3" dia face mill by Mr Ibbs at Clausing. He explains, "Using the same material, I compared OTM and their competitors' cutters on the B-500 CNC vertical machining center, a 7 1/2 hp machine. The best I could do with their competitors was 0.0140" depth of cut, at 10" per minute feedrate, at about 1500 rpm. With the OTM cutter cutter, small, one-masted sailing vessel, with a rig similar to that of a sloop except that it usually has a sliding bowsprit and a topmast. From 1800 to 1830 cutters were in service between England and France. , I could go 0.4" depth of cut. I could increase the rpm to 1800 and increase surface speed to 12" a minute. The machine didn't run out of power and the cutter did not burn up. I didn't have to use coolant coolant (kōō´lnt),
 because all the heat goes away in the chip."

In time OTM had made inroads inroads
Noun, pl

make inroads into to start affecting or reducing: my gambling has made great inroads into my savings

inroads npl to make inroads into [+
 with its special tooling at major manufacturers such as Browning Manufacturing, Maysville, KY, and automakers like Honda, GM, and Ford. Due to extensive leadtime and the manhours required to engineer and manufacture special tooling, the company has shifted its strategy to producing standard tooling.

"It became apparent that the positive tool geometry utilized in our special tooling could probably be evolved into an industry standard," says Mr Desenberg. "In the latter part of 1993 and early 1994, a family of indexable end mills and face mills was introduced to a regional marketplace that may have caught the competition napping," reckons Rich Lehwald, OTM manager of special tools. That tooling has been expanded this year to introduce long-edge mills and larger diameter face mills. Added value Added value in financial analysis of shares is to be distinguished from value added. Used as a measure of shareholder value, calculated using the formula:

Added Value = Sales - Purchases - Labour Costs - Capital Costs
 for OTM's special tooling customers has not been overlooked when crafting standard tooling. Mr Lehwald insists, "We built our tooling reputation by giving end-users drastically reduced setup See BIOS setup and install program.  times. Some of the things we've done with reducing setup times are phenomenal."

To support these moves in the marketplace, in 1993 OTM replaced other equipment with two new Clausing/Kondia B-500 CNC vertical machining centers; a third identical machining center was added this year.

"Clausing offers a good, solid, all-around workhorse-type of machining center and milling machine," says Mr Desenberg. "Their machines enhance our manufacturing with reliability day-in and day-out. They follow-up with effective service to keep us up and running because things do happen, even with preventative maintenance. We've been able to move ahead as a business because of that reliability."

A final footnote Text that appears at the bottom of a page that adds explanation. It is often used to give credit to the source of information. When accumulated and printed at the end of a document, they are called "endnotes."  in this story has OTM selling tooling starter kits to Clausing to accompany its machine sales. When Mr Meyer first saw the B-500 during an open house demonstration, he liked what he saw and bought one. He discarded dis·card  
v. dis·card·ed, dis·card·ing, dis·cards
1. To throw away; reject.

a. To throw out (a playing card) from one's hand.

 the tooling that came with the machining center and designed his own. Mr Ibbs recalls, "When I first became aware of what he was actually doing I went into his shop and saw him machining parts and he just blew my mind. I told him I wanted some of his cutters to demonstrate on our machines."

Mr Meyers designed a starter kit for Clausing that's available in three sizes. Entering this tricky world of advising machine customers on what tooling to purchase did not come easily to a cautious Mr Ibbs. "I've always said to these people, 'I want to stay out of this.' Because if I sell you a tooling package, and you get it home and you can't get inserts locally, or you can't get this or that, you're not going to forget it."

Mr Ibbs concludes, "That was my advice until OTM came along, and quite frankly, their tooling just outperforms everybody else's."
COPYRIGHT 1994 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1994 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Sep 1, 1994
Previous Article:Vision thing: machines provide it for control.
Next Article:Cutting tool selection begins with materials.

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