Punching up productivity: adding a new punch press was the catalyst for modernization at a precision sheet metal shop."Artistry in Metal" is not only the corporate slogan for Wesgar Industries Ltd., Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada, a precision sheet metal shop, but the underlying philosophy of the company.
"Our people add the art of manufacturing to the science of metal work," John Thwaites John Thwaites may refer to:
Wesgar has a reputation for quality products and customer service earned during its 42 years of operation. Its customers include electronics, power supply, telecommunications, medical, environmental control, and radio frequency industries in markets throughout Canada, Europe, the U.S., and Mexico.
In its early days, Wesgar manufactured traditional industrial products, but evolved into a precision sheet metal fabricator fab·ri·cate
tr.v. fab·ri·cat·ed, fab·ri·cat·ing, fab·ri·cates
1. To make; create.
2. To construct by combining or assembling diverse, typically standardized parts: with 135 employees housed in a 75,000 [ft.sup.2] facility. In 2000, the company's sheet metal fabrication fabrication (fab´rikā´shn),
n the construction or making of a restoration. capability was three stand-alone mechanical turret punch presses. Wesgar management decided it was time for a change in both its manufacturing philosophy and equipment. A technical team was organized to search for fabrication equipment that would meet Wesgar's needs.
"We wanted to increase our capacity, efficiency, and quality," Thwaites Thwaites may refer to:
The Wesgar team chose the F6 Express Flexible Manufacturing Unit--FMU--from Finn-Power, Arlington Heights Arlington Heights, village (1990 pop. 75,460), Cook county, NE Ill., a residential suburb of Chicago; founded 1836, inc. 1887. Its manufactures include machinery, drugs and medical equipment, and metal fabrication. Arlington Park racetrack is there. , IL. The F6 Express FMU FMU Florida Metropolitan University
FMU Francis Marion University
FMU Forest Management Unit
FMU Fuel Management Unit
FMU Fire Management Unit (US National Forest Service)
FMU Fuel Metering Unit
FMU Flexible Manufacturing Unit loads full-sized sheets onto the table of the turret punch press, punches and forms the sheet metal, and then unloads the fabricated fab·ri·cate
tr.v. fab·ri·cat·ed, fab·ri·cat·ing, fab·ri·cates
1. To make; create.
2. To construct by combining or assembling diverse, typically standardized parts: sheet. The F6 Express increased Wesgar's productivity by increasing throughput volume by 50 percent with less than half the people. Running full-sized sheets also decreased shearing and material handling.
By mid-2004, Wesgar was ready to replace its two remaining mechanical turret punch presses with Finn-Power equipment.
"It was time to add capacity, tighten up Verb 1. tighten up - restrict; "Tighten the rules"; "stiffen the regulations"
constrain, stiffen, tighten
confine, limit, throttle, trammel, restrain, restrict, bound - place limits on (extent or access); "restrict the use of this parking lot"; "limit the tolerances, and consolidate programming software and tooling," Thwaites said. "Running two types of OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) The rebranding of equipment and selling it. The term initially referred to the company that made the products (the "original" manufacturer), but eventually became widely used to refer to the organization that buys the products and punching technology was not an efficient way to run the plant."
Another technical team was formed. Its goal wasn't selecting an equipment builder, instead its task was to review production requirements, the current customer base, and what current and future fabrication processes would be.
"We selected Finn-Power as the equipment OEM," Thwaites said, "but, we had to decide what type of punching product we needed within the Finn-Power family."
By staying with the one manufacturer, Wesgar simplified operator training so all of its operators could run all of the turret punch presses.
According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. L. Keith Day, Wesgar's chief operating officer Chief Operating Officer (COO)
The officer of a firm responsible for day-to-day management, usually the president or an executive vice-president. , after months of self-examination, which included Lean Manufacturing Lean manufacturing is the production of goods using less of everything compared to mass production: less human effort, less manufacturing space, less investment in tools, and less engineering time to develop a new product. training from an outside consultant, the company found that its current needs were not in the area of high-volume punching.
"At that time," Day said, "we discovered that about two-thirds of the jobs required just one or two blanks. We found that we needed a more flexible, smaller machine for both short runs and the occasional large volume jobs, as well as forming capabilities.
"While we were pleased with the F6 Express, we were running 80 percent of our volume on one machine. We wanted to spread this work over three machines with shared tooling and programming."
Quality and Capacity Improvements
Having the three machines would let Wesgar insert rush jobs without disrupting the production schedule, and provide quick turnaround on customer prototypes.
In mid-2004, Wesgar purchased two Finn-Power C5 hydraulic turret punch presses. The 20-station, 33-ton C5 hydraulic turret punch presses. The 20-station, 22-ton C5 hydraulic turret punch press has a maximum sheet capacity of 50"xl00" and is available with either Siemens or Fanuc controls.
According to Thwaites, the two Finn-Power C5 turret punch presses provided Wesgar with incremental capacity and higher quality. However, by 2006 the company's growth and new contracts soon created a need for additional fabrication equipment.
"We'd been growing 15 percent a year for eight years," Thwaites said. "At the time, a number of large contracts were coming in and we began discussions about further automating our fabrication process."
A third technical team was formed and chose the Finn-Power Shear Genius Shear Genius was an American reality television series on the Bravo network that focused on hair styling. Contestants engaged in weekly elimination competitions until a winner was determined. Flexible Manufacturing Cell, which was installed in October 2006.
The Shear Genius provides one machine capable of transforming a full-sized sheet into finished parts. These parts can be moved to final production stages for integration into final product assemblies. It accomplishes this in a compact floor space to fabricate raw material into finished parts on one machine. As loading, punching, and shearing of parts become automated, the result is finished parts with reduced scrap, less manual labor, and increased profitability.
Shear Genius performs jobs with minimal setup times and works in lights-out operations. It offers material productivity through nesting programs.
Cutting the Backlog
"When the unit was installed we had a significant backlog," Thwaites said. "We were anxious to get it running. Our expectations were that it would be a workhorse work·horse
1. Something, such as a machine, that performs dependably under heavy or prolonged use: "the 50-year-old DC-3 ... with a lot of capacity and capability. Every day counted to get it on line. The installers worked around the clock and had it running in four days."
Its ease of operation didn't compromise the cell's per-minute part production, flexibility, or ability to fabricate complex parts. On average, it reduced total manufacturing time by 60 percent and saved one blank sheet for every 10 processed.
"I was skeptical about this sheet use benefit," Day said. "We did an analysis of parts we used to do on the other machines that were converted to the Shear Genius, and in all cases we are getting 10 to 15 percent more parts per sheet."
Labor savings was also an important consideration in selecting the unit.
"The lack of qualified manpower in the Vancouver area was a factor in choosing the machine," Thwaites said. "But, as important was eliminating parts shakeout, deburring, and other processes.
"Even if manpower wasn't an issue, to be competitive, we have to minimize or eliminate non-value-added processes."
Tooling flexibility is also important to Wesgar. Up to 10 auto-index and Multi-Tool holders may be installed in a turret. Wesgar has four Multi-Tool cassettes in the Shear Genius and both C5 turret punch presses-two 24-stations, one 10-station, and an eight-station. Wesgar also has four full tonnage auto-index stations and two indexable upforming stations in each of these turrets Turrets can mean or be confused with:
Full tonnage indexable upforming of the C5 turret punch press allows complex forming operations using a single forming tool. An index mechanism is used to turn the forming tool into an NC programmed angle.
A "Knock-out" Performance
The manufacturer's upforming feature provides a process for knockouts, louvers, and other forming, and resolved the problem of the die height impeding free sheet movement. The design allows forming heights up to 0.62" with the forms made by the die moving upwards and then retracting, permitting free sheet movement while eliminating scratched or jammed sheets.
With the cosmetic requirements of its customers, Wesgar purchased the vacuum slug remover option along with the Multi-Tools and the solid one-piece stripper Stripper
Slang for an individual homeowner who strips the equity out of his or her home through mortgage refinancing. Proceeds are generally not re-invested, but spent on consumer goods.
Most people get rich by saving and investing wisely. plates and the brush tables in order to reduce part marking to a minimum.
Wesgar is no stranger to technology investment. In 2006 the company spent $2.25 million for new equipment such as the press, two robotic welders, a hardware inserting machine, a press brake, a cold forming Cold forming
Cold forming, or cold forging as it is also known, is a manufacturing process in which metal is shaped at ambient temperature to produce metal components to a close tolerance and net shape. machine, a deburring machine, as well as expanding into the new facility.
"The Shear Genius gave us so much more extra capacity that we were able to take one of the C5 turret punch presses offline and set up a prototype shop, which is helping us to get parts to customers and providing a quick turnaround time (1) In batch processing, the time it takes to receive finished reports after submission of documents or files for processing. In an online environment, turnaround time is the same as response time. ," Day said. Finn-Power
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When Tiny Holes are Needed
MicroPunching systems provide dust-free punching of micro-holes--as small as 0.020". The modules feature hardened matched metal rotary tool A Rotary tool is a handheld power tool with a variety of rotating accessory bits and attachments that can be used for cutting, carving, sanding, polishing and many other applications. Popular brands include Dremel and Foredom. technology for precision, long service intervals, production speeds of up to 250 fpm, and a web width of 2.5" and wider, depending on the application. Available die and anvil anvil
Iron block on which metal is placed for shaping, originally by hand with a hammer. The blacksmith's anvil is usually of wrought iron (sometimes of cast iron), with a smooth working surface of hardened steel. materials range from D2 to tungsten carbide tungsten carbide
An extremely hard, fine gray powder whose composition is WC, used in tools, dies, wear-resistant machine parts, and abrasives. . Depending on the web width, a cantilevered design is available for accessibility to simplify roll changes. Controls are easy to reach. Mechanical or servo drives are available, as are turnkey off-line punching solutions. Systems are either web or servo driven. Rotary matched hardened metal punching tools for precisely sized holes can be retrofitted into most web processing machines. Schober USA, Cincinnati, OH
Quick Scrap Evacuation
Automated trim presses integrate a robot load station, trim station, part unload mechanism, and scrap dump station into one modular unit. As the press comes down to cut the metal in the trim station, a previously trimmed part is unloaded, a new casting is loaded, and the scrap is dumped with each cycle, helping to maximize production potential. The unit is based upon a shuttle process that rolls under the press while the robot loads the metal casting Metal casting
Engineered for high-throughput Lean Manufacturing, the Maxform hydraulic press hydraulic press
Machine consisting of a cylinder fitted with a piston (see piston and cylinder) that uses liquid under pressure to exert a compressive force upon a stationary anvil or baseplate. The liquid is forced into the cylinder by a pump. brake combines forming speed and part processing productivity with "smart" controls that simplify programming, setup and part-handling. Maxform's industrial PC-based touchscreen control and Windows software eliminate two thirds of the programming steps in conventional CNC (Computerized Numerical Control) See numerical control.
CNC - Collaborative Networked Communication controls, while hydraulics hydraulics, branch of engineering concerned mainly with moving liquids. The term is applied commonly to the study of the mechanical properties of water, other liquids, and even gases when the effects of compressibility are small. and control technologies deliver ram speeds up to 700 ipm. American-made, the forming machine is available in 90 to 350 ton models and lengths to 14'. Repeatability of [+ or -]0.0002" delivers consistency for bending complex parts without deviation, drift, or error stacking. The press brake comes with a five-year parts and one-year labor warranties. Cincinnati Inc., Harrison, OH
Touch Screen Brake Control
Cadman Touch press brake control technology is designed to simplify the "Art to Part" process and minimize operator input to achieve the correct bent part. The technology may be used on all PPEB and Easy-Form series press brakes. Employing infrared touchscreen technology running on a Windows XP embedded An enhanced version of Windows XP for compact applications such as PDAs, handhelds and other appliances that use the x86 CPU. It supports such features as CompactPCI and the ability to boot from flash memory or CD-ROM. PC control unit, it combines the power of CNC control with the speed of a touch screen programming system. It features an intuitive user interface to minimize input to the control, letting the user move from drawing to completed part in fewer steps. The IR touch screen technology used by the system has been used in other LVD See LVDS.
LVD - Low Voltage Differential bending and shearing equipment. Strippit Inc., Akron, NY
A Press for Small, Precision Work
Stamping small items like electronic components, watch parts, and automotive connectors does not require high tonnage. However, to mass produce complex products, progression tools with increasing numbers of stages are needed, which in turn require a long bed to accommodate them. The BSTA BSTA Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) 200 high-speed press is aimed at this market. This press combines 20 tonnes of punching force, at the low end of the range, with a bolster plate area of either 590mm x 426mm or 690mm x 426mm for loading the tools. The standard machine has a fixed 15mm stroke, with one of two options: either two fixed strokes 8mm/25mm, or adjustable stroke in seven increments from 8mm to 38mm. Ram adjustment more than 40mm can be carried out while stamping is in progress to fine-tune the position of bottom dead center. Stroke rate is up to 2,000 per minute. Bruderer, Ridgefield, NJ