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CNC speeds milling six-fold.

CNC speeds milling six-fold

At Lockformer Corp, Lisle, IL, engineers are solving productivity and scheduling problems by specifying use of a Journeyman 325 CNC mill from Tree Machine Tool Co. The manufacturer of roll-forming machines uses a number of large CNC machining centers to machine large lot sizes of components for its line of standard roll forming machines. But the firm also makes specials--one- or two-of-a-kind machines to meet specific customer needs.

Previously, machining parts for specials was relegated to either large CNC machining centers or aging manual mills. Unfortunately, using the large machining centers took time away from high-volume production of standard machines. Using manual mills was time consuming, because multiple setups were required. Enter the Tree Journeyman 325 CNC mill.

Engineers now specify the Journeyman 325 to machine a wide range of parts for custom orders. The machine mills, bores, drills, and reams parts made of material ranging from aluminum to steel. The mill has no vibration problems at any speed, and it works to close tolerances. Positioning repeatability is [+ or -] 0.00015".

"The mill's close-tolerance machining provides parts that assemble like a hand and glove," says Bob Novak, a machinist at Lockformer. "Not only is machining on the Journeyman accurate--it's also fast. Production efficiency on some parts increased 500 to 600 percent compared to previous manual-mill operations. On a blade holder, for example, production increased six-fold. The part is machined on the CNC mill in 18 min, while previously it took nearly 2 hr on the manual mill.

"They're several reasons for this. First, the machine requires fewer setups. In fact, many jobs can be completed with just one setup. And, in many cases, three or more work-pieces can be set up at a time. That alone provides a tremendous time saving."

"Another time saver that helps increase throughput is the DynaPath [TM] System 10 CNC," states Ray Schlogel, machine-shop supervisor. "Menu-driven conversational programming makes it easier for new programmers to learn. It takes the operator through the program step by step. After he selects the type of operation he wants to perform from a menu, the display prompts him to supply the specifications. The control even warns when someone has programmed a move that is impossible for the machine."

The Tree mill has provided Lockformer with the ability to quickly and accurately manufacture special parts with short lead times. Thus the larger machining centers can be dedicated to producing high-volume standard roll formers.
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Title Annotation:computer numerical control
Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Mar 1, 1990
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