If you're looking for a Contract Manufacturer to manage your machinery or equipment in its entirety, you're going to want to find a company has extensive in-house capabilities.
Recently, Jedd Cole of Modern Machine Shop magazine (a personal favorite), penned an intriguing article titled "The Metalworking Economy: Expectations and Observations at Odds". The crux of the article is that economy experts are pointing towards a slowdown in growth, while machine shop management is hiring and reporting good business expectations, indicating they are more optimistic.
Topics: machine shop
PEKO is constantly looking for ways to gain efficiency in our manufacturing operations. Our CNC machining department is under constant scrutiny for opportunities for efficiency improvements. We aren't the only ones, as Barbara Schulz discovers in her recent article about using flexible automation for high mix and low volume production machining. This intriguing article highlights Zelos Zerspanung, and yields some very interesting insights and results, as well as leaves us with a few questions.
We all talk about robotics, but our experience tells us that your typical small shop or those with a high mix/low volume can be adverse to such technology. Common rebuttals for pursuing robotics in high mix machine shops are "it will take too long to setup" or "it will be too expensive".
This article identifies such objections:
"Mr. Oreskovic believes some robotic machine-tending solutions can be intimidating to small job shops. This can cause them to delay their transition to automated manufacturing because they think they need to invest in complex, expensive, process-specific systems that rely on highly trained specialists."
Dive deeper and you see how a process is laid out the subject overcame such obstacles, like starting small. We agreed with this take and thought it very wise.
The article explains how this strategy can be implemented in high-wage companies, a theme in which most western companies can sympathize. The discussion on quick-change workholding as a means for improving setups was right on point. Carefully selecting grippers compatible with common work geometries or part families is exactly the kind of smart thinking that many shops could analyze before spending a single dollar on robotics.
Stage two and three of the process laid out in this piece, are Robotic Loading for Pallet Pools and Vice clamped parts. Our gut reaction is that this sounds difficult to optimize, however I agree that by focusing hard on efficiency gains and using creative methodologies, there could be gold in those hills. I applaud the author and the subject both for vetting out the process.
The article closes the loop and informs the reader that such an investment has paid off. As we look to the future, I ask, how can other machine shops use a similar process? What kind of human capital is involved in successful implementation? What's taking so long for high-mix/low volume shops to adopt such a process? What are some process limitations? And lastly, are these systems flexible enough to account for changes in future business demands?
The full article, Small Shop Sees Big Gains from Right-Sized Automation, was published on Modern Machine Shop. Thanks for checking out The PEKO Perspective.
We've had many new CNC Machinery announcements lately–as we continue to grow our business–but this newest announcement is something that we've been looking forward to for months now. If you've been keeping up with our latest blog posts, then you've had some foresight into this new addition. The KIWA Methods-KMH-1000B is one of the largest horizontal machines in our shop, to date!
In with the NEw
PEKO's brand new machine is a HAAS VF-6/40. Delivered last week, this machine is now completely set-up and running, located inside our CNC shop. The HAAS VF-6/40 is a 3-axis machine capable of machining parts up to 4000 lbs. This HAAS has a small footprint compared to some of the machines throughout our facilities, however it's the perfect size for milling parts we need for manufacturing our OEM customers' Major Mechanical Assemblies. This 40-taper machine uses a 8100-rpm spindle and has a tool capacity of 24+1. And of course, a huge work envelope of 64" x 32" x 30".
New CNC Machinery
PEKO's newest machinery highlight? The Haas EC-1600. While we have had this machine for a few months now, we wanted to share with you the astounding capabilities it offers and how we have been able to advance our business because of it. This four axis machine is located in our Lee Rd facility and can hold up to 10,000 lbs of metal for cutting. The increase weight limit allows us to cut larger parts for our major mechanical assemblies, and has a max cutting speed of 500 in/min.
PEKO's newest CNC machine was delivered, brand-new, Monday, 10/01/18. The set up for this lathe machine only took one day and will reside at our Lee Road facility, which is one of our six buildings. Our constant reinvestment in new machinery is a reinvestment in our commitment to our customers.
When it comes to Contract Manufacturing, space for our CNC machines and assembly areas is always meticulously calculated before a machine's arrival. One of the benefits of this particular lathe machine is its small footprint size. This leaves us more room for our assemblies and allows the space for larger machines to be delivered in the near future (we're currently anticipating the delivery of a multi-axis CNC machine in November, so stay tuned).
Large Parts CNC Machining and Assembly:In the world of CNC Machining, Assembly and Fabrications, parts and features can range from the palm of your hand to the size of a tractor trailer and then some. Different CNC Machine Shops are suited for many different size ranges. High volume shops can produce millions of small parts in a short amount of time. But today I wanted to talk about the big stuff. Those large parts and assemblies that are not only hard to source for the OEM, but also hard to produce without all the right capabilities. Large CNC parts and assemblies create very specific problems for the manufacturer but with smart planning and good equipment, the manufacturer can provide excellent value to the OEM without causing too much pain.