To meet the demand for its ever-expanding line of cylinders and related products, TRD Manufacturing, Inc., a division of Bimba, a leading actuation company, sought a partner to develop fixturing to allow quick set-up and the flexibility to run small or large batches of product from a multitude of workpiece block sizes.
TRD turned to a local supplier of various machine tool components, Advanced Machine & Engineering (AME). The challenge for AME was to design a series of fixtures that was flexible enough to hold 56 different block sizes, offer quick changeover and offer the ability to run different parts on each side or run multiple pallet loads of the same part in high production when needed.The solution was 10 Triag custom modular tombstone-style fixtures from AME, who partners with Triag, a European workholding component supplier.
“The fixturing in our existing machining cell was fixed, based on block size. AME fixtures use a vise system that quickly adjusts to any size with repeatability, a really key factor in the equation, as it allows all our work shifts to be pre-taught the process,” said Tom Jensen, manufacturing manager for TRD. “We normally have the fixtures set for specific part sizes, but this AME solution allows us to run any size part on any pallet very quickly for high-volume jobs.”
There was also a very short start-up time in the TRD shop, as the flexibility of the tombstone design and the fixturing mechanisms were relatively easy to learn for the operators.
The horizontal machining center (HMC) used for this particular application at TRD is an Enshu GE480H, with 30 x 30 x 30 in. travel and a 180-position toolchanger, expandable to 240-position. Workpieces are mounted and handled on a Fastems 10-station pallet changer. Currently, the block sizes run are 56 in number and run in sizes from 1 x 2 x 2 in. to 3 x 9-1/2 x 14 in. Weights range up to 114 lb. Final part varieties produced on the machine number over 450, made from 1018 steel and 303 stainless. Lot sizes vary from one-offs to 500, but generally run between 25 to 50 on average. This machining center set-up runs two shifts per day, with the expectation of running 24/7 during peak demand periods.
Advanced Machine & Engineering
Filed Under: TECHNOLOGIES + PRODUCTS, ALL INDUSTRIES, Machine tool industry + subtractive manufacturing
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