Modern Machine Shop

SEP 2018

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BETTER PRODUCTION MMS SEPTEMBER 2018 98 CNC New Control Makes Legacy Machine More Alluring for Mold Manufacturer When Baitjunkys purchased a remanufactured machine to produce molds for fishing lures, it needed the old machine to run like new. Mechan- ically, it did just fine, but its 25-year-old control could not handle higher feed rates without com- promising accuracy. A new control from Calmotion (Chatsworth, California) has enabled the machine to reach its full potential, helping the company fill its backlog and increase its profitability. Limited by Feed Rates Leonard Smith founded Baitjunkys in 2013. He had grown dissatisfied with the service he was receiving from his mold supplier, so he decided to go into business for himself. He bought a Mach III CNC knee mill, put it in his garage and taught himself how to use it. The company has since moved out of the garage into a commercial space in Lawrenceville, Georgia, near the Lake Lanier reservoir, where the hobbyist- and profession- al-grade fishing lures produced with Baitjunkys' molds can be used. In addition to adding more COMPANY Baitjunkys LLC PROBLEM Original CNC could not handle feed rates above 50 ipm SOLUTION Calmotion 527F digital control RESULT Increased feed rates from 50 ipm to 180 ipm, improving cycle times and profitability EDITED BY JULIA HIDER | ASSISTANT EDITOR space, Baitjunkys has added more machines. In addition to the original knee mill, the shop now has a Mazak VTC-20C vertical turning center as well as the remanufactured Fadal 3016 HT verti- cal machining center (VMC). "The [Fadal] machine was in good shape mechanically, but it still had the original CNC, which was probably 25 years old at that point," Mr. Smith says. The fastest he could feed the 0.1875-inch diameter, two-f lute end mills used to cut aluminum mold cavities was 50 ipm. At faster feed rates, accuracy suffered. The reduced feed rates were causing him to miss production quotas. Delivery dates slipped, and the company's back- log grew. Fishing for Solutions, Catching a New Control A friend of Mr. Smith's who had experienced the same issues with his Fadal suggested a new con- trol from Calmotion. Mr. Smith was already famil- iar with the company. Shortly after buying the Fadal, he began experiencing slowdowns while Leonard Smith, owner of Baitjunkys and manufacturer of fishing lures, grew dissatis- fied with his mold supplier five years ago and decided to go into business for himself. He founded Baitjunkys, a company that now produces its own lure molds.

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