Modern Machine Shop

SEP 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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Modern Machine Shop 73 Machine Accessories with the hope of increasing annual sales growth even more than what the shop has been real- izing since adding that first five-axis machine in 2014. That said, there were lessons to be learned as the shop decided to pursue five-axis machining and as it gained experience with its machines. Mr. Gardner shared some of these lessons during my recent visit to this Midwest shop. Getting to Five-Axis Machining Mr. Gardner's father Terry founded GCG Industries 30 years ago. The shop has 13,000 tool probes, that have helped it maximize its five-axis capabilities. Mr. Gardner says five-axis machining has enabled GCG to take on more complex and diverse work that other smaller, local shops do not have the ability to produce. The shop can complete jobs in fewer setups and achieve tighter feature-to-feature tolerances. Its sales have increased, and it has added more machines. In fact, the shop now has seven VMCs with five-axis capabilities. This provides a solid foundation for potentially adding automation (via a pallet system or robotics) in the future, GCG makes small parts, so its machines can fit a tool-breakage-detection probe along with two vises and the rotary table. The table-on-table application gives the shop "a lot more bang for our buck," Mr. Gardner says.

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