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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MMS SEPTEMBER 2018 78 FIVE-A XIS MACHINING five-axis machines, but the shop was not ready to spend the money for it until it purchased the VMCs and rotary tables. The five-axis machines also use a different type of coolant than the one used on the shop's three- axis machines. According to Mr. Gardner, the new product, Trim MicroSol 585XT from Master Fluid Solutions, is cleaner. "It doesn't stick to the walls," he says. "Therefore, there's nothing for the chips to stick to it and they just fall where they need to go." However, he also notes that it can be difficult for customers to approve new coolants once they have committed to one. Results GCG's five-axis capabilities mean that it is taking on different work, making more complex parts that require higher precision and quality than its previous parts. Some of GCG's customers are taking advantage of the new capabilities, causing a shift in the shop's portfolio. Even though many of the parts GCG makes on these machines theoretically could be made with just three-axis capabilities, quality concerns and increased setup and cycle times often make this impractical. While five-axis machining has the potential reduce cycle times and increase profitability for parts that only require three-axis machining, there often is not open time on the machines with five-axis capabilities to move jobs around like this. "That's kind of painful," Mr. Gardner admits. In addition, taking on more complicated parts created an inspection bottleneck. These types of parts take longer to inspect on a coordinate measuring machine (CMM), so the company now has three CMMs available to perform first-article and final-part inspection routines. Despite these issues, Mr. Gardner says the addition of five-axis capabilities is behind the shop's growth. He estimates that business has grown between 8 and 10 percent each year since GCG got its first M560-V four years ago. The shop also invites customers in to see its five-axis machining capabilities, using the technology as a sales tool to generate additional business. | GCG Industries | 260-482-7454 | | Lyndex-Nikken Inc. | 800-543-6237 | Okuma America Corp. | 704-588-7000 | As GCG's five-axis-machining ability enabled it to take on more complicated parts that require more time to inspect, it began to experience an inspection bottleneck. It added a third coordinate measuring machine (CMM) for first-article and final-part inspection.

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