Modern Machine Shop

DEC 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 79 Shopfloor Efficiency From an efficiency standpoint, this means a machine can be running while an operator walks a finished part a few feet away to get not only validation for the critical features of the part, but also quality assurance, since the CMM already has been set up with fixtures and programs ready to go for those parts. Compare this to the typical process of a machinist validating parts with handheld gages, inspecting only a few features at the machine, while another staff member in the quality area is responsible for all of the quality assurance. It bears repeating that this is another carefully considered process that delivers more output without increasing headcount. In the end, what do we make of all of these strategies, investments and choices made by Linda Tool over the past 10 years? What do we make of the decision to operate Linda Tool as a business, and to invest not only in five-axis machining, but in the often-expensive equipment that enables the company to get the most out of each machining center and each machine oper- ator? There are plenty of answers to these ques- tions that deal with the company's profitability. But there's also this: Linda Tool has not laid anyone off since 1983. Mr. Holmes chalks it up to one word: throughput. "I've worked for Mike a long time," he says. "I can't say I've ever really thought about this question before we started talking for this story, but what I know is that once we start working on a part, it moves in a very predictable and very controlled way through the shop, both technically and according to schedule. And not just through the shop, but from the moment we decide to make it. When we have to buy material, when the material hits the floor, there's documentation that follows it all the way through. Each person who is responsible for a step knows where the part has to go. It's automatic because the information is there. Because of that, we can pretty reliably tell you which part is going to be finished which day. We've spent a lot of time developing this throughput, and we're pretty good at it." | Linda Tool 888-462-1029 | lindatool.com | Open Mind Technologies USA Inc. 888-516-1232 | openmind-tech.com Linda Tool President Mike DiMarino (left), and Production Manager David Holmes (right). The two were responsible for coming up with a strategy that allowed the company not only to survive the Great Recession, but scale production at the shop during upswings and downturns with a consistent level of staffing. We would be remiss not to mention that Linda Tool was featured prominently in two episodes of the award-winning FX series The Americans, the Cold-War-era action- drama starring Kerry Russel and Matthew Rhys as two KGB spies living a normal suburban family life outside of Washington D.C. while undertaking all manner of insane spy missions over the course of six seasons. Mr. DiMarino says that the production crew had to clear out all but his oldest machines to make the set meet 1980s standards. For the best view of the shop, watch season three, episode nine: "Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?" You'll never think of machine shops the same way. Spies on the Shop Floor

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