Modern Machine Shop

JAN 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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Converting Castings to Hogouts Modern Machine Shop 87 What Does It Take to Succeed at Machining Hogouts? Beyond the machining capacity, other important factors relate to the people and the understanding of the process. For one of the recurring part numbers that R&D Manco machines, a part that begins as a casting, obtaining this part from the foundry requires a lead time of one year. An entire year! The part number in question is an extreme example when it comes to casting lead times, but not terribly extreme. R&D Manco is a Phoenix, Arizona, machin- ing subcontractor serving prime contractors in the aerospace industry. The parts it machines include certified, highly engineered components of aircraft fuel and control systems. For its parts that begin as castings, a typical total lead time is 32 weeks. But when this shop can avoid casting altogether by instead machining the part's precise form out of a solid block or bar, it can typically cut the total lead time its customer sees by more than 60 percent, and it can typically cut the cost of the part by 20 percent. As a result, the shop has pursued a long-standing mission—the effort has lasted about a decade now—to convert as many parts as it can from cast- ings to hogouts. The effort has the encouragement of customers. One large customer has a regular specification attached to some of its jobs noting that the machining supplier is free to replace that part's casting with a hogout if the shop is able to do so. An equally large customer has a hogout team involved in analyzing its cast parts in search of hogout opportunities. Not all parts are candidates for this conversion; the one-year- lead-time part cannot be made as a hogout because the part's geometry includes deeply recessed features that the shop (as yet) sees no way to reach through machining. But over time, this shop has been able to convert half of its recurring part numbers that formerly were castings into jobs that no longer involve a foundry. PETER ZELINSKI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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