Modern Machine Shop

JUL 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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Machining's Role in Camera Production Modern Machine Shop 87 camera weighing 6,200 pounds (2,800 kg). Parts of this outer structure—the camera housing and back f lange—were recently manufactured in Buffalo, New York, by Keller Technology. These large pieces, both approximately 1.65 meters (about 5 feet, 5 inches) in diameter, nonetheless demanded tolerances within about 50 microns in critical areas to support the high-precision demands of the camera's operation. Looking Back... Founded in 1918, Keller Technology is a fami- ly-owned business celebrating its 100th anni- versary this year. Currently under the fifth generation of family leadership, the company occupies two facilities, one in Buffalo where the camera parts were fabricated and machined, and a second location in Charlotte, North Carolina. About 135 employees work in Buffalo, and another 65 in Charlotte. Keller's capabilities cover manual and robotic welding, machining, and assembly of systems for the semiconductor industry as well as national labs, medical equipment and general industry. One of its specialties is the manufac- ture of vacuum chambers, typically made from aluminum, that involve the use of its welding, machining and polishing capabilities, as well as in-house vacuum-testing equipment. The shop prides itself on its ability to handle challenging, difficult and tricky parts. "I like to tell new people that everything here is here because other companies would struggle to do the work," says Scott Steggs, CAD/CAM manufac- turing engineer. Keller has become adept at one-off and small-run projects, but for the past 15 years or so, the company has been moving toward more low-volume production work in its machining operations. "Longer-run projects give us an The gantry-style design and large work envelope of the Parpas XS 63, coupled with the flexibility of the five-axis high-speed milling head, made it possible to machine the flange in just two setups. Elevating the part above the table with a combination of precision blocks enabled maximum machining access. Standard clamps (not pictured) held the part during machining. Photo: Keller Technology

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