Stainless Foundry & Engineering has recently expanded their machining capabilities to impressive dimensions. The 800mm Horizontal Okuma Machining Center will allow SF&E to machine some of their largest casting now in house, saving on lead time, cost and predictability all while utilizing the latest machining technology.
Gil Kowalczyk, SF&E Machine Shop Manager, controls operations and is currently proving out the 800mm Okuma for SF&E use. “Any skilled machinist can operate the new machine. We focus on job rotations so all SF&E machinist are qualified and capable of working all of our various machines”, says Kowalczyk.
800mm Okuma was purchased by SF&E for one reason; the ability to machine all of the customer’s castings that were previously too large for the other horizontal machines.
SF&E machine shop has the capabilities and processes to machine any casting to the desired scale or design. A probe is used on the 800mm Okuma Machine Center to touch the cavity on the casting and machine the correct dimensions in position on every piece. Conducting these services in house allows for shorter lead time and less error on deliverables.
Similar to other machines, the 800mm Okuma uses either manual controls or programs by the machinist to move the turn table to the accurate position up to 0.001 degrees before the tool makes contact with the casting. The Okuma allows one casting to start machining in the front of the machine while in the back the operator has the ability to load another casting and stabilize it. Once the first casting is completed the operator tells the machine to swap out parts making the platform rotate. “This feature also allows us to cut lead time”, Kowalczyk states as one of SF&E’s strategies.
The 800mm Okuma is installed with a tool matrix that can handle larger tools and a higher quantity of tools. “SF&E’s Okuma was installed with 81 tool pockets, expandable to 171 tools pockets in the future. Latest technology stuff”. The Okuma machine can be programmed to change a tool weighing up to 50 pounds. Once a casting is placed on the pallet the operator selects a tool from the tool matrix and automatically the robot finds the tool from the matrix and quickly swaps out the attached tool to the desired tool.
The most valuable feature the Okuma machine has is the Turn Cut feature. “This feature gives us the ability to instead of being locked into cutting the diameter of the tool given we can use the turn cut feature that programs the machine to keep the tool tangent to the casting while the tool is spinning on a 17” [or desired length] diameter”, says Kowalczyk. This feature allows the machine to use a tool originally designed to cut an 8” diameter to then rotate in a larger circle to cut out an increased diameter (shown at 17”) while keeping the proper angle and section of the tool on the casting.
One stop shopping has always been a motto of SF&E. With this new machine that now applies to all of their customers with larger (and more difficult) castings. “When things are done in house we have direct control of our destiny”. Machining in house makes things faster and easier therefore benefiting the customers.
Posted on: 2018-01-31 01:37:50