No let up in National's momentum - Fastener & Fixing Magazine

Mar 24, 2009
Even in global economic slowdown, National Machinery continues to move foward and plan for the future, such as with the addition of the LeanFX and the A100.

by Jerry Bupp
Vice President of Sales Operations & Marketing
National Machinery LLC

National Machinery continues to actively work on projects and plan for the future. This may not be the typical path of action in the current global economic slowdown, but we feel it’s always important to move forward and stay ahead of the competition. It’s vital to also give new and useful products to a customer base that sees new challenges emerge around every corner. Here are a few examples of this "push for the future".

LeanFX is the newest model in the FORMAX® family. Introduced in 2008, the line was well accepted at the WIRE 2008 Dusseldorf show and listed as a “Top Product” of 2008 in trade magazines. The combination of speed and quality at an economical price has hit the target in the global market. This cold former delivers FORMAX style attributes with cost efficiency, particularly for markets that need to make standard parts, but want the ability to “move upstream” and make more automotive or complex fasteners.

New models – LeanFX will be expanded throughout 2009 with 3, 4 and 5 die models in the LeanFX10(M10 fastener size) machine and 3, 4 and 5 die configurations in the larger LeanFX14 and smaller LeanFX8 models later in the year. This will allow customers to take full advantage of the value and technology of LeanFX across this wider range of specifications.

The LeanFX10 size machine is capable of running M10 fasteners at speeds up to 300 parts per minute.
LeanFX has the proven features of:

- Linear Feed
-Zero Clearance Heading Slide Guidance
-Straight-Across Transfer

These features are combined with simple pushbutton station controls and manual adjustments of the feed and kickout, along with the lifting of the transfer. Convenience features such as a magnetic combined good parts and scrap conveyor save space while being cost effective and operator friendly. NoLetUp_fig3NoLetUp_fig2

LeanFX is manufactured in National’s wholly owned facility in Suzhou, China. The latest in machine tools and inspection are utilized along with standardized assembly and test practices under the careful supervision of engineers and craftsman from our Tiffin plant. The machine fixtures, test tools and procedures that are used to build all FORMAX are used to build, test & validate LeanFX.

Customer support for all FORMAX and traditional National machines is handled by service centers throughout the world in USA, Germany, Japan, and China.

A100 machining center
When FORMAX was first introduced it not only meant a change in cold former technology, but also in how component parts were manufactured. No longer did machine assembly include hours of hand fitting, scrapping and individual workmanship. The key to manufacturing a forming machine with the precision and reliability of FORMAX starts with the ability to repeatedly manufacture tight tolerance parts to print, so that parts would literally be assembled and bolted together. Not only did this improve assembly efficiency, but also made for a much more consistent machine, as found through our stringent test protocols. From the aftermarket part perspective, it also is much simpler to “bolt on” a new part that will fit perfectly, compared to having to rework the part to make it fit.

NoLetUp_fig1Since close tolerance on critical components is vitally important to the FORMAX machine, quality machine tools are needed. The Machining department in Tiffin, OH has a unique combination of machine tools including a dedicated tool room for development jobs, vertical turning centers, surface grinders, precision grinders, horizontal machining centers, combination turning and milling machines, milling machines, laser and plasma cutting equipment.

The newest addition to that group of machine tools is the Makino A100 (see photo) Horizontal Machining Center that complements the existing smaller Makino A88 machines and produces larger part sizes. The A100 is a 4-axis machining center that is noted for its high spindle speeds, precisely controlled positioning, and high pressure coolant to remove chips and prevent heat distortion. The unit also offers excellent accuracy and finishing so that secondary operations on parts are not needed. Investing in the future allows National to produce parts in a more cost effect way, which benefits our customers in both new machinery and aftermarket parts.

National Machinery is committed to improvement for the future. From a new machine or new machine tool, opportunities will be taken to continue our leadership in cold forming.