Investment in Technology the key to success

Apr 19, 2013
National Machinery sees this with our customers that use FORMAX® machines to make the worlds most complex part shapes. National also employ this same technique in our own production.
National Machinery continues to plan for the future. Investment in technology is the key to success.  National Machinery sees this with our customers that use FORMAX® machines to make the worlds most complex part shapes. National also employ this same technique in our own production.  

Utilizing new technology and adapting for the future - is vital to business success.  Continuous improvement can be seen in various adaptions to our products along with investment in new machine tool technology.

Adaptation
Just like in nature, the need to adapt is critical to success in business.  The forming of metal is not always an easy process, especially when trying to create new ways to make net shape components.  National Machinery offers its Met-MAX( which stands for Moving Metal to the Maximum) Innovations group to help customers “adapt” to new methods in forming complex parts.  These services include design, development and making part samples. 

Segmented die forming has been around a long time, some of the issues with this technology included problems with enough space in the die for Belleville washers or nitrogen gas cylinders.  Many times the spring pressure created was not enough for the application or left results that were less than desired.  National Machinery was able to adapt a new method where a gas-spring lever mechanism greatly increased that biasing force on a sliding segmented die assembly.  The result?  There is a dramatic increase in the size, quality and dimensional control that can be obtain on a machine today.  That means running faster on a smaller machine, with better tolerances and quality for the finished part – which also translates into total costs savings.

As shown at the Dusseldorf WIRE show last year, FORMAX was demonstrated in a newer die configuration – now including 7 dies.  However, not everyone knows how to utilize that many stations, so the Met-MAX group has been able to help customers adapt and take advantage of the extra die.  The result is more net shape components and better tolerance parts. 

Another adaption is that of temperature, in this case Warm-forming.  National Machinery has supplied warm forming equipment to the aerospace industry for decades.  This now includes FORMAX available in options to best suit customers needs.  One option is to prepare the machine for warm forming. The second is a fully integrated warm former including:

  • High Frequency Converter
  • External Circuit / Transformer
  • Buss Bar
  • Induction Coil
  • Cooling System
  • Wire Temperature Sensor
  • Blank Stop
  • Fire Suppression System

New Manufacturing Technology

When FORMAX was first introduced it not only meant a change in cold former technology, but also in how component parts were made.  No longer did machine assembly included hours of hand fitting, scrapping and individual workmanship.  From the very start of engineers putting tolerances on drawings, the key to FORMAX assembly was in the ability to make a tight tolerance part 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.

 A full range of unique machine tools are found in the Machining department in Tiffin, OH.  A recent addition to that group of machine tools is 2nd Makino A100, a horizontal machining center that complements the existing A88 units and covers larger part sizes.  The A100 is a 4-axis machining center that is noted for its high spindle speeds with precisely controlled high pressure coolant to remove chips and prevent heat buildup.  The unit also offers excellent accuracy and finishing so that follow-up work on parts is not needed. 

The newest addition in machine tools installed this year is the Mazak Integrex i-series. The Integrex is really two machines in one, a CNC turning lathe and a CNC machining center.  This advanced center brings together extreme versatility and accuracy for manufacturing mid-size to large complex components.  The spindles utilize temperature controlled circulated oil to enhance thermal stability and are monitored for heat, vibration and displacement.  The goal of the Integrex is their “Done-In-One” concept, to start with raw material and completely finish a part with just one machine.  This machine will be joined shortly by three additional units, resulting in streamlined production and efficiency.

Investing in the future allows National Machinery to produce parts in a more cost effect way, which benefits our customers in both new machinery and aftermarket support parts.

From adapting to new manufacturing methods, or a new machine tool, these opportunities will be taken to continue our leadership in forming industry.  Visit our website at www.nationalmachinery.com

Fastener + Fixing Magazine • Issue 80 March 2013