The Importance of Obtaining Certified OEM Drawings

Chris Davala

When evaluating or purchasing a new machine tool, there are many considerations a shop must reflect on to ensure proper machine tool placement and operation. Oftentimes, shops are excited about their purchase (rightfully so) and only invest in the physical machine tool while finding themselves questioning or even skipping the less-costly pre-purchase evaluations; the same evaluations that ensure the longevity of the machine tool and the quality of the parts it creates.

By partnering with a reputable distributor and machine tool manufacturer, proper planning, site preparation, and machine application studies can be completed before machine delivery ever takes place. This is done by obtaining three key certified OEM drawings.

Let’s pause here to note there is a difference between a generic specification drawing that can be found online for many machine tool models versus a certified OEM drawing that can be requested from the machine tool manufacturer. A certified drawing is customized to include a customer’s exact configuration based on the bill of materials and must pass the scrutinous inspection of in-house engineering experts to be fully vetted before ever reaching the end user for review. This provides peace of mind that all pre-installment questions can be thoroughly answered and the environmental or operational circumstances should not change once the machine tool arrives on site.

There are three certified drawings that will greatly benefit your shop: layout, foundation, and spindle drawings. Let’s look a little more in detail at each.

Layout Drawings – Where to Place the Machine Tool

When looking to place a new machine tool or potentially rearranging your shop floor, the need for accurate certified layout drawings is a must. Being deliberate in your approach and not just placing where room allows will have long lasting benefits to your operators and overall machine utilization.

An OEM derived machine layout drawing will include a very detailed schematic that features dimensions, weights, component locations, and any auxiliary equipment that will be included per the order. The dimensions will confirm the physical footprint of the machining tool will fit within your desired area of intent. More importantly you will be able to judge the additional space required to properly operate and perform maintenance on your machine – such as ample room to swing open doors of the electrical cabinet or for removing the chip conveyor and coolant tank. The detailed diagram provides insight needed to determine the type of equipment (forklift, crane, etc) that will be needed to prepare for delivery and place the machine tool as well.

If your shop floor is also looking to improve or enhance a lean manufacturing initiative, knowing the exact dimensions and having a better understanding of your shop’s work cell flow and proper organization can ultimately play a large role in reducing time, dropping cost per part, and increasing overall efficiency. Areas to be examined using a certified OEM layout drawing include:

  • Placement and routing of raw materials
  • Reducing the time and area covered by employees and materials
  • Grouping similar and sequential processes
  • Tools and supply organization
  • Include flexibility for future expansion

Foundation Drawings – The Importance of a Solid Foundation

The interaction between machine tool and the foundation on which it sits plays a dramatic role in ensuring peak machine performance. Although it is not a requirement, it is a best practice no matter the size or type of machine tool, to seek guidance on the suitability of the foundation as an OEM may not guarantee the machine’s performance level if the shop has not completed the proper due diligence in fortifying the foundation.

In a past blog post, we examined best practices for designing and building a solid machine tool foundation. These principles still maintain true today as the foundation is a critical element in achieving consistent quality, accuracy, and allowing the machine to perform to its fullest design capability. Preliminary elements such as a soil analysis may need to be conducted, however, foundation questions that will be answered within a certified OEM drawing include:

  • Estimate values of weight and surface pressures
  • Safe soil load bearing capacities
  • How deep the foundation material (usually concrete) needs to be
  • Where and how should the machine tool be anchored

Spindle Drawings – Confirm Before Machine Tool Purchase

A machine tool is built to preconfigured specifications and may present design constraints and limitations to the spindle that can be utilized. Because of this, a certified spindle drawing is desired to show the exact dimensions including but not limited to the cylinder, the draw tube inner diameter, thread size, and the spindle nose to ensure the work holding will fit correctly. Although third party work holdings come in standardized sizes and this pairing may seem obvious to some, it is important to double check that the machine tool was designed to accept the anticipated work holding or fixturing. By obtaining the details using a certified spindle drawing from the OEM, the following can be determined and confirmed before machine tool usage:

  • Workholding styles to be used
  • Accessory items, such as cylinder and drawtube
  • Maximum raw material size based on drawtube inner diameter and length

Partnering with Your Machine Tool Manufacturer

As one can imagine, the mathematical modeling for certified OEM drawings and their respective interpretations are quite detailed – by working alongside an OEM, such as Okuma, our team can confidently walk your shop through the required conversations to set the stage for success. Although certified OEM drawings are perfect for a new installation, these evaluations are also available if a shop is looking to reconfigure a floor layout or if a question should arise. At Okuma, we are always here to help.

Are you thinking you may need certified drawings to help in your shop’s future endeavors? Contact your local distributor to learn how to start the process of obtaining certified drawings from Okuma.

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