One of the most common challenges in today’s manufacturing industry is finding quality talent. This means it’s more critical than ever to make sure that the skilled employees already in place are being utilized efficiently. Hy-Tech Machine, a Pittsburgh-based manufacturer that produces impact wrenches, other industrial-grade pnuematic tools, and replacement parts for a variety of brands, knows this issue all too well. At their 50,000-square-foot facility, Hy-Tech Machine employs 60 individuals who spend their days turning, milling and grinding on 38 CNC machines. These skilled laborers were spending vauable time handling material, loading and unloading parts, and completing other tasks that were not the best use of their talents.
Bob Ober, President of Hy-Tech, decided that incorporating automation would be a wise investment for his company. Working with his longtime Okuma CNC machine tool distributor, Morris Great Lakes, they determined that one job in particular – turning and milling 11 critical impact hammer components – was a good choice for automation, since it has complex parts and they share the same configuration and machining characteristics. They decided a multi-function Okuma MULTUS turn-mill would be the best solution, with integration from Gosiger Automation.
Combining Okuma’s MULTUS B300 CNC turn-mill with a FANUC M-20ia six-axis industrial robot and a fixtureless conveyor system, they positioned the robot directly in front the machine, while still allowing for operator access. The robot can run 50-500 pieces of any one of the 11 configurations. Incorporating this robot has reduced cycle time from 32 minutes to 21 minutes on its largest volume part. This allows employees to utilize their time more productively and increase overall throughput. For more information on Gosiger Automation, FANUC Robotics and other members of Partners in THINC, visit www.okuma.com/partners. Read the full story featured in the April 2013 issue of Modern Machine Shop magazine.