Horizontal Machining Center Grows Business
“I don't have any minions to do my bidding, but I do have my Okuma horizontal machining center. I set up a job and can take care of other things while it runs.”
-Rich Niemiec, Owner, Nucom, Inc.
Location: Rock Hill, South Carolina
Equipment: One Okuma Horizontal Machining Center, One Okuma Horizontal Lathe
Rich Niemiec runs a busy 8,000 square foot Tier 2 automotive shop, and always wants to maximize his resources. “I start work at 4 a.m. and get home late. I don’t have any minions to do my bidding, but I do have my Okuma machines,” says Rich. His Okuma MA-500HB horizontal machining center (HMC) is equipped with a pallet changer, which allows him to keep the machine running while loading it. “I set up a job and can take care of other things while it runs. I don’t have to be chained to the machine.”
MACHINING CENTER SETUP SETS NUCOM APART
Rich originally bought his horizontal machining center for a large project, but quickly learned how adaptable it is for other jobs. With help from Okuma and distributor Morris South, Rich was able to orient the original part in the machine and set up the HMC so he could use a smaller machine than what he originally thought was required. Having accomplished this, he can now run larger parts that are more profitable (and less competitive), all in an efficient footprint. Additionally, the original part tolerances were benchmarked at keeping a flat within a thousandth and a half. With the Okuma machine he’s able to hold flat within a couple tenths of a thousandth. Nucom is now able to complete for bigger, higher priced, tighter toleranced parts, which helps set his business apart from many other job shops.
GROWING THE BUSINESS, WITHOUT GROWING PAYROLL
Rich has owned other machine tool brands in the past, but says they could never do what his Okuma can do. “There’s a definite difference in Okuma capabilities and performance. You get what you pay for." His HMC setup allows him to gain 30-40% in productivity over a vertical machining center, and this productivity more than pays for his investment. The efficiencies he’s gained also allow him to continue as a lean, yet highly efficient, operation, keeping costs down. Now Rich is growing his business without growing payroll.