Gosiger Automation Grinding System Boosts CNC Machine Shop Efficiency to 185%
July 10, 2012
A CNC machine shop in the Midwest (they’ve asked to remain anonymous) runs batches of 500 – 6,000 parts for a variety of metalworking customers. One of their specialties is precision grinding of multi-faceted cylindrical parts. When they sought to add capacity to their grinding operation, they evaluated various products and settled on an Okuma GA26 grinder. To maximize productivity, Gosiger Automation designed a solution that includes the Okuma grinder, Fanuc LR-Mate robots, a palletized loading system and centralized control.
The results exceeded the customer’s expectations. Operator efficiencies increased dramatically, based on the company’s own time studies. According to the plant manager, “For our most popular product, we can now run 55 parts-per-hour, versus 30 parts-per-hour under the previous system, or 185% efficiency. In addition, the line now continues to make parts on its own while the operators are on breaks, at lunch and during shift changes. We also have the operators load up the pallets as they end the second shift. This enables us to run an additional 3 – 5 hours unattended. Just as important, this time and labor savings doesn’t cause any sacrifice in the quality of the parts we make. An in-process gauging component monitors the grinding of part features that are held to .0003” tolerances.”
“Gosiger Automation was very helpful throughout the process,” the customer continues. “We implemented the system in 3 phases, because we were switching from the aluminum oxide grinding wheels to CBN (Cubic Boron Nitride). This required us to experiment with our grinding techniques to take full advantage of the CBN capabilities. These modifications, in turn, required fine-tuning of the automation system until we could begin full production. The Gosiger Automation project manager, design engineers and software engineers worked closely with us every step of the way.”