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Case Study

 

Triangle Machine Products

APPLICATION: Machining of Multiple Parts on Multiple CNC Tapping Centers

BACKGROUND: The Triangle Machine Products Company is a state-of-the-art facility based in Cleveland, Ohio, specializing in machining precision metal components. Part of Freeway Corporation, Triangle Machine Products is a full-service supplier from concept and design to prototyping and production, offering services that include grinding, drilling, tapping, reaming, broaching, milling and burnishing.

 

ISSUE:
On-time delivery is a hallmark of Triangle Machine Products, whether a production run involves small volume or millions of pieces. To accommodate customer demand for different parts in different quantities, Triangle acquired four additional CNC tapping centers for secondary operations. Thirty-two Acme Gridley screw machines feed the Brother TC-31A and TC-32B machines, two with four-axis indexers and two with faceplates for flat work. Triangle often runs multiple parts across different shifts or even during single shifts. Ideally, Triangle wanted to be able to run the same part on any of the four machines, to minimize set-up time. Triangle Plant Manager Mike Casper emphasized, “Quick changeovers are a must – we simply cannot afford any downtime between parts runs.”

 

  • Set-up times averaged 2-3 hours for each new part
  • Cumulative set-up times resulted in lost productivity
  • Fixture coordinates required resetting and adjustment with each changeover



SOLUTION:
To minimize any custom work, Triangle used SolidWorks® 3D CAD software to design and then manufacture their own steel subplates to work with off-the-shelf Jergens Bridgeport fixture plates using the Ball Lock Mounting System for workholding. The Bridgeport plates were selected because they accommodate the larger work envelope of the Brother TC-31A and TC-32B machines, using either a single plate or two side-by-side plates. This approach enabled Triangle to accomplish multiple set-ups using stock Jergens plates.

The repeatability of the Jergens Ball Lock system also proved to be a time-saver for Triangle. Once the x/y coordinates were established and the subplate squared up, fixture plates were secured with just two Ball Lock shanks – without any indicating or further adjustment.

 

The productivity savings for Triangle Machine products were remarkable:

  • Part changeover times reduced to less than 5 minutes
  • Overall productivity improved
  • Ability to run the same part on any of the four TC-3 machines, even two different parts simultaneously on TC-32B machines
  • Pre-set coordinates assure repeatability with no trimming or indicating

 

Triangle's Ball Lock System
AB0VE: Triangle's Ball Lock System
Now we simply change out the fixture plates, complete with workholding components, and punch in the appropriate program code for the next job. That’s it. Our set-up people love the Ball Lock system. We’re definitely getting spoiled.

— Triangle Plant Manager Mike Casper

 


Manufacturers often fall into the trap of not making the capital investments necessary to improve productivity and efficiency, instead just making do with old equipment and processes. Triangle's management team recognized the need for an up front investment in fixturing and workholding. In order to take full advantage of the Brother TC-3 machining capabilities.

 

From our previous experience, we knew that an investment in the Jergens Ball Lock System would improve both set up times and repeatability.
Our investment on each machine was paid back in less than six months.


— Triangle Plant Manager Mike Casper

 

Jergens Workholding- Ball Lock System

Jergens Workholding- Ball Lock System
ABOVE: Ball Lock locating pin cutaway