Kimray, Inc. (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma), a manufacturer of control valves and related equipment for oil- and gas-producing companies, reports a 40 to 50 percent increase in its machining efficiency, achieved largely as the result of CNC-based production equipment. Control features that simplify programming and setup on the company’s latest CNC lathes contribute to this productivity trend.
Founded in 1948, Kimray operates a 125,000 square-foot facility and employs more than 250 people to serve its expanding customer base. The company machines iron, steel, aluminum and thermoplastic materials to build its line of control valves, thermostats, energy-exchange glycol pumps, gas-operated pilots and other control devices. Its products are used to control vessel and lead line temperatures, the liquid level inside pressurized vessels, pressure drops and liquid/gas flow.
The company maintains a turnkey manufacturing facility that includes dozens of lathes, grinders, turning, milling, sawing and bore finishing honing machine tools, almost all with CNC systems on board. The newest arrivals are Emco Maier Emcoturn 420 MC Plus and Hyperturn 665 MC Plus lathes, each equipped with Sinumerik 840D CNCs and Simodrive 611D drive packages from Siemens (Elk Grove Village, Illinois). Kimray operates a host system for file storage and backup on all part production data.
The company has been especially pleased with the CNCs. One operator explains that with the Sinumerik 840D, programming and cut and paste operations are possible even while the machine is running.
“Each screen allows you to be very detailed about what you’re doing, such as separating your mains from your subs with your part and workpiece programs,” he says. “I use the Siemens CNC for axis and spindle movements on both machines. My programs and data can be accessed easily and transferred back to the machines [from the company’s main host system] as needed.”
He can run operations, such as milling and stenciling, out of the sub programs, he adds. "I use the parts program as my way to transfer files and folders to the main system and back again.”
He commented further on the controls. “On a typical setup, I like the sensitivity. Being able to move the axis only a ten thousandth at a time to a hundred thousandth at a time comes in handy. I also like the program test feature, especially on new programs. Each tool has its own geometry page and up to four offsets, making things less complicated.”
Kimray typically machines barstock of 303, 304, 310, 316 and 17-4 stainless steel, as well as D-2 tool steel, 6061-T6 aluminum, brass and Teflon. Cast iron, ductile, steel, stainless steel and aluminum are also machined by the company.
The 665 Hyperturn machine enables four-axis machining plus full C-axis capability on both the main and counter spindles. The 665 uses some of the same programming features, plus the same digital drive systems as the 420, but in a larger package.