An example of the thin-walled, monolithic aerospace parts machined by Tech Manufacturing.
Tech Manufacturing uses machine-monitoring software to measure the in-cycle and out-of-cycle time for its CNC machines. From this data, a color-coded printout of how much machining time each of those machines delivered the previous day is created (an example of such a sheet is shown at the bottom of the corkboard attached to the machine in the photo). Areas of red indicate a planned interruption, black indicates scheduled downtime, green indicates the machine is in cycle and yellow indicates an unexpected delay. The last of these spurs shop management to investigate why the delay occurred with the goal of minimizing that type of downtime.
ITAR-registered Tech Manufacturing is certified to AS9100 Rev. C and ISO 9001:2008 quality standards. This CMM features a scanning touch probe offering the capability to scan a high density of points compared to touch-trigger probing routines. That said, it determined that a source of unexpected production delay was the time spent transporting workpieces to and from inspection. For this reason, the shop created gaging stations near its machines for operators to easily access.
Tech Manufacturing organizes jobs by part families, creating dedicated cells for those specific workpieces. This is the shop’s two-machine, high-speed, five-axis cell for smaller aluminum components. Other cells are dedicated to larger aluminum parts as well as hard metal parts.
Tech Manufacturing is 2016’s Top Shops Honors Program winner in the shopfloor practices category. The shop places high value on shopfloor data gathering as was described in an article published earlier this year highlighting its efforts to obtain efficiency improvements outside of the machining cycle (find that article at short.mmsonline.com/techmfg). The shop’s primary tool is a simple, daily, graphical printout that illustrates when each machine tool was and was not making parts ultimately to determine the cause of any unexpected machine downtime.
The Wright City, Missouri, shop specializes in machining complex, thin-walled, monolithic, aluminum and hard metal parts, and has developed close relationships with aerospace OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. It also offers light assembly and kitting capabilities in which kits are delivered as a single part number for improved and streamlined inventory management.