MMS Editor Russ Willcutt spent two days touring the Shenyang Machine Tool Co., Ltd. (or SMTCL, a part of SYMG), manufacturing facility in Shenyang, China, and its main foundry in nearby Liaozhong.
Andrew Heath, at center, points to our location on a model of the SMTCL campus in Shenyang, China, before an equipment monitoring display that can also be accessed via handheld devices such as tablets.
Wooden forms are constructed by master woodworkers based on the finished castings so they can be reproduced in the future. Forms for a gantry crane take more than 200 days to build, for example, but once completed can be reused for future orders.
The main foundry in Liaozhong, about 45 minutes outside Shenyang, produces worktables, headstocks, columns and slide boards for the company’s use as well as other select machine tool builders, along with component parts for the wind energy and pump industries.
Castings undergo stress relief as they await shipment to SMTCL’s assembly plants as well as its customers. The foundry employs nearly 3,000 people and produces 180,000 tons annually.
This assembly line follows the concept first developed by Henry Ford, with specialized teams completing their work as the machines move through each station on platforms guided by rail.
Technicians measure each machine with a laser scanner to ensure the dimensions match those called for in the design plans.
Massive slide ways for gantry mills undergo final machining as they are carefully measured and placed at the beginning of the assembly process.
Component parts are joined into what will eventually become an immense Schiess gantry-type boring and milling center.
Each function and movement of the finished product is carefully tested prior to going into service manufacturing huge parts for applications in heavy industry.
Russ Willcutt, associate editor of Modern Machine Shop (left), with Jerry McCarty, COO of SMTCL-Americas, while touring one of the company’s many production lines.