Case Studies

PARAMETRIC PROGRAMMING IMPROVES QUALITY & REDUCES COSTS

INTERNAL MACROS DEVELOPED FOR STANDARD GEOMETRIC SHAPES SIMPLIFY PROGRAMMING AND IMPROVE QUALITY

The original purpose of standard macros was to reduce program variables for repetitively used geometric shapes.

Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) provides ultimate flexibility, but machine programmers often use that flexibility unnecessarily. By developing standard macros for boring holes and machining (extruded) bosses, Detroit Gun Works reduces cycle times and improves control of critical dimensions including diameters and concentricity.

By identifying the value and potential of parametric design, DGW develops in-house macros for all standard geometries.

Many Engineering CAD packages have made an impact on manufacturing by promoting parametric design capabilities. They allow for the design of a family of products around parameters or variables that can be automated to produce infinite variations of the same core design. By identifying the value and potential of parametric design, DGW develops in-house macros for all our standard geometries.

Now entire families of components can be fabricated in the same work cell without requiring re-programming by a standalone department. This practice saves time and cost while also streamlining manufacturing operations to meet modern parametric design practices.

ERROR-PROOFING OPERATORS WITH INTELLIGENT PROBING ROUTINES

PROBING WITH POKA-YOKE SAFETY GATE REDUCES DOWNTIME

A poka-yoke is any mechanism in a lean manufacturing process that helps an equipment operator avoid (yokeru) mistakes (poka). Its purpose is to eliminate product defects by preventing, correcting, or drawing attention to human errors as they occur. The mis-loading of stock is the most common user error at any machine cell. In the few cases where a Fanuc robot is not available or applicable, Detroit Gun Works looks for ways to use automated technology to error-proof workflows.

Using physical safety gates is an effective method for error proofing the human process in lean manufacturing. The probing routine ensures the part is loaded safely to avoid risk to the manufacturing cell. This procedural “safety gate” is a fast, automated, and reconfigurable way to reduce cost and maintain on-time delivery.

At DGW, we use Renishaw and Blum probes at every milling machine on our shop floor. While familiarity with probing technology has increased throughout modern manufacturing, its application is often resisted due to cycle time contribution. Concise probing routines using both Renishaw and Blum Probes in sequence demonstrate efficiency improvements with only marginal cycle time increases.

Despite the marginal cycle time increase, we create more value on our floor with increased efficiency and fewer operator errors. We developed a simple macro routine for probing stock location to ensure operators follow procedure and eliminate non-conforming part production.

SUCCESS MEASURED BEYOND TOOL LIFE

USING SMARTER TOOL MANAGEMENT FEATURES IN MAKINO A-51NX MILLS

The Makino brand is universally renowned for high-power, high-speed precision equipment. However, all of this capability comes to a halt without smart tool management.

Detroit Gun Works use our Makinos to machine demanding superalloys like Inconel 718. Using the tool management features built into our Makino, in conjunction with Haimer holders and OSG drills, our OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) has nearly doubled! This increased uptime in our spindles makes DGW a leader in superalloy machining.

The Makino A51NX provides a sophisticated array of tool management features. For example, we can monitor and replace tools based on time, the number of work pieces, or even active parameters from spindle load monitoring or external broken tool detection.

PRECISION PLUG GAUGE CALIBRATION

REDUCING THE COST OF QUALITY WITH NON-CONTACT METROLOGY

All precision manufacturing Quality Management Systems (QMS) depend on accurate gauge calibration and verification. A failure to precisely manage and maintain metrology equipment creates a multitude of problems, including RMAs (Return Merchandise Authorizations) and worse, loss of customer confidence for future orders.

Large-scale manufacturers often address this challenge with dedicated calibration personnel or third-party calibration services. This is a time-consuming operation and susceptible to serious consequences if inconsistencies arise. Cost of quality typically skyrockets here, and quickly distinguishes the average manufacturing facility from the exceptional.

As a Tier 1 OEM component supplier, DGW has substantially reduced the time and risks associated with typical plug gauge calibration by using the Keyence IM-7000 Instant Measurement System. This recent addition to our manufacturing floor boasts 0.5-micron accuracy, with instant results stored directly to our Zeiss database, Piweb.

UNLOCKING BIG DATA VALUE WITH CUTTING-EDGE SPC

ADVANCED SPC SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASES PROCESS AND QS EFFICIENCY

Effective process control defines the ongoing success of any precision manufacturing operation. At DGW cutting-edge QDM (Quality Data Management) tools optimize and drive our internal workflow and QS. These tools enable us to add real value to customer projects with enhanced reporting that save time, costs and help us meet demanding lead times on complex projects.

Our inspection systems are dynamic and based on process controls, increasing our efficiency without sacrificing quality. DGW has transformed into a company that no longer finds non-conformance, but uses SPC as a predictive model to identify trends that would exceed tolerance and correct beforehand.

Printed CMM Fixtures To Reduce Cost

USING ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY TO STREAMLINE QC COMPLEXITY

Managing complexity and cost is typically handled with clever estimating, but at DGW we reduce our customers’ total cost by infusing our process with technology. This approach allows customers to streamline their own internal workflows, especially in the critical QC process.

The CMM (Coordinate Measurement Machine) is one of the most powerful tools in manufacturing and quality control, but in a high mix situation reliable CMM workholdings can be difficult and costly to source. This becomes doubly problematic as part complexity increases.

DGW optimizes customers’ QC and CMM operations by providing duplicate fixtures for each production part using our Stratasys Fortus 3D Printer. This saves time by following a lean, reproducible QC process, and avoids costly bottlenecks
with valuable CMM resources.