What is in this article?:
- Modular Tombstones Optimize HMC Flexibility
- Building Top-Quality Fixtures
- Business model requires flexible manufacturing
- +450 finished product dimensions
- Brainstorming improvements
- “Refreshing” remodel
AME developed workholding tombstone devices capable of running 56 different block sizes from a 10-station pallet changer for TRD Manufacturing in Machesney Park, Illinois. It is able to produce over 450 different parts, in sequences ranging from one-off to 500 pieces.
Producing a wide selection of fluid-power cylinders and related products for hundreds of customers, TRD Manufacturing Inc. was feeling challenged by an increasing variety of sizes, styles, and materials in their workpiece blocks.
“TRD is a fast-paced manufacturer,” v.p.-Operations Kerry Reinhardt explained, “but very dedicated to high quality and fast turnaround on deliveries. We have an established reputation as a solution provider to the fluid power industry.”
The Machesney Park, Ill., machining operations is a division of Bimba, a manufacturer of actuation devices. TRD sells its products through distributors to end users in the general manufacturing, automation integration, mining, forestry, medical, food and various mill industries. Its products are regularly specified as OEM components too, but TRD also serves a huge MRO marketplace.
Addressing an expanding product line was complicated by a commitment to just-in-time delivery. “TRD was seeking a partner that could develop fixturing to fit our manufacturing business model of quick set-up, and the flexibility to run small or large batches of product from a multitude of block sizes,” according to manufacturing manager Tom Jensen.
The manufacturer took its dilemma to a nearby supplier of various machine tool components, Advanced Machine & Engineering (AME) in Rockford, Ill. “After a few discussions and visits to each others’ plants, we knew TRD would benefit most from our Triag line of modular workholding devices,” the head of the AME workholding group, Alvin Goellner, observed.
Tom Jensen concurred. “We knew AME had a reputation for building top-quality fixturing,” he said. “Their in-house manufacturing capabilities were very impressive and we knew they could handle a project of this size, based on the other customers they serve and the fact that they are just across town from us, which made it easier to work through the preliminary discussions, quoting and final product delivery.”