Formed Parts Move to 3-Axis and 5-Axis Machining Centers
With 3-axis and 5-axis machining centers in house, Jones Metal Products is state-of- the- art ready for producing dies for hydroforming, fluid cell forming, and rubber pad forming and for completing additional operations on parts made by the forming machines. Skilled technicians operate the machining centers and all other CNC-controlled equipment on the shop floor.
3-Axis Centers Make Dies for the Forming Machines
The 3-axis machines are the work horses for making dies (tooling) and draw rings from steel or hard polyurethane for the forming machines. Jones Metal's turn-around time on the machining centers for making a die is half a day in- house, a real advantage for getting a new die tested and parts into production. These machines are also put to use making trim dies for the other CNC- controlled equipment at Jones Metal, such as lathe, laser cutter, router, and press break.
5-Axis Machining Center Excels in Trimming and Drilling
The main focus of the 5-axis machining center is finishing parts, many of which have irregular shapes. Take, for example, an aerospace customer's lens retainer that has been shaped by hydroforming and also requires holes. The customer has pre-approved the 5-axis machine to drill the holes, and the process speeds to completion.
Another customer's part takes shape with hydroforming and requires two operations -- a precision machined flange trim and holes. The operations have been pre-approved for the 5-axis machining center, and the two operations are completed quickly and accurately. The 5-axis machine easily handles the wide variety of materials used in forming parts at Jones Metal Products.
The 3 and 5 axis machining centers and a CNC-controlled lathe are set up to share a bridge-crane system for moving and changing tools. Tools for these machines can weigh up to 2000 lb. and can be time-consuming and unwieldy to move. With the bridge-crane system, set up time is reduced, and technicians safety is improved. The system is an example of Jones Metal Products' continuous improvement program in action. A recent grant from the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation funded the project.
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