My Favorite Story

It's hard to pick just one article from PM that's my favorite. However, I can chose one that I found to be unique from an application of technology perspective.

Recently I was asked, “What story in Production Machining is your favorite?” Every story I’ve done in 22 years of being an editor is precious, in my opinion. 

I can, however, choose one that I found to be unique from an application of technology perspective. It’s titled “Seeing a Multi Through Different Eyes” and involves a shop near Chicago named Otto Controls. It was published in 2004, and while some of the details have changed, the gist remains relevant today.

Otto is an OEM making electronic switches for numerous applications. These call for a variety of mostly aluminum switch bodies to be turned. Most are within a family, but the runs are relatively short.  

After seeing a CNC multi-spindle at IMTS, the shop, which ran many single spindle turning centers, took a look at the multi-spindle and basically saw six single machines on one platform. Otto tasked the machine builder to come up with a system that allows running 400 part numbers across the multi in lots of 100.

It still sounds somewhat crazy to apply a multi-spindle in such a way, but the builder and customer make it work. And today the concept still works for Otto. In fact, they have expanded their stable of CNC multi spindle. Click here to read the article. It’s a neat story, outcome and concept. They didn’t know what they didn’t know.   

Editor Pick

Seeing A Multi Through Different Eyes

Sometimes if you don’t 'know' any better, applying technology in new ways simply makes sense. That’s partly what helped drive this family-owned OEM to acquire its first, and so far only, multi-spindle to help it get a better handle on production and inventory control.