PM Blog

 

Dan Vermeesch has a unique perspective on how his company, Micron Manufacturing (Grand Rapids, Michigan), seemed to appear before it implemented continuous improvement processes.

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Webinar: Key Strategies of Top Aerospace Shops

 

As demand for aerospace services increases, the need for aerospace parts is also increasing. However, aerospace can be a difficult industry for manufacturers to serve; these shops must deal with difficult-to-machine materials, industry regulations and OEM requirements. The right technologies, business strategies and operating metrics are key for these manufacturers. Gardner Intelligence has studied 10 years of data on aerospace shops from Modern Machine Shop’s Top Shops program, and will present its findings in a webinar titled “What are the Key Drivers of Aerospace Top Shops?” The webinar, which will take place on March 24 at 2:00 ET, will cover:

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Probably because of its broad definition, management is one of the most common jobs in the world. Nearly every organization has multiple managers—from shopfloor managers to office managers to IT managers—handling all kinds of functions. The job titles reach well beyond our industry, including restaurant and retail managers, bank managers, baseball managers and so on.

What does “management” really mean? In business, the term is often connected to being in charge or control of other personnel. But of course, besides people, many things need managing—time, workload, materials, budgets, and so on. The list goes on, and the tasks flow to people far beyond those designated as managers. When it gets down to it, most people are managers of some sort, whether the word is in their job titles or not.

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Debunking the Deburring Process

A German car manufacturer recently found itself in a cranky mood regarding its crank case production line. Though everything else in the line was humming along, deburring cross bores in the crank cases required a complex and unreliable process that was grinding away its production time, not the leftover burrs.

Many machinists have found themselves in a similar situation — deburring cross holes is a stubborn problem requiring multiple pass-throughs that still don’t get the job done. The car manufacturer used two deep-hole drills and drove through the boreholes 8 to 10 times each. Despite repeated deburring, burrs remained and required visual inspection and reworking. At 1.4 million components per year across five production lines, each extra pass to deburr adds up quickly.

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Orizon Aerostructures is building something unique. The company has six locations and 763 employees dedicated to aerospace manufacturing and complex sub-assemblies. Its almost 780,000 square feet of production area at sites in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma includes four machining locations, which among them use 100 CNC machines (50 of which are five axis or more). The company’s newest plant in Grove, Oklahoma, is a purpose-built factory that is part of an investment of more than $50 million, which also includes 10 Ecospeed F2060 machines from Starrag. Nine of these machines comprise a flexible manufacturing system, which the company is using to set new standards in machining aerostructures.

The FMS, which is said to be the largest integrated system of its type in the western hemisphere, is enabling Orizon to achieve:

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