Geared Up for Quality

This shop realized that its part inspection station worked fine for smaller lot sizes, but it was inadequate for the shop’s high volumes. But after investing in an image dimension system that measures multiple part features simultaneously, the company can use the measurement unit on other jobs as well. 

 

machine operators in shop

Forest City Gear machines high-quality gears for aerospace, medical, transportation and other industries.  

 

In any metalworking shop, most of the processes are determined by the volumes of orders that pass across its production machines. A shop that has a typical order for 100 pieces is a different environment than one averaging 10,000 pieces per order.

For all the usual reasons, cost per piece economies of scale, continuous production, and so on, going after the 10,000-piece order or higher and winning will justify changing the shop’s production process. That’s what Forest City Gear, Roscoe, Illinois, faced with a nice order from a robotics manufacturing customer.

Evaluating the workflow across its various gear making machines and secondary operation equipment, the shop recognized its weakest production link was not metal removal, but part inspection. The inspection station worked fine for smaller lot sizes, but it was inadequate for the higher volumes the shop was enjoying.

The company turned to measurement instrument maker Keyence for help. After analyzing the situation, Forest City invested in an image dimension system that measures multiple part features simultaneously, without the need for positioning features. It has worked well for the robot parts order, and its flexibility allows the measurement unit to be applied to numerous other jobs.

Read the full article, “Shop Gears Up for Quality” here.