WHAT IS IT AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
Our horizontal machining cell features a 24-pallet system that requires zero fixture preparation – they’re ready to go, waiting for the machine to pull what’s needed. Each pallet can hold up to four fixtures, which means we can potentially run up to 96 different fixtures at once providing unmatched speed and flexibility. The cell’s control software is programmed to perform multiple jobs at once. It identifies if the correct tools are in the machine and any other issues before its process begins. The computer has the ability to identify constraints based on our production demand and set priorities. Within this machining centre cell are two horizontal machine centres, one with 133-tool capacity and the other with 219. The cells are usually loaded with our most commonly used tools and can be interchanged with other tools depending on the process it’s running.
Flexibility and Capacity
Watch this short video highlighting our machining capabilities housed within our 50,000 square-foot facility.
KEY DIFFERENCES IN A HORIZONTAL MACHINING CELL
THE NUMBER OF JOBS THEY CAN RUN
We mentioned above that our horizontal machining cell can run up to 96 jobs at once. In a standalone machining cell, that number drastically reduces to just two.
THE LENGTH OF A CHANGEOVER
Changeovers require manual labour – even with the use of a crane. The cell’s operator must attach the crane to the pallet, remove the fixture, and place another one on. The entire changeover ranges from one to three hours. The automation in our cell handles changeovers and reduces that time to one to three minutes. The free time allows us to better utilize our team in maximizing uptime.
We have the ability to continue manufacturing while our staff are on break or in between shifts. Some of our cycle times are long enough that our staff can leave the cell and perform other value-added processes.
HOW DOES OUR HORIZONTAL MACHINING CELL BENEFIT YOU?
We’re often able to accommodate the needs of customers because our horizontal machining cells have the capacity to run up to 96 different fixtures at once. This flexibility gives us the opportunity to manufacture small volumes and a high variety of components at a more competitive cost, allowing us to quickly respond and adjust to customers’ needs. Our uptime on standalone machining cells is 50 per cent versus 80 per cent (or better) on our horizontal machining cells.