“We use the FlexCNC for two very specific uses, one of which we had an old machine for and another that we use to do by hand. The main use of our machine is flowdrilling (watch a flowdrilling demo here) and form-tapping multiple ½” to ¾” NPT holes in 2” schedule 40 304 stainless pipe. These pipes are anywhere from 6 to 20 feet long. The machine is absolutely perfect for this. We used to use a drill press, which required moving and refixturing the pipe for each hole. Not only did this introduce error, but the feeds on the machine were manually operated, so the holes did not all turn out the same.
We knew there had to be a better method to make this product, but most of the machines on the market were overkill or too small. The FlexCNC VMC was justified on these 2” pipes alone, everything else we have added is just extra icing on the cake. Another frequent use of the machine is flowdrilling and form-tapping ¾” NPT holes in 1/2 “ carbon steel plate. We more recently have started to use the machine for circle milling 1-3” diameter holes in larger diameter carbon steel pipe. This used to be done by hand with hole saws. Not only did this take quadruple the time, but was inaccurate and left a significantly inferior edge quality. We are always finding new uses for the machine that we never anticipated, which continues to make it an indispensable resource on our factory floor.
As for reliability and quality, we have had nearly zero issues. Any issue we have had has been fixed in a very timely manner. We did have one of the first machines in the USA, so that is saying something. Simply put, the machine paid for itself in the first two years of ownership by producing just one specific product. It has become an essential machine in our plant and continues to be utilized for more operations and products.”
Peter Tishler, CMfgE
Manufacturing Engineer II