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Peter Tishler, CMfgE Manufacturing Engineer II @ Sentry Equipment
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 machine 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.
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.”
Michael OlivierProduction Team Lead @ R & B Wagner Inc.
“As a manufacturer of architectural railing systems and components, R&B Wagner, Inc. is always looking for the best way to fixture and machine long lengths of material. Many of our components and products do not fit within standard machining centers. We needed a machine that could securely hold up to 20 feet of pipe/tube, all while machining multiple holes at various points.
After significant research, we found The FlexCNC was the machine that fit our needs. The ease of set up and operation with its touch screen control and large, open-concept, bed made it convenient in cross-training multiple operators to run the unit.
Once installed on our factory floor, we quickly realized we would also be utilizing the FlexCNC in manufacturing multiple other parts as well.
Using the “pendulum mode” allows us to run multiple smaller parts by having the spindle turning on one end while the operator safety loads and unloads on the other end. More production, less downtime, simple to operate; that’s what any manufacture looks for in a piece of equipment. The FlexCNC is a great addition to our manufacturing floor at R&B Wagner, Inc.”
The major challenge was designing the correct fixtures to secure the pipe, making changeover quick and using the correct tooling but programming became easy and G code-friendly. By combining multiple steps into one process, the machining center handles some of the most challenging parts faster. Every second saved adds up to hours over the course of a day—and saving time while increasing productivity and accuracy.