Shop builds success on palletization

Shop builds success on palletization

For the past 10 years, Die-Tech and Engineering hasn't had to lay off an employee, and its business has increased more than 10% a year over the past two years. The Grand Rapids, Mich., mold-making company attributes a big part of that success to its tooli

Palletized systems from Erowa eliminate setup inaccuracies associated with moving parts from one machine to another at Die-Tech and Engineering.

By adding robots to its Erowa palletized system, Die-Tech can run off-shift operations and easily interrupt work in progress to run a rush job.

For the past 10 years, Die-Tech and Engineering hasn't had to lay off an employee, and its business has increased more than 10% a year over the past two years. The Grand Rapids, Mich., mold-making company attributes a big part of that success to its tooling system.

"I decided that we were going to build tooling based on a palletization method," states Bill Berry, Die-Tech president. "We selected Erowa's UPC system for our workpieces and its ITS system for EDM electrodes." The company now develops its molds by incorporating these components into the tool design. This eliminates any question as to setup and any inaccuracies in moving the part from machine to machine.

According to Berry, the Erowa system reduces Die-Tech's setup time, and the elimination of setup errors lets the shop use a more economical machine tool solution than otherwise might be necessary. No setup error also means no scrap. Berry estimates that 20% of the company's scrap was caused by setup inaccuracies.

Taking its palletized system one step further, Die-Tech added Erowa robots into its processes. By doing so, the company can run off-shift operations, such as at night and on weekends. The robots change both parts and electrodes, giving the machines more flexibility.

The robots also make it easy for Die-Tech to interrupt ongoing jobs for a rush order. "With the robots and the palletization on our CNCs and EDMs there is no interruption in work if someone comes to us with a two-hour job," says Berry. "We push a button, put the job being worked on away, do the two-hour job, and return to the previous job."

All of Die-Tech's CNC machines have Erowa's UPC chucks, and there is a coordinate system for each machine based on the chuck. This means there is no setup time and no setup information that needs to be transferred from machine to machine.

Erowa Technology Inc.
Arlington Heights, Ill.
www.erowatech.com

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