Indexer Cuts Cycle Time by 23 Percent

Indexer Cuts Cycle Time by 23 Percent

Hardinge 5C Rotary Indexer shaves 19.4 hours on a 10,000-piece production run.

Mason Machinings Inc. is a supplier of parts to the automotive industry, and specializes in supplying truck and bus manufacturers.

Some of the company’s components are important components of a bus assembly, while they may not require a lot of machining,.

For example, one of the parts the shop produces is part of the riser shaft for a bus seat. The machining operation included drilling two holes in a 4-in. piece of tubing. While not a big machining operation, it certainly is t is important.

Xan Mason, owner of Mason Machinings, needed to replace a rotary indexer for a unit that had worn out.

He met with Frank Bock the local sales representative for Hardinge Inc. (www.hardinge.com) who demonstrated Hardinge’s 5C Rotary Indexer. Mason was impressed with its capabilities and ordered a unit along with a fail-safe collet closer.

Once the new indexer was installed, Mason Machinings was up and running within an hour, and Mason discovered that the indexing time of the Hardinge 5C Rotary Indexer was significantly faster and provided cycle-time reductions, when he compared its operation to the same job on a vertical machining center.

Mason estimated that he saved seven seconds per part on a typical 10,000-piece production run. Cycle time was reduced from 30 seconds per piece, to 23 seconds. The Hardinge indexer resulted in a 23 percent reduction in cycle time or 19.4 hours per production run and reduced the total production run cycle time from five days plus overtime to four days, assuming a two-shift per day operation.

Due to ramp-up time on the motor, the less a part was indexed on the old indexer, the slower it was. The parts being produced don’t require a lot of indexing, but the time to index between drilling operations was reduced, due to the indexing speed of the Hardinge unit. There was no time wasted waiting for the motor to start up.

Once Mason realized how much time he was saving on his indexing operations, he began to appreciate the other features of the indexer.

“It’s much easier to program the Hardinge indexer because the keys are on the front of the control box,” Mason said. “I can call up the program, modify it as needed, and keep going with minimal interruption. There was no control-box keypad on my old indexer, so I had to use a calculator-type unit, which was never where I needed it to be, attach it to the indexer and make my program changes. Very time consuming. Also, the fail-safe collet closer proved to be a valuable feature. The previous indexer was hard to keep adjusted, and with the Hardinge fail-safe closer adjustments are a breeze.”

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