|A MAG Giddings & Lewis PT 1800 and MAG Cincinnati U5- 1500 are the cornerstones of Dowding Machining’s large-part manufacturing operations. |
Dowding Industries, a long-time contract supplier of fabricated and machined components to a wide range of companies, decided to move into the alternative energy market by making the leap into large-part production, specifically for wind turbines.
At the heart of the company’s new state-ofthe- art machining facility operated by a subsidiary, Dowding Machining, in Eaton Rapids, Mich., are a MAG Cincinnati U5-1500 five-axis profiler and MAG Giddings & Lewis PT 1800 horizontal boring mill, both geared toward large-part machining and supplied by MAG Industrial Automation Systems.
The U5-1500 allows Dowding Machining to set up multiple parts along the machine’s rail length and process them sequentially for 24/7 production and to optimize machine use.
A 63-pocket tool chain rides with the machine to eliminate downtime associated with tool changes, and two 5-position “wine rack” part stands carry oversized tooling that won’t fit in the tool chain. Dowding Machining’s machine also features 33-mm of X-axis travel for a 30-m workzone that easily accommodates large parts.
The PT 1800 is a 4-axis machine with a removable rotary table for an optional fifth axis. The machine handles workpieces weighing as much as 40,000 kg, and its one-piece column base and bed make for a rigid machining platform, while X bracing and wide-column way spread add structural integrity and minimize vibration.
With these machines, Dowding Machining becomes one of Michigan’s industries leading the transition into alternative energy. The new facility creates more than 350 new jobs.
According to Jim Foust, sales engineer for VMC Technologies, MAG’s Michigan channel partner, Dowding is targeting the wind-turbine market, but it has already picked up orders from leading construction equipment and mining machinery manufacturers.
“This is a case of ‘build it and they will come.’ If you can machine big parts, there are a number of industries ready to do business with you. In fact, MAG itself will be using Dowding Machining to produce components for large machine tools.”