Forest City Gear Purchases Takisawa Lathe
Forest City Gear has purchased a Takisawa TT-200G, a fully-automated turning center with twin-spindle, twin-turret and twin-CNC operation, for its in-house blanking department. By the acquisition of this machine, according to a company spokesman, the production in the blanking department has radically improved, as the machine combines full automation with twin-sided, simultaneous machining. With a 16-pallet capacity, this Takisawa 8" chuck type machine boasts a feed rate of 8m/min and features a standard spindle and turret plus a second C-axis spindle and turret with milling function. In addition, a bar loader, workpiece stacker, turnover unit, chip conveyor, air blower, tabulating counter and other equipment are onboard for fully automatic mode operation of the machine.
As a strictly custom gearmaker, Forest City Gear made the decision recently to develop an in-house blanking department, thereby improving its turnaround time on most jobs, according to company president, Wendy Young. "We were reliant on a number of outside suppliers and, while our volume overall is quite substantial, we were often slow to receive some small, project-specific blanks for production. Many of our jobs are short-run, highly specialized precision gears and that means we place a premium on being very efficient in our time-to-first-prototype. The Takisawa is already making a big impact on our blanking operation here."
Tommy Kalt, who runs the blanking department at Forest City Gear, concurs. "We're achieving a 27-second cycle of continuous turning and the fully automatic mode means a big boost in production for our department. Because we do so many jobs that require relatively few blanks, our overall speed was hampered, due to excessive downtime for set-ups. That situation is diminished to a great degree with the Takisawa machine. Having this capability allows us to reduce our lot sizes on high volume blanket orders and increases our ability to prototype."
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