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Lee Specialties, located in Blackfalds, Alberta, Canada, was looking for a solution to bring more production back in-house by replacing their old Daewoo Horizontal Machining Center. Although they were able to produce oil well blow out preventers (BOP’s) with their old machine, it couldn’t keep up with tooling technology advancements, and Lee Specialties felt like they weren’t maximizing on potential efficiencies. They tried different tooling, different work holding, and different machining techniques to help with struggling production costs, but results were limited. That is when they started emphasizing the need for new equipment to ownership.
Some of the key features Lee Specialties was looking for included the pallet weight capacity, machining work envelope, large tool magazine, and speed. The Toyoda FH1250SX Horizontal Machining Center was a perfect fit. The 11,000 lbs. capacity pallet changing machine with huge travels, and 120 tool magazine was exactly what they needed moving forward.
However, there was risk involved in implementing the machine. The FH1250SX itself is very large, weighing in over 100,000 lbs., and it has a significant footprint. The machine fit perfectly into the open space, but there was a problem where one of the support beams was in the way of the tool magazine access door. Lee Specialties didn’t want that to stop them from going forward with their plan. “Lamarche Machinery and Toyoda were able to identify a modification to the door so we could still put the machine where we wanted and eliminate any potential risk of it not being set up perfectly.” Said Dave Halladay, Manufacturing Supervisor.
As a result, the horsepower and rigidity of the FH1250SX, nicknamed “Megatron”, allowed Lee Specialties to increase almost every facet of the roughing operation which has been significant to their process. “The most pleasant surprise is the consistency and rigidity of the machine. The build of this machine allows you to push your tooling to the limit and maximize production. We have been able to reduce production time by 30% on average. These results have been outstanding for us as we can now reduce lead times and get more production through the machine.” Said Dave Halladay.
Lee Specialties is now able to provide better and faster service for the customers with the FH1250SX. They are planning to add more Toyoda Horizontal Machining Centers in the future due to the satisfaction of machine quality, its outcome, and the service they’ve received from Toyoda. A lot of Dave’s colleagues and customers love to come see the machine in operation, and he has been recommending Toyoda to them. Dave’s advice to others who may be considering purchasing Toyoda HMC is, “Don’t hesitate to purchase Toyoda. This is truly one of the better products on the market and you won’t be disappointed.”