Cascade Pattern Meets ROI In Two Years with Toyoda
Stealth AA1365 Vertical Machining Center CHALLENGE Cascade Pattern of Elyria, Ohio has been a long-term Toyoda customer, with their fir…
Stecker Machine Company of Manitowoc, Wisconsin is known for their machining excellence and experience in planning, prototyping, and production. Their reputation has earned them long-standing partnerships with many OEM customers and for over 40 years, State Machine Tool and Toyoda have been key integration partners by their side. So when Stecker had a sizeable, complex new project, they knew they could trust State Machine Tool’s expertise with Toyoda, Muratec and FANUC CNC equipment.
From the start, the two companies collaborated to design the best production solution for the project. Stecker Machine focuses on CNC machining processes and State Machine Tool delivered on the equipment and automation. “We looked at this as a partnership. We knew from the beginning that it would be a challenging project, but we would work together to solve them rapidly,” said Jerry Kaye, Corporate Sales Manager at State Machine.
The task at hand was to find an efficient and cost-effective way to machine vehicle transmission clutch housings. The complexity of the part presented some challenges—tight tolerances, difficult work-holdings, stringent specifications. As a frontrunner in adopting new technologies and innovative solutions, Stecker didn’t shy away from the challenge. To start, Stecker needed a range of high-volume solutions.
To handle the production requirements, Stecker Machine knew they needed new equipment that would easily integrate into the automated cell they were building. “Choosing the right equipment going in is critical on a cell like this to make sure that it maintains and runs for years without trouble,” said Jerry. With more than forty Toyoda Horizontal Machining Centers from FA450III’s to FA1050’s already on their shop floor, Stecker knew that the FH500J Horizontal Machining Centers would be a cost-effective, low-risk choice that would stand up to the rigorous job at hand.
The FH500J was the answer to the capacity component. The FH-J series provides industry-leading, high-precision performance optimized for speed, rigidity and reliability. The FH500J continues to be the industry’s choice for high-speed machining in highly productive environments due to the compact footprint, 15,000 RPM spindle, tool-to-tool time of 0.9 seconds and rapid feedrate of 2,362 ipm (60m/min). The transmission clutch housings are machined from die cast aluminum, a perfect application for the FH500J’s 1G acceleration and ultra-fast direct drive b-axis table.
Included in the cell design were two Muratec 400 twin-spindle lathes and three Fanuc robots. With floor space, cell flow and separation of raw and finished parts in mind, the team decided upon a cell configuration that featured a central CMM. Including the CMM on the shop floor instead of in the Quality Assurance Lab was a game changer for Stecker, providing the operator with real-time performance data. With parts that are both high-volume and critical tolerances, this auditing system would quickly detect any issues with production.
All in all, the clutch housing project was a success. Stecker’s internal data showed that the cell was running with 95% uptime with only <.05% downtime attributed to machines, robots or automation. The cell solution ran at maximum capacity with astounding efficiency.
Because of the project’s success, Stecker has developed new partnerships, secured new projects and increased revenues. “We’ve grown our relationships with State and Toyoda over time. They provide machines and automation that allow us to focus on what we do best—CNC machining.” In all, that relationship has grown over 40 years to include over 50 Toyoda machines, four robot cell projects and over 20 automated spindles.
With a track record of growth, Stecker Machine Company manufactures our future. Stecker Machine grows by serving OEM customers with leading edge production of CNC machined parts for trucks, tractors, and other equipment. Employees advance their careers with many open avenues from adding capabilities to provide new parts and services.
The FH500J and FH500J-50 are compact, high-speed horizontal machining centers featuring a 15,000 RPM spindle, tool-to-tool cycle time of .9 seconds, and a rapid feedrate of 2,362 ipm (60 m/min).
All FH500J models (#40 & #50) taper are equipped with a Direct Drive B Axis Table, featuring an index time (90 degrees) of 0.5 seconds and 360,000 degree positioning.