Aerospace Component Manufacturer Goes Lean
- Industry: Aerospace
- Process: Swiss Turning
- MGI Division: Rem Sales
- Customer: More Information
- Outcome: Demonstrated reduction in lead time and increased throughput by reducing setup time, single piece throughput, absolute control over tooling and documentation, and the ability to run many more part numbers per day/per machine.
Moog Industrial Controls of Buffalo, New York is a premier supplier of performance based motion control solutions consisting of electromechanical and hydromechanical technologies. Much of Moog's success can be attributed to superior design and a top-to-bottom zero defect mentality. Their large customer base demands low prices and quick delivery on extremely complex parts with quantities as low as one piece. A typical "bushing" has over one hundred geometric specifications and requires extensive machining; set up time for each new part exceeded twenty-seven hours.
The new solution required considerable custom engineering from both REM Sales, Inc. and Moog. Ultimately, it was decided to use a two machine approach. A Tsugami MU38-SY Swiss-type turning machine customized for 22 resident tools was utilized to handle part quantities in excess of twenty parts and smaller than 1.5 inches in diameter. A Tsugami TMA-8 mill/turn machine was utilized for larger diameter or small volume parts.
Once Moog determined that it could produce either high quality or low cost parts, but not both, they knew that a solution had to be found. Most parts at Moog consist of "families" of parts with up to ten part number sizes and variations. Obviously, if run as one-offs, setup, change over, and inspection can greatly increase the cost and lead time per part. Brian Schuhmann, Moog's lathe technical coordinator, elaborated. "With the low order quantities inherent in Moog's lean manufacturing system, we needed to find a way to manufacture complete parts in one setup," he stated.
Moog's traditional method of production required multiple machine set-ups to accomplish blanking, gun-drilling, form grinding, multi-spindle drilling, OD form grinding, internal grooving, honing, de-burring, and finish grinding operations. The estimated setup and changeover time for this series of parts was in excess of twenty-seven hours. Using this procedure and measuring machining time in terms of throughput, Moog was capable of producing one-hundred parts in three weeks, spending approximately 1.2 hours per part. Tolerances on the subject part were 5 tenths on diameters, and 2 thousandths of an inch for concentricity.
The large tooling range of the MU38 permitted the design of a single station adapter holding 6 ID grooving tools, three for the front of the part, and 3 for the rear. Other changes included arrangements for high pressure coolant, gun drilling and cam shaped milling. The large tool capacity allows 20-22 tools to remain resident, greatly reducing setup time. By producing the part complete in one setup, Moog was able to reduce the cycle time to 13 minutes, 28 seconds.
The TMA8 multifunction lathe with its 60-tool automatic tool changer was ideal for lower part quantities and parts over 1.5 inches in diameter. A large capacity tool changer allows the production of a extensive variety of parts with the changing of only one or two tools. According to Mr. Schuhmann, who catalogs all processes, tools and multi-axis offsets in a Microsoft Access database, "documentation makes it work." This documentation consistently allows 80% of Moog's parts to clear first piece inspections successfully.
Keywords: Rem Sales, Moog, Tsugami, Aerospace, Lean, Industrial Controls