Challenge: Process improvement
Machining Solution: SS20
Location: Des Plaines, Il
“When we began looking into the purchase of new Swiss technology to machine valve stems, we identified specific items that required justification,” Mr. O’Gradney explains. “Reducing part operations were the primary concern.” Headstock stroke length was also important as some of the stem lengths exceeded 7.0 inches (178 mm).
The ability to program parts offline was also essential, as was post sales service support. “In the end,
we selected a Tsugami SS 20 Super Swiss Turn from REM Sales,” Mr. O’Gradney says. “It satisfied all of our requirements, and the SS platform offered the most flexibility moving forward.”
C&L Supreme’s continuous improvement team recommended switching the production of a family
of valve stems to the new machine. Cut from 303 stainless, the group consisted of four parts ranging
in size from 5 inches to 7 inches in length. The parts featured a long turned diameter with threads at both ends and a cross-hole immediately before the larger of the two thread rolled diameters.
Up to this point, the stems were blanked on a gangtooled lathe in about 1 min., prior to thread rolling. Single pointing was not an option, as the customer spec required a degree of material strength that could only be achieved through thread rolling. The part was then burnished, an abrasive polishing process, to a 3-micron finish. Polishing sometimes required multiple passes through the burnishing machine.
“We thought that consolidating as many operations as possible into one machine would significantly
improve part quality,” production supervisor, Jeff Johnson, says. “Any time redundant setups are
eliminated, part quality improves.”