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Chief Executive Officer
www.mitsubishi-world.com - LASER - Duggan Manufacturing
Don't talk to Rodney Westich of Duggan Manufacturing about calculating payback on high-technology investments.
Westich has a better yardstick. He bought four Mitsubishi laser-cutting machines over a 12-month period beginning in mid-2003. Stamping mostly galvanized or AKDQ cold-rolled steel, the workers typically follow four steps in creating a prototype or production part for a customer, according to Westich: In the early days of the firm, Westich says, the parts and prototypes it produced were finished with trim dies before final outsourcing. As the business grew and customers' tolerances became tighter, Duggan Manufacturing began to outsource part trimming to sources that did laser cutting. "We reached the point where we were farming out $60,000 worth of laser work a month," says Westich, "The problem was, our customers needed turnarounds of anywhere from three days down to three hours. Outsourcing the cutting took three days or more. We couldn't service our accounts to the level we wanted." Westich contacted Roscommon Machinery, a Mitsubishi dealer. He also considered machines from a variety of laser manufacturers, but the result was an order for a Mitsubishi VZ1 2015 (5X7) with the 3020D 2,000-watt resonator. Things moved very quickly. "I couldn't believe how fast Roscommon and Mitsubishi reacted," Westich testifies. Westich also sent his first operator for training the day he shook hands on the deal. The operator was ready to go when the machine was, and that operator subsequently trained eight others. A used, 1993 Mitsubishi model 1212HC (4X4) laser with 1600W resonator followed, and two more new VZ1 2015s came shortly afterward. All four machines were purchased over an 12-month period ending in March 2004. Westich says that all have been busy continuously since they arrived. Duggan Manufacturing now uses a CNET computer program for design work and does some offline programming to set up work on the machines. "We're very happy with the lasers," Westich declares. "They've been extremely dependable. Westich laughs.
With its 50 presses, three robotic-welding cells, seven CNC laser-cutting machines and six coordinate-measuring machines, it needed a dedicated and consolidated facility in which to efficiently operate, says Duggan CEO Rod Westich.
Quality Magazine: Case Studies: Supplier Benefits from Remanufactured CMMs
"We've really built our niche in rapid prototyping of small- and medium-sized parts and components," says Rod Westich, CEO of Duggan Manufacturing.The company has more than 20 mechanical and hydraulic presses for low-volume production and production intent projects.A laser-cutting department includes six, 3-, 5- and 6-axis computer numerical control (CNC) laser-cutting systems for quality control and fast turnaround times.With these CNCs, the company takes computer-aided design (CAD) data, downloads it and manipulates it into a 2-D CAD model for creating laser-cut-developed blanks for the metal stamping press department."This is what gives us the capability to turn CAD data concepts into a physical part in a matter of days instead of weeks," Westich says.He continues, "The level of quality of prototype parts has to be assured during the fabricating process, and that's where coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) play a significant role.As our business has grown, it has been necessary to add the needed CMM capability to maintain our fast response timeâ€¦the key element for prototypers like Duggan Manufacturing."According to Westich, CMMs have been a costly capital investment in the past.The company's type of processing requires each CNC laser-cutting technician to verify the dimensional accuracy of the blanks and assemblies he works on."Because multiple CMMs were required, we first searched the market for quality used manual CMMs in an effort to keep the capital investment as low as possible.We were deeply disappointed with the condition of the CMMs we found, and frankly the level of experience and know-how of the initial companies we talked to," Westich says.Westich came across Xspect Solutions Inc. (Wixom, MI) on the Internet.The nationwide metrology sourcing company supplies total coordinate metrology solutions, including new and pre-owned CMM equipment. "After an initial 30-minute phone call with Keith Mills, Xspect's president, and a visit to their facility in Wixom, we were confident we had found a partner we could trust and work with," Westich says.Because we manufacture whatever the customer needs in whatever quantities, and usually at a compressed lead-time, we have to have a manufacturing operation that can react quickly, and ,the software, helps us do that," Westich says.The measuring software has full CAD capabilities, which allow the CMM to be an integral part of the manufacturing process, permitting the generation of inspection program before manufacturing is performed.A QuickMeasure feature allows hands-free inspection for a PC.QuickMeasure determines the feature type under measurement and allows for rapid part inspection without the need to instruct the software what to inspect next, Westich says."The part is simply probed and ,the software, does the rest," he adds.
Welcome to F&M Magazine Online
"We've really built our niche in rapid prototyping of small and medium-sized parts and components," says Rod Westich, CEO."We now have over 20 mechanical and hydraulic presses for low-volume production and production-intent projects, as well as a laser-cutting department that includes six 3-, 5- and 6-axis CNC laser cutting systems that enable us to have a high level of quality control and fast turnaround times for sheet metal blanks.With these systems, we can take CAD data, download it and manipulate it into a 2D CAD model that can be used to create laser-cut-developed blanks for our metal stamping press department.This is what gives us the capability to turn CAD data concepts into a physical part in a matter of days instead of weeks."Quality of these prototypes has to be assured, and that's where the company's CMMs come into play."As our prototyping business has grown, it has been necessary to add needed CMM capability to maintain our fast response time," Westich says.The OpenDMIS software features CAD capabilities, integrating the CMM into the manufacturing process and "permitting the generation of inspection programs before manufacturing is performed," Westich says.The software also adds some intelligence to the system, eliminating the need to instruct the software what to inspect next, Westich says.