Fabricating: Punching Up
- February 8, 2019
Bayview Metals relies on Wilson Tool for more than quality and price
Like any supplier, a manufacturer of punch tooling differentiates itself on product quality, competitive pricing and customer service.
For Derek Richardson, quality/engineering manager at Bayview Metals in Ajax, ON, customer service came into sharp focus a few years ago when one of his key punch tooling suppliers, Wilson Tool, opened a Canadian location a few miles down the road in Toronto.
Bayview Metals is a custom precision metal fabricator. For 40 years the company has specialized in working for electronics manufacturers and telecommunications companies, manufacturing prototype to midsized product runs. In addition to CNC punching capabilities, Bayview offers CNC shearing and forming, spot and TIG welding, design support, rapid prototyping, assembly, quality control and just-in-time delivery.
At the heart of Bayview’s punching lineup are three Amada CNC turret punch presses, which include the EMK 3510NT high speed servo electric turret punch press, the Vipros 357 Queen high speed hydraulic turret punch press and the PEGA 345 King turret punch machine with Fanuc control. The company runs a single extended work shift but is equipped with an automatic loader/unloader for lights out operation.
“We use Wilson Tool all the time,” Richardson says. “They’re the standard tools we use in our machines.” When Wilson moved virtually next door it became an even better choice.
“I can order a tool and it’ll be ready the next day. If it’s something they have in stock, say a quarter-inch round punch, and I need it in a hurry, I can send someone to pick it up and we’ll have here it in an hour or two. That’s huge in a production environment like ours.”
It also pays off for Bayview’s customers, explains Richardson. Because he no longer has to pay customs duties on products being shipped from Wilson’s Minnesota plant, the cost of tooling is also reduced. Punch tooling can be extremely heavy and the customs component of cost can be significant.
When it comes to delivering custom tooling, supplier proximity may be slightly less of a factor, but quick turnaround still helps. In one case Wilson turned around a custom punch tool for Bayview that cut the number of punches required for a particular part by six times. Richardson prefers not to reveal any details about the part or the customer, but he’s unequivocal about the efficiency gain.
“To punch a cutout for the part we had to use an existing tool we had on hand and punch it six times for each cutout. There were eight cutouts on the part, so we were doing 48 punches a part. When it became a high running job for us, we needed a way to speed up the operation, so I ordered a rectangle from Wilson that could punch the cutout in a single hit instead of six.”
The custom tool was supplied with a special powdered metal coating. “It strips the material better and the tool lasts longer–we don’t have to sharpen it as often,” Richardson says. The coating helps with jobs where Bayview wants to use its lights-out capability, because without the coating an operator would be required to spray coolant on the material to keep the temperature down and prevent galling, where material builds up on the tool and affects punching.
Richardson had the new tool on hand a couple of days after he placed the order. Now Bayview can run the job faster, cutting cost, and the quality of the part is better because there’s a single, uniform punch for each cutout instead of six.
“In this day and age, especially with these really large corporate customers, price is huge, plus you’re competing with the world,” Richardson says. “Using precision tooling in a precision machine you’re reducing scrap and setup time and getting things done quicker. The customers are happier because they’re getting a higher quality product.” SMT