Five Axis Advances
- March 29, 2019
product: DMU 160 P duoBlock and DMC 65 monoBlock machining centres
supplier: DMG MORI
end user: CNCTech.com Canada
Technology comes naturally to CNCTech Tool and Mold. Donny Butler, owner of the 1,115 sq m (12,000 sq ft )injection mould shop based in Belle River, ON, has a Silicon Valley background, including five years working for electric car builder Tesla.
CNCTech’s mission is to be the top five axis shop for smaller components and smaller injection moulds, and Butler has long understood the value of having state-of-the-art equipment to take on work for technologically advanced customers in the agricultural, consumer goods and automotive sectors. And that includes electric vehicle work.
Staying on the leading edge was one of Butler’s main motives for the recent acquisition of two DMG MORI machining centres: a DMC 65 monoBlock universal machining centre in January 2017 and a DMU 160 P duoBlock five axis machining centre in January 2018.
The DMC 65 was CNCTech’s first machine acquired in parallel with the shop’s Fastems automated pallet handling system, and the DMC 160 was purchased to expand the work envelope. And because not a lot of smaller shops have machines like these, they function as a competitive differentiator.
Having the two machines has positioned CNCTech to pick up work from larger, technology forward shops. “Bigger shops send us work and we can seamlessly put it on these machines using the exact same programs, software and machines that they would use,” Butler says. “I wouldn’t think there’s anybody out there like us.”
The machines have also enabled CNCTech to take on bigger, more expensive jobs, Butler says. “Before, we were limited to the X and Y capabilities of our other machines, but with the 160 we’re taking jobs 60 inches big. It’s opened up our envelope a lot. We can take the most complex parts out there in the market, and the machines give our operators the ability to machine them. Also, we can run our machines longer with fewer operators and longer run times.”
For the DMU 160 P, CNCTech opted for the roughing package, which has helped to consolidate processes into a single machine. Instead of needing the mill along with a roughing machine and a finishing machine, the 160 handles all those processes.
The Fastems automated pallet system enables CNCTech to run the DMU 160 P unattended for true lights out manufacturing, Butler says. “The Fastems system is continuously running; we have people programming for jobs that are days ahead, not just what’s on the machine right now.” The Fastems version CNCTech has is a starter pack, but Butler says because it’s modular in design it can be expanded with new machines as needed. “The quality of the work coming off the machines is always great and reliable. Everything with DMG is very good. The service is great. They’ve been a great help.” SMT