APN has carved a niche in the Canadian manufacturing scene as a company that invests in leading edge technology from robotic automation to industry 4.0 manufacturing integration. So when it came time to purchase a new machine tool to accommodate its growing business operations, it purchased an Index Traub G200 mill turn centre from distributor Mitcham Machine Tools.
Yves Proteau, who co-owns the business with his brother Jean, as well as 15 employees who have ownership stakes, says he’s a big believer in embracing new technologies.
The company purchased its first Index Traub, a C200 turn mill centre, two years ago. Its second Index Traub, the G200, was installed in March.
“The Index Traub fit our vision of what we wanted in a machine: the ability to machine high accuracy, tight tolerance parts and the ability to integrate it with our Industry 4.0 platform that we created for our operation.”
The G200 mill turn centre offers users up to three tool carriers with the Y axis useable on the main and counter spindle and a maximum tool pool of 42 stations (VDI25). Simultaneous machining with up to four tools is possible, and a milling spindle is designed with a 360° B axis rotation, 7,200 rpm maximum speed, 22 kW and 52 Nm, HSK A40. The flexible machine tool can accomplish complete machining of parts, bar stock and chuck parts.
APN’s Industry 4.0 software, known as Meta 4.0 Shop Floor Monitoring, was developed in-house to help the company improve manufacturing efficiencies. The software connects all of the equipment in APN’s 20,000 sq ft operation (which will double in size by 2020) from machine tools and robotics to CMMs, compressors and bandsaws, and keeps hourly track of equipment performance.
APN’s Industry 4.0 focused operation is another reason the company selected the Index Traub, says Proteau.
“Index Traub was open to Industry 4.0. We also like to work with German companies because the German engineers are very knowledgeable about Industry 4.0. We also liked the Siemens control on the machine because Siemens is also a company that is working with Industry 4.0 and that is an important part of the process, so it helped us to fully integrate the Index Traub into our operation.”
The Index Traub mill turn centre has performed well. It has integrated easily into APN’s Industry 4.0-friendly operation and, more importantly, Proteau says he has good support from the builder and Index Traub’s distributor.
The new turn mill centre machines primarily highly complex Inconel and stainless steel parts for Pratt and Whitney and other customers. The machine has increased machining efficiencies significantly, says Proteau.
“We used to machine parts for our valves on another turn mill machine in our shop and it took about one hour. On the Index, it’s taking about 11 minutes. It’s a machine made for production and high accuracy for complex parts.
“We’re happy with the service. We have a good relationship with management at Index Traub in the US and in Germany and also with Mitcham.”
Claude Proteau, father to Yves and Jean, formed APN 48 years ago by. His sons, who took over the business more than 14 years ago, have transformed the company in recent years, acquiring manufacturing operations in Canada and the US. Last year it purchased a Quebec analytical instrument manufacturer, Analytical Flow Products. Today the business operates four locations between its Canadian and US operations employing 150 people and while each operation specializes in different work, Proteau estimates that each of the companies do about 10 to 15 per cent of work for the different divisions. SMT