A while back, an orthopedic OEM was touring Mack’s headquarters plant while evaluating us as a potential supplier for overmolded handles for surgical instruments. Turning the corner from our manufacturing floor, he entered the sheet metal fabrication center. “Wow, I didn’t know you did metal!” was the characteristic response. “You could also make our cases and trays,” he concluded.
Mazak Integrex Mark IV Turning/Machining Center
The primary equipment purchases for the Machining Center include a Mazak Integrex Mark IV turning and machining center, and two Citizen A20VII lathes. “The Integrex is the workhorse,” says David Hoffman, CNC supervisor. “With its advanced multi-tasking technology, it can perform high-powered turning and full-function machining in a single setup. This reduces lead time for our customers and allows us to produce small lot sizes in a cost-efficient manner.” Part accuracy is also improved by eliminating multiple setups. The Integrex is equipped with 40-tool capacity, a touch probe tool setter, KM63 dual contact tool connection, two-inch thru-capacity, and an LNS Servo 65 bar feeder.
Citizen Swiss Lathes
The Citizen Swiss lathes are 7-axes, 20mm machines with 21 tools each. Equipped with an additional axis on the subspindle, they can machine on both the front- and back-ends simultaneously. “This feature, along with 32m/min rapid feed rates, significantly reduces cycle times,” adds Hoffman. The lathes are coupled with C-320 barfeeders with 3-20mm barstock capacity using +0.0000″/-0.0005″ precision ground stock.
Both the Integrex and Citizen lathes have fully integrated CAD/CAM systems that allow the customer to see the actual process before the first piece of metal is cut. “PartMaker allows us to take the part from a solid model to a complete 3D simulation, and then to the machine G code,” says Hoffman. MatrixCam provides offline conversational programming on the Integrex. Other auxiliary equipment includes ultrasonic parts washing, vibratory tumble deburring, a 14-inch optical comparator, and a surface finish analyzer.
More Laser-cutting Capacity
Mack has also invested in additional laser-cutting capacity at its headquarters plant to accommodate increased demand. “We opened our sheet metal fabrication center 11 years ago, and have steadily added capabilities to serve the needs of our customers,” says Somple. “With metal sales increasing approximately 20 percent over the past 12 months, particularly in medical, our laser-cutting capacity was stretched to the limit.”
Mack has added a TRUMPF TruLaser 2030 thin-sheet automated laser. It is capable of laser-cutting thicknesses up to ¾-inch in mild steel, ½-inch in stainless steel, and ¼-inch in aluminum. A compact unit with linear material flow, the TruLaser 2030 features a suction frame that loads the machine automatically from the sheet stack. A rake unit unloads finished parts, saving on material handling. Two platforms outside the safety area handle the sheets while the machine is cutting, minimizing unproductive downtime. With a maximum stacking height of 27 inches on both sides of the machine, it can run completely automatically for significant periods of time.