machine tools: uproar over a bottleneck

by:Gewinn     2020-06-15
1978 this is a digital version of an article from The Times Print Archive, before it starts online in 1996.
To keep these articles as they appear initially, the Times will not change, edit, or update them.
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\"I have a bonfire and those guys want to standardize the barrels.
\"GM\'s manufacturing development director, Frank Daley, is venting his frustration at the machine tool business, the most popular scapegoat for the US industry.
Automakers are about to spend billions of dollars building new factories and production lines to make new engines, transmissions and power systems for smaller, more fuel
Efficient car in 1980s.
This represents an opportunity for the automotive industry to apply new technologies to one of the most backward areas of manufacturing --
Processing of automatic egg tarts
This is a rare opportunity for machine tool manufacturers.
\"I have never seen anything like that since 1995,\" said Harold Bogart, director of manufacturing and engineering systems at Ford Motor.
\"We start from scratch.
At this time, more Machine tools will be needed than at any time in the history of the industry.
However, there is a clear consensus in the automotive and machine tool industries that opportunities will be largely lost.
In fact, it is difficult for machine tool manufacturers to meet their current orders, and the full impact of car demand has not yet been felt.
A strange industry, the machine tool industry.
Its products are as important to industrial America as oil or steel.
Rigs, milling machines and lathes used by General Motors, etc.
Electric to produce aircraft and air conditioners, filing cabinets and fans, everything including kitchen sinks. But .
This is a very small industry.
Put all the companies together, they will be ranked 158 on the Fortune 500 list: There are a few \"giants\", the biggest is Cincinnati Milak company
Sales last year were $531. 8 million.
Millon and other major machine tool manufacturers such as Warner and Swasey, Cleveland, gilding and Lewis
Kearney & Trecker and Cross make up the third largest sales in the industry.
In addition, hundreds of small private companies in the Midwest are concentrated in Cincinnati, Detroit, Chicago and Cleveland.
Advertising Machine Tool tradition is a conservative industry, set in its way, run by savvy, hardworking people who know their way around the lathe until recently, unwilling to spend money on research and development that may return in the future.
Machine tool manufacturers have been slowly moving forward for generations, waiting for customers to support new technologies.
They usually wait for advertisements in vain.
Their customers.
For example, in addition to those aerospace areas where new technologies must be developed to exist --
I have always tended to keep the old well-made tools in place.
It has not been until recently that the industry has worked hard to overcome its bottleneck.
To some extent, these efforts reflect the surge in orders over the past few years, as a result of economic growth.
The Life and Death of machine tool enterprises depends on the level of capital investment of the country.
The slump in early 1970s dried up orders;
Subsequently, the economic recovery eased demand from factories that cut corners and delayed the pace of changing tools.
According to the National Association of machine tool manufacturers, the total order is $2.
Growth was 99 billion last year and 34 per capita. cent from $2.
1976 23 billion. Eli S.
Lustgarten is an analyst in Mitchell s Inc. Mitchell machine tool industry
In a recent report, it is estimated that the automotive industry, which is usually.
Buying about $0. 3 billion to $0. 4 billion of machine tools a year will cost $0. 6 billion to $0. 7 billion this year, and he expects that level to last until 1980.
The only cloud coming is the electrical industry, which accounted for 6% of tool shipments last year but is suffering from overcapacity.
There are two basic types of machine tools: metal knives, drill bits ,.
Drilling, milling and turning of stamping, cutting and stamping and metal forming.
Welding equipment is not included.
Although some tool companies produce, they are not relatively new machines, and they form internal parts.
In 1976, the machine tool industry, which employs about 83,000 people, including 54,000 production workers, is working to develop new, more complex manufacturing systems for its customers.
On the one hand, the cost of electronic equipment such as minicomputer has dropped sharply.
They now account for about 15% of the cost of computer machine tools, compared to 50% in the 1960s s.
In addition, some factories have found that fewer and fewer people want to become skilled mechanics, spend money over and over to make the same parts, and are willing to spend tens of millions of dollars on highly automated CNC systems.
A gm executive highlighted this when visiting a factory that installed an expensive robotic welding system to make welds for new buses.
He looked at the gap at one of the seams left by the machine.
\"It may not be perfect, but it\'s here on Monday and Friday,\" he said.
\"Ads in machine history settings.
One person operates a machine, which is still the way most stores operate.
Unfinished parts are taken to the operator\'s hands, the operator performs his assigned tasks on each part and then places them in a box until they are moved to another operator on another machine
Complex parts can take days or weeks to complete, in stark contrast to many other industries whose output is measured in minutes or seconds. James A. D.
The chairman of Cincinnati mirakon Geier showed visitors a chart in his office showing the results of the system.
In a general machine store, a part takes only 5% of the time on the machine.
The rest of the time is spent waiting for the next production.
Of the 5% people
Geier said it cost only 30% of the actual processing.
\"There is greater potential for production flows than for the introduction of new technologies,\" he said . \".
Nevertheless, as with the impact of \"CNC\" machines, technology and improved production processes often go hand in hand.
Instructions are put up, the programmer uses a computer tape, the tape is entered into the computer connected to the machine, and the machine continues to perform any of a dozen different operations.
Such a machine is in Thorpe.
Speed and speed.
Now they can store many tools and complete complex parts in one cycle.
Compared to manual systems, they work more accurately and faster in repeatedly outputting the same parts. Mr.
Geier said that N. C.
The machine can generally replace three to five manual machines, saving factory space.
Since one person can run two N, the number of operators is also reduced. C. . machines. However, the N. C.
More support is needed for the machine.
Like a programmer, it\'s hard to calculate labor savings.
Colin Hennessy, 26, stands in front of the hcl5 CNC machining center with both hands in a factory in mirakon, Cincinnati. It Was.
The case of the tractor motor is automatically drilled, drilled and tapped.
The device is being tested for customers. Once in. a while Mr.
Hennessey took a look at the screen above the computer control connected to the machine to see if it followed the specified sequence of operations. the tape.
When a tool is cut, a rotating arm swings to a support-shaped container of a circular bin with 24 tools and selects one for the next sequence. .
Then the arm holds the tool;
Ready for quick replacement.
The next action. Mr.
Hennes occasionally applies cutting compounds to the tool, but there is no grease on his tool. blue smock .
He is basically a gentle man who does not need to constantly manipulate parts and tools;
Still, his presence is as critical as a manual machine: \"You won\'t walk away,\" he said.
\"You have to walk in front of the machine.
It doesn\'t know when to do something wrong.
Human judgment is still important.
He put the tip of his finger on the surface of the part and said it had 80 micro finish.
\"I can feel the lines,\" he said \'.
The machine is not fast.
Complete One casing every half hour;
In contrast, some engine production lines in the automotive industry can produce 100 pieces per hour.
The michine cost of running this computer is $190,000, while the price of manual machines ranges from about $5,000 for simple rigs to $50,000 for complex manual systems.
Cincinnati Miramar clone\'s advertising company is trying to change the traditional settings of its processing area. 2 plant.
The task is to connect the machine with the operation so that the production process is faster and more efficient and the whole area is ultimately controlled by the computer.
On the surface, it sounds simple.
But Floyd Demus, who is in charge of the work, admitted on a trip, \"there was a lot of confusion --
This is much more complicated than pushing the machine.
Target of the system-
Among them, 55 traditional machine tools were replaced by 25 new machines, most of which were digital machines. Control Type-
It is to reduce part of the time in this area from two or three days to a few hours.
This is an annoying question, sir.
This is a retraining for operators, says Mr dermos. They had.
Learn multiple skills and be able to run several machines. once.
New support personnel must also be trained in programming and maintenance.
Customers who buy new machines are not in a hurry to buy them.
According to the 1977 survey conducted by the American Journal of Mechanics of factories employing 100 or more workers, less than 2% of machine tools are CNC, and 42% of machines have a history of at least 20 years, 34% of machines have a history of 10 to 19 years. 16% are five to nine years old, and 8% are four or under. As for.
However, the current New Order
Lustgarten estimates that \"half is N. C. machine. Frank T.
Curtin, machine tool director at Milacron, said the manufacturer\'s point of view is often: \"Don\'t spend money on machine tools unless there is no other option.
\"Machine tool companies are not investing much in research and development. Mr.
Daley of General Motors said that a few years ago, his fered company worked with any machine tool manufacturer to develop new processing methods designed to speed up car production.
\"We have not heard from anyone,\" he said ,\". he recalled.
Since then, however, G. M.
Several companies have been persuaded to share development costs to speed up the operation of the lathe.
To Mr. and other executives
Daley, the status quo in the machine tool industry is irritating.
Since moving from wood to steel to build car bodies in the 1920s s, he has not seen a shift in fuel efficiency that would bring about a fundamental shift in manufacturing.
The types of equipment installed by car manufacturers will affect the cost and quality of the cars they produce, and their ability to compete with the importers, especially the Japanese who emphasize the latest manufacturing technology.
The surge in current orders has extended the lead time for machine tool delivery. Edward F.
Schloss, sales manager of Miramar clone, Cincinnati.
Looking down on the company\'s workshop at a factory in Cincinnati, he said that even a simple machine now takes a year to deliver compared to 25 weeks a year ago.
He added, \"you\'re talking about two years. ”Richard P.
Cross rell, general manager and vice president of Cross Fraser department.
Cross Company, a major machine tool manufacturer in Mich Fraser.
He recently warned that \"buyers will face 24 months of delivery in the near future.
\"GM has always favored domestic tool suppliers and, according to him, the company may have to switch to European countries such as West Germany, the Soviet Union and Japan to purchase partial orders. Daley.
Another change in GM. is working on—.
In order to save the automatic weight and reduce the processing demand ,-
It is replaced by plastic parts. At the G. M.
The technical center has made significant progress in manufacturing body parts such as bumper covers, and is currently being molded into some models by reaction injection: two different plastics from different tanks are fed into the mixing head, they quickly solidified into hard parts.
The advantage is that there is no waste of materials, the cost of the equipment is only half of the stamping, and the weight of the parts is reduced from 8 pounds to 11 pounds. The.
The downside is that the new machine can produce only one plastic part per minute, while the stamping machine can produce 10 or 12 metal parts in sameMr.
Daley said the vending machine must make a key decision this year on what production method to use.
Although some new technologies are starting to prove themselves, the trend will be to rely mainly on old systems, and some areas are trying new approaches, he said.
If they can develop themselves in mass production then they may be introduced step by step. Mr.
Daley\'s overall conclusion is: \"This tendency will be very conservative.
\"A version of this file appeared on the New York edition F1 page in February 26, 1978, titled: Machine tools: the turmoil caused by bottlenecks.
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