Page 22 - MetalForming January 2017
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...has fabricator looking beyond the numbers.
 Sheetmetal fabricator Du Fresne Manufacturing Co., Vadnais Heights, MN, opened its doors in 1991 “with the vision to excel in an environment that fosters member (employee) development, innovation and state-of-the-industry technology to deliver exceptional customer serv- ice,” says Michael Rosenthal, vice pres- ident of operations. With facilities locat- ed in Vadnais Heights and in White Bear Lake, MN, Du Fresne employs 90 members with 70,000 sq. ft. of manu- facturing and assembly space between the two locations.
“The last 5 years,” adds Rosenthal, “have been a testimonial to survival in the manufacturing battlegrounds while developing a new strategy requiring shorter lead times and best
market pricing, while maintaining exceptional quality. We’ve seen a reduction in build quantities from 150 to 200 parts per run to an average of 40 to 60 parts per run. That evolution has required us to focus more than ever on setup-time reduction, inno- vation and our vision of lean manu- facturing, realized by investing in new sheetmetal-fabrication technology, including automation.”
Punch-Laser Plus Automated Press Brake
The firm’s most recent strategy to be the supplier of choice includes using new technology to make the competi- tion irrelevant with the addition, in 2015 and 2016, of a new punch/fiber- laser combination machine (an Amada
The HG ATC (automatic tool changer) press brake is touted as “an ideal solution for variable lot sizes and complex tool layouts... the tool changer can load the most complex tool layout within
3 min., and allows operators of varied experience levels to effi- ciently use the system...quick tool setups give users the ability to introduce rush jobs seamlessly,” states Michael Rosenthal, vice president of operations at Du Fresne Manufacturing Co.
LC 2515 C1 AJ), and two Amada HG 1003 ATC press brakes equipped with automatic tool- change (ATC) capability.
“We’re finding that the new equip- ment is helping to reduce setup times and remove/combine secondary oper- ations,” Rosenthal says. “It is clear from initial job-performance data that the ability to now deliver parts in hours instead of days, at a lower over- all cost, is a game changer.”
The new punch-laser combination machine has dramatically changed the way parts are processed at Du Fresne. While a standard turret press that uses an average of 15 to 20 tools per job would take approximately 70 min. to set up, says Rosenthal, Du Fresne oper- ators can set up the new combination machine, using a standard tool pack- age, in about 25 min., a 64-percent reduction.
The combo can punch when needed,
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