Page 29 - MetalForming March 2011
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 Toolroom Technology
axis milling machine) has allowed us to bring all of our work inhouse, in par- ticular larger-format tools for the Blow press. Our die-build costs have dropped by $150,000/yr. as a result.”
Milling Last But Not Least
The three-axis milling machine Zim- merman speaks of came to MMP late in 2010, just in time for the company to take advantage of the Section 179
deduction and the bonus depreciation rules. It’s a Milltronics VM 30 model (56- by 24-in. table) that also allowed the company to bring back inhouse the large-format die machining it had been outsourcing. Among its features:
• Automatic lubrication
• Spindle cartridge-cooling system • 15-hp closed-loop, two-speed
spindle motor
• Spindle options to 15,000 RPM
  Three-axis milling on Mitchell Metal Products’ new Milltronics CNC machine.
                 Next Up: Surface Grinding
After tackling design, Zimmerman set his sights on improving die-making efficiency by looking to upgrade to new grinding and machining technology. Late in 2009 a new automatic surface grinder landed in the company’s tool- room, which has proven so productive that the firm has been able to decom- mission two aging manual grinders yet expand capacity to allow it to bring outsourced grinding work back inhouse, an immediate savings of $25,000/yr.
“The beauty of the new surface grinder (a Chevalier FSG-2040ADII model) is its ability to automatically dress the wheel between passes,” says Zimmerman, noting the desire to run as lean as possible in the toolroom. The 63-employee company staffs its toolroom with seven machinists.
According to Chevalier specifications, the operator can set the dress amount from 0.0002 to 0.0008 in.; dressing pass- es across the wheel from one to four; and dress frequency during rough and fine grinding. “This allows the machine to run unattended,” adds Zimmerman, “reducing our machining costs.
“We used to outsource as much as 10 percent of our tooling work,” Zim- merman continues. “Increasing our toolroom capacity (with the new sur- face grinder, as well as a new three-
Flame Cutting
Grinding Machining
Components F.E.A. Analysis
       • Standard and Special Die Sets
• Full Sheets 96” x 240” stocked in A36, 4130 and 4340 steels up to 12” thick.
• Grinding to 164” diagonal • Welding • 30 Ton Crane
(800) 558-6040 •
MetalForming/March 2011

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