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What Makes A Machine Shop A "Top Shop?"
Tuesday, 21 July 2015 21:04
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When you have a need for machined parts, you seek out the best shop you can find to perform the work accurately, on time, and for a reasonable price. According to an annual survey done by MMS Online, there are many other criteria that you can use to select what they consider a "top shop." The 2014 version evaluated 407 company owners or managers who responded to a survey. Their findings can help you as a user of machined products identify the best fit for your job.

What Is A Top Shop?

What distinguishes a "top shop" from other participants in the study is a mix of their profiles of markets served and jobs performed, machined technologies in use, shop floor practices, business strategies, and human resources practices. A competent shop goes beyond doing competent work, to having other systems in place that makes them profitable and an excellent value for customers.

Who Are Their Customers?

Those singled out as top shops served a wider variety of customers than others, while producing a lower average number of discrete parts and total parts. They were able to develop processes that enable them to focus on specialized parts for customers in various hot markets; about 55% of them produced aerospace parts versus only 43% of other companies.

What Technologies Do They Have In Place?

Top shops showed a wider range of technology with more of the industry leaders offering five axis positioning and five axis contouring, lights out machining and multifunction machinery such as caps with type lays and turned/mill machines. All of these technologies permit top shops to produce parts more efficiently by reducing setups and taking advantage of quick-change fixturing to speedily move from job to job. Other shops showed less change in these areas from previous surveys. In a similar vein, more top shops used computerized systems for inspection and absolute machining than other shops.

While all shops posted over 95% on-time delivery rate, top shops could offer a faster order lead time and quicker job set up. This is directly tied to the utilization of the manufacturing systems to take the processes, the use of tablets by supervisors on the shop floor, and higher levels of quality certifications that are a sign of better process control measures.

The efficiencies at top shops are reflected in increased median sales per employee (300%) and median sales per machine (50%) since 2011, while these figures have dropped 25% in other shops for sales per machine and stayed flat for sales per employee.

How Do They Promote Themselves?

Top shops have put themselves ahead by having a detailed company website, YouTube videos about their company, and processing and engineering services that stress design for manufacturing. They also pay better wages and benefits, offer more formal training to workers, and reimburse work-related education to a greater extent that other shops.

What This Means To You

What this means for you as a customer in search of a great machine shop is that you should ask about their customer base, their machinery, and their technology for managing design and production processes. A shop you want to use should offer you a detailed list of equipment and software.

When you are looking for a machine shop that has the criteria that distinguishes a "Top Shop," look no further than Logik Precision, a full service shop in Houston, Texas. We are ISO 9001:2008 certified, equipped with state-of-the-art machinery and software, and are known for our ability to produce high quality work for demanding aerospace and military applications. For information, contact us today by visiting our website or by calling (713) 939-0061 or toll-free 800-684-2041.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 July 2015 21:06 )
 
10 Reasons To Use Wire EDM For Your Next Job
Wednesday, 31 December 2014 23:19
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As growing machine shops like Logik Precision know, there is more than one way to make a part. We have expanded what we offer and acquired the equipment we have onsite to manage the best in additive and subtractive technology. One of the newest technologies that we have recently incorporated is EDM, or electrical discharge machining.

Considered a non-conventional technique, EDM emits a series of short, but repetitive, electrical discharges at high current density between the tool and the work piece. Because the electrode does not directly come in contact with the work piece, even the toughest and most brittle electrically conductive material responds well to the process. Three types of EDM known as RAM EDM, drill EDM, and wire EDM produce a wide range of intricate parts.

10 Compelling Reasons To Use Wire EDM

If you are new to the wire EDM process, here are 10 compelling reason to ask us about using this process on your next tough job.

1. Tough shape? No problem. Whether you have a part with complex shapes, conical sections, pockets, or tapers, EDM can handle it without burrs and without affecting the structural integrity of the piece.

2. Small parts, big results. The process works even on small work pieces at risk of damage from cutting tool pressure used in other processes. You can make parts that would be disastrous if you tried to use a mill or grinder.

3. Wide material flexibility. EDM works on all types of conductive materials at all hardness levels. Commonly used for machining dies, tools, and molds made of hardened steel, tungsten carbide, and high-speed steel, it opens new possibilities for the use of exotic materials used in aeronautical and aerospace such as Hastealloy, Nitralloy, Waspaloy, and Nimonic.

4. Nondestructive. Even on parts that need a series of holes, such as turbine blades for jet engines, the process makes adding holes easier with minimal heat penetration into the material.

5. Excellent for hole drilling applications. Aside from its applications with turbines, the process can create microscopic holes for other aerospace, military, and surgical applications. It also works well on non-rounded cavities and recessed cuts.

6. Thin walls. Because EDM is a no contact, no force, no deformation process, thin walls are a breeze, even on parts with deep complex cavities.

7. Tight tolerance. EDM parts are accurate within a tolerance of +/-.0002 or better with multiple passes.

8. Fine surface finish. Offering a surface finish similar to a ground surface finish with a fine wheel, an EDM part can achieve a near mirror finish with multiple passes of the wire. A matte finish is more common.

9. Great value. Because the process has a lower chip/work piece mass ratio, there is less waste of expensive materials. In addition, since the wire used in the EDM process is a standard off-the-shelf component, supplies are inexpensive.

10. Low-cost tooling. For short runs or low volume parts, you can use EDM without needing a set of costly dies.

Consider EDM For Your Next Job

Although variations of the EDM process have been around for centuries, the process is now coming into wide acceptance. At Logik Precision, we can tell you why this process might be better for your application than more conventional techniques like turning, milling, grinding, drilling, and other processes that remove metal. It is often categorized with other new machining technologies, such as laser cutting, waterjet cutting, and electrochemical machining.

The engineers at Logik Precision can help determine if you have a part that is a good candidate for wire EDM or any of our other innovative new processes. Contact us today at 713-939-0061 to learn more.

 

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 31 December 2014 23:34 )
 
3-D Printing Moving From Prototyping To Production
Wednesday, 31 December 2014 23:08
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In the world of manufacturing, 3-D printing is expanding beyond being a method for prototyping parts to an effective way to produce them.

According to a study of 100 top manufacturers done by consulting firm PCW, 28.9% were experimenting with the process to see how it could work for them, while 24.6% still use it just for prototyping. Another 9.6% did both prototyping and production while 2.6% were using it to create products that could not be built by traditional methods. and .9% were only producing finish components. About 33.3% were not implementing the process yet.

New 3-D Technologies, New Possibilities

3-D printing has its roots in the rapid prototyping industry, which use techniques such as laser sintering which fuses metal powder with the heat of the laser to create a 3-D part. The patents on the technology recently expired, which opened the door to many new developments in the 3-D printing industry. Additional patents on stereolithography, which uses resin and lasers to build part layers one at a time, are also expiring and expectations are high that the industry will take off. Predictions are that current technology will be a jumping off point for the new technologies that will define the future of 3-D modeling.

A new generation of desktop 3-D printers are currently on the market. Document printing giant HP recently announced that it was entering the 3-D printing market, and promises to introduce a system that is 10 times faster and 50% cheaper than current systems on the market. According to the company, this will make it possible to create hundreds, or thousands, of parts quickly onsite.

This type of system will not yet meet the needs of companies who need millions of parts, but it is a start that is worth pursuing. If companies in industries such as automotive or aircraft can effectively produce parts as needed, this means less inventory storage costs and product waste. If a car part was found to be defective, the company could adjust its 3-D software to correct the fault immediately and begin producing the new part.

Current Uses For 3-D Printing

Although the technology is in flux and the process is more suited for low volume jobs due to the printer speed, some industries have incorporated 3-D printing into their production.

  • Oil and gas. Most often used for prototyping, 3-D printing makes it possible to create parts onsite on oil rigs and drilling sites.
  • Medical and dental. Companies that make clear braces currently scans a patient's teeth into a computer and prints out new braces every time its customers are ready for them. Oxford Performance Materials builds prenatal, facial, and spinal implants with a proprietary material using 3-D printing.
  • Aerospace. Lockheed Martin used 3-D parts in the NASA Juno satellite and anticipates eventually building an entire spacecraft with additive manufacturing technology, as well as using it for production quantity parts for other aircraft and spacecraft.
  • Automotive. Although 3-D printing can't yet produce high-volume, automotive companies like Ford use the process to create tooling and prototypes for parts. In both cases, they save thousands of dollars in man hours. For example, a 3-D credit manifold prototype that costs $500,000 and takes four months using traditional prototyping methods can be completed in about four days at a cost of around $3,000.

As the 3-D printing industry develops and changes, Logik Precision in Houston, Texas is ready to partner with customers who can benefit from this amazing new technology. For more information about our 3-D printing capabilities, contact us today at 713-939-0061.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 31 December 2014 23:19 )
 
Logiks New Makino Wire EDM Technologies
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 22:51
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Makino’s new U6 and U6 H.E.A.T. wire EDM machines redefine the expectations of versatility and user-friendliness that matter to the EDM industry. The features and technologies incorporated into the U6 and U6 H.E.A.T. provide optimum EDM machining performance for every application, and further reduce wire consumption and maintenance requirements.

The revolutionary Hyper-i control system offers intuitive, interactive and intelligent functions that boost productivity and reduce operator workload. The high-definition, 24" class size touch screen monitor with Smartphone/tablet functionality makes operation extremely easy and straightforward. With on-board electronic manuals, maintenance procedures and video training system, operators have all of the resources they need to be productive right at their fingertips.  

The U6 and U6 H.E.A.T. feature a new cutting technology called HyperCut, which provides superior part accuracy and surface finish. HyperCut is capable of producing a 3umRz surface finish with three-pass machining, and represents a 20 percent reduction in cycle time and 14 percent saving in wire consumption when compared to previous technologies. Materials for steel and carbide have been developed and support both sealed and non-sealed flushing applications. The U6 H.E.A.T. also features Makino’s H.E.A.T. (High Energy Applied Technology) technology for unparalleled wire EDM machining speed and accuracy in parts featuring poor or difficult flushing conditions.

Makino has been the industry leader in low wire consumption technologies, dramatically reducing one of the single largest expenses in operating a wire EDM machine. There are no special settings or “part-time” buttons required to experience this saving; every cutting condition, including sealed and poor flush applications, is automatically optimized and designed from the ground up on the Makino for low wire consumption. Together, these features deliver optimum EDM machining performance with an ideal mix of speed, accuracy and wire consumption for the highest level of overall efficiency, throughput and cost. Only Makino can provide this level of performance in every condition and application.

The U6 and U6 H.E.A.T. contain a diverse cutting condition library with over 2,200 settings for many material types and flushing conditions from 0.004" to 0.012"Ø wire (0.1~0.3mmØ). These settings include optimized conditions for standard hard brass wires, high-speed coated wires and high-taper soft wires. The depth and versatility of the entire cutting condition library ensure that all applications can be machined at optimum productive levels.   

The U6 wire EDM machines use a space-saving and highly rigid design. The dielectric reservoir is built into the base casting of the machine, reducing the footprint while improving thermal stability. Part accuracy is further improved with the stationary worktable design, and the automated front-drop door provides excellent access to the machine and workpiece. A dielectric chiller unit, water quality deionization system, transformer and high-performance filtration system are all standard machine features.       

Makino has also developed a unique Pro-Tech circuit that provides electronic galvanic protection to the work piece in order to prevent or minimize rusting and oxidation. This unique Makino technology is standard on the U6 and U6 H.E.A.T. machines, and it preserves the integrity of the work piece without the need for chemicals.
- See more at: http://www.makino.com/wire-edm/u6-heat/#sthash.h1bDclHi.dpuf

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 26 November 2014 22:56 )
 
Logik Precision Adds New Capabilities!
Friday, 18 July 2014 16:46
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Logik has invested in the following services as added value and capabilities to our customers.

Services:

  • 3D printing
  • Laser etching
  • Scanning 3D capabilities. Supported by FARO CNN TECH.
  • Water Jetting
  • CNC lathes
  • Vertical CNC milling
  • Hoz CNC milling
  • Hoz BORING  CNC milling
  • Supported by manual milling and lathes.
  • Note:

    The FARO SCANNING, will now allow us to reverse engineering and final inspection to the next level.

    Please let us know how we can help

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