In many cases, our customers ask: “We need to launch production of this here part. Please help us to select everything we’ll need, and design the process for manufacture of this part”. Such package delivery of equipment, tooling, and technology involves development of the machining process in several steps.
First of all, the drawing and other information about the part has to be obtained from the customer. In choosing the equipment, account is taken primarily of the dimensions of the part; then, of the material and configuration, and the requirements designated in the drawing. The batch sizes are certainly important as well.
Having specified the desired characteristics of the machine tool (we only look at CNC machines, of course), we pass on to the selection of the machine-tool maker. Precedence is given to our regular partners. Currently, they are companies from China, the Republic of Korea, and India. The advantages of our regular partners are delivery times, affordable prices, and high specifications of the machinery. And only when no suitable machine can be found in their range of products (which is rarely the case), we look at other manufacturers, by all means scrutinizing their references, preferably from Russia.
Then we move on to the development of the part machining process. In doing so, these targets are pursued:
• maximum efficiency, all operations to be performed in one machine in as few setups as possible (ideally, one);
• output as needed by the customer;
• lowest price.
The requirements are very stringent, given that 100 percent of customers compare several offers from different suppliers.
The effectiveness of the solution offered is corroborated by calculation of a number of indicators (machine time, auxiliary time, etc.).
The process is simulated in 3D, refined, finalized, and carried over to the machine. The preproduction finetuning is, of course, carried out in the machine delivered to the customer. And with the blanks to be used in the production of the workpiece. It is significant, because a lot depends on the condition of the blank.
During the T&PPR stage and the subsequent application of the process, the supplier and/or the customer may come up with ideas of improvement. It happens in about 35–40 percent of cases. Important: if a way of improvement has been found by the customer, the first thing to do is consult us; as for us, we will not fail to ask the customer's opinion.
Time passes, and the customer has a new task: another part has to be manufactured, and, preferably, on the same machine, already paid for and familiar. The new machining process fr the same machine tool is a new reason for our collaboration.
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