In 2011 Loudon Machine of Effingham IL was confronted with the harsh reality that the printing industry could no longer be the sole source of custom manufacturing work that had sustained the company for three decades. They would have to find a niche in a new market. They chose to pursue work as a job shop specializing in fixtures and tooling for the automotive manufacturers which numerous in their area. To accomplish this transition they would need software that was far more robust and flexible than the 2-D CAM system they were using. QTE Manufacturing Solutions helped them make the transition.
Loudon surveyed the CAM marketplace and decided that Mastercam would best meet the company’s needs. Tompkins explained that the addition of this software – three seats of Mill and one of Lathe– has totally changed the way it goes about machining parts. Today, programs are created based on models seamlessly imported from Inventor, SolidWorks and other CAD software. Instead of one machinist writing all the CNC programs, every machinist writes his own. With the assistance of QTE Manufacturing Solutions, the transition to this mode of operation was accomplished in just two months.
Tompkins said one of the best outcomes of the training is that it “changed the way the guys were machining. In the old days they would have had a large cutter taking big heavy cuts while the machine was shaking and vibrating and screaming. Now I think their main tool is a half-inch end mill and they are taking smaller cuts at higher speeds, getting a lot more work done and improving tool life. Our parts are not that complicated, so our guys can write about 14 or 15 CNC programs a day.”
While the machine is cutting one part, they are writing or modifying a program to do another. With this approach we have seen about a 30 to 40% improvement in productivity over the way we did things previously.”
Our customer said . . .
As our traditional printing industry work began to decline, it became obvious that we would have to become a presence in another market if we were to continue to grow. Since there are a great many manufacturing plants in our area we chose to become a job shop specializing in tooling, fixtures, and other components used in manufacturing. This required us to upgrade our CAM system. We decided on Mastercam and that has proven to be the right choice.
After training at QTE Manufacturing Solutions we deleted our outdated CAM software and started programming everything in Mastercam. With QTE always available to answer our questions it only took two months to exceed our previous programming capacity and it has continuously improved.
Today, with the Mastercam dynamic machining concepts we learned at QTE Manufacturing Solutions, our productivity has improved by up to 40% and our sales volume has doubled. Half of our business now comes from automotive job shop work. We could not have accomplished all this without Mastercam and the help we received from QTE Manufacturing Solutions.
-Howard Stuemke, Director of Operations, for Loudon Machine
See the full article originally published in Manufacturing News – (QTE Loudon Success Story – Manufacturing News)