Find Solutions That Fit Your Expanding Business
It’s great to see manufacturing organizations creating new products and growing their business. But what happens when that growth hits a brick wall — literally?
One Richard Greene Company customer recently ran into just that problem. The business was expanding, but it was not able to expand the space it had for manufacturing operations.
As a major electrical manufacturer, the company is expanding its offerings to include a wider variety of products. Manufacturing these new products requires a lathe, a piece of equipment that spins a part to allow it to be cut. Lathes are very long and take up a lot of floor space, which the company didn’t have.
Fortunately, the company has been a long-time Richard Greene customer and contacted its rep, David Manegre, to discuss options.
A different perspective
With a bit of ingenuity, Manegre managed to find a solution that enabled the company to house new lathes in a smaller footprint while also automating some of the more manual parts of the manufacturing process.
Manegre brought together engineers from the client company and Richard Greene engineers so they could better understand the challenges of the manufacturing processes and bounce ideas off each other to uncover options.
Through this meeting of the minds, the collaborative team came up with a solution that allows the lathe to be installed vertically instead of horizontally — dramatically reducing the required floor space. Instead of the 15 feet of linear space required for horizontal placement, the vertical option requires only 3 feet of linear space!
The vertical lathes are part of a complete solution that automates many of the manual processes involved in the manufacture of the company’s products. Before implementing the changes, workers had to manually insert a part into the lathe, manually take all the measurements, cut the part, and remove it.
Through automation, parts are now automatically inserted into the lathe, cut to length and taken off. The result is a safer environment for workers and faster production. The manufacturing process is also more accurate and repeatable.
Putting it all together
Our client will build the framework and the mechanical end of the lathe, and already has in place the software interface for operators. Richard Greene is providing Omron NJ Servo motion controllers, Parker 2-Axis slides, and Maple Systems touch screens, among other components for the expansion.
The key component in the solution is a Parker HMR Linear Drive, a flexible component that includes a linear actuator, gear, and motor in a single system and allows for either horizontal or vertical installation. Richard Greene experts also provide training on the installation and the use of the equipment.
“This project came together fairly easily because we had just completed another project for this company using some similar controllers and equipment,” said Manegre. “Because of our earlier collaboration, they were comfortable with us, and the training we had already provided made it possible to move this project along more quickly.”
This hands-on training and close collaboration was doubly important in this project because the solution isn’t just for this location. The company is also planning to duplicate this refit in its manufacturing facility in the U.K. Once the new equipment is installed, operational, and tested in the U.S., the company will send the designs and duplicate the process at the U.K. plant.
History of success
Pulling all aspects of this project together so well — planning, engineering, communications support, training — is no accident, says Manegre. “It’s what we do.”
“Since 1958, companies have come to us because they know they can trust us. They know we don’t handle cheap equipment, but even more important is the way we work with them to ensure our solutions really work for their applications. People will remember how well something worked long after they’ve forgotten what they paid for it.”
That reputation of honesty and integrity is what continually brings in new manufacturing customers — and keeps existing customers coming back.