Achieving First Part Precision
Gearench produces more than 40 different product lines for the oil industry that are used for exploration, drilling, production, refining and completion. To keep up with demand for these unique products, Gearench faced the challenge of increasing production while maintaining its high quality standards.
According to Zack Fehler, Manufacturing Engineer, Gearench, the adjustments required for modular and adjustable tooling systems left too much potential for error, resulting in long set-up time and scrapped parts. The company sought a way to eliminate these problems.
Gearench's solution was to implement a tool presetter, which enables precise pre-setting of adjustable round tool diameters (i.e., boring bars, eccentric drills). The company selected the Speroni MAGIS 400 tool presetter for its precision and ease of use.
On average, Fehler sets two boring heads per job. In the past, touching off each tool in the machine, making a test cut and adjusting each tool would take about 20 minutes, for a total of 40 minutes per job. This was all downtime on the machining center, which is valued at $75 an hour.
Presetting each tool on the MAGIS Tool Presetter takes 2.5 minutes, for an average total of 5 minutes per job. This means less time spent by an operator, and no spindle time is taken away from an active machine. Using the MAGIS control, the operator is able to "dial in" a boring head to the exact offset the program requires. This eliminates the test cut, adjustment and re-machining steps - contributing to a 60% reduction in set-up time
"By using the MAGIS presetter, we are able to circumvent many issues that spawn from manual tool setting," said Fehler. "These issues include set-up part repair, re-machining of repaired workpieces, or even scrapped set-up parts. Calculating the time savings alone comes out to $335 per setup - and this is not even accounting for the value of possible scrapped parts." In Gearench's case, with only two tools preset per job and two critical jobs per week, the company saves $81,640 annually.
The presetter has not only reduced set-up time, but has also completely removed the need for allocating additional raw materials for set-up purposes. It has also increased product quality by allowing the company to set, monitor and maintain high tolerance diameters on adjustable round tools. The quality of finished products has increased because of the presetter's ability to prevent out-of-tolerance holes due to over- or under-sized cutting tools.
Ease of use was another important factor in the choice of this presetter. Fehler explained, "When it comes to integrating new technology, it is important that the end users are able to understand and take advantage of that technology, regardless of their technical background. With the Speroni, this was a smooth process. We began benefiting the day the unit was installed and we have continued to find new ways to use its features throughout various production processes.
"The MAGIS has become a valuable asset to our production process and will continue to be utilized as a major quality engineering tool in our machining processes. The Speroni Tool Presetter has allowed us to maintain our supreme level of quality while simultaneously cutting costs."
Located one mile south of Clifton, TX, Gearench has been producing products for the oil industry for almost
75 years. Its first patented product, the Gearench, is a hand tool for use on small diameter pipes. The company also serves mining, power generation and general industries. It recently added a gear milling facility capable of manufacturing high precision gears of standard and custom tooth geometries with a current size range up to 58" O.D. It maintains a quality system compliant with ISO9001-2008 standard and API Spec Q1.
"Gearench manufactures and distributes an ever-increasing number of high-quality, safe and effective products by utilizing the latest innovations in applied engineering, manufacturing process improvement and quality assurance," said Fehler. "Our goal is to produce products that meet or exceed customer expectations, as well as applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. In pursuit of our goal, Gearench will remain fundamentally committed to developing and implementing policies and procedures that support and encourage safety, honesty, integrity and respect for all employees and our environment. Gearench is committed to meeting customer requirements and increasing customer satisfaction through continual improvement of its products, services and quality management system."