The economic outlook might be gloomy, but Bosch Rexroth Canada is looking ahead to better days with a $1.5-million investment in a new machining centre at its hydraulic systems plant in Welland, Ont.
“The market is definitely going to be a lot different as we come out of this downturn,” explains Dino Paladino, general manager, systems with Bosch Rexroth Canada. “It’s going to be a lot tougher to secure business, and we have to make sure that we take steps now to be as ready for that as possible.”
Bosch Rexroth Canada, a subsidiary of Bosch Rexroth AG, has been actively involved in lean programs such as 5S and its own Bosch Production Systems, with a focus on the continuous improvement of its processes and technology.
The new, state-of-the-art CNC machining centre, supplied by Mazak Canada in Cambridge, Ont., and CAM software are part of this focus at the Welland facility where 180 workers make up the services, distribution and systems groups.
Application engineers and designers will develop the integrated circuits and manifold block designs, then forward the information to the machining centre for manufacturing, adding flexibility to the process. Its spindle speed runs at 10,000 rpm, and increases the plant’s machining capacity by 40% to 50% when it’s running full tilt. The previous machining centre ran at roughly 3,000 rpm.
“We supplied our standard HCN 6800 horizontal machining centre with what we call a pallet pool, which allows several pallets to be loaded in advance and then the machine can run unattended for an extended period of time,” explains Ray Buxton, general manager at Mazak Canada. “They also ordered our superflow high-pressure through the spindle coolant system that enables them to effectively drill the deep holes common in their product.”
Other features include a wide machining area and large table capacity, 330-tool storage magazine and cyber tool management to monitor tool condition. Buxton notes storing tools for many different projects reduces setup time to zero between batches.
Paladino says the impetus for purchasing a new machining centre was simply to stay competitive by improving productivity and adding flexibility, which will allow the company to penetrate new markets.