Top Shops Executive Summary


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Executive Summary SPONSORED BY AMT | IMTS 5 MACHINING TECHNOLOGY This year's survey indicated that there wasn't a big difference in the type of equipment used by Top Shops and other shops. However, a much higher percentage of Top Shops use turn-mill multitasking machines. In addition, Top Shops have historically been more apt to use HMCs than other shops. This year, those percentages are 50 and 42 percent, respectively. HMCs are pricier than VMCs, but horizontals with dual-pallet design enable parts to be set up on one pallet, possibly on a tombstone, while machining is being performed on the other pallet, maximizing spindle uptime. They also lend themselves to pallet pool setups such as fexible manufacturing systems (FMS), which enable long stretches of unattended operation. The Top Shops also tend to use more advanced machining strategies. A higher percentage of those shops are using four- and fve-axis machining, either for full contouring or positioning operations. Contouring operations tend to be more exotic than positioning, but there is tremendous value in rotating and lock- ing a part into an angled position and essentially performing a three-axis operation with the part oriented in that way. A higher percentage of Top Shops perform high-speed machining (HSM), too, enabling them to maximize material removal rates by taking lighter, faster cuts versus slower hogging operations. Key Performance Indicator—The average age of machine tools used by Top Shops is only 7 years versus 9 years for other shops, as leading shops either add new equipment to increase capacity or replace older machines with fresh models. Top Practice—A much higher percentage of Top Shops use turn-mill multitasking machines at nearly 54 percent compared to 27 percent for other shops. These machines offer the chance to produce parts complete to minimize work in process (WIP), set- ups and the number of times a part is touched during production. Trend—Many more Top Shops have machines with through- tool coolant delivery (81 compared to 49 percent) as well as high-pressure coolant systems. In fact, the percentage of leading shops using the latter has increased every year since we started the survey (see table below). In 2011, nearly 11 percent of Top Shops used high-pressure coolant compared to 40 percent in 2015. Machining Technology: High-Pressure Coolant Use 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0 2012 22.6% 2013 33.3% 2014 40.4% 15% 2011 2010 10.8%

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