Shop Solutions: Shop Chooses CNCs with Conversational Programming
Wrobel Engineering (Avon, MA) has been providing companies around the globe with engineering fabrication, assembly, precision sheetmetal and precision machining services since 1976. This family-owned business attributes its success to comprehensive customer service built on quality and integrity. Wrobel manufactures components and subassemblies for the military and commercial sectors. They support a diverse group of industries including medical, electronics, telecommunications, industrial automation, and retail. At their 60,000 ft2 (5574 m2) facility, 90 employees process 1 million lb (454 t) of 16 and 18 gage pre-plated steel each year.
To bring business in-house so they would have more control, Ed Wrobel, vice president, said the company wanted to add more CNC mills. Because the average quantity for each job ranges from 1 to 100 or so parts, Wrobel Engineering needed a CNC mill that would reduce setup time while improving throughput and quality. Wrobel said another key factor in their decision-making process was to find a reliable system that was easy to use so training would be minimal.
Wrobel looked at used equipment and new equipment, including new Hurco CNC mills. Ultimately, he decided to purchase a smaller Hurco VM machining center with XYZ travels of 26 × 14 × 16" (660 × 355 × 406 mm), then a VMX50 with XYZ travels of 50 × 26 × 24" (1270 × 660 × 610 mm), followed by a VMX42 with XYZ travels of 42 × 24 × 24" (1067 × 610 × 610 mm).
“We went with Hurco because the conversational programming is so easy to use, which means that we spend less time training employees. In addition, the conversational programming reduces setup time, which is critical to maintaining profit margins when you run a high mix of parts in small to medium volumes to support customers’ JIT initiatives,” said Wrobel.
The machinists at Wrobel Engineering find the new probing interface with the part probe and toolsetter features of the Hurco control extremely useful in minimizing setup time. Since installing the Hurco CNC machining centers, Wrobel has been pleased with the benefits. The time to train operators has been minimal. Wrobel has seen reductions in cycle time, increased accuracy, and reduced scrap. He also doesn’t need to outsource machining jobs anymore, which gives him more control over delivery times and quality.
“With the VMX line, Hurco offers a solidly built machine with many upgrades over the competition that work together as a complete system,” said Wrobel. “The upgrades in the software and in the control have helped us in reaching our goals. With the control’s ease of use and the software built in, work sets up faster. With Brooks Associates [Wrobel’s Hurco Dealer], we also have a great support network, all the way from their technicians to their willingness to provide that extra bit of training and support that we might need. For us, the Hurco network offers a complete solution.”
In addition to quality equipment and skilled craftsmen, Wrobel invests heavily in quality control systems and accreditation. Their list of quality initiatives and accreditations includes ISO 9001-2008, ITAR registered, UL accredited, SIX Sigma methodologies, PPAP (Pre Production Part Approval process), TUV certified, statistical process control (SPC), JIT programs, and Kanban.
As a company, Wrobel’s philosophy revolves around dignity and respect. “We take great care to treat our customers, business partners, vendors, and co-workers with mutual dignity and respect. We have extremely low employee turnover, which provides our customers with the comfort and confidence of having a long-term relationship with a team that knows them personally and understands their needs and goals. One of our greatest rewards is hearing a customer describe themselves as part of the Wrobel family,” said Wrobel.
“In turn, that company philosophy extends to quality products and customer-centric organization which enables us to continue investing in leading-edge technologies such as Hurco CNC mills to get the job done right the first time,” Wrobel said. ME
For more information from Hurco, go to www.hurco.com
or phone 800-634-2416.
This article was first published in the May 2014 edition of Manufacturing Engineering magazine. Click here for PDF.
Published Date : 5/1/2014