Posts Tagged ‘Advanced Machine & Engineering Co’

Advanced Machine & Engineering Co. (AME) will be exhibiting their machine tool component products in both the East and West buildings this year at IMTS 2014. In the West building, at booth W-2405, they will be showing their fixturing product lines under the Amrok brand name, which consists of the following products:
• Amrok Epoxy-mineral Tombstones
• Amrok Cast Iron Tombstones
• Triag Modular Workholding
• Jakob Clamping


Amrok Epoxy Tombstone

Amrok Epoxy Tombstone

Click here to add AME to your IMTS Show Planner!

In the East building, at booth E-5718, they will be showing the remainder of their product lines consisting of the following products:
• Amlok Rod Locks
• Ott-jakob Power Drawbars
• Stotz Air Gaging
• Spieth, Ambush & Amdisk Precision Components
• Ott Gears
• Sitema Press Safety
• Amsaw Carbide Production Saws

Click here to add AME to your IMTS Show Planner!

Also see their sister company Hennig Inc. for machine protection products at booth E-5610. 

Click here to add Hennig to your IMTS Show Planner!

For more information, visit or contact:

Tim Waterman
2500 Latham St.
Rockford, IL 61103
Phone: 815-316-5277
Fax: 815-962-6483
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Hennig Inc. will be exhibiting their machine protection products at IMTS 2014. In the East building, at booth E-5610, they will be showing the following products:

• Chip Conveyors
• Chip Disc Filtration (CDF) Systems
• Telescopic Steel Covers
• Folded Bellows
• Flex-Protect Systems
• Machine Enclosures
• Roll-up & Flexible Apron Covers
• Wiper Systems
• XYZ-Modules


Hennig Chip Conveyor

Click here to add Hennig to your IMTS Show Planner!

Also see their sister company, Advanced Machine & Engineering Co., at booths W-2405 and E-5718 for machine tool component products.
Click here to add AME to your IMTS Show Planner!

For more information contact:

Tim Waterman
Hennig Inc.
9900 N. Alpine Rd.
Machesney Park, IL 61115
(815) 316-5277

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Unique rod lock assemblies from Advanced Machine & Engineering built into Boeing fixtures; used to stabilize airframe, maintain structural integrity during and after major repairs


AMLOK® rod locks shown at wing fitting attach points on A-10 Warthog

During the maintenance and repair operations of A-10 Warthog aircraft at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, a unique product design from Advanced Machine & Engineering (AME) helps maintain the structural integrity of this heavy airframe. AMLOK® pneumatic rod locks keep the load steady and ensure the aircraft will return to flight in its proper configuration. Boeing in St. Louis designed and built the fixtures for the Air Force and specified the rod locks, 28 on each of five (5) fixtures constructed for use at the Air Force base.

In use, each rod lock holds up to 5000 lbs. and maintains position with 0.002”-0.003” maximum backlash and repeatable positioning. The AMLOK® design functions by holding the cylinder rod in place and locking the load in place, when air pressure is removed. Only when the pressure is restored can the load be released. This power-off clamping protects operators and workload alike.


Rod locks shown on nacelle attach points


The Air Force contracted Boeing to produce a series of fixtures to help perform major structural repair operations on the A-10. This was a new product design, conceived by Boeing, to solve the problem of holding the massive A-10 airframe in position while major structural sections were removed and replaced. In application, the rod locks provide a means of attaching the main fixture to the aircraft structure without introducing any external load to the structure. This fact is key to the overall repair operation, as the original shape of the craft must remain consistent during and after the repair. In addition, since the locking feature on the rod lock is activated when the pneumatic power is removed, it prevents inadvertent activation of the lock during the repair process, increasing technician safety substantially.

Another aspect of the AME rod lock design, they provide an uncomplicated, easy-to-install interface between the main repair fixture and the surface of the fuselage on the aircraft, doing so in a way that prevents the introduction of positive or negative loads to the fuselage in the resting position. Prior to start-up of operations, laser tracking measurements of the A-10 Warthog fuselage were consistently monitored by Boeing personnel during the initial prototype repair processes.


Overall view of the structure built by Boeing St. Louis to hold the airframe of the A-10 Warthog during the refurbish/repair ops at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. 28 rod locks on each of the five (5) total fixtures built by Boeing hold 5000 lb. load and maintain a .002-.003” maximum backlash, with no external load on the work surface, thus assuring the structural integrity of the fuselage during and after repairs


In operation, rod locks are positioned at seven (7) points on both sides of the fuselage along its entire length to provide adequate structural support. These points of contact also provide convenient attachment points on the aircraft, in relation to the components typically installed. In removing and replacing large sections of the fuselage, excess pressures can be exerted on the airframe, a potential cause of distortion.

Jack Bucheit, the lead tool engineer at the Boeing facility in St. Louis, notes, “The size and weight of the aircraft necessitated a unique solution. Our requirements exceeded the capacity of the standard rod locks catalogued by AME in size and weight ranges. AME stepped up and developed, then tested and supplied a specific rod lock designed to our specifications for this application. The performance was in line with all our expectations.” Others on the Boeing team included Jerry Dunmire, A-10 program manager, Dan Dudley, project manager and Brad Moore, tool engineer.


Gun bay attach points

The AMLOK® rod locks on these fixtures minimize the over-travel, drifting, bouncing and reverse travel often encountered in pneumatic motion applications, according to the engineers consulted for this story.

Acting as the representative for AME on this project was Ray Varady, president of V-TEC Machine Tools, Inc. in Glen Carbon, Illinois, near St. Louis.

Shane Hatfield, sales manager at AME, led his team in the design and delivery of the rod locks to Boeing, who subcontracted the building of the fixtures to John Wisker and his team at WB Industries of O’Fallon, Missouri, also near St. Louis.

For more information on the repair ops referenced in this story, please contact:

Richard Essary
Chief of Media
Hill AFB Public Affairs Office
Hill Air Force Base (Utah)

Jim Pruin
Logistics Mgt Specialist
A-10 Program Manager
A-10 Depot Support Section
Hill Air Force Base (Utah)

For more information on the fixtures referenced in this story, please contact:

Bradley Moore
Tool Engineering
Boeing-St. Louis

For more information on the rod locks referenced in this story, please contact:

2500 Latham Street
Rockford, IL 61103
Toll-Free: 800-225-4263
Phone: 815-962-6076
Fax: 815-962-6483
Attention: Shane Hatfield, Sales Manager

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Advanced Machine & Engineering Co., is a manufacturer located in Rockford, Ill., serving the Machine Tool Industry with precision components and accessories, including spindle interface components, workholding devices and, through our sister company, Hennig, machine enclosures, chip removal and filtration systems. The Fluid Power – Safety markets are served with cylinder rod locks and Safety Catcher devices; and the Production Saw market with our AmSaw carbide saw machines and Speedcut blade products. AME has manufacturing partners and service centers around the world and across the U.S. To learn more, visit

Hennig, Inc. designs and produces custom machine protection and chip/coolant management products for state-of-the-art machine tools. Hennig products are designed to protect against corrosion, debris and common workplace contaminants. Manufacturing facilities are located in the U.S., Germany, France, Czech Republic, Brazil, India, Japan and South Korea. Repair centers are located in Machesney Park, IL; Chandler, OK; Livonia, MI; Blue Ash, OH; Mexico City, Mexico; and Saltillo, Mexico. To learn more, visit

Hennig chip conveyors on Niigata machining centers maintain efficiencies and production on ductile iron castings used in heavy truck and military drive train projects at Michigan shop  

_MG_2434rtMachesney Park, Illinois – Accurate Gauge prides itself on the company motto that says, “The quality is not in the product, unless the quality is in the process.”  As this busy Rochester Hills, Michigan machine shop can attest, the machining and assembly of large ductile iron castings into components for the heavy truck and military drive train markets is one that demands accuracy at every turn.  Correspondingly, the heavy-duty manufacturing equipment here includes a line of Niigata SPN 701 horizontal machining centers (HMCs) with multiple pallets, used for machining very large, heavy workpieces with  accuracy that ranks among the highest in the machine tool world market. As a result, Accurate boasts the industry leaders among its customers, including Meritor, Axle Alliance, Dana and Mack.


The shop machines over 98% of its workpieces from ductile iron and the iron sludge build-up in the coolant tank is an all too familiar problem for the production personnel.  As Accurate’s engineering manager Mark Tario explains, “We approach every machine with a keen eye on machine uptime and an absolute ease of maintenance.  We had experimented with other systems to handle cast ductile iron fines and knew their benefits as well as their shortcomings.” Mark notes the company had actually designed two systems in-house to improve the handling of chips and the cleaning of coolant.  While the benefits had been appreciable, they felt there was still a shortfall and the team at Accurate began a systematic search for a better solution.


One of the potential vendors, Hennig, was an established force in the market, as the company’s chip conveyors and machine enclosures are found on many of the global machine tool builders’ equipment.  A particular development from Hennig caught the attention of the team at Accurate, namely, a magnetic chip disc filtration system that represented a substantial improvement over the traditional drum screen filtration system used on most competing brands.  The relative ease of changeover immediately impressed the Accurate engineers, both from the production and maintenance perspectives.  As Mark explains, “Replacing the drum filter screens is not an easy task, in fact it can be downright miserable.  The Hennig disc arrangement seemed to us a much easier system to operate and maintain.  The incorporation of a rare earth drum & scraper assembly inside the conveyor appeared to be a great solution for minimizing the amount of cast iron fines reaching the coolant tank side of the system.”  Mark notes the heavier-duty mechanical components and drive chains used on the Hennig conveyor were also impressive, providing a greater wear life and reduced downtime likelihood.

_MG_2280rtAn initial order was placed with Hennig for four Chip Disc Filtration (CDF) conveyors to run in tandem with the Niigata machines.   All electrical controls, coolant tanks, pumps and other hardware were provided by Hennig.  Mark and his team worked closely with the Hennig mechanical and electrical engineers, as well as the Hennig’s local representative, John Kaczmarek of Marathon Industrial Sales in Sterling Heights, Michigan, to complete the first installation.  “We have over 40 years of experience in what works and what doesn’t in the machining of cast iron, so we had a very defined list of needs in all facets of the design, electrical functions and the very important aspect of machine to auxiliary equipment communication,” Mark notes, adding that the worst scenario in the shop occurs when the machining center is working, but the chip conveyor is not.


Every aspect of the machine-to-conveyor connection was planned out by the Accurate team, including the layout of the coolant tank covers and the access ports.  This attention to detail is something in which the company takes great pride.  “The Hennig team was very good on this job and they realized that nothing less than their best efforts would satisfy us,”   Tario notes.

Among the many issues Accurate had to overcome, downtime for maintenance was the most prominent.  The machining of cast iron, by definition, creates considerable problems arising from the frequent need to replace conveyor chains, drum screens and other mechanical components that get infiltrated by the iron fines and literally lock up.  The conveyor chains on the Hennig system, for example, were found stronger than the typical styles used on competing brands, which often required adjustments and repairs several times annually and were usually in need of total replacement, once a year.   Depending on the severity of the repair or replacement operation, this situation resulted in many hours or even several days to rectify.  Practically speaking, the maintenance personnel would get completely soaked and filthy with the coolant and sludge as a result.

_MG_2264rtOn the Hennig CDF system, by contrast, the discs can be easily removed and cleaned on a workbench, rather than reaching through narrow access ports to wrestle with a drum style filter.  According to Mark, this entire process is a two-hour operation at most.  Simple screen replacements can be done in thirty minutes or less, he notes.

Another common problem for the maintenance personnel are coolant related failures.  On the HMCs at Accurate, a substantial amount of “through the spindle coolant” is used to improve productivity.  However, this generous use of coolant can create an immediate and dangerous problem, if the coolant runs low and the machine has no safeguard-warning device, especially when drilling and tapping.  Nearly half the Accurate systems had no such devices originally, resulting in some damage conditions on the high-speed drills used here.  A third of the later systems used at the company had a communication device to put the machine’s CNC into a single block state when the coolant tank ran low, but had no protection to shut off the pump to prevent dry running.  Mark notes, “On our third generation systems, we changed from a diaphragm style pump to a screw pump, where dry running would be very bad, to say the least.  With our fourth generation Hennig conveyors, however, we have all the protections of the previous generations plus all the necessary controls to shut down the pumps to prevent very costly system component damage.”


Accurate has already installed four Hennig systems, just received an additional three and has plans to purchase two more shortly, for a total of nine in the shop.  All are connected to Niigata HMCs that have an opening in the back of the machine with a horseshoe-shaped channel where the conveyor fits.  The overall machine size is 10’ wide by 30’ long.

Other Accurate personnel involved in this project who contributed to the story include Greg Mann, plant manager, Dennis Shepp, maintenance technician and Jim Weeks, shift supervisor and maintenance technician.

To see a video of this installation, please go to

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Hennig, Inc. designs and produces custom machine protection and chip/coolant management products for state-of-the-art machine tools. Hennig products are designed to protect against corrosion, debris and common workplace contaminants.  Manufacturing facilities located in the USA, Germany, France, Brazil, India, Japan, Czech Republic, England and South Korea. Repair centers are located in Machesney Park, IL; Chandler, OK; Livonia, MI; Blue Ash, OH; Mexico City, Mexico; and Saltillo, Mexico.

To learn more about Hennig products & services, visit or call 1-888-HENNIG6 (436-6446).

For more information, please contact:

Tim Waterman
Hennig, Inc.
2500 Latham St.
Rockford, IL 61103
Phone: 815-316-5277
Fax: 815-962-6483
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For more information on Accurate Gauge in this story, please contact:

Accurate Gauge & Manufacturing, Inc.
2943 Technology Drive
Rochester Hills,  MI 48309
Phone:  248-853-2400
Mark Tario, Engineering Manager


Advanced Machine & Engineering (AME) provides solutions to run 56 different block sizes at Rockford-area machine shop

In its production of various cylinder and related products for hundreds of customers, TRD Manufacturing, Inc. of Machesney Park, Illinois (near Rockford), a division of Bimba, one of the leaders in actuation devices, was challenged by an ever-increasing variety of sizes, styles and materials in their workpiece blocks.  As VP of Operations Kerry Reinhardt explains, “TRD is a fast-paced manufacturer but very dedicated to high quality and fast turnaround on deliveries.  We have an established reputation as a solution provider to the fluid power industry.”  The company sells through distribution with its end users found in the general manufacturing, automation integration, mining, forestry, medical, food and various mill industries.  TRD products are regularly specified as OEM components, plus the company serves the huge MRO marketplace.

To meet the demand for products in an ever-expanding line, complicated by the just-in-time delivery schedules often encountered, as Manufacturing Manager Tom Jensen notes, “TRD was seeking a partner who could develop fixturing to fit our manufacturing business model of quick set-up and the flexibility to run small or large batches of product from a multitude of block sizes.”

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TRD turned to a local supplier of various machine tool components, Advanced Machine & Engineering (AME) in Rockford, Illinois.  The head of the AME workholding group, Alvin Goellner, observes, “After a few discussions and visits to each other’s plants, we knew TRD would benefit most from our Triag line of modular workholding devices.”

Tom Jensen concurs.  “We knew AME had a reputation for building top quality fixturing.  Their in-house manufacturing capabilities were very impressive and we knew they could handle a project of this size, based on the other customers they serve and the fact that they are just across town from us, which made it easier to work through the preliminary discussions, quoting and final product delivery.”  The horizontal machining center (HMC) used for this particular application at TRD is an Enshu GE480H, with 30” x 30” x 30” travel and a 180-position toolchanger, expandable to 240-position.  Workpieces are mounted and handled on a Fastems 10-station pallet changer.  Currently, the block sizes run at TRD are 56 in number and run in sizes from 1” x 2” x 2” to 3” x 9-1/2” x 14”.  Weights range up to 114 lbs.  Final part varieties produced on the machine number over 450, made from 1018 steel and 303 stainless.  Lot sizes vary from one-offs to 500, but generally run between 25-50 on average.  This machining center set-up runs two shifts per day, with the expectation of running 24/7 during peak demand periods.

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The challenge for Alvin Goellner and his team at AME was to design a series of fixtures that was flexible enough to hold 56 different block sizes, offer quick changeover and offer the ability to run different parts on each side or run multiple pallet loads of the same part in high production, when needed.  As Goellner notes with a smile, “It was a real one-size-really-can-fit-all situation.  We knew the HMC with pallet changer was very costly to run, so keeping downtime to a minimum was essential.”

The solution came in the form of ten Triag custom modular tombstone-style fixtures from AME, who partners with Triag, a major European workholding component supplier, as their exclusive North American distributor.   As Jensen notes, “The fixturing in our existing machining cell was fixed, based on block size.  AME fixtures use a vise system that quickly adjusts to any size with repeatability, a really key factor in the equation, as it allows all our work shifts to be pre-taught the process.  We normally have the fixtures set for specific part sizes but this AME solution now allows us to run any size part on any pallet very quickly for high-volume jobs.”  He also observed there was a very short start-up time in the TRD shop, as the flexibility of the tombstone design and the fixturing mechanisms were relatively easy to learn for the operators.

Jensen continues, “We met with Alvin Goellner and brainstormed the improvements needed on our current fixturing system.  AME laid out a concept and provided drawings for each fixture, which we then reviewed and approved, based on our current production schedules and anticipated workloads, going forward.  All the fixtures ordered arrived on-time or ahead of schedule, a very refreshing experience.”  Goellner was the lead man for AME on the project, bringing his 20+ years of fixture design and build experience to the task.  Because all aspects of this project’s customized manufacturing, assembly and test of the Triag tombstone fixures were done in-house at AME, there was little delay in the processing of the project and all design changes were quickly accommodated, according to Jensen.

Reinhardt further commented, “The overall experience was excellent and the results have been outstanding for TRD.  The project went well and all our expectations were met.”   He estimates the improvement percentage in production on the Enshu HMC to be over 40%, after several months in operation.

TRD combines 27 years of precision machining and engineering with an unmatched selection of options and modifications to deliver the highest quality customizable NFPA (National Fluid Power Association) cylinders on the market today.  At TRD, the customer’s specials are their specialty.

Advanced Machine & Engineering Co., is a manufacturer located in Rockford, IL, serving the Machine Tool Industry with precision components and accessories, including spindle interface components, workholding devices, and, through our sister company, Hennig, machine enclosures, chip removal and filtration systems.  The Fluid Power – Safety markets are served with cylinder rod locks and safety catcher devices; and the Production Saw market with our AMSAW® carbide saw machines and Speedcut blade products.  AME has manufacturing partners and customers around the world and across the U.S.  To learn more, visit

Hennig, Inc. designs and produces custom machine protection and chip/coolant management products for state-of-the-art machine tools, production lines, power generators and other equipment.  Hennig products are designed to protect against corrosion, debris and common workplace contaminants. Manufacturing facilities are located in the U.S., Germany, Brazil, India, Japan, France and South Korea. Repair centers are located in Machesney Park, IL; Chandler, OK; Livonia, MI; Blue Ash, OH; Mexico City, Mexico and Saltillo, Mexico.  To learn more, visit

For more information on this story, please contact: 

Kerry Reinhart

A Bimba Company
10914 North Second Street
Machesney Park, IL 61115
Phone:  815-654-7775
Fax:  815-654-7783


Alvin Goellner

2500 Latham Street
Rockford, IL 61103
Phone:  815-962-6076
Fax:  815-963-4703

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