Posts Tagged ‘Advanced Machine & Engineering’

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Advanced Machine & Engineering Co.

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Advanced Machine & Engineering Co. (AME) has achieved manufacturing excellence over the last few decades by providing some of the highest quality machine tool component products and services the market has to offer. Now, we are taking the next steps to improve our business and increase our market share even more. It hasn’t always been easy getting from where we were nearly 50 years ago to where we are now. But we can honestly say the hardest parts are behind us. You can only improve products and processes so much before there is little to no room left for improvements. Although we will continue to innovate further, we have successfully neared that point in our manufacturing processes for a few reasons.

First, we have implemented lean thinking principles which allow us to operate with less unnecessary expenses, for example, excess inventory and waste. Second, we have become a continuous improvement…

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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 www.ame.com.

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 www.hennigworldwide.com.

For more information on this story, please contact: 

Kerry Reinhart

TRD MANUFACTURING, INC.
A Bimba Company
10914 North Second Street
Machesney Park, IL 61115
Phone:  815-654-7775
Fax:  815-654-7783
Email: reinhartk@trdmfg.com
Web:  www.trdmfg.com

OR

Alvin Goellner

ADVANCED MACHINE & ENGINEERING CO.
2500 Latham Street
Rockford, IL 61103
Phone:  815-962-6076
Fax:  815-963-4703
Email: info@ame.com
Website:  www.ame.com

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Aquatic Development Group uses specially modified Amlok® product from Advanced Machine & Engineering to protect movable pool floor stability at Ithaca College

AFW™ pool raising and lowering system, designed by Aquatic Development Group, operates on a series of hydraulic rams connected by a rebar structure, to evenly and smoothly raise and lower the pool floor. Especially useful when floor is occupied by aquatic therapy patients or water aerobic participants.

Aquatic Development Group (ADG) of Cohoes, New York is a professional design, manufacturing and construction firm serving the waterpark, resort, hotel aquarium, aquatic therapy and commercial/institutional swimming pool markets.  The company’s recreational aquatic creations range from Disney to the Wisconsin Dells, plus a diverse group of institutional and physical therapy applications are included in the company’s successes.   Among ADG’s many unique designs is the AFW™ movable pool floor system that allows depth adjustment from deck level down to deeper water for various uses, including physically-challenged patient aquatic therapy.  The system is also used routinely in pools adapted for competitive swimming, diving, water polo and other activities, where the depth adjustment is beneficial and allows more multi-purpose use of a facility.

…and then lowered smoothly into position for therapy with minimal patient upset.

Used for aquatic therapy, the pool floor can be position at deck level…

At the touch of a button on the master control module, the pool floor is raised and lowered by a system of synchronized multiple hydraulic cylinders that work to maintain consistent floor level throughout the process.  ADG determined it was necessary to include a mechanical locking system that would secure the cylinder rods in position, at all points of travel, especially when the floor was occupied by physical therapy patients, water aerobics participants etc.  The floor also featured a passive mechanical pulley system to maintain the floor position in the event of a catastrophic hydraulic failure.

On a recent project using this system at Ithaca College (Ithaca, New York), as ADG  Engineering Manager Rob Schiavi details, “We had a four-cylinder ram system with a rebar structure that was designed so that any two diagonally opposed cylinders could malfunction without compromising the stability or safety of the floor and its occupants.”  He also notes that the company had developed a special 304L stainless steel and non-skid, chemically-impervious PVC floor grating that was considerably lighter weight but somewhat less stable than conventional concrete pool flooring.

Illustration of pool bottom showing AFW™ design of stainless steel and non-skid PVC flooring.

The hydraulic circuits operate on a shuttle valve system with passive engage ram failure.  Eliminating the mechanical pulley system on the design results in a smoother transitioning of the pool floor level, particularly important when people are present, Schiavi notes.

In designing the hydraulic ram system and in search of an appropriate cylinder locking protection system, ADG turned to its local subcontractor, who recommended the Amlok® system of hydraulic cylinder rod locks from Advanced Machine & Engineering (Rockford, Illinois), a longtime supplier of hydraulic and pneumatic rod locks to industrial and commercial applications worldwide.  AME Business Development Manager Ken Davis explains, “We saw this project as an ideal application for our hydraulic rod locks, with one particular challenge, namely, the ingestion of chlorinated pool water.”  To overcome this challenge, a modification was made to the seal design and materials on the four stainless steel rod locks to be installed on the ram system built by ADG’s subcontractor (click here for ram system specs).  Each lock has the capacity to provide a locking force to 50,000 lbs. at 1500 psi release pressure (click here for locking force specs).

RCH Series Amlok® hydraulic rod locks hold cylinders in place and automatically seize cylinders in position, in the event of a catastrophic power loss.

During normal operation, the hydraulic rod locks used on this application (RCH Series) allow free movement of the cylinder through the lock housing, as the supplied hydraulic pressure maintains an open position on the lock.  When the desired pool floor level is achieved, the hydraulic pressure is removed and the cylinder is mechanically locked into position.  However, in the event of a catastrophic power loss or other hydraulic system failure, when the pressure is removed, the lock immediately clamps to retain the cylinder securely in its present position until power is restored and the lock release is again activated.

AME worked closely with its local distributor, Airline Hydraulics Corp. (Bensalem, Pennsylvania) to supply this system to ADG.

For more information on this story, please contact:

Rob Schiavi, Engineering Manager
Aquatic Development Group
13 Green Mountain Drive
Cohoes, NY 12047
Phone:  518-783-0038
Web:  www.aquaticgroup.com

Or

Ken Davis, Business Development Manager
ADVANCED MACHINE & ENGINEERING CO.
2500 Latham St.
Rockford, IL 61103
Phone: 815-316-5277
Fax: 815-962-6483W
E-mail: info@ame.com
Web: www.ame.com
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AZ-10 underwater wellhead connection tree, built by Argus Subsea of Houston, Texas.

Argus Subsea uses hydraulic rod locks from AME to secure underwater oilfield trees at 5000-6000’ depths to 3000 psi and 50,000 pounds of axial holding

Argus Subsea produces its AZ-10 fully concentric, vertical mono-bore subsea tree design for rapid field development.  Originally designed for low net present value (NPV), marginal and smaller fields, where the capital investment containment is critical and the need exists for off-the-shelf hardware, the AZ-10 can be run on any rig, regardless of moonpool size or accessibility through a V-door or port side.  Essentially, according to Earl Broussard, the company’s director of sales & marketing, “Anywhere a rig can power a BOP, the AZ-10 can operate effectively.  And, being a standard horizontal tree design with a universal tubing hanger system that runs in any 18-3/4”, 10,000 or 15,000 psi wellhead, with a concentric design for all downhole and tubing hanger-to-tree interface, it can be quickly put into service.”  In fact, the company’s literature boasts a typical reduction in time to first oil of fifteen months, with lower CAPEX and OPEX costs, less drilling and wellhead completion cost, plus reduced third-party cost.

The AZ-10 is currently rated at 10,000 psi working pressure and 6000’ water depth and is designed to the standards of API 17D, API 6A, PR2, NACE MR0175 and AV1 PR-2 USV.  The unit weighs approximately 50,000 pounds and is light enough to be handled safely with rig cranes and easily transported to the moonpool.  The AZ-10 can be deployed through any Generation-2 semi-submersible or newer generation rig’s moon pool.  A much simpler design than most horizontal or vertical trees, the AZ-10 requires only five running tools versus 20-30 typically found on comparable subsea tree systems.  The units are designed for 20 years of service life in production, injection or well test operations.

AMLOK rod lock highlighted on tree. Each rod lock operates to 3000 psi and provides 50,000 pounds of axial holding force at depths of 5000-6000’. Special construction, porting and heat treatment were utilized in the manufacture of these devices.

The hanger system operates on a lock and seal system that uses mechanical and hydraulic sealing within the tubing hanger.  A key component designed into the AZ-10 is the AMLOK® hydraulic rod lock, provided by Advanced Machine & Engineering (AME) of Rockford, Illinois, a designer and builder of various rod locks for both hydraulic and pneumatic holding, in the event of a power loss.  AME rod locks are typically found on all types of off-highway and construction equipment, as well as materials handling devices, machine tools and elsewhere, used to secure a cylinder rod in place to prevent further motion.

For the application on the Argus Subsea trees, according to Shane Hatfield, AME sales manager, several challenges were apparent and a few were not.  The obvious obstacles were the depth and the pressures involved.  The maximum load was to be 3000 psi and the axial holding force approximately 50,000 pounds at typical depths in the 5000-6000’ range.  To address these issues, AME engineered the rod locks from 4140 steel with electroless nickel plating and a specially formulated two-part epoxy to create a completely sealed unit.  Marine grade lubricant was used.  “Those were the easy parts,” muses Hatfield.

With the external sealing system of the AZ-10 and the wide variety of connections involved, the construction of the rod lock also needed to accommodate the unique challenges of force over distance in a wide window of installation conditions.  Since the customer was very cost-sensitive, it was necessary for AME engineers to create a one-size-works-for-all unit and this presented considerable application engineering challenges.  “This was the hard part,” recalls Hatfield.

Working with Chance Burton, the driving force behind the original engineering effort at Azura, the predecessor company to Argus, Hatfield and his team demonstrated AMLOK rod locks as the only design that worked immediately over the entire range of performance scenarios.  1500 psi release and 3000 psi compressive were needed to satisfy all conditions and the AME engineers successfully satisfied these criteria.  Key factors in the success of the AMLOK design here are the special porting and autoclave treatment used.

After an initial order of 10 units (2-4 used per tree), the business has remained steady, according to Hatfield.  These rod locks have been used successfully on numerous installations of the AZ-10, where the connections to numerous wellhead equipment brands have varied considerably.

As the attached diagrams demonstrate, AME rod locks are actuated by a spring/collet mechanism upon loss of hydraulic power and unclamped by the restored pressure.  They are built to accomplish a mechanical locking, holding a cylinder rod or machine shaft in position, up to the rated load, until power is restored and the locking mechanism released.

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

ARGUS SUBSEA 5510 Clara Road Houston, TX 77041 Phone:  713-983-7222 Fax:  713-983-7007 Email:  info@argussubsea.com Web:  http://www.argussubsea.com Attention:  Earl Broussard, Director of Sales & Marketing

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

Shane Hatfield, Sales Manager
ADVANCED MACHINE & ENGINEERING CO.
2500 Latham Street  Rockford, IL 61103
Toll-Free:  800-225-4263
Phone:  815-962-6076
Fax:  815-962-6483
Email:  shane@ame.com
Web:  www.ame.com

AME-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 www.ame.com.

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, China 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 www.hennigworldwide.com.

Please direct all inquiries from this article to:

Tim Waterman
ADVANCED MACHINE & ENGINEERING CO.
2500 Latham St.
Rockford, IL 61103
Phone: 815-316-5277
Fax: 815-962-6483
E-mail: info@ame.com
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Global leader in carbide sawing systems acquired by leading machine tool component and carbide saw machine manufacturer

Advanced Machine & Engineering (AME), the Rockford, Illinois-based manufacturer of various machine tool components and auxiliary equipment, today announced the asset purchase of the Metalcut Carbide Saw Division of Centro-Metalcut, also of Rockford and a longtime global industry leader in the design and manufacture of heavy-duty carbide sawing systems for the metalcutting industries.

AME is also a leading global manufacturer of carbide sawing systems, under its popular AMSAW® brand name.  AMSAW systems are found in forge, metalcasting, service center and primary producer operations, anywhere large or continuous sawing is performed.  The acquisition of the Metalcut carbide saw line represents a substantial expansion of the company’s capabilities in the world market.

This purchase will transfer the complete sawing machine technologies, engineering data, inventory, spare parts and service operations for all Metalcut carbide saws to AME.  Steve Swanson, the business unit manager for the carbide saw machine division of AME, will assume oversight responsibility for the Metalcut product line, allowing a seamless transition for all existing customers and immediate access to the Metalcut carbide saw line for all new AME accounts.  AME has worldwide sales and service locations already in place to accommodate all customer requirements, according to Greg Champion, vice president of sales & marketing for the company.

Centro-Metalcut will continue to manufacture and market all other product lines in its offering, including hot and cold abrasive saws, conditioning grinders and materials handling equipment.

Dietmar Goellner, AME president and CEO, and Danny Pearse, CEO of Centro-Metalcut, agreed to the purchase terms on September 24, 2010.

For more information, please contact:

Tim Waterman
ADVANCED MACHINE & ENGINEERING CO.
2500 Latham St.
Rockford, IL 61103
Phone: 815-316-5277
Fax: 815-962-6483
E-mail: info@ame.com
Connect with AME online: yt wp twit li gplus fb

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 customers around the world and across the U.S.  To learn more, visit www.ame.com.

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, China 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 www.hennigworldwide.com.