Hard Milling of Mold Components

Hard Milling of Mold Components
  • Industry: Contract Manufacturing, Die & Mold
  • Process: Milling, Hard Milling
  • MGI Division: Morris Midwest
  • Builder Tool: Okuma MB-56V
  • Outcome: Purchase of Okuma MB-56 VA vertical machining center turns startup company, Micron Hard Milling into a dependable consistent supplier of highly accurate, hard milled die and mold components.

 » Challenge

Kenneth George had a big idea. An machinist by trade, Mr. George had the dream of owning his own business. Drawing on his previous experience in high accuracy three dimensional programming and machining of complex mold and die components, he decided to open a precision manufacturing business focusing on steel mold and die components. Soon Micron Hard Milling, of Mequon, Wisconsin, was born. Mr. George knew that he'd have one chance to impress his future customers, so selecting the right equipment was of paramount importance. It would be necessary for that machine to hold the tight tolerances required for the machining of mold cavities, cores, inserts, slides, die punches, forge dies and other complex shapes.

 » Solution

Mr. George was also impressed by the responsive service and application staff of Morris Midwest, Okuma's distributor for Northern Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. A member of Morris Group, Inc., Morris Midwest draws on the engineering resources of more than 160 parts, service and application engineers nationwide. Morris Midwest drew upon that association to finance Mr. George's machine through Morris Group's Machinery Finance Resources. Adds Walter Weigel, Vice President of Morris Midwest, “We were able to help Mr. George achieve his dream and start his own business by delivering a complete solution: the right machine tool, timely application engineering, and machine tool financing.”

 » Assessment

“Although we had not had much exposure to Okuma machines in the past, we did not rule anyone out as a possibility,” explains Mr. George. “Our ultimate decision was the MB-56VA with Okuma's unique OSP P-200 PC based control.” In addition to the double column structure of the machine, excellent thermal compensation properties, and rugged spindle, he liked the fact that Okuma had controlled every aspect of the machines design and construction. “The OSP P-200 CNC is developed by Okuma along with their own motors, drives and encoders,” says Mr. George. “These work together to create a complete package that is in harmony with all of its parts.”

 » Results

Since purchasing the Okuma MB-56VA, Micron Hard Milling has taken off. The MB-56VA has proven to be a reliable, accurate and stable machine. “When combined with the proper rpm, feed rate, and programming techniques, this machine produces some remarkable surface finishes,” he adds. “On more than one occasion, incredulous customers have asked us how we're able to deliver finished mold components right off the machine that require no additional polishing or hand fitting.” Mr. Weigel agrees that the relationship has been good for both companies. “We've been so impressed with Mr. George's level of skill with the Okuma MB-56-VA that we've used him to demonstrate that machine to other customers, and even runoff a part of two.”

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