It's no secret that in order to thrive in today's manufacturing environment, companies need to differentiate themselves from the competition - both domestically and internationally.
At C&T Tool and Machine in Peterborough, Ont., this meant an investment in new milling technology designed to bring in business - on a large scale.
If this was a sports cliché their advice would be: go big or go home.
In the case of C&T, however, big means the Quickmill Eliminator B 1230 bridge style milling machine and its travels of 118 by 49 by 29.5 inches, one of nine models offered by Quickmill.
According to C&T's owners, Mike Hogg and Mark Marler, the thoughts behind this purchase were simple ones. They explained that the main reason for purchasing this big mill is that nobody in the area had equipment this size.
"We have already seen that there is a lot of work out there for a machine like this," explained Hogg, "and, we still haven't pushed the horsepower limits. Also, we had the benefit of Quickmill being a local supplier. We have been doing business with Quickmill for almost 20 years, we know how well they treat their customers and their suppliers."
Quickmill has been manufacturing CNC gantry- and bridge-style large area milling and drilling machining centers for the metal cutting industry for more than 20 years.
By continually advancing their technology, Quickmill has successfully made a name for themselves in many industries, including aerospace, power generation, mold making, and job shops.
Their large bed machining centers are ideally suited to large part processing. An added bonus for C&T is the large bed size means that many smaller parts can also be processed at the same time in one set-up.
The History of C&T
Established in 1962, C&T Tool and Machine has been a leader in the machining and tool industry since the beginning.
The new Quickmill Eliminator bridge mill impressed Hogg and Marler with its power, precision, and performance. The company can now offer its customers high quality, large part machining very competitively.
Typical projects at C&T include custom machining, prototypes, custom fixtures, progressive dies, part tooling, food processing equipment and special purpose machine building.
With state of the art equipment and a 20,000 square foot building, C&T has poised itself to handle all different kinds of machining needs. With CNC machining centers and lathes, grinders, boring mills, and EDMs, no job is too big or small. The company also has room for assembling and testing custom machines and fixtures properly before they leave the shop.
Hogg and Marler knew that there was a market for even more work if they had the Quickmill Eliminator installed.
"We are now able to do jobs in-house that were subcontracted out before," said Marler. "Major manufacturers are now giving us larger parts to process and we are also getting increased business from existing customers."
Completed in August, the installation of the Eliminator machine is enabling C&T to do a wide range of work from small to large.
"We can now aim for a larger percentage of our customers' work - especially local customers for work where timely delivery is important," added Hogg.
The machine in Different Ways
The larger table size not only allows for multiple parts to be processed at the same time - thus reducing cycle time - but there is also more room for fixturing and clamping on the larger table, which enables more solid work holding.
When there are larger and heavier parts being machined the importance of fixturing increases. Fixturing is a very important part of being able to machine accurately and if a part is not fixtured properly, vibration can cause a poor finish.
Types of Customers
Hogg and Marler pointed to many industries that their company will now be able to service more effectively due to the increased capacity and capability of the Eliminator, including die/mold and aerospace.
"In the die/mold market," explained Hogg, "larger dies stayed in Canada when the smaller ones were shifted to other markets. Also, when automotive rebounds, C&T will be able to do 10 foot die shoes thanks to this machine."
Added Marler: "The aerospace industry continually requires larger and larger fixtures; C&T has this capability with this new machine."
For more information, visit www.cttoolandmachine.net and www.quickmill.com
CIM Metal Working Editorial 2007-11-01