At Proto-1, we are always striving to be the best that we can be not only as a company but as employees. This mindset was instilled by owner and founder, John Schwochert, 21 years ago and has continued to be one of the central focuses of the company. Earlier in 2019, Proto-1 became an ISO 9001:2015 certified company, ushering in a new era of improvement at Proto-1. ISO 9001 is a globally recognized quality management standard that is embedded within the organization. These new processes will lead to consistent outcomes, better internal management, better organization, and increased productivity. Having these processes in place will streamline employee training, reduce waste, and increase overall efficiency.
In recent weeks, two Proto-1 employees went above and beyond their roles to make our machine shop more efficient. Justin (left) and Derek (right) took it upon themselves to optimize a main assembly plate for our RDM-8 deburring machines. Usually we build these machines in sets of 10 so 10 main assembly plates are machined at a time. In the past, due to setup between plates, these parts would take 20+ hours to manufacture. With their collaboration, Derek and Justin designed a set of fixture blocks for their mills. These fixture blocks allowed them instantly reuse the same setup as they did for the last part. Along with a standardized machining program, these two were able to reduce the machining time for these 10 parts down to 8 hours instead of 20.
Quality: Reinforced Frames
During the tube end forming process there are many forces that become exerted onto the machine and tooling. Without using the proper materials and designed tolerances, many components of the machine or tooling could move, or even fail, during end forming. This movement or failure could lead to damaged tooling or to a damaged machine.
At Proto-1, we engineer our machines to withstand these end forming forces cycle after cycle. Ram end forming requires substantial structural support to handle as much as 70 tons of hydraulic pressure during the end forming process. Each RAM machine that Proto-1 produces uses support frames with a thickness up to 3.0″. This thickness ensures that the machine receives support in areas where hydraulic pressure is present such as the cylinder mounting point, the side frames, and the main support plate.
The same engineering principles are applied to other lines of our equipment as well. Our rotary end forming line features a heavy top plate, thick side support frames, and a heavy base to maintain support throughout the machine. With less structural movement in the machine and tooling, the more accurate and repeatable the end forming process can be.