We are thrilled to share that J&R Machine was featured in Modern Machine Shop’s May publication! Titled “Leveraging CAD/CAM for High Density Machining,” the article focuses on J&R Machine’s use of Mastercam CAM software from CNC Software for increased machining efficiency and lower labor costs.

At J&R Machine, we take pride in our workholding fixtures for internal consumption (fixtures designed to make many sides of a part accessible for multiaxis machines while enabling numerous individual parts to be quickly loaded in a single setup). This concept, known as high-density machining, and the implementation of CAD/CAM software helped our company overcome the adversity and economic challenges we faced a decade ago.  At that time, we realized it was imperative to restructure J&R Machine’s business model and go after more complicated, value-added work that was less prone to offshoring.

As part of our high-density machining approach, we create fixtures that enable many parts to be machined in a single setup.

As part of our high-density machining approach, we create fixtures that enable many parts to be machined in a single setup.

After purchasing horizontal machining centers and Master CAM Software from CNC Software, we began to attract more complex work. The Mastercam CAM software allowed us to streamline our high-density workholding fixture design and toolpath generation for both parts and fixtures. This enabled us to go from print to part much faster. Programming that took 10 hours can now take as little as one hour.

After becoming proficient with the new CAD/CAM software, we turned our attention to developing our proprietary internal product line: high-density fixturing. Every part J&R Machine makes has its own custom fixture. We don’t skimp on fixture design, and we don’t pad the piece price. There is a one-time charge for the fixture and, in return, the customer gets a lower piece price.

To machine parts safely in high density, we use Mastercam's machine simulation feature to check clearances prior to starting a new job.

To machine parts safely in high density, we use Mastercam’s machine simulation feature to check clearances prior to starting a new job.

J&R Machine uses the high-density approach as often as possible, designing custom fixtures to accommodate as many as 100 parts in a single setup. In doing this, per-part cycle times can be reduced by as much as 30 to 90 percent, depending on the part. It also makes it possible to reach more areas on the part with fewer operations and provides a more rigid workholding solution, making it possible to hold tighter tolerances. Plus, because total machine cycle times for a single setup are much longer, operators can monitor two or three machines instead of just one.

J&R works closely with ShopWare, a local Mastercam reseller, to continually improve its manufacturing processes when possible. ShopWare aids in on-site training of the software and consultation on special projects. We will also soon be installing a seat of Mastercam for Solidworks, in which Mastercam will reside on a menu within Solidworks. This will enable us to produce better fixture designs and manufacturing processes, while reducing first-part lead times.

Alongside the adaptability of our workers, these custom fixture design and manufacturing efforts have helped J&R Machine improve productivity, double sales, and reduce labor costs, propelling the company into a leadership position within the industry.

Interested in learning more about how J&R Machine can help your company lower its machining costs? Contact us today!

Read the full Modern Machine Shop article here: http://mms.epubxp.com/i/500727-may-2015