Cell System Provides Innovation, Capacity and Competitiveness
Jan. 2008 – Work on the construction of a new 10,000 sqft facility has been completed and over $4M of new machines and equipment have been installed. The state of the art cell system utilizes six Makino A61 high-speed mills fed through an automated pallet handling system. The cell is equipped with 38 4-sided pallets and has open space for two additional mills.
The system is being used to machine the majority of 737 slat and flap detail parts that Precise provides in returnable part kits directly to the Spirit AeroSystems assembly line. Installation of the cell system has freed up 18 mills (high-speed 3-axis and 5-axis) and over 8,000 hours per month of machining capacity.
Jeff Greer, Vice President, General Manager, explained why the investment is critical to Precise’s growth plans, “The investment in cellular machining technology ensures that our 737 statement of work is being machined as efficiently and competitively as possible while freeing up flexible resources that can be used as Precise lands newly developing work projects. We believe that having assets that support the engineer’s need for rapid change in the front end of a program is very important. It is also critical to be able to effectively transition into leaner tools like the cells when programs mature. With ample land and facilities space there is no reason why this model can’t be duplicated for a multitude of new programs.”
Other advantages to the new cell system include the integration of raw material, machining, deburr and inspection into a very compressed flow. New tooling and part holding techniques are being used that reduce the number of machining operations from eight to two. The automated pallet handling system supports “lights out” machining between shifts and on weekends