“To stay competitive in the stamping die business, we had to address setup time on multi-sided parts. Our new Hurco VTXU has slashed overall processing time on many parts by 70%. Not only that but it can cut! I run out of tool before I ran out of machine.”
-Dave W. Rose, Vice President
Die Tron, Inc., is a high-end die maker in the Grand Rapids area specializing in progressive
form and stamping dies for the automotive industry. Die Tron has been in business for 21 years, currently employing over 50 people and operating two shifts. Survival in the die industry is
challenging with increased offshore competition and the automotive industry’s reduction in tooling. In order to stay competitive, Die Tron has acquired the right machine tools to shorten lead times and increase productivity.
Die Tron recently added a Hurco VMX50 to handle 2D work, detailing and additional 3D machining. Die Tron’s die sets typically use fairly large pieces of D2 tool steel; so heavy cuts are the norm. More recently, Dave Rose, Vice President of Die Tron, realized that he needed to do something about costly, lengthy set-up times for complex, multi-sided parts. Their existing machines were capable of producing desirable tooling for the automotive industry, but lead times were becoming more and more critical. Mr. Rose needed an advantage. After careful consideration of all the potential solutions, he made the decision to purchase a Hurco VTXU five-axis machining center.
Mr. Rose’s first thought was to look at a VMC with an added compound table. This solution became expensive when the table size needed to process his parts was matched to a VMC of sufficient size to hold the table. Moreover, if he purchased a VMC the size of his existing VMX50, the part capacity of the table would actually be smaller than the VTXU that was ultimately purchased. Not only could the VTXU handle his multi-sided needs, it was also a cost
effective solution. Lead times could be significantly reduced while maintaining throughput and
Moreover, the ability to import DXF files directly to the control made the VTXU an obvious choice. Mr. Rose already knew that his operators could program the new machines, but the added fact that he knew he could rely on them was also a contributing factor. The person who now operates the VTXU at Die Tron has been using the existing Hurco VMCs, so learning to program and operate the new machine was very straight forward. The VTXU has already made a significant impact on set-up and machining times at Die Tron. About 30% of the die sections produced by Die Tron and their competitors require some form of off angle work. Using
conventional sine plate setups, these parts could easily make up 50-60% of the total machining time for a complex die set. With the 5-axis VTXU, setup times are significantly reduced. In many cases, setup times are reduced by actual calendar days.