Follow Up: Doosan Linear Pallet System Gets the Call

To: Doosan Machine Tools

From: Linear Pallet System

Subject: I got the job!

The last time I wrote I had just applied for a great position with a medium-sized shop that makes pneumatic and hydraulic cylinders. They must have liked my resume, because the next thing I knew I was on the shop floor and ready to go. To be honest, it wasn’t a moment too soon.

I looked around the first day and saw a variety of horizontal machining centers on the floor. Each work area was littered with 3 to 4 spare pallets with fixtures on them. There were tool carts everywhere, since the horizontals were only outfitted with 40 or 60 tool magazines. Every time a new short run job would come in for a batch of cylinders, they would swap out the pallets for the right-size cylinder end-caps, retool the magazine and grab the updated program from the server. The operator would then walk it over to the machine, download it into the control and start the production run. On batches that were very small in quantity, they'd produce extra so that they would have inventory of the parts on hand. But those were beyond the contracted volume, so they'd sit on the shelves for a bit or maybe not move at all.

I’m happy to report that once yours truly (LPS 5000) got on the floor, things started to look up. As you know, I can store ten 500mm size pallets, but (this is so cool) they opted to hire an expansion pack to work with me, which upped my capacity to 24. We are both connected to a pair of NHP 5000's, a 500mm pallet size horizontal machining center with a 15,000 r/min CAT40 BIG-PLUS taper spindle. Both machines are equipped with tool magazines holding over 200 tools, which is easily double the amount of some of my other friends in the shop. I can store all the tooling required for each machine to produce the entire family of end-caps.

Consolidating pallets and tools has really cut down on the setup time required to get going on an order. It got rid of all those spare pallets and tool carts taking up space on the floor. Since the fixtures I hold are pretty much ready to go, it allows me to respond quickly to orders. In fact, I have been able to maintain delivery times at 95% efficiency. The boss is very pleased that spindle utilization rates are at an all-time high.

Some of the work that the older CNCs were handling has been moved to me, since the machines I feed are a little bit more nimble with the rapids and have more horsepower. Since I'm powered by a Win10 industrial grade cell controller, I come Ethernet ready with a handful of productivity enhancing software. Being connected to the office network allows me to go grab all of the part programs I need for all the 20 pallets I store, and then some. This really speeds up scheduling production as well. I can provide an overall view of production status, current and future, and if the boss wants to go home and let me do my thing overnight, that's cool too. And if he wants to check up on me remotely, I'm capable of that as well.

I enjoy working with my human friends, but there seems to be fewer of them around today that can program, run, operate and maintain independent CNC's and small cells. Luckily, once I'm programmed and ready to go, I'm easy to get along with. Currently I have one or two guys that keep in touch with me during the day, but they know they can count on me. I’m pretty much left alone to do my thing 24/7.

In closing, I want to say that it feels so nice to be appreciated here. I’m willing to bet the rest of you will be snatched up as soon as you come off the line. I’ve told everyone that they should contact you. My friends said they would spread the word, too.

Until we meet down the line,

Doosan Linear Pallet System

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