Precision tooling leader, KYOCERA SGS, is proud of its ability to identify innovative solutions for clients, however complex the challenges might be. So the company welcomed the opportunity to support Acorn Mobility Services, the creators of the world’s most innovative stairlift, with resolving a complex drilling issue. As well as making their manufacturing more effective through tailored advice and tools, KYOCERA SGS was also able to save Acorn time and money in their manufacturing processes.
Finding new answers
Acorn had identified that a significant drilling issue was affecting their manufacturing process. This was caused by burrs made when creating countersunk holes in aluminium extrusions through drilling. The company was deburring the bottom of the hole manually, costing time and money.
KYOCERA SGS’s Technical Sales Engineer, Kurt Regan, and UK Sales Manager, Tony Theaker, visited Acorn’s manufacturing facility to assess the problem. Based on their review, they recommended one of KYOCERA SGS’s S-Carb style form tools, as this would be highly effective at plunging and interpolating the hole and countersinking it to size. The outcome was a reduction in cycle time and minimal burrs on the component with little requirement for manual deburring and fettling.
Taking the tests further
Being driven to exceed client expectations as always, the KYOCERA SGS team weren’t satisfied with just one test, however successful. They wanted to see the results on a lower stability machine. As they had anticipated, the results weren’t the same. They found that manual fettling was once again required. In response to this, Kurt completed a number of on-site tests to assess a range of parameters. This was how he discovered that the plunge motion was stable, with the problem occurring at the circular interpolation stage. The answer? In Kurt’s view, different geometries were required. This additional insight allowed KYOCERA SGS’s in-house technical team to design a modified S-Carb with varying geometries. The adapted tool was put to the test and the results were excellent, as Kurt explains,
“We trialled the new tooling at Acorn’s facility, and straight away, there were fewer burrs, and a much better surface finish.”
Raising the standard
Taking a fresh look at a long-standing manufacturing issue can yield significant results. The new modified S-Carb from KYOCERA SGS is designed specifically for Acorn Mobility Services. Not only has it reduced the cycle time by 31 seconds, alongside deburring and fettling time, it has increased production capability by 30,798 components per year! Kurt adds,
“We are very pleased with results. We often find that companies grow so accustomed to working around an issue, they no longer recognise it as a problem. In this case, Acorn Mobility Services accepted manual intervention as part of their manufacturing process. But in majority of the cases, there’s a tooling solution – and that’s where our expertise really helps, allowing Acorn to focus on what they do best! We are now working on designing modified tools for other parts of their manufacturing process. If successful, they will provide similar cycle and deburring time savings on two machines.”
Mark Spiwak, Production Engineer at Acorn Mobility Services commented,
“The team from KYOCERA SGS worked closely with us from start to finish. We were impressed with how quickly they were able to understand the challenges and the complexities of our manufacturing processes. We were also pleased with how effectively they were able to develop a solution tailored to our needs and within our timescales. KYOCERA SGS made the whole process very easy.”
To learn more about Acorn Mobility Services, visit: www.acornstairlifts.co.uk