Using Delcam’s PowerINSPECT inspection software on a FARO PowerGAGE has allowed McNally Industries to improve response times as part of the company’s drive to incorporate Quick Response Manufacturing into its manufacturing operations.
McNally Industries of Grantsburg, Wisconsin, has served the U.S. Department of Defense since 1942 and also supplied many of the world’s largest prime contractors for the defence and aerospace industries. The company is a full-service manufacturer providing product design and testing as well as make-to-print manufacturing. McNally provides full military systems as well as complex, precision-machined components for other critical applications.
McNally has long been a leader in precision machining with an emphasis on small to medium-sized parts. These applications demand the highest product quality and consistent on-time performance. To do this effectively, McNally staff have adopted and practise "lean” manufacturing principles. They worked with the University of Wisconsin at Madison to incorporate Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM). QRM is an extension of "lean” that places a focus on order fulfilment and customer satisfaction through demonstrated product and process lead-time reductions.
However, the great variety of parts manufactured by McNally presented problems in maintaining the company’s QRM goals. The precision components segment comprises a huge variety of items, many of which are difficult to manufacture. The parts range in size from ½” to 45”, and are made using a variety of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, as well as composites.
Staff at McNally used an assortment of measuring tools, including a traditional fixed CMM. These options, however, did not provide a full answer to their needs. They needed an instrument that could both measure accurately and do it fast. They also needed a system that would not require the machinists to waste valuable time writing down measurements manually for the quality documentation.
After a recommendation from the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining, McNally Industries decided to acquire the FARO PowerGAGE and PowerINSPECT. The device has a 48” working volume and is ideal for McNally’s small parts and assemblies. It allows measurements to be taken right on the shop floor, without the need to take parts off the production line for inspection.
McNally now uses the PowerGAGE every day. Inspection times have been reduced and operator error has been eliminated. In addition to the considerable time savings, the most important gain was the computer-generated inspection reports from PowerINSPECT. McNally now has printable documentation all the way through the manufacturing process, and can provide copies of all the reports to its customers.
McNally estimates that the PowerGAGE/PowerINSPECT combination paid for itself after just one year. "On one early job alone, we saved in excess of 40 man-hours using the system,” said Dean Josephson, Director of Quality Assurance. "I would guess there have been many projects since then with similar results.”