In the machining industry, the spindles of CNC machines wear out over time, creating vibrations and machining errors. The current solution, hard chrome coating, uses hexavalent chromium, which presents significant environmental concerns. Moreover, the process is time-consuming, with delivery times ranging from 5-10 days, leading to costly downtime.
Funded by the MEDC Industry 4.0 Implementation Grant, Synergy Additive Manufacturing LLC plans to establish a Laser Additive Manufacturing-based CNC Spindle Remanufacturing Facility. The grant was used to add a robot and laser equipment to repair worn-out spindles efficiently and environmentally friendly. This laser-based additive manufacturing process cuts the repair time from days to just 10-30 minutes.
The implementation of the new technology took place over a period of 3-4 months. The initial phase involved testing and validating the process with the current equipment. The second phase involved purchasing new equipment, including a robot and laser heads, and integrating these into the existing system. The final phase involved creating standardized procedures and ramping up production.
Thanks to the new robotic system, Synergy Additive Manufacturing LLC was able to increase its capacity, cut down delivery time, and improve the quality of its services significantly. The project also created one job and retained another.
By leveraging the MEDC Industry 4.0 Implementation Grant, Synergy Additive Manufacturing LLC was able to revolutionize its CNC spindle repair process, enhancing its environmental sustainability, reducing downtime, and significantly increasing revenues. Their experience serves as a great example for other Michigan manufacturers looking to remain competitive and grow their operations.