Major Tool & Machine has been utilizing an integrated ERP system since 1996 for all our customized applications. Our quality planning is also integrated into Major Tool’s state-of-the-art ERP system. This provides early visibility of inspection, test, and examination requirements and allows for seamless traceability of quality data to the proper manufacturing operation.
At Major Tool & Machine, work orders are monitored throughout the manufacturing process to assure compliance to the customer’s specifications and applicable codes. An active internal audit system is a key to preventing errors. Our Audit Coordinator maintains an audit schedule for all parts of our Quality Assurance Program to ensure that each requirement is audited at least once per year.
Upon issuance of the purchase order, changes are electronically blocked unless a purchase order revision is made and the purchase order is re-issued.
Copies of all purchase order verbiage with revision level and associated approvals are maintained as quality records. Purchase orders are maintained electronically in the Visual Manufacturing database for reference.
We maintain an Approved Vendor List, which notes the vendors that have been approved for supply of items or services to be used in nuclear and commercial applications.
Vendor surveys, audits, and evaluations are performed per the code or specification required by the customer contract (e.g. ASME, NQA-1, 10CFR50 Appendix B). The quality of items and services is monitored throughout the manufacturing process.
Major Tool & Machine utilizes activities including receiving inspection, surveys, audits, source evaluation and source verification as bases for acceptance of items and services.
Major Tool & Machine’s Customer Focused Team (CFT) Engineering groups specify the correct revision of applicable documents for each operation. Manufacturing and Quality Assurance personnel utilize this information to complete their work assignments. This system allows immediate access to the proper document and easy verification of revision levels.
Major Tool & Machine utilizes three integrated manufacturing software packages to achieve a complete digital manufacturing process. We maintain cutting edge software in order to provide World Class support services to our manufacturing facilities.
CATIA V5 is the leading product development solution for all manufacturing organizations, from OEMs through their supply chain. The range of its capabilities allows CATIA V5 to be applied in a wide variety of industries such as aerospace and defense, power generation, industrial machinery, shipbuilding and consumer goods, and even industries Major Tool & Machine does not currently do work in such as automotive and medical equipment. Major Tool has selected the advanced machining package in order to provide our customers with all that CATIA has to offer in the realm of Digital Manufacturing capabilities.
CATIA V5 is utilized at Major Tool & Machine integrated with TDM and Vericut to facilitate collaborative manufacturing planning by managing digital mock-up, machining and simulation. CATIA is utilized first by bringing in the customers design model and then creating setup information and finally tool paths are applied.
TDM Systems is the world’s #1 data management software for tooling and tool crib management. The cutting tool selection and tool crib management are handled inside our facility by the use of our TDM V4 software. TDM allows the Tooling Engineers to create a library of tooling that can be utilized throughout the organization with common information such as speeds and feeds being accessed from one common database. Tooling is preplanned prior to generation of tool paths on the customer supplied electronic data. The tooling information is pulled into CATIA, which reduces redundant entering of tooling data and therefore shortens the time needed for tool path generation.
CG Tech provides the verification software utilized by Major Tool & Machine with their VERICUT Version 7 products. We primarily utilize VERICUT’s Verification and Machine Simulation Modules to complete our digital manufacturing process.
Providing machine tools with optimal capabilities to production has always been a primary goal for our Maintenance Department. We have used various tools to improve machine’s geometry and positioning accuracy for a long time. In the past, maintenance was done mostly retroactive in response to complaints from our production departments or Quality non-conformances, but this is no longer the case.
As a measure of Preventive Maintenance the idea was born to monitor machine health in regard to geometry and accuracy at a predetermined frequency. This thinking was the starting point for implementing our current Machine Assessment Program (MAP). A team of dedicated engineers and technicians from Maintenance, Quality, and Production cooperated in developing a strategy that has proved to be a winner since 1995.
The first step was to develop standardized tests for each machine tool or machine type, then determine the test equipment best suited and set MAP “target” values for circularity and true position. Next a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was written, clearly outlining processes and responsibilities. All assessed machine tools were added to our Quality Gage Management program, which controls assessment dates, results and conformity to our quality standards.
Currently we are utilizing several different methods of assessing the machine’s accuracy and geometry. On most of our larger machining centers the assessment is performed using a FARO Laser tracker. Standardized machine programs guarantee test repeatability. For smaller size machines the assessment is done using Renishaw BallBar analysis. After the tests are completed a MAP team consisting of members from Maintenance, Quality, and Production reviews the data, comparing it to previous results and our base-line MAP target values. This review allows detecting machine movements, variations and errors. If the machine meets our targets the MAP team releases it back to production. If there are irregularities the next steps might be re-adjustments on the machine, performing Laser axis calibrations, etc… If the results show deterioration, but don’t require immediate action, changes in assessment frequency are made to closer monitor any further developments.
All assessment results are documented in our equipment database for traceability. Electronic records of every assessment test are also kept for further reference.
In order to provide essential tools for our MAP program to be successful, Major Tool & Machine has recently purchased a new Renishaw QC20-W wireless BallBar system. In addition, we utilize two state-of-the-art Renishaw XL-80 Laser units. The Faro Laser tracker even allows monitoring our larger machines based on volumetric positioning accuracy. In our quest for continuous improvement we are currently exploring the idea of using our existing test equipment and new software solutions to employ Volumetric Error Compensation on our machine tools.
So far, our MAP program has produced measurable improvements, increased confidence in our machine tools’ capabilities and allows us to act in advance instead of responding to failure. Cooperation between Maintenance, Quality and Production departments and commitment of all MAP teams and Management’s support has been and continues to be the keys to success for our Machine Assessment Program.