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  1. #61
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    You just need the right tool guy. Many underestimate the aluminum bronzes... aluminum is soft and bronze is soft but aluminum bronze is a whole nother animal. My experience is it does well with higher speeds and carbide, with hss I slow it down. You have to keep it sharp.
    however, if your rep is getting embarrassed, you need to embarrass your rep into admitting their experience in your actual work material BEFORE they hit the floor.
    as to them cutting your programs up, I have to ask: did they work? were comps easy to adjust and were comments available/ set up sheet to tell them what tool adjusts what? did you use a roughing tool then switch to a finisher? have program restart points for acheiving final size?

    If you can't say yes to all these program questions then I don't blame them for cutting things up. You are on your own earning the employee respect. There are several ways to go about it, you have to pick your best approach. It almost sounds like you are not their direct supervisor, more of an engineer that kinda works for/ with them in a parrallel role. If you don't have the boss at your back you have nowhere to go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WILLEO6709 View Post
    It almost sounds like you are not their direct supervisor, more of an engineer that kinda works for/ with them in a parrallel role. If you don't have the boss at your back you have nowhere to go.
    He covered that on page one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Bronze View Post
    I am in the process of taking over the business from my father and uncle, and I have been working hard trying to pick off all the low hanging fruit towards improving productivity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doug925 View Post
    But.. there are a bunch of bargain priced, out of work guys down in Houston that know their $hit.


    Doug.
    Feel free to PM me any good experienced machinist out of work... I am about 60 miles north of Houston and could use a rock star.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    You don't have rock stars now though.

    How about you show them some videos on YouTube of high speed machining? This way they can see that it CAN be done faster. Just hand pick the good ones, there are a few on there that are crap lol.
    It sounds like they are old dogs afraid of learning new tricks.
    I used to work with a handful of them a few yrs ago. They were manual boring mill operators who worked on a lot of castings, weldments, etc... and all they knew was to bury a 1" dia HSS corn cob cutter and let it cut. When I showed them how much quicker I was removing stock on a cnc, they about shit themselves.
    Youtube was actually where had that terrible realization that my guys were not performing very well. I was just trolling around looking at cool machines, and it dawned on me that these videos were showing parts being machined out of nasty stainless steels and other hard to handle materials in minutes, not hours. I have shown a few of the videos to the guys in passing, but I still don't know how to connect the dots between what we are doing, and how to get to where we need to be- although this discussion here is really helping with clarifying what steps need to be taken.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    As for the reps, if a certain brand isn't in your area, just call them up and talk to tech support.
    Like Guhring for example, they have the best drills, great taps but haven't tried their endmill line. But when I needed help on one of their 25xD drills, they were extremely helpful.
    Sandvik is another that has excellent quality tools especially their indexables.
    If you want solid carbide endmills, stay away from the big name brands like Sandvik because you will pay out the arse for them although they do work very good.
    Quote Originally Posted by david n View Post
    I wouldn't be surprised.

    Just curious.............how old are the guys in the mill dept? Have they worked anywhere else or are they long time employees? Blatantly ignoring or refusing new machining strategies would get get one heck of a butt chewin from me. Or the boot...................they will need to be eased into new ideas.
    Between 25 and 45, kind of mid range. The youngest guy just got hired last month- he shows the most promise for introducing new ideas because he just came from a big shop that probably implemented a lot of these things.

    Quote Originally Posted by doug925 View Post
    I am NOT advocating getting rid of your long time employees.
    Having said that, IF they are UNWILLING to face the problems of low efficiency and be open minded to a more efficient process, then they NEED to go.

    BTW, it would be painful, but YOU CAN find "rock-star machinists" right now. There are a TON of really talented leads/ machinists (and plenty of hacks too) that are out of work in the energy industry in Texas.

    Don't get me wrong, that hassles of finding, relocating, and introductory training of a new team would be a nasty process.
    But.. there are a bunch of bargain priced, out of work guys down in Houston that know their $hit.

    Maybe you could replace (if any required) "no longer viable" employees over the next 6 months to a year.
    It wouldn't have to be all at once.

    Again, just my $.02

    Doug.
    I don't think they are actively opposed to improving their throughput, when I actually sand there and work with the guys with a new idea, they seem to go with it, but I wish they would take the "meta message" a little better- The most important thing I am trying to bring to the table for them is not the improvement in process on this one job, it is the strategy of looking at all jobs with the same critical eye. I would imagine critical thinking skills come pretty naturally, or were learned a long time ago for all of the people who are putting down well spoken comments/questions/suggestions on this thread, but if someone has been told "just do it, you're not paid to think" too many times, it's really difficult to get them to think out of the box.
    It is the classic ingrained culture of "this is how we do this" that comes along with a business that has had less than pro-active management on the floor for a long time.
    There never has been a real discussion about what the duties are and who is taking charge when the old lead retires. Like I mentioned before, the machining throughput issue is just one of a laundry list of issues that I am trying to tackle... some of which are just embarrassing and will probably be brought up in the management/owner board at some point here.


    Quote Originally Posted by litlerob1 View Post
    So far some pretty sound advice, so here is the question of the day-----Mr. Bronze, because this all starts with you, and ends with you, what are you going to do?

    So far we have;
    1. Seems to be the consensus, "if your guys aren't willing to step up and make it happen", they got to go.
    2. Bring in an independent (of your company) rep. or apps. specialist to show, guide, suggest or motivate your guys.
    3. You learn the machinery and machine setup and popular advantageous strategies of machining in the 21 century and introduce them.
    4. As the King suggests watch more youtube videos. Just kidding, or not maybe.

    Just curious where you mind is going with it.

    Robert my ±2
    What am I going to do now, that is the million dollar question. Literally.
    I think it is too early to say if they are unwilling or not. From my experiences with working with them on difficult projects, I would say they are willing to change, but it is more than just showing them the one job going quickly, it is a paradigm change for them. For one, they have definitely been hobbled in the past by leads/management having a poor grasp on tooling cost vs time cost- so they are hesitant to put their foot down and say they need a tool to do a job. My job is to provide them with the resources they need to do the job the best, not to say do the job with what you have; that is something that I have changed hugely since I started messing with how we do things here.

    I have no idea where to find a specialist that works with setup/process refinement. I agree, this would be the quickest way to get the knowledge here, I think everyone in the machine shop would benefit from some structured continuing education about job setup and process flow.

    I have already started doing this, but since I have so many garbage things that pop up and consume my time, I have to pick and choose my battles. Currently, this machining issue is by far the biggest problem on my plate, so I will probably spend the next 6 months really focusing in on improving the throughput at the mills.

    Youtube will definitely be part of the sales pitch, it just gives me a warm feeling to see those machines cut like that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    WTF? They're walking all over you, ............do you let them piss on you afterwards as well?

    Like I said, time to start being the boss, remind them who's name is on their pay cheques and kick ass a in ;- ''this is how this job is going to be done, ............and I'm going to stand over you and watch it being done this way! and just so there is no misunderstanding, f'kn with me is a VERY bad idea! capise!''
    I will try a carrot before I get the whip, and to context this, my other biggest issue is drama in the foundry, they are like catty little jr high girls that gossip and backstab each other randomly on a daily basis. To have a grown up, well mannered team in the machine shop is just a breath of fresh air. The foundry will be almost entirely automated in 5 years, since finding someone who wants to be a molder/melter is like finding a f**king solid gold unicorn. 2 words: patternless molding.

    Don't get me wrong, I do agree with your sentiment, and I have let the guys know that my ideas will turn into suggestions, then requests, then requirements. It is my way or the highway, but I am patient and persistent, and I value my guys very much, even if they are currently super slow.
    I like to compare it to how sad I felt when I was taking thermodynamics and found out that most of our machines/engines are like 5,10,15% efficient. At first I thought, that's horrible, I can't believe we do so poorly. The other way to look at it is, if we are successful even with this terrible performance, there is a lot of room between where we are and the ceiling is- low hanging fruit with lots of room for improvement.


    Quote Originally Posted by gvidas View Post
    How far are the guys from retirement? If you expect them to be with you for a few more years, pay for them to get some training in modern CAM practices.

    And come up with an incentive package where they make a meaningful amount more money if they do the work faster. As it is, you're asking them to work harder and take risks that reward you if they're successful, and punish them if they're unsuccessful. It's easy to assume you'll catch flack for breaking tools, scrapping parts, etc. Heads I win, tails you lose.

    Carrot or the stick: threaten to fire them if they don't make parts faster, or offer to share the additional profit that you think is sitting there if they can bring you that money.
    Hopefully the oldest guy has 20 years left in him, there will definitely be continuing education for all the guys.
    An incentive program is definitely something I am planning on doing. We currently have profit sharing, but it is not indexed to throughput, so there is little motivation to go above and beyond. An incentive program still does not address the issue of slow machine times, I think they would be more productive if they knew how to break out of their mindsets/habits/methods.

    In the past they definitely caught heat for breaking stuff, I see bent boring bars and smashed tool holders tucked away under a bench that hasn't moved in 10 years, they were obviously hidden there so they wouldn't get in trouble... But I am very clear in telling the guys that I will not get mad if they make a mistake, make a few mistakes and we will have a discussion about how to prevent them in the future, make a habit of messing stuff up, and they should look for a new job.
    Conversely if they screw something because of gross negligence or willful intent, I go nuts.


    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    Do you know why this is?

    They had better come up with a real good reason if I was in your shoes.

    (I am 95% sure I know the reason)
    because "less code is more elegant"?
    i am not exactly sure

    Quote Originally Posted by WILLEO6709 View Post
    You just need the right tool guy. Many underestimate the aluminum bronzes... aluminum is soft and bronze is soft but aluminum bronze is a whole nother animal. My experience is it does well with higher speeds and carbide, with hss I slow it down. You have to keep it sharp.
    however, if your rep is getting embarrassed, you need to embarrass your rep into admitting their experience in your actual work material BEFORE they hit the floor.
    as to them cutting your programs up, I have to ask: did they work? were comps easy to adjust and were comments available/ set up sheet to tell them what tool adjusts what? did you use a roughing tool then switch to a finisher? have program restart points for acheiving final size?

    If you can't say yes to all these program questions then I don't blame them for cutting things up. You are on your own earning the employee respect. There are several ways to go about it, you have to pick your best approach. It almost sounds like you are not their direct supervisor, more of an engineer that kinda works for/ with them in a parrallel role. If you don't have the boss at your back you have nowhere to go.
    When I was making the program, all I did was generate the geometry of the part and the toolpaths, one of my guys selected the tools according to what we had available. It obviously wasn't the most elegant program, but it would have allowed the that side of the part to be run in one start button. The machinist was sitting right next to me when I was working everything up, so it was his choices on tools and all the things that I am not fluent with.

    While I do sign their paychecks, in practice I definitely work in a parallel roll with my machinists and the foundry guys. It kind of creates a quagmire of authority, because I went from being the new guy doing all the donkey work of repairs and maintenance, etc then transitioning into the office where I do all the suit and tie stuff too now, all within 3 years. There has been 3 new hires since I came on board full time, so at least Im not actually the new guy anymore, but I am younger(33) than most of the guys here, and there is definitely some attitude towards me being the "bosses kid" and "mechanical engineer"; both of which are dirty words in a shop like this.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Bronze View Post
    Youtube will definitely be part of the sales pitch, it just gives me a warm feeling to see those machines cut like that.
    It's called machinists porn
    I get hooked on machining videos and can't stop, the next thing I know 4 hours have passed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    It's called machinists porn
    I get hooked on machining videos and can't stop, the next thing I know 4 hours have passed.
    Probably my favorite https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DehW94gLRKM I wish it was in HD!

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  9. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    WTF? They're walking all over you, ............do you let them piss on you afterwards as well?

    Like I said, time to start being the boss, remind them who's name is on their pay cheques and kick ass a in ;- ''this is how this job is going to be done, ............and I'm going to stand over you and watch it being done this way! and just so there is no misunderstanding, f'kn with me is a VERY bad idea! capise!''

    DAMN ( ! ) Sami


    Note to self: Never piss off Sami !!!

    Sami, I believe that you and I both read the same leadership training manual.

    attila-hun.jpg


    Doug.
    Last edited by doug925; 07-08-2015 at 12:28 PM. Reason: hyperlink not working

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Bronze View Post
    I have had some awesome results with the guys from Promet, they have found us some parting blades for our lathes that cut times on parting washers (4" wall thickness) from an hour down to 10 mins each.
    We just have had such terrible luck with calling up a new rep and then embarassing them and their fancy tool because they didn't realize aluminum bronze is like high strength steel, not like 6061 T-6.
    Ok, from an hour to 10 minutes...great. But still, 10 minutes? I part off 4" round, 316SS in less than one minute with Sandvik's older Corocut system...the new QD ought to drop that time a bit once I get it into my lathe.

    As other's have suggested, you need to get someone from Sandvik or Kennametal. Stick with the big guys that have a large pool of fellow reps and technical help that they can pull from.
    I've had reps come in and tell me they have the best inserts for SS and beat the competition all the time. I say BS...there's a lot of companies that make good tooling to cut this stuff.

    The reps who have done well with me are the ones that listen first and take that info back to his group before coming up with a hopeful solution. The one's that don't do well are the ones that point to a speed/feed chart in a book and say "see, this is how it will run all day long."

    Not trying to say to use Sandvik...just check out their website or youtube channel for lots of good instructions on milling paths and tool applications. Whatever you learn from that should be applicable to whatever brand you go with.

    Mastercam vs. fingercam - not really the issue here. The issue is machine and tool application, not how the G-code is generated. But, since you already have Mastercam it would make sense to utilize it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bradleyk View Post
    Ok, from an hour to 10 minutes...great. But still, 10 minutes? I part off 4" round, 316SS in less than one minute with Sandvik's older Corocut system...the new QD ought to drop that time a bit once I get it into my lathe.

    As other's have suggested, you need to get someone from Sandvik or Kennametal. Stick with the big guys that have a large pool of fellow reps and technical help that they can pull from.
    I've had reps come in and tell me they have the best inserts for SS and beat the competition all the time. I say BS...there's a lot of companies that make good tooling to cut this stuff.

    The reps who have done well with me are the ones that listen first and take that info back to his group before coming up with a hopeful solution. The one's that don't do well are the ones that point to a speed/feed chart in a book and say "see, this is how it will run all day long."

    Not trying to say to use Sandvik...just check out their website or youtube channel for lots of good instructions on milling paths and tool applications. Whatever you learn from that should be applicable to whatever brand you go with.

    Mastercam vs. fingercam - not really the issue here. The issue is machine and tool application, not how the G-code is generated. But, since you already have Mastercam it would make sense to utilize it.
    Not 4" round, 4" wall thickness. 12" OD x 4" ID x 0.5" thick. Medium sized washers (our big ones are more like 50" od x 24" id x 2" thick... but those are done one at a time on a bullard VTL)

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    One thing that I just thought of, you may want to look at buying the HSM advisor ($50) for your high speed toolpaths. Doesn't even have to be high speed, but toolpaths with long engagement and small stepover are proven to run a LOT faster than hogging out the conventional way that's been done forever.
    Advanced CNC Speed And Feed Calculator - HSMAdvisor

    I use it daily, and I can't think of a time it's let me down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    One thing that I just thought of, you may want to look at buying the HSM advisor ($50) for your high speed toolpaths. Doesn't even have to be high speed, but toolpaths with long engagement and small stepover are proven to run a LOT faster than hogging out the conventional way that's been done forever.
    Advanced CNC Speed And Feed Calculator - HSMAdvisor

    I use it daily, and I can't think of a time it's let me down.
    done. thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    One thing that I just thought of, you may want to look at buying the HSM advisor ($50) for your high speed toolpaths. Doesn't even have to be high speed, but toolpaths with long engagement and small stepover are proven to run a LOT faster than hogging out the conventional way that's been done forever.
    Advanced CNC Speed And Feed Calculator - HSMAdvisor

    I use it daily, and I can't think of a time it's let me down.
    I second HSMAdvisor. I own my own seat (work doesn't have one) because I like it that much.

    This isn't particularly special, but it is a 1997 Fadal VMC2216 box way machine. Removed a whole tool and something like 40% of the cycle time from the second operation of this part.


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