Game-Changing Technologies: Homeyer Leverages Cutting-Edge Okuma Technology to Revolutionize Both its Culture and its Catalog
In our latest game changing series, we had a chance to sit down (virtually) with our friends and colleagues at Homeyer to talk about running their high-end job shop.
Homeyer Precision Manufacturing creates precision parts for companies all over the world. To stay current, they’ve always looked to the future, embracing cutting machines and mills that keep them at the forefront of the industry. During its decades-long history, the company marries top talent with cutting-edge technology to prevent its machining center, and its processes, from lagging behind.
One of the most critical components to its current success is the team’s aggressive investment and embracing of Okuma’s 5-Axis machining center. In our last post about the 5-axis’ capabilities, we discussed how companies were using the machining center to increase throughput with greater accuracy, and Okuma’s CNC high-precision machining that helps them do more with less. Homeyer’s team not only embraced this technology, but has continually invested in it to continue their growth and evolution as a company .
Commitment to Excellence and Success with Okuma CNC Machine Tools
Homeyer is a vertically-integrated precision job shop, and family-owned with a legacy that speaks to their commitment to embracing new technology.
They operate in a large 56,000 square foot facility, and made their first investment in a 5-axis machine roughly 10 years ago. They’ve continued to invest in the machines because according to Dave Gruszecki, Plant Manager, 5-axis is “the wave of the future and a way to reduce your costs.”
When discussing the future, the Homeyer team is quick to identify how important young talent is to their entire operation. The technology has been a driving factor in attracting a young workforce that was curious and interested in something new.
“Young workers today have a lot at their fingertips and they want to be gratified pretty quickly,” he states further. The Okuma 5-axis offers a lot of features that enable those young machinists and designers to push themselves and grow as professionals early in their careers.
That younger, passionate workforce has helped drive a thriving, technology-driven culture, which has further helped the company expand and remain competitive.
Product Diversification and Future-Proofing the Business
No company can survive on just legacy business, and Homeyer is well-aware of the importance of scalable expansion. Because the 5-Axis enables them to create more complex and precise parts (they’re able to hold .2-inch of true precision), the company has evolved from a relatively small, locally-operated family business to a national competitor with clients around the country.
What’s more, the parts they custom fabricate are so complex to machine, it’s increased their capacity to over 1,000 new part numbers (and counting). This steady stream of growth enables them to reinvest in high-tech metal cutting machines to cut down on production times even more. Not only can they create specialty orders for customers (that were tough to fill from other vendors) they’ve cut down delivery time from months to weeks.
“It’s streamlined our entire operation.”
Dave Gruszecki, Plant Manager
Increased Productivity with Faster Turnarounds
Because their operators can combine multiple operations on a 5-Axis machine without having to reset for each cycle, the cycle time is reduced significantly. This efficacy and accuracy also reduces waste and expands the capacity of the entire business.
By cutting down each delivery cycle from roughly (on average) six weeks to four, they have increased their overall throughput and productivity.
With all of these advantages to their bottom line and removing bottlenecks from their workflow, Homeyer is able to realize an ROI on this equipment within 18 months. There’s also less revenue lost on scrap parts, cutting down further on per-part costs.
As a vertical milling shop, they used to be highly reliant on fixtures. By integrating the 5-axis and streamlining all of their processes through that machine, they are now down to 30 fixtures (from 1,000).
The current count of 5-axis machines is six, and that represents both a combination of turning and milling as well as straight 5-axis stations.
Premiere Maintenance Adds to Throughput By Eliminating Downtime
Homeyer suffers from little-to-no downtime thanks to Hartwig’s maintenance program, which they further attribute to the Okuma platform and Hartwig’s servicing capacity.
Our mutual teams remain committed to our preventive maintenance programs in order to make machines run smoothly. For more in-depth information about its ongoing success and how their team attributes that success to the Okuma 5-axis, view our case study here. You can also check out the full video from our February, 2021 Game Changer series.
About the Okuma 5-Axis Machining Center
The Okuma 5-Axis center enables greater efficiency and productivity. It’s low center of gravity and rigid structure enables both cutting and high-speed finishing. With rich automation features, it also offers even better precision thanks to its thermal capacity which keeps the machine performance consistent regardless of the room’s ambient temperature. Okuma’s thermal-friendly design:
- Dissipates the ambient temperature of the room for better precision
- Frees the operator to focus other tasks
- Offers simple shapes that are symmetrical thick wall castings
- Provides operators high-speed and high-accuracy with a trunnion table that translates into fast, accurate positioning for simultaneous five-axis cutting
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