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CNC Clear Cut

By Paul Savides, Managing Director, PBS Machine Tools

When a company makes a product like a CNC Lathe, that may be considered homogeneous i.e. with few differences from that of a competitor, it is very easy to offer some simple features or add-ons that give it a perception of value for money.

Adding value can be done in many ways but adding true Economic Value must be innovative. At Tongtai, we have spent many years improving our products so that we can match the high pace of today’s production requirements and at the same time meet the challenges of competitiveness that manufacturers face as they strive to survive.

The first step for Tongtai was to use available technology to keep costs contained and even use it to get prices marginally down without affecting quality. This has allowed us to keep the same reliability of our existing CNC lathe ranges that have been in 24/7 production in South Africa for more than 20 years. Enabling the upgraded ranges with technologies like Direct Torque Control have allowed Tongtai to improve the serviceability of all machines and at the same time, improve their overall efficiency resulting in major cost savings for the end-user.

This is done by extending tool life and reducing cycle time while at the same time maintaining accuracy of parts within very tight limits.

In a practical example at a user in South Africa we experienced the following:

Competitor Part Cycle Time Tool Wear
xxx 57 Sec/Pc 33 Parts/ Edge
Tongtai 19 Sec/Pc 100 Parts/Edge


This also means overtime and rework due to low output is avoided, eliminating late deliveries, unhappy customers and waste accordingly, driving down end-user costs.

Integrated Root Cause Analysis

To understand what a problem is, how to record it, how to analyse it, how to solve it and how to apply it, is truly what adding value really means.

The more refined machines become the more important it is for maintenance staff to keep them in production, this is why we have incorporated into the machines rudimentary systems that enhance end-user productivity and competitiveness. Enabling the many new technologies, developed by Tongtai, and incorporating them into our new machines takes care of all the SPC, Lean Six Sigma, Overall Equipment Effectiveness and Lean Manufacturing processes.

This is all achieved through a range of Intelligent Sensors and Software developed by Tongtai including:

  • Vibration sensors
  • Machine levelling sensors
  • Pressure sensors
  • Temperature sensors
  • Current sensors
  • Intelligent tool holders
  • Tool wear monitoring
  • Real-time cutting monitoring
  • RFID reader for tool identification
  • Integrated communication channel linking all sensors to an Industrial PC

By capturing and interpreting these parameters, we can check and diagnose the condition against the known machine and cutting tool characteristics to ensure the machine continues to produce and keep its quality of performance.

All this helps with process optimisation, improves machine operational performance and reduces unexpected or unplanned machine stoppages.

For more information please contact PBS Machine Tools – Tel: 011 914-3360.

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