RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, PRODUCT SUPPORT ENGINEER, CIRCUIT CHECK, INC.
Brian O’Dell is an idea guy. Tasked with the job of cost cutting and identifying new technology to improve efficiency, he went to IMTS to find a solution.
As a Product Support Engineer working in research and development at Circuit Check, Inc. in Maple Grove, Minn., Brian went to work modernizing the company’s manufacturing process of milling and drilling on its G10 fiberglass. Coming from a tooling background, Brian saw IMTS as a resource, though it has been a while since he had regularly attended the show.
“I am excited by the different machines and controls that have appeared on the scene in the last 10 years,” said O’Dell. “What wowed me most at IMTS 2014 was the number and range of CNC machine manufacturers. It’s a big, but very serious, toy store for those of us who want to improve our methods.”
Brian’s specific goal was to evaluate large format gantry milling machines that would allow the machining department to cut, drill and deburr multiple large fixture plates on one machine. The current process takes 75 minutes and one IMTS exhibitor was able to reduce that to 18 minutes.
The possibility of adding new equipment also serves as a motivational tool. It energizes the Circuit Check team with the promise of increased size capacity and more productivity that ultimately have a sizeable impact on the bottom line. Brian and his management firmly believe new technology and better ways of completing tasks are important to retaining and recruiting talented employees.
Brian attended IMTS 2014 with Craig Walz, a Programmer/Machinist from Circuit Check and first-time IMTS visitor.
Face-to-face time with the machines and controls was valuable for Craig because it elevated his comfort level and interest.
They used the show as a one-stop shop. Brian and Craig met with their top-choice OEMs of vertical machining centers, got hands-on experience with the controls and saw the machines in action at far less cost than traveling to each of the manufacturers. Additionally, they were able to see much more technology and manufacturing options than would be otherwise feasible.
“IMTS helped solidify my thoughts and reinforce that my methodology was on target,” Brian noted. “As a result, I could present a recommendation for better machines, tooling, workholding and updated processes to management that will ultimately reduce our cost of manufacturing.”
At IMTS 2016, Circuit Check will continue to evaluate new technology on the market that will allow them to improve upon their own product while keeping costs low.
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