Forward Technologies Breaks Productivity Records with the NHP 4000

Forward Technologies Inc. (FTI) is a Doosan Shop through and through. The Blue Ash, OH company went from a small volume job shop to a parts-producing powerhouse with the help of the PUMA 2600Y, the DNM 5700, two Lynx turning centers and a PUMA SY.

Recently, Ellison Technologies installed a new NHP 4000 horizontal machining center at FTI. The idea was to increase flexibility and productivity on runs of small and medium parts. “The NHP 4000 can be configured for a wide range of applications so it will be a great utility player,” President Brad Meyers said at the time.

After further review, it appears that Brad has just won the Understatement of the Year Award.

A Few Short Months Later…

“We had no idea how much of a gamechanger the NHP would be for us,” Meyers says today. “It’s taken us to a whole new world of productivity.” FTI landed a new customer in the power generation industry who brought with them a need for about 25 different parts, 12 of which are now running on the NHP. The demand for these pieces is so great that the NHP is running 24 hour shifts and the customer is picking up finished parts on a daily basis!

A Vertical Powerhouse

The NHP is designed for rapid changeovers, which leads to amazing throughput and efficiency. The automatic pallet changer allows operators to load and unload parts and change fixtures while the machine works. “The spindle is always in the cut,” Meyers said.

How productive is the NHP 4000? In the first month, spindle utilization was at 97% across three shifts. The NHP turns out 43 parts per hour compared to 16 parts per hour on the VMC the company was previously using for this project. For one particular part, that translates to almost 800 pieces per day. “The NHP also has a 60-tool magazine, so we’ve never had to take a tool out to make room for others,” Meyers added. “That’s also a time saver.”

According to Scott Mason, VP of Manufacturing, “The 15,000 RPM spindle is smooth, quiet and ramps up to speed so quickly it’s almost magical. The NHP makes a ton of chips, but chip evacuation is never an issue thanks to Doosan’s thoughtful design.” He also likes the fact that the user-friendly control makes part set-up and probing incredibly easy.

Ellison to the Rescue

Meyers and Mason credit Doosan’s local distributor, Ellison Technologies, with this amazing out-of-the-box productivity. No one at FTI had any experience with horizontal machining centers, but “Ellison provided a full turnkey solution with the NHP – fixturing, tooling, programming and training,” Meyers said. “They set us up to succeed and wouldn't let us fail.” Ellison helped get the NHP 4000 fully up and running in a couple days, and it hasn't stopped making parts since.

Doosan = Dollars

To further increase its production capacity, FTI purchased two more Lynx Turning Centers along with the NHP 4000. To make room, some equipment that wasn’t cutting it was retired. “Doosan is a real moneymaker for us,” said Mason. “That’s why their machines deserve top spot on our shop floor.”

If you also want in on the incredible productivity of the NHP Series, call your local Doosan distributor or call us direct at 973-618-2500. And don’t forget to visit us at IMTS 2018. You’ll see the NHP up close.