AMET Ramps Up Business Growth With TechMach and Doosan
AMET is a CNC production shop, specializing in the machining of metal and plastic components for almost any industry. Owner Steve Jones got his start in the business on manual equipment in his Dad’s screw machine shop in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He saw an unfilled niche in the town and decided to be the first to offer CNC machining. That inspiration led to the opening of AMET (Applied Machining & Engineering Technology) in 1993. Steve keeps ahead of the competition with a philosophy that includes investing in better and faster equipment that allows him to produce more parts with a small core of talented machinists.
Doosan and TechMach, Doosan’s Arkansas-based distributor, have been with Steve and his crew every step of the way as the company continually upgrades their equipment to enhance their capabilities.
A Turn for the Better
Another machine tool builder was taking AMET’s business for granted, so Rick Boedeker, Owner of TechMach, gave Steve an option by showing him that the Doosan (then Daewoo) PUMA 240 turning center that featured competitive performance, was priced better, and, with its front access slide out conveyor, was easier to clean in tight spaces. That was in 1993, and the lathe has run every day since it was purchased.
The PUMA 240 was soon joined by a Lynx 220. It’s still in production 80% of the time, turning out lots of 10 to 1,000 pieces. “It has great feed speeds and high spindle RPMs and runs like a top,” Steve remarked. “After 12 years, it’s still our go-to turning center for machining smaller parts.”
Doosan has such a large variety of machines available that Steve and Rick could put their heads together and perfectly match equipment to applications as the company grew. AMET purchased a DNM 500 vertical machining center and added an 8-inch 4th axis rotary table, giving them the opportunity to work the other side of parts without having to create another operation and re-clamp. It worked so well that they soon bought another one with a 10-inch rotary table. This allowed them to tackle parts that were a little bigger in diameter.
In 2014, AMET made a quantum leap in both high speed and heavy-duty machining by adding a DNM350/5AX vertical machining center to the shop. “We had already experienced firsthand the reliability of the DNM series machines, so it made sense to consider a 5-axis version made on the same platform,” Steve said. “The 5th axis saves us a tremendous amount of setup time on our most complex workpieces since we can machine and drill at odd angles on one machine.”
According to Rick, “The highly rigid structure, direct drive spindle and thermal displacement compensation help the DNM350/5AX maintain a high level of performance even during prolonged periods of machining.” Steve appreciates these features because he says “It’s seen very few idle days since it was first installed.”
With state-of-the-art machining equipment in place, Steve began to think about increasing output in the turning department. He was thinking about adding another vertical mill to complete more jobs started on the company’s 2-axis lathes. Rick suggested the PUMA 2600YB instead, since the Y-axis would allow him to handle parts from beginning to end on one machine, eliminating multiple setups.
Steve finds that the standard 12” main spindle chuck can handle the big jobs with ease. “The four-inch though hole is also essential for a lot of our applications,” he said. For even more value, the Y-axis gave the shop the capability for complex operations such as off-center machining, grove finish cutting, multi-face cutting, milling in an eccentric position and Y and X axes circular interpolation. “I’ll never buy another 2-axis machine again,” Steve confirmed.
TechMach Super Service
According to Steve, Doosans are excellent machines and need very little service. But if they do, he has cell phone numbers for Rick and Mike at TechMach to get them back into operation fast. “Once, when we crashed our 5-axis spindle, Rick and Doosan worked together to get one overnighted from Korea and had us back up and running in a few days.”
“We try to keep everyone in sync and in the loop,” Rick remarked. “Whether it’s training, control questions or service issues, we try to pick up immediately or get back to them with an answer right away.”
Steve agrees. “I appreciate the attention to detail and dedication,” he said. “When we installed the PUMA 2600YB last year, Mike stayed with us until he was sure we were running good parts. That really gave us piece of mind.”
If you want performance, value and superior service just like AMET, contact TechMach today.