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An east-coast manufacturer saw an opportunity to increase revenues significantly by gaining additional capacity in a key machining center. The company produces high-strength engineered plastic parts which are used in products for the electronic, medical, agriculture, and energy sectors.
The challenge: As plastic was machined, the excess material did not chip off like metal, but instead formed a continuous ribbon that often snarled the part, got tangled in the chuck and tooling, and risked significant damage to both the machine and the part. CNC lathes were shut down every two-to-three minutes to clear the plastic ribbons from the work area and a high volume of cleaning fluid was used to ensure that the operator had enough time to stop the machine before damage would occur. The costs of machine downtime, lost productivity and cooling expenses were significant, and the company needed help finding a solution quickly.