As we mentioned in the previous blog, APELC is no longer just a world class pulsed power firm, but also an ISO 9001:2015 certified manufacturer capable of high-throughput CNC machining, marked by a high-level of quality control throughout the design and fabrication process. In this blog, we will take a few moments to “pop the hood” on some of the equipment and facilities behind this capability.
As APELC gets further into the business of manufacturing high-voltage coaxial connectors, we decided to make an investment into our turning capability, allowing us to dramatically increase our throughput for the manufacturing of complex cylindrical parts. Late last year we added the HAAS DS-30Y dual spindle lathe with a bar feeder. Along with live tooling, C-axis, and y-axis, the bar feeder allows for up to 10 bars (3” diameter max) of 48” long material, meaning we can now do “lights out” production. In other words, APELC is no longer limited by an 8-hour workday when it comes to our manufacturing capability- which allows us to do produce a considerably higher volume within a much shorter lead time.
APELC already has considerable capabilities in our milling department with our HAAS VF-3YT and VF-3SSYT CNC mills. We have further expanded this production capability with the addition of vacuum base technology. By allowing fixture plates to be rapidly changed, multiple parts can be machined in a single cycle (up to 100 small parts in some cases). Moreover, this technology enables faster “between cycle processes- i.e. swapping machined parts for new material. In essence, one plate is in the machine (in process), while the second plate is out on the bench with an operator unloading parts and reloading material. The plates are also “pinned” for accuracy, meaning a dramatic reduction in probing time. This technology not only speeds up the milling process, it also allows for the same “lights-out” capability provided by the new lathe and bar-feeder.
Lastly, in a commitment to streamlining our quality control process, APELC has added the Keyence IM-7501 inspection machine as part of our dedicated inspection area (shown in the previous blog). This smart, optical instant measurement system provides for automatic measurements with minimal special fixturing. In other words, the part can be put down onto the inspection table without precise placement, for extremely accurate measurement/dimensioning. The simple programming and set-up along with automatic reporting and pass/fail part qualification, gives us an enhanced level of production inspection capabilities that play well into our ISO quality-management process.
If you’d like to learn more about our manufacturing capabilities, including our 24” X 48” waterjet, check out our manufacturing page at: https://apelc.com/machining/.