Investing in a presetter and additional toolholders helped this manufacturer of custom industrial machinery eliminate mistakes during the tool setup and offsetting process. The ability to slide the racks in and out like a drawer enables the whole system to be installed in a compact area, reducing floorspace requirements. Qsine designed the Tool Rack with three primary goals in mind: high tool density, high visibility and a “tool-down” storage configuration. The first racks the shop produced for its CAT40 tools contained orientation pins that enable the company to “lock” the cutters into position (this feature is visible in the empty slots on the rack in the top photo). Recent efforts to address problems with tool setup and offsetting provide an example of this approach in action. Qsine does mostly custom, short-run work for a variety of industries, although defense and energy jobs have constituted the largest portion of business for the past 5 years or so, Mr. The nature of this work requires the shop to stock a large number of tools, most of which are used relatively infrequently. Within a few days, the shop had developed a CAD model of the proposed system, and the first unit rolled off the production line within a month. Compared with a standard tool cart, which might have three or four layers, the tall, compact racks extend storage from floor to ceiling and can thus accommodate a significantly larger number of tools, Mr.
Moreover, the company uses a significant number of long, heavy tools for deep-hole drilling, machining cavities in hydraulic valves and other operations.
The shop originally started with five racks and still has plenty of room to expand the system, Mr.
Comments are reviewed by moderators before they appear to ensure they meet Modern Machine Shop’s submission guidelines. Our toolroom has state-of-the-art high speed milling machinery and EDM (electrical discharge machining), as well as a substantial array of support equipment found in a contemporary tool shop. Machining is supported by direct download from our engineering department and design group. All in-house diemakers have achieved their journeymen diemaker certification through our company sponsored apprenticeship program. The University of Texas at Austin has grown its Center for Electromechanics into a world class center for modeling, analyzing, designing, and fabricating advanced electrical power generation and distribution systems. The laboratory, houses extensive fabrication, assembly, and testing facilities in a 140,000 square ft air conditioned high bay laboratory.
Machine Shop: In the foreground is a HAAS Model VF7CNC machining center and the tool crib window is visible at the right center edge of the picture. The Centera€™s machining capabilities were updated in 2003 with the installation of several new machine tools, including lathes, manual mills, and a horizontal band saw. In the Machine Shop, the HAAS (left) and HURCO (right) Machining Centers provides fully programmable 4-axis machining. The machine shop is also supported by a fully stocked tool crib, including measuring and inspection tools under NIST traceable calibrations.


In addition to the extensive machining capabilities, the Center also maintains a welding and fabrication shop. The facility also houses a high energy spin test bunker designed to safely contain a 20 psig internal overpressure. A 180 ft deep vertical gun range is located between the north end of the main high bay and the spin test bunker.
This exterior view of the North end of the main high bay shows the vertical gun range, the spin test bunker, the turbine enclosure, and the honing tower above the gun range.
The laboratory houses several specialized manufacturing and testing facilities designed to support prototype development and testing efforts.
There is significant in-house expertise in the design, analysis, and manufacture of composite structures used in high performance rotating machines. The newest winding machine is an ENTEC 5-axis CNC filament winding machine installed at the end of the McClean Anderson machine. A dedicated autoclave, manufactured by American Autoclave, is used to cure composite structures. To support the composites development program, the Center researchers developed and validated specialized testing equipment and procedures to measure the hoop modulus and strain to failure of filament wound composite materials. The fabrication of advanced composite structures also required the development of custom fixtures for assembly of composite structures.
In-house testing and experiments are supported by a wide array of electronic test equipment and instrumentation. In addition to various bench top instrumentation power supplies, the Center also has a 250 V 6,000 A dc power supply located in the main high bay. However, taking full advantage of these investments required a custom, in-house-designed tool storage system that enables efficient management and storage of the shop’s large array of cutting tools. The slanted, tan-colored shelves are configured to hold collets, while the trays at the bottom contain extended-length drills. Kevin Saruwatari, company owner and president, says more recent models don’t include this feature because it required making the shelves from two pieces instead of one, adding to costs. That’s a driving philosophy at Qsine Corporation, a manufacturer of custom industrial machinery in Calgary, Alberta. With few employees tasked with a great deal of work, distractions during the setup process led operators to accidentally punch in the wrong offset numbers or even to neglect offsetting entirely. Moreover, the shop found that the price of the many collets and holders required to keep tools mounted is cheaper than breaking down assemblies after every job. As a result, tool storage was haphazard at best—cutter assemblies were stashed in seemingly random drawers, across tabletops and wherever else the shop could find space. So, armed with the in-house design knowledge, forming and welding equipment, and the seed of an idea, Qsine set out to develop its own custom storage system. Colloquially referred to at Qsine as the “Tool Rack,” the system consists of a series of vertical racks with protruding horizontal shelves that hold the tool assemblies.


One significant development is that the whole system is now modular, as newer units use bolt-on shelves rather than the fixed, welded shelves that characterize the first units the shop produced.
When you proceed to the checkout page, the Seller Discount will be automatically calculated. The rack at the extreme right side of the unit features large, flat trays used to hold vise and chuck jaws.
Note that the edges are formed upward to ensure the tool assemblies don’t slip out of the rack. With this mindset, the company designs processes with the primary goal of preventing mistakes, as opposed to focusing on specific methods deemed to be the “correct” way to do things. To prevent these mistakes, the company took steps to move offsetting and tool setup to the front of the process, before any on-machine work.
Now considered mostly a fabrication shop, the company has nonetheless stayed true to its roots as a design and engineering enterprise.
The shop uses two CNC machines: a four-axis Okuma Cadet-Mate VMC with a CAT40 spindle and a nine-axis Okuma MacTurn 250 turn-mill with a Capto spindle.
Wheels that run within channels in the floor and ceiling enable each rack to be pulled in and out like a drawer. While standard carts that can be wheeled directly to a machine might be useful for high-production operations, the Tool Rack better suits Qsine’s purposes, he adds. This allows the shop to reconfigure the system on-the-fly to accommodate tools with varying lengths, for example, or to switch a given rack from CAT40 tools to Capto and vice-versa. Shelves on the Catpo racks (bottom photo) are slightly slanted so that tools lean back and stay in their pockets. Specifically, it invested in an external presetter and enough toolholders to keep all its cutters mounted, thus avoiding the need to change cutters in and out of holders.
However, perhaps the most important investment in the shop’s efforts to address these issues is a custom tool storage system that helps manage the whole process. Saruwatari insisted on storing assemblies tool-down—standard configurations make such tools top-heavy, he says. Another improvement is the use of magnetic labels to ensure tools are put in the proper slots when operators are finished with them.
They’re more like projects—a lot of what we do really looks like prototyping,” he explains.
Saruwatari and manufactured primarily in-house, the system ensures that the shop’s tools are always visible and easily accessible when operators need them.



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