Task Force Tips looks to the Brother SPEEDIO M140X multi-tasking machines to improve product production
Based on the idea of regulating water flow with an automatic fire nozzle, Chief Clyde McMillian drew his idea up on the back of a napkin in 1968. Soon after, McMillian turned that idea into Task Force Tips manufacturing company. Today, Task Force Tips is known for producing innovative, dependable fire suppression equipment and rescue tools that service fire departments and various industries worldwide.
Task Force Tips manufactures high-quality, durable: valves, seals, shapers, couplings, housings, and nozzles. Their main industry focus is on municipal fire departments; however, they also serve industrial markets such as oil refineries, forestry and aviation to name a few.
With the desire to venture into a new market, the manufacturing company began to look for a way to improve their production with quicker changeovers, faster cycle times, automation, and faster delivery. They set out to find a machine that not only could produce high mill spindle speeds but also had the ability to do turning like a lathe.
Task Force Tips had been using Brother TC32B machines for over 25 years, and eventually discovered the Brother SPEEDIO M140X1 at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS). “We were instantly taken by the machine and its performance. We purchased two of them. To date, we have two M140X1 machines and two M140X2 machines,” said Cory Mack, Production Manager.
“The Brother SPEEDIO M140X1 was the first machine we had seen that could produce the turning feature like a lathe on a trunnion table along with producing high-speed spindle RPM on the BT milling spindle. The turning feature along with the trunnion option really helped us visualize what we needed to become more successful. The small compact footprint also helped us visualize the automation we could bring to the project,” Mack said.
Yamazen worked with Task Force Tips and helped them customize the machines to fit their needs. Yamazen made the necessary changes to the work holding so that Task Force Tips could produce the product they had visualized for the new market.
The transition to the new SPEEDIO was rather easy since Task Force Tips had been using Brother machines and were familiar with how they performed. They did experience a minimal learning curve using the trunnion design and turning option; but all in all, it was a simple acclimation process.
“The Brother SPEEDIO machines have eliminated a number of operations to produce parts that require quick turnarounds. They have also helped us to recognize changeover options that make the setups seamless. The automation with Universal Robots is an additional help in making the project highly successful,” said Mack.
“The time from order entry to shipping customer parts has been reduced from weeks to days. The ability to turn orders around so quickly has reduced run sizes from thousands down to hundreds, or in some cases on demand. This has reduced inventory amounts considerably,” Mack stated.
The premises for this success were things like the two-hand loaded machining operations on a lathe and separate mill being combined into a single robot loaded cell between two M140X1 machines. Also, the SPEEDIO has the ability to engrave thread code information in the machine instead of having a separate laser operation, and the trunnion allowed access to deburr features that were previously a separate hand deburring operation.
”Speed and reliability have been a constant on ALL the Brother machines we have owned,” Mack commented. ”They have been a consistent staple in our shop,” he concluded.
For more information on Task Force Tips:
3701 Innovation Way
Valparaiso IN 46383-9327
Main Phone: (800) 348-2686
For more information on Brother Products or Yamazen Inc.:
735 E. Remington Road
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Main Phone: (800)882-8800