SMW Autoblok News

  • Kyle Downs: Ultimate Team Player

    Kyle DownsIt’s fitting that Kyle Downs loves sports. Since the summer of 2008, he has played any position we’ve needed him to play at SMW Autoblok. He has put his Business Administration degree from the University of Illinois to good use, serving as inside sales territory coordinator, national accounts coordinator, tech sales support specialist, key accounts manager, and now, director of project management.

    When he’s not making sure SMW Autoblok projects are running smoothly, Kyle plays flag football, soccer, basketball and volleyball. Flag football, in particular, gets his heart rate up. “It’s full go, and I really love to lay people out,” he said. On top of his athletic prowess, he also has a passion for a different kind of performance: community theater.

    volleyballIt began early, thanks to his mom. She loved the theater and got him started when he was in third grade. He quickly discovered that he could go pretty much anywhere he wanted with it. “If you’re a guy and you can sing, you can land just about any role.”

    Return to the Forbidden Planet (based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest) took a bunch of rock hits from the 50s and 60s and combined it with audience participation to make an incredibly fun show. An exuberant ensemble, both onstage and off, belted out hits by the Beach Boys, Roy Orbison, The Zombies and more.

    The time commitment required for the theater has kept Kyle off the stage recently, but if he finds time in the future, he might jump back in. For now, he sticks to sports in his free time. Whether at SMW Autoblok, on the field or on the stage, he remains a team player.Return To The Forbidden Planet

  • Modular Dual Piston System Enhances Speed and Quality

    DCN_double pistonA multiple stage machining process doesn’t have to take forever. Boost productivity by using workholding equipment that makes it easier to accomplish each step required to complete the job. The more adaptable the chuck, the faster projects turn over. That’s why we designed our DCN, DCU and DCR Hydraulic Double Piston Cylinders with features that offer exceptional versatility:

    -The ability to use a single spindle for multiple actuation operations

    -Choice of configuration for different piston strokes

    Secondary operations are fast and efficient with the capability for one spindle to handle a variety of applications, including the actuation of retractable jaw chucks with power operated face drivers, the actuation of power chucks with part ejectors, and the actuation of power chucks with retractable axial stops.

    Since different products require different strokes and grip forces, we designed our dual actuation cylinders as a modular system for different piston strokes. Depending on your need, you can order the exact configuration that works for your application. Variations for actuating both the chuck (Piston 1) and actuating the driving pins in the face driver (Piston 2) are available:

    -DCN: Piston 1 - Long stroke, Piston 2 - Short Stroke

    -DCU: Piston 1 - Med stroke, Piston 2 - Med stroke

    -DCR: Piston 1 - Short Stroke, Piston 2 - Long Stroke

    Precise control of the piston stroke lets the operator know where the workholding element is at all times with relation to the cutting tool or machine. It also allows for monitoring of jaw movement.

    The dual cylinders operate with a four-way oil manifold for separate actuation of the two cylinders. All three variations operate at pressures from 8 - 70 bar, have a central bore for coolant, oil or air with thread for rotary union, and feature stroke control on each cylinder through the use of a proximity switch or linear positioning system.

    These design features speed up processing time and expand the versatility of your line by allowing you to manufacture a variety of components without the need for additional equipment.

    Whether you are in the automotive components segment or concentrate on special product manufacturing, the versatility of our DCN, DCU and DCR Hydraulic Double Piston Cylinders will give you an edge when machining a variety of multiple operation components.

  • The Power in Pre-Engineered Workholding Packages

    Every industry—from manufacturing to advertising—has a universal design truth: If you haven’t built it before, it’s going to take extra time. At SMW Autoblok, we are all about smarter workholding, so in May of 2014, we asked ourselves a question. What if we pre-engineered chuck-to-cylinder packages based on the required components needed for a specific machine?

    3529660_assemblyAs it turns out, this pre-engineering packaging process drastically reduces delivery times and results in a cost savings for our customers. Scott Lueder, OEM Sales Engineer, has taken on the exciting responsibility.

    Prioritizing the packages
    Since May 2014, Scott has created over 200 pre-engineered packages that consist of all the items customers need to mount a chuck to a machine. Because there are hundreds of thousands of machine variations, it was important for us to know where to focus our time. To discover our priorities, we worked closely with our OEM partners for their input.

    Essentially, we want to make sure we have packages ready for their most popular machines. DMG MORI, Mazak and Okuma are just a few of the OEMs we’ve worked with so far.

    35296650_chuckThe big takeaway for our customers: these packages have you in mind.

    The benefits of pre-engineering

    The customer benefit is immediately apparent: there is a consistent discount advantage to buying the package over buying the individual components. Just as important is how these packages take the guesswork out of the ordering process. Our customers have the confidence that the right components will be provided for their application and machine needs.

    On the SMW side, pre-engineering ensures that the engineering, review and design are done ahead of time. All that’s left to do is quote and manufacture. On top of that, we have the ability to inventory popular packages and have them ready to go, reducing delivery time even further.

    Using this pre-engineering time on the front end frees our team up on the back end. We can focus more and more of our efforts on custom design and quoting.

    What we’re hearing about the program

    With Scott’s background in pre-engineering, this program was a natural fit. Thanks to his efforts, our customers have been amazed with the detail and scope of the information that’s been presented to them. We’re excited to be able to match the quality of our products with quality of service.

    Contact us to learn more about the program or for any specific package requests.

  • Mario Arriaga: Feet on the Ground but His Heart in the Sky

    IMG_4110_croppedMario Arriaga joined SMW Autoblok in 2008. Seven years later, he holds the title of Shipping Manager, with responsibility not only for shipping and receiving, but all import and export documentation for all United States operations. Mario’s career has been enhanced by his meticulous attention to detail, an open mind on how things are done and the ability to read and retain vast amounts of information from books, magazines, newspapers and government regulations.

    The first things you notice when you walk into Mario’s office are the models and pictures of airplanes. When he joined the military, his fondest dream was to fly. But since he is color-blind, this was not possible. After basic training as a rifleman, he was sent to South Korea as an assistant to a Chaplin. In the performance of his duties, he would catch a ride on anything that was about to take off, including everything from giant cargo jets to attack helicopters. He recounted one particularly wild ride in an Army Blackhawk. The pilot had heard that Mario loved to fly, so he took him at full speed up, down, around and through the mountain peaks and deep valleys of South Korea.

    Today, life is a bit tamer, but he still manages to pack in some excitement. Mario is a big fan of the television show, American Pickers, which follows the adventures of two men who earn a living by finding neglected treasures in barns and attics and restoring them for resale. Mario has taken vacations following their routes looking for his own antique treasures. He even stopped by their shop, Antique Archaeology, to meet Frank, Mike and their assistant, Danielle, in person.

    But Mario’s latest achievement is one that he is really proud of. In December of 2014, he became an official citizen of the United States.

  • SMW Autoblok EM-S Mandrels: Rugged, Accurate and Efficient

    em-sWhen you are running a high volume of hard turning or grinding jobs in your shop, the last thing you need is a mandrel that isn’t tough enough to hold up under the pressure. That is why durability was one of our top priorities when we engineered our EM-S Sleeve Mandrels.

    Incorporating both case hardening and vulcanized clamping sleeves for improved wear resistance, productivity is also critical. We fabricated the EM-S line with a very rigid design so workpieces are locked tight for the highest accuracy and torque transmission. The EM-S series is also prepped for air sensing, so you can reduce trips to the scrap bin by making sure the part is seated properly before beginning the job. During the run, axial pull down by the axial clamping movement of the clamping sleeve means you get the best face run out possible. For maximum output, the EM-S Mandrels are power operated and have an integrated bayonet quick-change clamping sleeve to keep setup times short.

    The EM-S Mandrels are available in sizes ranging from 18mm - 105mm with a large expandability, running from 0.8 to 1.2 mm depending on the size.

    Don’t let worn out mandrels slow down your production line. Increase output with SMW Autoblok’s durable EM-S series— the perfect combination of durability, accuracy and speed.

    SMW Autoblok offers the most comprehensive line of chucks, cylinders, mandrels, steady rests and live tools in the world. Contact us for more information on our EM-S Mandrels or our complete line of workholding solutions.

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