Here are pictures of a machine that should be finished in a few days and I
have spent more than a year building, between phone calls and fire
extinguishing. There are a lot of cool subsystems that are "out of the box"
and not much "off the shelf". Every bit of my know-how went into it and I
had to learn some more. One BIG load of metalworking!!! Lots of kludges
because I designed around what stock I had in the bins rather than buying a
lot of stuff. I probably spent less than $1k for new stuff and scrounged
the rest. It's based on a commercial brush machine frame and will make a
very heavy duty "Butcher's Block" brush using flat wire. This will replace
a current machine that is over 100 years old, (except anything that moves)
and produce over twice the output without the highly skilled operator, it
will eliminate 3 operations and cut costs by over 20% not including the
overhead load. It will also cut 1.5 people that will be absorbed by other
departments. We figure that it will hit the fiscal at over $40k per year!
Cha-CHING!!! In retrospect, I should have done the whole project
differently. I should have done the system designs with no-holds-barred,
farmed out the machining, hired techs and had it on-line in less time. I
ran the project like a hobby...Duhhhh. The next project starts as soon as
this goes into full production. Most of the design work is done and I will
do it way different. It
will produce wire wheel brushes that will be higher speed rated and higher
quality and cheaper and faster to make.
In the pix you will notice the X-Y table is on Nyliners on cold-roll rod.
The table motion is controlled by the big cam wheels you see in the back.
made the cam sections on a CNC mill from a spreadsheet to G-code
translation. The stuff I am most proud of is the wire feed and cut system
that uses 1-way clutches, nyliners and an air cylinder. -works slick! It
started as a frame given to me by another brush co. I had or made most of
the standard parts and made all the conversion parts. Working with flat
wire can be a nightmare but I think I took most of the magic out. You can
see the brush it makes, pretty heavy-duty. We also do all the woodworking
here for all the brushes. We also make power tool, industrial wheels, knot
type and a lot of specials. Sorry about the picture quality, my camera
doesn't work the same since it quit and I took it apart and "Repaired" it.
But, now I have an excuse to get a new one.
18 years ago