Original Date: 02/10/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Laser Cutting and Cutting Edge Metal Processing
Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company, Inc. has improved interim product quality through consistent part preservation and accurate cut and formed parts, which reduces labor and material loss, and leads to better end product quality.
Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company, Inc.’s previous method for plate processing was primarily outsourced from two local independent companies. The method was changed because of poor quality and larger-than-desired lot sizes. For example, large material lots were delivered in disorganized material packages that required extensive sorting. Bender has improved interim product quality through consistent part preservation and accurate cut and formed parts by using an in-house blast and prime unit, two laser cutting gantries, a modern ironworker, and a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) press brake.
The current process has each machine with a different purpose that collectively produces high quality blasted, primed, and laser cut parts on a demand-pull or just-in-time delivery basis. The blast and prime units deliver weldable primed plate and profiles with consistent film thickness of 1.4 mil (0.0014 inches). The laser cutting machines produce cut parts up to 1.250 inches thick within ± 0.004 inch tolerance. The ironworker produces profiles with accurate length and neat sheared edges. The CNC press brake produces repeatable formed parts within 0.100 degrees bend angle. Material packages are kitted based on need-by dates provided by production engineering and scheduling.
Bender has found that significant benefits are evident through better primer application quality improving preservation of parts and leading to fewer weld defects; better cut part quality from more accurate markings and dimensions; better formed part quality from more accurate bends; and close to a 35% reduction in fitting and welding labor hours in later processes.
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