Roku-Roku helps Baker Machining broaden it's capabilities and efficiencies

Roku-Roku helps Baker Machining broaden it's capabilities and efficiencies

December 11, 2013 10:27:53 AM

Baker Machining has experienced tremendous growth since Kevin Baker and his brother Scott founded the company in 1992.Since being profiled less than two years ago, the company has incorporated new equipment and shifted into a facility three times the size of its original location. 

When the president of Baker Machining in suburban Detroit opted to invest in his shop’s new Roku-Roku HC-658 and accompanying Workmaster robot, he knew it was an investment in the company’s future. Baker Machining primarily serves the automotive mold and aircraft tooling markets—two cyclical industries with high demands.

“We’re a job shop—we have to be efficient in the processes we do,” Baker says. “You’ve got to be efficient for the times when the volume of work comes through. You have to grab as much as you can. With the processes we’ve developed between the robot, Roku-Roku and EDM, we can take on more volume and produce more at any given time.”

Baker Machining’s Roku-Roku HC-658, installed almost three months ago, works in tandem with the Workmaster to machine graphite electrodes for the shop’s Ingersoll 800 and Ingersoll 2000 EDM machines. With the HC-658’s lights-out capabilities, Baker Machining has streamlined its graphite machining and helped them clean up the new 30,000-square-foot facility they moved into in March 2005.

“They wanted a machine that would first and foremost machine electrodes quickly and accurately, but be equally as clean,” said Dan Meehan, account manager for Mitsubishi’s Eastern Michigan territory. “They have a beautiful, brand-new building, and it was getting filthy back there.”

Baker says he has no issues with the precision of the machine, which can hold tolerances of +/- 0.000060 inches. “It’s one shot, cut it, and it’s off the machine and ready to burn,” he says. The automation afforded by the Workmaster allows the shop to squeeze a tremendous amount of work time out of the Ingersoll EDMs, he says. 

The HC-658’s 64-bit Fanuc control was also a breeze for the company, mainly because they’d already been using similar controls on other machines. But what surprised Meehan was the shop’s ability to get up to speed integrating the Workmaster with no hitches anywhere.

“I’ve sold a fair number of robots here on EDMs and mills, and most companies do have a very long learning curve to understanding how to integrate that process into their equation,” Meehan says. “Baker had no learning curve, which blew me away, quite honestly.”

Baker Machining still considers itself a young, hungry company. That, coupled with its comfort level with technology and its recent capital investments, is helping them survive the ups and downs of a volatile market.


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