Micro-Stamping requires extreme tolerances and accuracies for intricate work

Micro-Stamping requires extreme tolerances and accuracies for intricate work

December 11, 2013 10:56:29 AM

For opportunistic brothers Mike and Tim Himes, it made more sense to start their own business than spend the rest of their lives working for other people. In 1989, they started the Espyville, PA-based micro-stamping tooling company, Himes Machine.


Tim’s background in high-speed stamping dies and wire cutting of carbide stamping tools, combined with Mike’s history in plastic injection molding, created a solid foundation for the future of Himes Machine.

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Getting Started


“We were exhausted at our jobs. And it was frustrating to see management making mistakes and poor decisions. We were both looking for a better balance between work and life, and I knew we could do a better job as business owners,” explains Mike.


Himes Machine manufactures tooling for micro-stamping in a wide range of industries, including the electronics, automotive, appliance, computer and communication fields. The company creates tooling for electronic manufacturers and supplies tooling to companies that stamp cold-formed aluminum into custom cans used for energy drinks, hair products and bottle-shaped beer cans.


Delivering The Best 


Because of the small sizes and intricate details many of these parts require, Himes Machine relies on Mitsubishi EDM technology. Mitsubishi delivers the tolerances and accuracies that allow Himes to deliver the best in quality and precision. The company uses wire diameters ranging from .002 to .008 inches to achieve these close tolerances on the wire EDMs. 


Himes Machine owns five Mitsubishi EDM machines: two FA10S, one 110SZ, one 90HA and an EA12V. They recently purchased the EA12V sinker EDM to deliver 3D-sinker work on carbide tooling for an automotive connector. And, the new machine adds a new level to the company’s list of capabilities.


The EA12V has been designed with features to enhance accuracy and productivity in a space-saving design. The sinker offers energy and cost savings with a lowerconsumption power supply and lower cooling costs. The EA12V was installed with a 20-position tool changer to help automate some of the machining process.


“Because of the type of work we do, machining lots with only 1-3 pieces in each, we have to be extremely efficient in machining to make any money. We are constantly working toward more unattended running time,” explains Mike. “Mitsubishi delivers a lot of the solutions that keep us profitable by minimizing operator-driven processes.”


One of the company’s biggest customers recently acknowledged the superior quality of EDM work they always receive from Himes Machine. “This is a huge company with manufacturers like us all over the country,” explains Mike. “It was a great compliment to hear that our EDM quality and surface finishes are far better than any of their other suppliers.”


Himes Machine has been a Mitsubishi customer since they incorporated EDM equipment in 1994. Tim had experience working with Mitsubishi EDM equipment, so it was a brand he knew and trusted. Today, the company is still loyal to the Mitsubishi brand.


Beyond exceptional machine performance, Himes has a good relationship with his Mitsubishi sales contacts, Regional Sales Manager for Mitsubishi EDM, Mike Bilardo, and Dennis Sharples of Mitsubishi dealer Sharples Machinery. He adds that a longstanding relationship with Ed Switala and the rest of the team in MAC Funding, Mitsubishi’s financing division, makes it extremely easy to acquire new equipment when the time is right.


Today, Himes Machine is preparing to break ground on a 4,000-square-foot expansion project to the existing temperature-controlled 8,000-square-foot facility. The manufacturing environment inside the facility resembles hospital-like cleanliness. Mike explains, “A clean manufacturing environment is important to the integrity of the work we do. Our goal is to deliver extremely highend products and superior finishes in all of our work.”

 

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