Located in Burlington, Ontario, Westlake Industries provides high quality pipe fabrication services. Their goal is to constantly improve their processes so that they can service their customers better. One such initiative is the Under 1 Roof Program which aims to bring a maximum level of production in-house. Speaking with Mike Frank, the Shop Manager at Westlake Industries, it became clear that their MultiCam machine has been an integral part of this goal.
The 3000 Series Plasma
In 2009 Westlake Industries had a MultiCam 3000 Series High Definition Plasma with a HPR 260XD power supply installed in their shop. Popular among fabrication shops, the MultiCam 3000 Series Plasma combines the power of Hypertherm torch technology with the industries easiest-to-use interface. With a range of standard features such as high speed contouring, integrated material database and 25mm linear ball bearings this machine was the perfect addition to a machine shop that highly values improving processes through innovation.
When asked what the machine was being used for Mike replied that it is primarily being used for plate cutting. It has given Westlake Industries the opportunity to cut materials within a wide range of thickness. The 3000 Series Plasma has the ability to perform plate cutting using materials up to 2 ½ inches thick. This has definitely expanded the capabilities of Westlake Industries’ in-house production.
In terms of having a favourite feature of the 3000 Series Plasma, Mike said that it would have to be the machine’s auto-gas console allowing them to switch between gasses to do etching and marking right on the plate. This way they are able to etch part numbers directly on the parts being cut instead of having to perform that function later.
When asked what they were using before bringing the 3000 Series Plasma into their shop, Mike replied that this is their first plasma machine and that previously they were doing a lot of the work by hand or sub-contracting it out to other shops. He stated that having the MultiCam 3000 Series Plasma has allowed them to increase their productivity up to 90%! It gave them the ability to work so much faster and efficiently. Mike added that “once the drafting and engineering department completes the nesting they send it down to production and basically all they have to do is press go”.
Under 1 Roof
The Under 1 Roof Program at Westlake Industries focuses on bringing production in-house. In an effort to provide top quality customer service, Westlake has invested in new technology that makes it possible to minimize the amount of work being outsourced to other machine shops. The 3000 Series Plasma has definitely been instrumental in achieving this goal. Mike mentioned that when they previously outsourced the services that are now completed by the 3000 Series Plasma they never really knew when the job would be completed and returned to them. They were relying on services that had a turnaround time of 8-9 days when they are now able to complete that same job in-house by the end of the day!
When asked if he had anything to add or advice for future operators about the 3000 Series Plasma machine Mike replied that he thinks every shop should have one!
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