Auburn Manufacturing adding new equipment

September 7th, 2012

News Coverage:
KPC News


Auburn company adding top-tier machine

By Aaron Organ

Friday, September 07, 2012, 12:10am

AUBURN – A local contract machiner is banking on a new piece of specialized machinery to serve local needs and open up regional business opportunities.

Auburn Manufacturing, 1929 Wayne St., was granted a tax abatement Tuesday evening by the Auburn City Council on the purchase of a state-of-the-art, $615,000 multi-tasking mill turn machine.

Auburn Manufacturing president Chris Horton said the highly technical machine will advance his company from a focused turning center to a milling and turning center, which is highly more marketable.

The Multus 300 built by Okuma, a seven-axis mill turn machine, is a specialty machine made for milling and turning components with incredible accuracy — to 1/10,000 of an degree. It is one of two with its capabilities in play in the country, Horton said.

“It’s pretty highfalutin,” said Horton.

The machine will allow Auburn Manufacturing to become a one-stop shop of sorts. For projects that previously required lathe work before moving to a vertical machining center, this machine with its integrated mill head and dual opposing spindles allows machining to be done completely in one swoop. Cutting out that transitional step and instead working seamlessly from a turn to a vertical move on the same machine allows for cleaner work, because the machinist locates only once during the job.

It’s technical, but in layman’s terms, Horton says the capability will save businesses handling costs because jobs are done on one machine in one shop, and it circumvents fixturing costs that come with mill work.

The technology will put Auburn Manufacturing among the elite machine shops in the state, Horton said. That means it could and should draw in business locally and regionally, creating a win-win scenario for Auburn Manufacturing and Auburn.

“We’re trying to diversify our capability, and this capability allows me to get into vertical machining work, horizontal machining work or gear cutting,” Horton said. “So we want to service the local community, those local industries who might have a complex part that they can’t do because they don’t have the capability or they can do, but it’s not cost-effective. But I’m also using this machine as a springboard to other markets.”

Horton said orthopedic companies in Fort Wayne and Warsaw could find the new machine useful due to its exact contouring accuracy, as well as the configuration, capability, design and control technology that place it atop the field.

“I’m trying to leap-frog the general house that has a rather inexpensive turn and mill, and this helps me leapfrog,” said Horton. “This puts us in that top-tier group of machine shops in terms of capability.”

The machine is on order and is expected to be on site by year’s end, Horton said. A sneak peek can be had next week, when it will be featured inside Okuma’s booth at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago.