Heartland’s new Okuma Multus U4000 has arrived! Our multi-function CNC machining evolution continues.
Heartland’s new Okuma Multus U4000 has arrived! Our multi-function CNC machining evolution continues.
Heartland Enterprises is an ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D certified contract manufacturer focused on CNC machining of larger diameter (2” to 42” turned and 2” to 30” milled) production parts. Our exceptional team is focused on meeting customer requirements to ensure we deliver high quality parts within an agreed upon timeline.
In order to accomplish our goals it’s critical that we rely on and leverage deep relationships with partners and customers. In addition to our internal processes and improvement efforts, its important to have outside stimulus with ideas and resources that continuously help us meet customer needs while challenging the status quo. A business is either moving forward or its moving backwards — there is no standing still. Without outside stimulus, it is very easy to become insular and get lulled into accepting the current state of affairs. You can become comfortable ignoring what you don’t know. To avoid these traps Heartland relies on a number of key partners to keep us ahead of the game in the following areas including;
Relationships and Knowledge;
By partnering with material vendors and subcontractors who are at the top of their fields not only can you rely on them to achieve desired outcomes there is also a lot to learn. By benchmarking areas of the business that overlap there are significant opportunities to grow and improve.
Equipment and Tooling Suppliers
Heartland’s long-term relationship with Okuma and Hartwig is a competitive advantage. As our primary CNC machine tool provider we rely on Okuma to design, engineer and manufacture top of the line equipment that holds tight tolerances everyday over many years. Additionally our local distributor Hartwig is a partner for sales, training, and machine maintenance ensuring our Okuma equipment is maintained and optimized.
Customers are a critical sounding board for expectations in the marketplace. By listening and responding to customer requirements, expectations, and goals success will follow. The true partnerships we have with customer are invaluable to Heartland’s success. By incrementally improving based on customer input and feedback over many years we have continuously met customer needs while becoming a more accomplished supplier and long term partner.
Making room for the future. Sold one machine and moved another. Making room for a technology leap. More to come in the next few months….
In a typical production machining operations the quality focus is generally on the process and procedures that occur while parts are being produced. But, the quality management system doesn’t end there. Ultimately the shipping department is the final line of defense in the quality process ensuring great parts that have been produced are delivered safely and on-time. While machining custom parts that meet exacting customer specifications is Heartland’s core functionality our dedicated shipping team is responsible for the following steps, right up to loading parts on trucks, that are critical to quality;
Upon completion and prior to shipping the stamping content is double checked by our quality team.
While shipping is a prerequisite for any manufacturer it’s taken to the next level at Heartland. We take pride in ensuring that the parts we produced arrive at our customer’s facilities on time and in the same high quality that they left our facility.
At Heartland Enterprises, we have extensive experience operating honing equipment that improves the geometric form and surface texture on pipes, tubes, cylinders, and liners. In honing operations, a rotating tool carrying abrasives removes metal from the interior surface of a bore or cylinder. The main purpose is to finish the surface to a particular diameter and geometric cylindricity. It’s almost always a secondary machining operation that finishes a part or relieves stress. A typical production cycle is to rough turn the OD, bore the ID, hone, finish turn and complete any required mill work. The honing operation typically removes from 0.001” to 0.010″ (0.03-0.3 mm) of material.
Although the honing process can be applied to any surface, it is most commonly done on internal cylinder walls using a combined rotating and reciprocating motion. Low cutting pressure, low velocity, and relatively small amounts of material removal characterize it. Typical speeds are around 250 fpm (76 m/min). However, unlike conventional machining, higher speed is not always an advantage. Each application has a honing abrasive chip load which is a limiting factor. With abrasive honing stones, the proper choice of bond and coolant optimizes stone performance and cost per part.
We typically utilize abrasive stones that are used along a controlled path to remove minute amounts of material in order to attain almost perfect cylindricity on parts. Unlike conventional machining, the accuracy of a honing process is not entirely dependent on the machine. The tool and abrasive are the keys to accuracy. Another difference from conventional machining is that it needs no chucking or alignment. The part aligns itself with the tool because the tool or the part is floating in most applications. Often, the part is placed in a specially designed honing fixture that provides floating action.
Honing machines allows precise size, surface finish, roundness, straightness and consistent surface texture to be achieved. And with our equipment we can achieve surface finishes between 6-8 RMS with tolerances as tight at +/-0.001″ or meet virtually any customer specified requirement. Our facility is equipped with a Sunnen Model HL 80 precision horizontal hone that handles diameters from 3″ to 22″ with a 60″ stroke. We also have a Sunnen Model MBC-1805 hone with auto sizing and power stroke capability; accommodating diameters ranging from .160″ to 3.5″ with a 6″ stroke.
Since Heartland’s inception, and with three decades of operations, machining natural gas compressor parts is in our DNA. As an AS9100D / ISO 9001:2015 certified contract manufacturer focused on CNC machining of larger diameter (2” to 42” turned and 2” to 30” milled) production parts Heartland has significant experience machining to print parts for a diverse group of players in the natural gas compression market. Over almost 30 years Heartland has manufactured compressor parts gaining invaluable knowledge including;
With years of experience Heartland possess a diversity of knowledge not only with different parts but also diverse materials. From bar stock, castings and forgings we’ve machined parts from materials including alloy steel, aluminum, cast iron, titanium, and nickel based alloys.
Based on this expertise Heartland can take on a wide variety of production parts for your organization.
Rolled threads result in better rods with improved tensile strength, shear & fatigue resistance.
Thread rolling produces strong, smooth, precise, and uniform external thread forms with results that are much different and better than other types of threading processes. Often, rolled threads are not only preferred but also required by design because of their superior tensile, shear, and fatigue strength.
Other processes like cutting, grinding, and chasing remove material to produce the thread form, but thread rolling displaces the material with hardened steel dies. These dies typically have hardness between Rc58-Rc63 and there is a specific set of dies for each thread size and each thread form.
The result of moving the material grains (molecules) into the shape of the thread rather than weakening it by removing material, is that the grains become denser at the critical parts of the thread, especially in the root and on the flank below the pitch diameter. This effect improves the quality of the thread form. Additionally, the burnishing action of the steel dies produces an excellent (better than Ra32) micro-finish. The superior finish improves assembly between external and internal threads and reduces wear between mating components, thereby extending their life.
For over 25 years Heartland has been machining rods with rolled threads for oil and gas applications including; Natural gas compressor piston rods and Frac pump stay rods.
Specifically Heartland offers cost competitive turnkey rods that requiring tight tolerances and rolled threads. We can accommodate rods up to 60” long with milled components and threads as large as 2 ½ – 8 UN or 2 ¾ – 12 UN.
We are ecstatic to announce that Heartland Enterprises has upgraded to ISO 9001:2015 and added the AS9100D certification. The achievement of this milestone was a team effort driven by our quality assurance manager.
While there are many reasons we decided to pursue the additional AS9100D certification the primary reason simply is that it will make us better. Heartland’s primary objectives have been and will continue to be;
AS9100 widely adopted and standardized quality management system for the aerospace industry will propel Heartland to the next level as a leader in the machining of highly engineer parts. The new standard will help up better achieve our primary objectives of continuously meeting the needs and objectives of our customer and employees in the following ways;
As one of only ~10,000 certified organization world wide Heartland looks to expand on our past success while taking care of employees and old and new customers alike.
Challenges and Methods for Machining Advanced Superalloy Materials
The conventional wisdom that nickel superalloys are difficult to machine, whether by cost or failure rate, is rooted in a flawed approach. Overcoming the difficulties in machining nickel based superalloys is important since they exhibit beneficial characteristics including excellent mechanical strength, resistance to thermal creep deformation, good surface stability resistance to corrosion or oxidation, and their application in extreme, typically high temperature, environments.
Inconel, Hastelloy, Rene, and Waspaloy are nickel superalloy materials utilized as load bearing structures across a number of industries. Example applications include; pressure vessels in petrochemical plants, parts for downhole shafts and wellheads in oil and gas production, biomedical applications and rings, discs and shafts for the hot section of turbine engines. The preeminence of superalloys in aerospace is reflected in the fact that they currently comprise over 50% of the weight of advanced aircraft engines.
Challenges Machining Nickel Superalloys
A flawed approach is that stakeholders including machinists, engineers, designers, process planners, etc. treat these advanced materials like high strength, heat-treated alloys. While similar in physical properties nickel superalloys and heat-treated alloys are fundamentally different at the literal cutting edge. Heat treated materials have a higher tendency to chip and break away under shear forces, like those used by the cutting tools in machining processes. Challenges associated with machining nickel superalloys that all stakeholders should be aware of include;
Using nickel superalloys as a manufacturing material requires stakeholders to understand the issues nickel presents. The material does not weaken or deform at higher temperatures, as observed with other types of alloys, therefore nickel is more difficult to deform using typical high precision machining processes. This has kept some from utilizing nickel superalloys even though they may be superior materials depending on the application.
Methods for Machining Nickel Superalloys
Nickel superalloys strength qualities are more uniform with shear, tension, and compression forces resisted. There is no weak point that can be taken advantage of for the cutting process. Simply put, nickel superalloys require higher quality tools that are rigid enough to handle the material. With this in mind, the following tactics can be applied to successfully machine these advanced materials;
Approached with the right plan, nickel superalloys can transform the strength profile and heat resistance of a part without incurring excessive costs. Overcoming the stereotypes surrounding these sometimes frustrating materials requires preparation to understand the material specifications, budgeting appropriate job time, and selecting CNC machining service providers with extensive nickel superalloy experience.
Following up on a previous post, Maximizing Machining Relationships in Your Supply Chain we talked with Heartland Enterprises Plant Manager, Troy Spies to get a few thoughts on what to look for when selecting a quality CNC machining service provider.
Q: What are the benefits of a good quality management system?
Troy: It takes a good quality system to have continuous good parts.
Q: Do the capabilities and quality of a CNC machining service partners machines matter?
Troy: Good quality machines that are robust and repeatable with a good process you’ll have quality.
Q: What should you look for when visiting a new shop?
Troy: Cleanliness is the first thing that you see when they walk in the door. They see bright lights and clean floors, clean machines, desk tops are clear, instruments are in the right place. That sets the tone right off the bat for a quality shop.