Critical to Quality All The Way Out the Door

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;

  • Deburring – Sharp edges are dangerous and unacceptable on machined parts. Our shipping department is the gatekeeper ensuring parts are appropriately deburred before they are shipped. This ensures that parts are received safely at the customer location ready for sale, integration into an assembly, or the next machining operation.
  • FOD Prevention – A final review for Foreign Object Debris (FOD) ensures parts are shipped without articles or substances on / in them which could potentially cause damage. While FOD prevention is critical for aerospace applications it’s also applicable for any finished parts regardless of the industry.
  • Assembly – Most multiple component assemblies, based on customer required, are completed within our shipping department.
  • Stamping, Marking & Identification – Heartland ensure that all customer required information per their specification is stamped onto individual parts. Our shipping department utilizes dot peen direct part marking which provides the following advantages;
    • Permanent marks
    • Good marking depth
    • Highly visible mark
    • Low-stress marking

Upon completion and prior to shipping the stamping content is double checked by our quality team.

  • Individual Part Packaging – Preparation and packaging of each piece always meets customer requirements that may include; rust prevention, individual packaging, sleeving parts, wrapping in specialty wax paper, etc.
  • Packing – Parts are packed as efficiently as possible to meet customer specifications. We ensure that each box / crate is sturdy and durable with cardboard protection inside to ensure parts do not come in contact with each other during transit. Heartland has a full woodshop that enables us to produce custom packaging for the secure transit of diverse sized parts.
  • Loading – Safe transport from the shipping area to the loading dock and onto awaiting trucks is critical. Securing the load in the carriers trailer can reduce any unnecessary transit damage.

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.

Heartland Honing for Cylindricity

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.

A Natural Gas Compression Legacy

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;

  • Pistons / Piston Halves / Ring Carriers – Machining medium to large size parts that meet exacting standards for integration within highly engineered systems
  • Piston/Rod Assemblies – Producing and assembling pistons and rods that are concentric within .001
  • Cylinder Liners – Experience planning and executing efficient machining processes to ensure success with ultra tight tolerance parts. Including staging multiple operations that includes turning, honing, and milling tubular parts
  • Rods & shafts – Extensive experience making parts that are heat-treated, ground to very tight tolerances, with rolled threads

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.

Heartland Enterprises Overview

Dave Campbell:  We are an ISO certified production machine shop.  Our capabilities focus on 2″ to 42″ diameter parts.   We utilize a wide range of CNC equipment.  We like to use top of the line and we try to stay with Okuma, its very robust equipment.

We built the business with two pillars: taking care of employees and taking care of customers surrounded with the whole element of quality.  Because quality is a mindset and when you want employees you want them thinking quality.   Everybody here cares about the customers and meeting customer needs so that means that as their needs come up we do everything and everybody in the shop does everything they can to meet those needs.

We’re always looking for those things we can do that make us better, faster, quicker.  We have a very rigorous quality process ISO certified of course.   But more important than just the process is the environment in which we have that process working.  We have quality equipment, we have a clean and well organized environment, we have empowered employees, we have teamwork.   All that allows us to deliver quality to the customer.

You know, I often hear people say, “what’s a facility like this doing in Fredericksburg?”