- Buyer's Guide
KBC Tools & Machinery has been supplying the North American metalworking industry with the best tools at the best prices for 45 years. In doing so, we’ve been able to learn a great deal from our clients about how productivity can be improved in their manufacturing facilities. Today’s market is more competitive and time-driven than ever, and let’s face it: seemingly small workflow improvements can often result in huge gains in the medium and long term. Like it or not, these cumulative advantages may mean the competitive difference between keeping and losing crucial clients and contracts.
Working with our partners to find effective tooling solutions for their shops has confirmed, time and time again, that accuracy and throughput can be greatly increased simply by choosing the best tool for the job. There are many enhancements to choose from, so we thought we’d shorten the list by giving you KBC’s top five improvements for shops with one to 40 machinists. Let’s get that shop really pumping!
1) Add a digital readout to any mill, lathe, or grinder currently without one.
The Digital Readout (DRO) is a must for shops everywhere, and not just because you’ll feel like you’re piloting the Starship Enterprise with all those buttons around. Fitted to machines such as lathes, cylindrical grinders, milling machines, surface grinders, and boring mills, DROs allow an operator to boost both speed and accuracy. They are highly functional, giving you instant finger tip control over the most frequent shop operations. More specific advantages include:
2) Add a power drawbar to any manual milling machine without it.
Manual drawbars are a royal pain to change, and let’s not forget the safety risk posed by frequent trips up that rickety old shop ladder. Power drawbars are used in place of manual drawbars, and they have some tremendous advantages:
3) Install a quick-change tool post system on your lathe(s).
Regardless of the size of your shop, you’re always on the lookout for ways to speed up simple jobs on the lathe. The quick-change tool post is a great way to do just that. With this system, the tools you need are always set in the holder and if any adjustment or change is required, it can be done quickly with little hassle. Such shortcuts may seem minor on their own, but added up over the course of a year’s work they contribute greatly to overall productivity. Plus, it looks a bit like a gun turret on a naval warship – very cool!
4) Use an automatic cycle bandsaw to cut your stock.
Yes, it’s big, and no, it’s not cheap, but the automatic cycle bandsaw will greatly streamline cutting activities in your facility and therefore pay for itself in short order. These machines are fully automatic, meaning all you have to do is preset the number of cuts, adjust the stock feed for the desired length of the cut and let the saw do the rest. It will repeat the automatic cycle and switch to off when finished or when the stock is exhausted. With no attendant required, the time savings are enormous.
5) Replace manual tool room machines with CNC to save set-up and run time.
It used to be that even the mention of computer numerical control (CNC) caused the company accountants to sweat. Times have changed, and where once CNC was cost prohibitive to all but the largest facilities, advances in technology have brought it within the reach of just about every shop regardless of size. In the old days, a trained engineer was required to run center lathes, vertical millers, routers, and various other important pieces of machinery which are all now candidates for this incredible technology. If you’re looking for advantages, look no further than CNC and its numerous benefits:
From the smallest bit to the largest machine, KBC has a tool to meet your needs. Check out www.kbctools.com or call 800-521-1740.