Ag-machine maker depends on drill sharpeners.

Position:News & analysis

Thanks to an improved agricultural market, the demand for heavy-duty grain trailers is strong. That's good news for Timpte, a 100-year-old firm in David City, NE. Timpte designs, manufactures, and assembles the trailers--the kind you see throughout the grain belt of the United States.

The 96" and 102" wide semi-trailers move the nation's bulk commodity products, including alfalfa meal, alfalfa seed, whole barley, beans, bran, brewer's grain, cracked and shelled corn, cottonseed, cornmeal, cottonseed meal, common dry dirt, and fertilizer from the farm to market. Such machinery requires at least five manufacturing phases. And there is an intense, overall umbrella of quality control required during manufacture.

One of the keys to building a sturdy, road-worthy trailer is the amount of drilling required to assemble and reinforce everything from front corners, subframes, and rear panels on these aluminum and steel rigs. But that's not all: because semi-trailers must be designed to haul tough, bulky products like wheat feed, bone meal, and other commodities, a big trap opening is required, too.

By demand and design, newer trailers have significantly more moving parts and require more assembly. The result? Additional drilling from top to bottom during manufacturing and construction.

It's not surprising that drill bits get quickly worn down.

The company used to send bits out to be sharpened, but that took too long. With both day and evening shifts at full capacity, sharpening the bits in-house made a lot more sense. Timpte sought help from Darex Corp. With more than 30 years of sharpening expertise. Darex offers machines that can resharpen the complex, high-tech points found on today's premium high-speed (HSS) and carbide drills at the touch of a button and also keep up with the high-production demands to resharpen thousands of drills.

Timpte purchased two XPS-16 sharpening machines from Darex. Maintenance technician Lumir Orborny, who has been with Timpte for 14 years, operates the automated machines.

"By sharpening in-house with our Darex machines--compared to sending out drills to be resharpened by resharpening service--we eliminate shipping costs, our inventory can be minimized because we do not have to worry about vendor turnaround, and it also give us the liberty to sharpen whatever size bit, whenever we need, to keep production running," explains Scott Styskal, a senior maintenance manager at Timpte. "There's also no need to add an extra...

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