Maximizing business opportunities often requires the evaluation of new capital expenditures to meet the customers' requirements. That is precisely what Olathe, KS-based Webco Manufacturing Inc. experienced when a number of its good customers, including one of the major construction equipment manufacturers, awarded it new contracts that involved manufactured parts that exceeded Webco's current CMM measuring capability.
Mike Miller, Webco manufacturing quality manager, explains the circumstances: "Because quality and delivery were the major reasons why we were awarded the parts manufacturing contracts, the option of using outside CMM services was basically eliminated. The added transportation and handling costs added a level of unwanted time and expense that negatively impacted the profit margins and our accurate control of the delivery process.
"Having in-house CMM measuring capability," he adds, "is a significant asset in our fabrication business. We soon realized that the remanufactured Sheffield RS 150 CMM, which we had recently purchased to meet the requirements for some of our new business, was not large enough for the subsequent new business we had secured." Miller continues:
"Originally, we had purchased the remanufactured Sheffield RSIS0 equipped with OpenDMIS software from Xspect Solutions. Steve Cormier, sales manager of Xspect Solutions, had initially provided a useful detailed evaluation of our metrology needs, and the remanufactured Sheffield RS150 was selected at that time. When we had some problems with the remanufactured CMM, we were very impressed with Xspect's timely and professional service support for that machine. When we determined that the Sheffield CMM was not exactly what we needed, we again contacted Steve and explained what had changed.
"He personally met with us to make new recommendations," Miller says. "This time we agreed on the purchase of a new Wenzel 12.30.10, which we found to be very competitively priced, even compared to similar rebuilt machines. We already had the suite of OpenDMIS software, so our programmers were experienced with its operation. In addition, we were offered a full trade-in value against the cost of the new machine and were allowed to keep the Sheffield in production during the four months prior to delivery. All in all, this has been a very...