Hoffman Estates, IL – In order to help current and future customers with their inquiries, BIG KAISER Precision Tooling has introduced an easy and convenient way to directly access the company’s experts. LiveChat is available now on BIGKAISER.com.
No matter which page a customer is on, you can connect directly and instantly with one of the company’s agents in just a few clicks.
Agents will be available during normal business hours and customers can leave a message after hours for help with questions on topics such as:
• Application support
• Tool presetting
• Pricing and availability
• Order status
• Equipment maintenance
• And more
Users can save a transcript of their chat for future reference. The chat feature appears on the lower right of any page on BIGKAISER.com.
Next Generation Tooling Opens Two Offices in California to Provide Technical Support During the Pandemic.
Sacramento, CA. - Next Generation Tooling, LLC, a manufacturer's representative agency, founded in 1995 and servicing the California Nevada Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico CNC manufacturing markets has just opened TWO offices in California.
Most of Next Generation Tooling's customers know them as "the Next Gen guys" according to Chris Savolainen, the Founder and President of 'Next Gen Tooling'.
What was the rationale of opening not one, but two offices when the entire team has worked out of their own home offices for years?
"We've grown our market service area quite a bit since we started out servicing just Northern California. We now include most of the Western States of the US. We've s been adding some of the best technical CNC application people we can find to support the unique mix of principles we represent. The products that we represent are what are considered very high performance tooling and workholding. It's some of the premiere products in our entire industry! We determined that we really needed a place to provide on-site technical training. We also needed to carry some inventory to support the unique needs of the aerospace, medical, electronics and defense industries that we support." Said Savolainen.
Rob Aldama, Vice-President of Next Gen Tool picks up the story, "At first we thought that one training and showroom might be good enough, but as we started talk to our distributor, machine dealer and end-user manufacturing customers, we discovered that there was a real need for facilities in both Northern and Southern California. None of our competitors are providing the deep technical service that has helped us gain market share, so we really felt we should just take it to the next level and open two facilities."
But what about the Pandemic?
With the Covid-19 pandemic raging there are not a lot of companies expanding. Most are cutting costs and employees. When asked about this both Chris and Rob stated that their team of people have remained pretty busy throughout this entire period.
Chris said "We get asked in to shops to provide technical support pretty often. Putting on the full body PPE suits has been kind of common for us during the past few months."
Rob picked it up from there, "I think we may be some of the really select few that have been asked to come into shops because we're not just taking orders, we're reducing cycle time and we're improving efficiency"
Chris jumped back in, "And maybe its a little bit self serving, We can have the equipment set-up at both locations instead of trying to bring it into a facility. It's actually a lot easier, faster and safer to bring people to one of our locations rather than try to move things with lots of sweat and heavy breathing in PPE."
"Yea, We can bring people to either location and do the training. There are far less interruptions and the I think people learn a lot more, and learn it faster" stated Rob.
NGT Warehouse and Training
What types of training do they provide at Next Gen's new buildings? They start off with a lot of fundamentals that people running CNC machines may never had any formal training about. That's where their basic Training Classes fit in.
But they also can go much deeper with their Advanced Part Manufacturing training series
By Jack Burley
Many shops are unaware that a lot of their spindles are BIG-PLUS, so they don’t realize the capabilities they possess that this system provides. If you identify these spindles on your floor and want to start taking advantage of them, there are some things you should know
I was recently chatting with our friends at SPS Spindle Parts and Service, LLC (Goffstown, NH). They are, to my understanding, the only certified BIG-PLUS® spindle grinder in America that performs onsite regrinds. Chris Vigneault, their onsite grinding manager, explained that most of their onsite visits, BIG-PLUS or not, are the result of a crash or poor drawbar retention that allows a tool to loosen in the spindle. That isn’t usually surprising news, but Vigneault explained that their testing and examination process often does reveal something else that is very surprising for customers: “One of the things that most customers are unaware of is that a lot of their spindles are BIG-PLUS and they simply don’t know it,” he said. “Not all, but a lot of customers lately are looking for that ability and just don’t know that they already have it.”
This is common after the purchase of a used machine tool, but shops are even more surprised when they hear this news about new machines. There are a couple of reasons this happens:
All of which begs the question, how do you find out if you have a BIG-PLUS spindle?
We have learned over the years which builders are making their spindles to BIG-PLUS as a standard or as an option, and on which models. So when I visit a customer or talk to them over the phone, I ask what brands of machines they use and compare this with the master list of authorized machine tool builders for BIG-PLUS. However, the easiest way to figure it out is to place a standard tool into the spindle and see how much of a gap there is between the tool holder flange face and spindle face. Without BIG-PLUS, the standard gap should be visible, or about .12 in. If it is BIG-PLUS, the gap is half of this amount, or only .06 in. These values change depending on 30 taper, 40 taper or 50 taper sizes, but the gap is visibly less than usual.
If you identify BIG-PLUS spindles on your floor and you want to start taking advantage, there are some things you should know. First, if you’ve been using standard V-flange tools in that spindle, you likely won’t be able to realize the full benefits of the system. Over time, standard tooling will wear the spindle in ways that change its geometries. “We were just at a shop in Connecticut checking out a BIG-PLUS spindle,” recalled Vigneault. “Because of the way it wears when you don’t use BIG-PLUS tooling – which is exactly the way this customer was using the machine – the face was very heavy, or oversized. If we were grinding it back into spec, it would probably take quite a bit of work. We would have to take a lot of material off the face to get there.”
Because both taper and face contact are what make the system shine, the geometry is critical. If someone trying to transition to BIG-PLUS tooling after learning they have the spindle doesn’t understand that, they won’t experience the performance they expect. There’s also the factor of maintenance.
If a shop didn’t know it had BIG-PLUS machines, it’s a safe bet they didn’t take the preventive steps to help preserve the crucial geometry. These include keeping the spindle, tools and carts clean; misaligned automatic tool changer arms can also harm a BIG-PLUS spindle. These very reasons are why we offer spindle and tool taper cleaners, as well as arm alignment tools. Also, resist the temptation to use less expensive, unlicensed dual-contact tools if you want to give the system a shot. These tool makers do not have the master gauges necessary to create the correct geometry . . . for reference, read my Depth of Cut column titled “Is BIG-PLUS an International Standard?” It shares comparative test results and details the risks.
There’s really one proven way to restore a BIG-PLUS spindle to proper specifications: with a certified regrind. Just as tool makers need the right gauges and measuring devices, so do spindle grinders. If you discover you have BIG-PLUS spindles and want to take advantage, keep these factors in mind to see what the system can do.
Jack Burley is the vice president of sales and engineering at BIG KAISER Precision Tooling Inc., 2600 Huntington Boulevard, Hoffman Estates, IL 60192, 847-228-4011, Fax: 847-228-0881, email@example.com, www.bigkaiser.com.
Our NEWS blog section is written by several different people. Sometimes, it from our team here at Next Generation Tooling & at other times it's by one of the manufacturer's we represent.