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
At the September 2014 IMTS show, Emmett Quigley, the Manager of the Airborne Instrument Development Lab at NASA Ames Research Center, was looking for a modular workholding system that would help him to quickly change over the fixturing on his table to meet the lab's demands of rapid prototyping and development.
Demanding design requirements for future development
Quigley had several initial requirements:
Emmett looked at a couple of systems but post IMTS only mPower had followed up with the information he needed to start the design. He found that the Modern Industries mPower modular tombstones and fixturing systems would meet his needs, but would need some customization to truly get the maximum use of his machines table space and travels. The mPower system was to be implemented on two machines to begin with. The first would be the labs workhorse, a Deckel MAHO DMU70V. The next machine would be a Deckel Maho MH600C Universal Milling Machine. The MAHO is unique in that it has both a horizontal and vertical spindle as well as a full fourth axis capability.
After several email exchanges and design discussions with regional manager Chris Savolainen and Ron Bemis, the Application Engineer at Modern Industries the team spent from from October 15th through 17th reviewing the various part shapes and size requirements to define the subplate hole locations that would provide the very best versatility to meet the needs of the lab.
It was decided to go with 2" x 2", 1/2 -13 bolt hole pattern in 1.5 “ thick aluminum plates. However they needed to modify the DMU plate by adding the through hole so they can reach the table with their tool setter. Quigley then need to duplicate the plates in steel.
The final requirement was that the lab needed to have the locating/clamping features below the surface as these plates will need to be surfaced from time to time.
Due to budget constraints the system had to be developed with consideration for the longer term lab requirements so that it could eventually expand for upcoming new projects. Preparing for the unknown problem has always been part of the mission at NASA so long term contingency planning is the norm.
In June of 2015, phase one of the project was implemented on the Deckel Maho DMU70V machine.
Quigley's thoughts on the implementation thus far:
According to Savolainen "NASA's Airborne Instrument Development Lab at Ames really considers both current needs and future needs when they look at workholding systems. The machines and equipment have to be versatile enough to handle current projects but also new research projects that might not even exist until 10 or 15 years from now. They really put a great deal of thought into products before they get them and it's actually a real pleasure to work with engineers who plan and think so far into the future!"
Here's a quick overview of the newest tooling innovations we found at IMTS 2014. We've listed a short summary and some on-site video directly from the IMTS show floor.
We'll be following up with more details on these great new manufacturing innovations in the next several months.
The folks at Cutting Tool Engineering are really to be commended for creating many of the videos featuring the highlights of the hottest new products at IMTS 2014.
Allied Machine & Engineering Corp.
IMTS Booth: W-2034
Allied introduced and featured the Apex Line of Tools for large diameter Drilling at 3, 5 & 10X D.
Also, if you haven't checked out the Instaquote online quoting and ordering tools. Check it out online!
BIG Kaiser Precision Tooling Inc.
IMTS Booth: W-1600
The Smart Damper deep hole boring system for finish boring & roughing and finish milling operations.
The Smart Damper is a Tool Holder with Integrated Damping System for Deep Hole Finish Boring and Extended Reach Milling.
Other new tool holders that where on display where the micro-tap and large-tap solutions in the Mega Synchro Tapping Holder series, the new Hydraulic Chuck Super Slim line, and the Mega Micro Chuck 8S.
IMTS Booth: W-2054
Heimatec was featuring their BMT tooling which is supplied with the company’s unique U-Tec® flexible machining system. It provides extremely high power transmission via polygonal drive. The Integrated collet nut, with easy changeout, can convert the output to arbor (for face mills), Weldon or ER collet extensions.
They also featured their Z- Axis high-torque tool! See it in the video Milling hexagonal parts from 303 bar stock on a Miyano BNA42 GTY.
IMTS Booth: W-1916
A great video overview of the mPower products. They highlighted the unique self extracting feature of the SpeedLoc mounting system using a robot. They also displayed the ModLoc hollow tombstone technology so that hydraulic and pneumatic clamping comments can be installed internally. Also featured was the SpinLoc indexer for HMC's. Check out the video!
NTK Cutting Tools
IMTS Booth: W-1179
NTK introduced the new SiALON SX & Ceramic inserts for machining high temperature alloys. It has excellent wear resistance and reduces the cycle time by reducing the number of cutting passes required in these tough to machine materials.
IMTS Booth: W-1075
Techniks introduced their "game-changing inserts" to reduce wasted inserts & increase productivity. One insert for ALL materials. The LT1000 grade features their patented coating, making them harder & tougher than other brands, so you can use one insert for ALL materials.
• Break-thru Swiss technology
• 3.5x thicker coating
• 250% longer tool lfe
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.