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
BIG Kaiser brings flexible workholding to 5-axis machine tables by surrounding Unilock zero-point quick-change receivers with a grid pattern. The benefits of 5-axis machines are greatest when workholding is based on the size and shape of the workpiece instead of the limitations of the table interface. By providing multiple workholding opportunities, Unilock users quickly integrate most workholding products and keep their machine spindles up and running.
Providing BIG Kaiser with a drawing of your machine table (or the make and model number) is all it takes to get started. Clients can also request production drawings or use third party suppliers. BIG Kaiser offers several flexible machine table interfaces, some of which can be delivered as turnkey solutions. We can pull workpieces down onto the table to maximize the available envelope, or elevate workpieces for complete 5-sided access.
To be competitive in today's market, all machines need efficient workpiece handling. Efficient part loading systems are always included in the acquisition of high-volume manufacturing cells but all too often getting fixtures on and off the CNC milling machine is forgotten. In today's market, time is money. The UNILOCK system from Big Kaiser removes set-up time and replaces it with production time.
How it works
The UNILOCK utilizes spring pressure to drive wedges against a tapered wedge lock (clamping knob). Air pressure is used to compress the springs, releasing the wedge lock. Clamping is achieved by bleeding the air pressure out of the chuck. To facilitate palletization, the clamping knob is attached to a base plate, fixture or directly to a workpiece. The result is quick and repeatable clamping.
During day-to-day use, chucks can be cleaned with compressed air. The fit between the clamping rams and the chuck body will not allow air pressure to push chips inside of the chuck. If you get chips in the clamping pocket, simply blow them out with an air gun. When open, the wedges completely retract. The one-to-one length to diameter ratio of the pocket is easily blown out. There is no need for a vacuum. The 40mm tall by 40mm diameter clamping knob is extremely stable and can double as a foot when moving fixtures and workpieces around the shop. You will not need protective sleeves or special shelving when storing or transporting UNILOCK palletized fixtures or workpieces. Male and female threads are available in multiple sizes.
Fixtures and many workpieces are easily adapted to the UNILOCK clamping knobs. Tremendous savings are available if the fixture or workpiece can be reoriented
or transferred to machine additional faces while remaining attached to the UNILOCK clamping components. On horizontal machines with columns, fixtures can be rotated 90 degrees or moved to the top. Transferring fixtured parts through as many operations as possible eliminates additional fixtures and clamping/unclamping time. Less clamping and unclamping of parts also reduces scrap and improves feature-to-feature accuracies.
Once you grab the part, you can use the UNILOCK to send it to as many operations as possible without removing the part from the fixture. UNILOCK positions and clamps from one face leaving the other faces available for machining. Rotary tables, angle/sine plates and multi-sided tombstones facilitate part reorientation for subsequent operations.
Give us a call if you have an workholding application that costing you money and let's see if we can come up with a UNILOCK solution
Have you seen the Big Kaiser UniLock? It's a great modular workholding system for quick changeover and quick location. We're finding that alot of our customers who are using it are telling us that it's been a real time saver for workpiece set-up and changeover especially in the short delivery small lot size repeat jobs. The great thing about it is that it can be moved from a CNC Vertical Mill to a CNC lathe and then onto a Horizontal CNC with no real loss of data points from re-clamping.
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.
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