Arsenal eyes enhanced production

April 5, 2013 at 5:54 AM
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WATERVLIET, N.Y., April 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army's Watervliet Arsenal says it has acquired machinery that could reduce machining needed on some parts as much as 60 percent.

The machines can do precision cuts to 1 micron and can do so faster and more accurately than the arsenal's present machines.

"These two machines are the first delivery of a nearly $4 million upgrade to the arsenal's minor components manufacturing operation," said Paul Nieckarz, an arsenal manufacturing foreman. "Each machine replaces 40-year-old technology that was required to machine precision components for 155mm howitzers and mortar systems."

The machines, which are being tested and are expected to be in full operation this month, are from Mori Seiki, a Japanese machining tool manufacturer that operates in the United States.

The arsenal, owned and managed by the Army, said the machines would help it expand its product line and increase its capacity to meet urgent orders.

"With this new capability, we are moving from a machine that could only machine on one axis before a new set-up was required, to one that can machine on nine different axes," Nieckarz said. "For example, a 2-hour process to machine an 81mm base cap went from 120 minutes to about 24 minutes, a savings of about 60 percent."

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