Set-ups reduced from days to hours

Worthing-based Bowers & Wilkins, a manufacturer of loudspeakers found in recording studios and the homes of serious audio fans, machines the wooden speaker cabinets of its flagship 800 D3 series loudspeakers to extremely high tolerances. Furthermore, due to the great deal of customisation that take place during the process, each cabinet takes 31 days to manufacture. To facilitate faster tool changes without any loss
of accuracy, Bowers & Wilkins decided to implement zero-point mounting systems from Roemheld.
Senior production engineer Derek Saunders was instrumental in designing the project to fit Stark Easy Click zero point elements to 12 tables on seven machines, five of which were twin-table models. Each table had a minimum of six Easy Click zero point elements, with the largest table measuring 2 x 1.25 m. Once in place, the Roemheld system reduced set-up times from 2-4 days down to just a matter of hours.
Chief engineer at Bowers & Wilkins, Jerry Gray, says: “We had two measures of success: we had to be able to take the tool out and put it back without any alterations to programming or tooling; and we had to be able to change the product over, load the tools, and the only change allowed was to set the tool lengths. We achieved both of these measures, which in combination with reduced set-up times, makes us more flexible and agile as a company since we can work on smaller batch sizes and undertake two or three tool changes a day.”
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