The manufacturing industry is entering the next generation of technology. Automation capabilities such as 5-axis machining and lights-out manufacturing are revolutionizing the way precision machine shops handle large part orders.
As always, Reata is one step ahead.
At our Colorado machine shop, we’re leveraging our robust 5-axis technology to improve our prototype machining services. Keep reading to learn how our powerful multi-axis machines accelerate our prototyping process.
How Our Multi-Axis Technology Supports Prototype Machining Services
Reata invested in two top-of-the-line VARIAXIS i-300 AWC machines to help us better serve customers seeking quick turnarounds for high-quality parts.
Each VARIAXIS i-300 holds between 145 and 205 tools, and the automated pallet systems run anywhere from 32 to 40 parts at a time! Our programming software quickly makes feature adjustments to the 5-axis system. These capabilities give Reata a great deal of flexibility when prototyping.
The benefits of 5-axis machining
5-axis machining combines turning and milling operations and automates tooling, eliminating the potential for human error and enabling tighter tolerances. It also significantly improves tooling capabilities—on average, our mills hold 20 tools at a time, and our lathes hold only eight.
Setting up a traditional machine takes half the day; programming a 5-axis machine is much faster and lower-risk. Plus, once our 5-axis machine is set up, the software will save the setup for a seamless transition from prototype to production.
With 5-axis machining, we can achieve more consistent and accurate parts while decreasing labor costs.
The benefits of a pallet system
In a traditional machining setup, prototype projects would have to wait until the current production run is finished. Depending on the size of the project, that could take over a week.
However, our 5-axis machining pallet system can easily reset the tools to the previous project after the prototype is manufactured. This capability allows our team to pause a larger production to meet your rapid prototyping needs.
The benefits of lights-out manufacturing
Lights-out manufacturing is hugely beneficial in prototype machining, but probably not in the way you’re thinking. We don’t run prototypes overnight—instead, we run our established, large-scale productions overnight. This approach gives our highly skilled day-shift machinists more time to dedicate to prototyping.
Case Study: Reata Cuts Customer’s Lead Time in Half
Recently, one of our customers requested a quote for a prototype with a deadline of two weeks. We sent our quote the same day using Paperless Parts and immediately started on the parts thanks to our 5-axis machining capabilities.
Two of our programmers input the parts into our i-300 in under three days, and we began machining. However, while we were conducting the first article inspection, the customer emailed us requesting a few last-minute changes to the part.
That would have set most shops back a few days. We were back on track with the new first article inspection in four hours.
We ultimately delivered the parts in just one week, cutting the already accelerated lead time in half. Our customer was blown away, but we couldn’t take all the credit—it was only possible because of our exceptional 5-axis machining capabilities.
Our 5-Axis Machining Capabilities Make Prototyping a Breeze
The Reata team loves exceeding customer expectations—some might say it’s what we do best. We prioritize investments like our i-300 machines, which save our customers time and money while providing high-quality prototypes.
Our multi-axis machining capabilities empower us to put your needs first every time. Our goal is to prove that you don’t have to choose between quality and efficiency—Reata will give you both.
Request a quote for your rapid prototyping needs.