Mathews Targets Increased Part Production with Horizontal Machining Center

THE CHALLENGE
Mathews, Inc. is a well-respected brand in the bowhunting world. In fact, it is the largest grossing bow manufacturer, producing 750 bows per day. The company’s owner has a lifelong passion for the sport, and the Sparta, Wis., company is continually innovating in order to make its products lighter, faster, quieter and more accurate.

A recent redesign of the company’s main bow changed the way the limbs on the bow are attached, using a more complicated cup system. Mathews needed to ramp up part production to be able to accommodate this design change. Its existing horizontal machining centers were not reliable enough to handle the job, and Mathews did not want to outsource. It needed to increase productivity.

THE SOLUTION
A friend of Mathews recommended looking at Makino machines. After seeing the equipment in action at another company and working with the local Makino representative on some test data, Mathews decided to purchase a Makino a51nx horizontal machining center to test it out and to help it meet its part production demands.
 
After seeing success with the first Makino horizontal machining center, Mathews purchased a second a51nx for its shop floor.



THE RESULTS
Right away, Mathews experienced 87 percent spindle time on the a51nx. Other improvements from its horizontal machining center:

   •  Productivity increased from 17 to 40 percent on parts. A lot of the time saving came from in-cycle,
       out-of-cut operations due to the B-axis rotations and tool changes being conducted at the same time
   •  Better quality surface finishes and tolerances on bearing holes of plus or minus 0.0002 inch were due
       to less vibration
   •  A 36 percent cycle-time reduction on a riser part resulted in 2:32 per part to 1:38 per part, in the full run
   •  More parts were able to fit on the fixture, producing eight parts instead of two
   •  Throughput increased by 180 percent when bringing parts from the vertical to horizontal machining center