CUSTOMER STORY – JR MACHINE
EXCELLENCE IN EFFICIENCY:
JR MACHINE AND DMG MORI MESSENGER
MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR
Established in 1992, JR Machine in Shawano, WI is a ISO-certified leading contract manufacturer for OEM and Tier 1-2 manufacturers. They serve a variety of industries, from heavy machinery and equipment, to military and defense, hydraulics, fire suppression, medical technology, vehicle racing, and energy. JR specializes in complex precision- machined parts up to 10″ in diameter and 28″ long, as well as manufacturing services such as prototyping, engineering, CNC welding, and assembly.
Twenty-three DMG MORI machine tools are installed in total, with a majority based on the proven DMG MORI NLX 2500 platform. Most recently they expanded in automation – two multi-turret NZX 2000 Gantry machines were installed in the past year to drive higher production in a compact footprint. JR’s success can in part be attributed to their application of Lean Manufacturing principles. A key element of the improvement was the installation and application of DMG MORI Messenger.
Five years ago JR began utilizing Messenger, DMG MORI’s web-based monitoring software that provides live status, alerts, and data collection capabilities. One such capability is the ability to keep track of actual machining time – a data set that is nearly impossible to capture without software.
Based on this capability, JR created a simple metric in order to drive and track improvements. By comparing direct payroll hours to actual machining hours, they could see exactly how efficient the shop was running. Initial results showed room for improvement. Only 0.57 to 0.88 machining hours were taking place for every hour of labor.
Doubled Operational Efficiency
Operational time such as workpiece transfers are often the largest contributor to loss of machining time. JR was able to reverse this by tracking these inefficiencies in Messenger and targeting them for improvement, driving the metric up to above 1.0. Nowadays the metric hovers between the 1.2-1.4 range. This means every operator is responsible for more than one machine on their shift.
President Tim Tumanic adds, “through our continuous improvement efforts – and DMG MORI Messenger is a part of that – we were able to drive our direct labor from 18% down to 11%”
Today the software is used for monthly metrics and live monitoring on a large display in the shop. “At the end of a month we pull together the direct labor hours and the machine hours and assign the productivity index. That’s one of our key metrics on our monthly scorecard,” says Mr. Tumanic.
He adds that local support is also convenient, as DMG MORI maintains a US-based software team.
Established in 1992, JR Machine in Shawano, WI is a ISO-certified leading contract manufacturer for Continuous Improvement Culture
One hurdle of installing monitoring software can be operator reception. Some machinists may worry that software is installed for operator oversight. When asked about such a response, Mr. Tumanic says it is simply not the case.
“That was communicated to our employees when we put it in. Let’s use this as a tool to get better – it isn’t Big Brother looking over your shoulder. And because of the culture we’ve built, that’s not even a consideration. Culture and open communication are the key – that drives the culture.”
This culture has expanded the business by over 55% in recent years, and in 2019 they won the Wisconsin Manufacturing & Commerce “Manufacturer of the Year” among companies with less than 100 employees.
Smart Business Tracking machine productivity has also empowered JR to make smart investment decisions. Each machine addition is proven by monitoring data. Messenger is used to identify equipment limitations and expand capacity.
When asked about the future of machining, Tim’s message was clear: “We see more automation.” JR Machine recently began utilizing bar feeding on their NLX machines, and their most recent NZX 2000 Gantry expansion uses three turrets and an integrated gantry system to achieve maximum efficiency in a compact footprint. The justification is even more clear when using Messenger, as one can track both part throughput and operational time to identify a machine’s operational value.
JR MACHINE FACTS
- Founded in Shawano, WI in 1992
- Contract manufacturer for OEMs and top-tier suppliers across a variety of industries
- Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year, 2018
1355 Beauprey Road
Shawano, WI 54166