Gear Production

MAR 2015

Gear Production

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March 2015—15 the gear industry. Says Rustin Mikel, director of corporate marketing, "Those facing long lead times from gear suppliers or shortages of skilled labor can offoad their operational work to Forest City Gear." The program is designed to quote jobs fast and effciently, offer free gear inspection and perform additional gear analysis. The Roscoe Works building, a second facility behind FCG's main manufacturing plant, is currently being transformed into a make-complete production cell that will handle high-volume production work. "We're dedicating equipment for a cellular manufacturing network that will offer turning, rough hobbing, OD grinding, hard turning, skiving, some assembly and broaching," says CEO Fred Young. "All of these capabilities, with the exception of broaching and hard turning, will be automated." Everything the company has learned from separating the work will be used in this new endeavor. "We'll have some new capabilities as a result of this cell, including skiving to Class 10 and carbide re-hobbing," Mr. Lyford says. Identifying Value Streams The plan at FCG is to continue to evaluate the impact these value streams will have on future business. "My end goal is to totally separate them at some point, from receipt of order all the way to shipping dock," Mr. Lyford says. "That way, each is self-contained. We want a different person quoting, engineering and ordering for cut-teeth- only and make-complete projects. The pieces are almost in place." Quality and inspection is the next area that the company may evaluate to determine if resources should be separated for the different projects. "Our inspection lab can get pretty tied down in make-complete work. If we could fnd a way to separate this from the cut-teeth projects without additional investment, it would make a great deal of sense," says Mr. Lyford, adding that deburring is another area that might eventually get mixed into the cut-teeth-only program. From a business perspective, the gear industry has enough work for FCG to stay competitive in both value streams, whether it's aerospace, defense, medical, transportation or off-highway work. "We've cut gears for a lot of other gear companies, some that offer the same product lines. There is so much overlap in this industry," Mr. Lyford says. "It does, however, feel like there is a much stronger presence regarding the whole part. Customers don't want to have different vendors handling different segments if they can help it. It seems like there's a transition happening in the industry to make the complete part." FCG's Roscoe Works building is currently being transformed into a make-complete production cell. This layout illustrates what FCG's new Roscoe Works cellular manufacturing network will look like upon completion in 2015. Forest City Gear, call 815-623-2168 or visit Gleason Corp., call 585-473-1000 or visit Exact JobBoss, call 800-777-4334 or visit

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