Universal Plastics - Forming Customers for Life

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Wed, Mar 11, 2015

Tags: CNC, plastics, tooling, Model 67, aerospace, molds, medical, plastic trimming, vacuum forming, thermoforming, 5 axis plastics, pressure forming

Thermwood CNC machines are used across a wide variety of Industries.  One Thermwood Customer – Universal Plastics and Mayfield Plastics - are involved in the thermoforming of plastic materials.

Since Universal Plastics was founded in 1965, they have been a leader in the thermoforming industry.

The Universal plant has over 95,000 square feet and over 80 employees.  As Universal Plastics has grown, they have refined and further developed the thermoforming process to allow the manufacture of large and complex products that could never have been conceived in the previous generation. Today’s thermoformed products can match the quality and finish of injection molding, in high performance plastics, and in sizes that dwarf the capabilities of most molders.

Universal Plastics with one of their Thermwood CNC Routers

Universal utilizes Thermwood CNC machines for trimming of complex thermoformed parts as well as producing thermoforming tooling.  In fact, Universal and Mayfield Plastics have purchased 10 Thermwood C67 machines in the last seven years.

Thermoforming tooling can be built from wood, composite, cast aluminum, or machined aluminum billet. Temporary molds are commonly built of wood or composites, which can be easily machined. Permanent tools are either machined or cast aluminum, depending on the depth of the tool. Thermoforming tools can be modified easily, so changes can be made quickly and for much less money than the hardened steel tooling typical of molded parts.  For this reason alone, thermoforming is often the better process if your design hasn’t been solidified.

Universal believes quality parts are a direct result of quality tools, and take great pride in making quality machined or cast aluminum tools that deliver consistent quality products year after year. Our 5 full time toolmakers have a combined 100 years’ experience in tool and fixture making and they build many of tools in-house.

Mold makers use cast aluminum molds for larger quantities production. Aluminum molds are designed by CAD designers.  Once designed, these mold designs are transferred to Thermwood CNC routers that produce the patterns required for the final mold.

Universal PlasticsUniversal PlasticsUniversal Plastics

Also of note, the Western Mass Chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association conduct several tours of member companies each year to give the membership a view of the diversity of the companies that do machining.  About 25 members of the WMNTMA visited Universal in February for a tour of their facility and in particular, to review the mold making and machining capabilities. Universal produces about 30% of their tooling and the balance is purchased from tool vendors around the country and area.

The Western Mass chapter has machine shops as well as vendors to the machining industry in their membership.

For more information visit www.mayfieldplastics.com and www.universalplastics.com

Thermwood Model 70 and 77 for Large Format Aerospace, Composite, Pattern and Mold Machining

Posted by Duane Marrett on Thu, Feb 05, 2015

Tags: CNC, Composites, 5 Axis, CNC Router, aerospace, Model 70, Model 77, trimming, molds, patterns

The Thermwood Multi-Purpose Five Axis Series combines all the elements needed for the machining of large aerospace and composite materials as well as trimming and machining large format patterns and molds/plugs for the aviation and defense industries.

Here we look at the Thermwood Model 77 and Model 70.  These heavy-duty, high-speed, moving gantry machines are ideal for machining of large applications using large/heavy fixtures.


Multi-Purpose 77

The Multi-Purpose 77 is a heavy-duty, high-speed contained system for the machining of large aerospace and composite materials (various sizes available):

Features:

  • 12HP HSD Tool Change Spindle (3,000-24,000 RPM Spindle) (other spindles available)
  • Impact Resistant 5 Axis Head 
  • 36" Z (other sizes available)
  • 10 Position Rotary Tool Change System
  • Full 5 Axis Simultaneous Motion
  • Fixed Drill and Tapped Aluminum Table
  • Conventional Style Vacuum Plumbing
  • Heavy Duty Access Doors
  • Tool Center Point Programming (TCP)
  • Rapid Speed: 3500 inches per minute
  • Moving Gantry
  • Thermwood Q Core SuperControl
  • Siemens Intelligent Servo Drives Throughout
  • Volumetric 3D Laser Compensated Axis Alignment
  • Automatic Tool Length Sensor
  • Chip Collection
  • Multi-Function Nemi Pod Table
  • Machine Training and Installation
  • Free Lifetime Phone/Forum Support 
Thermwood Model 77 5x10 CNC Router

Model 77 10x20 Fixed Table


Videos (please click images to view videos on our blog)

 

 

 

 


Multi-Purpose 70

The Multi-Purpose 70 is designed for aerospace and composite applications utilizing large/heavy fixtures (various sizes available):

Features:

  • 12HP HSD Tool Changer Spindle (3,000-24,000 RPM larger spindle sizes available)
  • Impact Resistant 5 Axis Head 
  • Fixed Aluminum Table
  • Moving Gantry
  • 24" Z Standard (available up to 60")
  • Full 5 Axis Simultaneous Motion
  • Siemens Intelligent Servo Drives Throughout
  • 3D Laser Compensated Axis Alignment
  • Thermwood QCore SuperControl
  • Tool Center Point Programming (TCP)
  • Chip Collection System
  • Multi-Function Nemi Pod Table 
  • In the Leg Tool Changer 
  • Bar Style Tool Changer
  • Automatic Lubrication
  • Automatic Tool Length Sensor
Thermwood Model 70 10x20 CNC Router

Model 70 10x20 Fixed Table

Thermwood Model 70 10x10 CNC Router

Model 70 10x10 Fixed Table


Videos (please click images to view videos on our blog)

 

 


More Info

To find out more about either of these two machines, or any of our other 5 axis offerings, please give us a call at 1-800-533-6901 or click below to fill out an information request form.  We hope to hear from you soon!

Request More Information from Thermwood

Thermwood 5 Axis Multi-Purpose CNC Routers

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, May 16, 2014

Tags: CNC Routers, 5 Axis, Technology, CNC Router, Model 90, Model 67, aerospace, Model 70, Model 77

The Thermwood Multi-Purpose Five Axis Series combines all the elements needed for trimming formed parts, patterns or molds using five-axis simultaneous motions.  

Whether you are interested in a moving table machine for high-speed trimming, a fixed table for large aerospace and composite fixtures or a high-wall machine, we have a solution for you:


Multi-Purpose 67

The Multi-Purpose 67 is an entry-level five axis available with a variety of either single or dual moving aluminum table sizes.

Thermwood Model 67 7x10 CNC Router

Model 67 7x10 Single Moving Table

Thermwood Model 67 10x5 CNC Router

Model 67 5x10 Dual Moving Tables


Videos

 

 

 


Multi-Purpose 90

The Multi-Purpose 90 is a heavy-duty five-axis designed for high-speed trimming and pattern machining, available in single or dual moving aluminum tables.

Thermwood Model 90 5x12 Dual Table CNC Router

Model 90 5x12 Dual Moving Tables

Thermwood Model 90 10x5 CNC Router

Model 90 10x5 Single Moving Table


Videos


Multi-Purpose 70

The Multi-Purpose 70 is designed for aerospace and composite applications utilizing large/heavy fixtures (various sizes available).

Thermwood Model 70 10x20 CNC Router

Model 70 10x20 Fixed Table

Thermwood Model 70 10x10 CNC Router

Model 70 10x10 Fixed Table


Video


Multi-Purpose 77

The Multi-Purpose 77 is a heavy-duty, high-speed contained system for the machining of large aerospace and composite materials (various sizes available). 

Thermwood Model 77 5x10 CNC Router

Model 77 10x20 Fixed Table


Videos


More Info

Click to Calculate the Value of a CNC Investment

Thermwood Five Axis Alignment Verification Routine

Posted by Duane Marrett on Thu, Mar 07, 2013

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, software, software update, Composites, CNC Routers, 5 Axis, Announcements, CNC Router, Model 90, aerospace, Model 70, Model 77, Video, QCore, SuperControl, introduction

Thermwood Five Axis Alignment Verification Routine

Thermwood has developed our new Five Axis Alignment Verification Routine which is used to record and populate the alignment measurement values into the Thermwood QCore control system (after machine alignments are manually performed).  

This routine automatically checks alignment in multiple axes and allows alignment to be quickly verified between jobs.  The routine compares the measured values to the default values.

The Thermwood 5 Axis Alignment Verification Routine includes:

  • Renishaw high-tolerance tooling sensor
  • Precision ground pin
  • Dedicated tool holder
  • Collet and all mounting hardware.


For more information on the Five Axis Alignment Verification Routine, please contact us at 1-800-533-6901.

 

 

Thermwood to show Model 77 at JEC Americas Trade Show

Posted by Duane Marrett on Tue, Nov 06, 2012

Tags: Thermwood, Composites, 5 Axis, Announcements, Trade Shows, CNC Router, aerospace, Model 77, JEC Americas

Thermwood at 2012 JEC Americas Trade Show

Thermwood would like to invite you to visit us at the JEC Americas Trade Show in Boston, MA.

When:   Wednesday November 7th to Friday November 9th
Where:  Boston Convention and Exhibition Center -Booth #E14

Thermwood Model 77 CNC Machining CenterWe are exhibiting the latest Thermwood equipment:- Featuring our newest 5 Axis CNC Router - the Thermwood Model 77.

For a limited time, you can receive a FREE Visitor's Badge to attend the show free of charge - act now to take advantage of this offer!

 

 

 


Model 77 Standard OptionsAbout the Model 77 CNC Machining Center:

 

The Thermwood Model 77 5x10 (larger sizes are available) is a heavy duty five-axis CNC router specifically developed for three dimensional machining. This stationary table high wall machine was designed using advanced 3D software utilizing Finite Element Analysis. All major welds including the base and gantry are stress relieved to provide long term stability. This machine is inspected and calibrated utilizing a precision volumetric laser system.   

Features:
• 12 HP (3,000-24,000 RPM) Spindle
• Impact Resistant 5 Axis Head
• 10 Position Rotary Tool Change System
• Rapid Speed: 3500 inches per minute
• Moving Gantry
QCore SuperControl
• Siemens Intelligent Servo Drives Throughout
• Volumetric 3D Laser Compensated Axis Alignment
• Automatic Tool Length Sensor
• Machine Training and Installation
• Free Lifetime Phone/Forum Support

More information can be found here

 

 

 

Thermwood Model 77 5 Axis CNC Machining Center

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Oct 26, 2012

Tags: Thermwood, Composites, 5 Axis, Announcements, CNC Router, aerospace, Model 77, Product Information, 3-D volumetric compensation, Continuous C-Axis Rotation

The Thermwood Model 77 5x10 (larger sizes are available) is a heavy duty five-axis CNC router specifically developed for three dimensional machining. This stationary table high wall machine was designed using advanced 3D software utilizing Finite Element Analysis. All major welds including the base and gantry are stress relieved to provide long term stability. This machine is inspected and calibrated utilizing a precision volumetric laser system.   

 

Features:
• 12 HP (3,000-24,000 RPM) Spindle
• Impact Resistant 5 Axis Head
• 10 Position Rotary Tool Change System
• Rapid Speed: 3500 inches per minute
• Moving Gantry
QCore SuperControl
• Siemens Intelligent Servo Drives Throughout
• Volumetric 3D Laser Compensated Axis Alignment
• Automatic Tool Length Sensor
• Machine Training and Installation
• Free Lifetime Phone/Forum Support

More information can be found here

 

 

Thermwood Model 77 5 Axis CNC Machining Center

 

 

Thermwood Corporation: CNC Innovator

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Wed, Jan 06, 2010

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, CNC Routers, 3 Axis, 5 Axis, Technology, aerospace, Wind Energy, Ken Susnjara, energy digital, cnc innovator, 3-D volumetric compensation, GSA

This article is also available to view here

 

Thermwood Corporation, always on the cutting edge of technology, is now taking its CNC expertise to new markets

Written by Militza Richard & Produced by Shaheen Mohammadipour

The Thermwood Corporation has never been intimidated by technology. Founded in 1969 as a plastic molder for wood-grained parts for the furniture industry, the company developed their own CNC tool in the mid 1970s.

"We ended up building the first CNC control system ever offered commercially," says company founder and CEO Ken Susnjara. The company developed its own operating systems and evolved their CNC routers into a very powerful and capable system.

Used to cut, trim and shape a wide variety of materials including wood, plastic, composites, foam, honeycomb core and non-ferrous metals into either flat or three-dimensional shaped products, CNC routers have changed the face of the machine industry. Thermwood is the oldest CNC router company in the world and the only CNC manufacturer in the country with a GSA certification.

With customers ranging from NASA to Broadway, Thermwood offers a wide variety of systems, in both three and five axis configurations in a wide range of sizes. The company has also become a major international player with operations across the globe.

NEW MARKETS

For many years, Thermwood Corporation has been extremely successful focusing on three key markets: woodworking, plastics and aerospace. However, the company has recently begun expanding into new markets, such as the growing wind sector.

"We've made a huge number of changes in the downturn," says Susnjara. "We've revamped marketing, targeted the wind energy market, and created some new machines. We didn't pull into our shells. You have to go out there and get the business."

With Ken's son Jason Susnjara heading up the marketing department, Thermwood Corporation has embraced online marketing and begun attending new tradeshows, opening doors into new business sectors.

"We had a traditional marketing plan that had worked well for us, but over the past few years we have begun embracing electronics and becoming internet savvy. It's worked rather nicely. By spreading out our marketing we have been able to pick up business in new sectors," says Ken Susnjara.

Entering these new markets has been essential as the economy continues to struggle. "The biggest trends are our competitors going out of business," says Susnjara. "We are in a dozen markets in 35 countries, and we would have never believed they would all dip at the same time."

But the company has taken the down time to revamp and is now excited about the future. "As the economy recovers we will be much stronger," states Susnjara. He believes the economy is turning around and is excited that more and more companies are beginning to adopt CNC technology.

IMPROVED MACHINES

As Thermwood enters new market places, the company has also developed larger, more accurate machines. However, one problem with large machines is the head alignment. Ensuring accuracy comes with a high cost.

To solve this problem, Thermwood has employed 3-D laser systems to measure the exact position of the head everywhere in the working envelope. They then developed technology that allows their CNC control to take this data and compensate for any machine error.

This system cuts down on the cost, making it practical to build larger machines. "We have sold 60ft machines and with the new system we can run the Z axis into the 10-12ft range," explains Susnjara.

As Thermwood continues to improve its systems, its technology continues to become more accurate and easier to use. For example, mounting a fixture used to be a task that could take hours of painstaking work, but Thermwood's new technology can transform the program to match the fixture instead of the other way around, cutting out hours of work.

"Things that used to take a lot of time and skill are now being handled in the control," says Susnjara. "Once we discover the needs of a client, we can generally come up with a way to meet those needs better than our competitors. We can offer the machines for 1/3 less money with specs that are better."

Thermwood hopes to apply this technological savvy to the growing wind sector. Susnjara says the company has programs in place with leaders in the industry and is excited about the "unique technologies they will be able to bring to the industry."

STRONG RELATIONSHIPS

Thermwood is able to offer flexible technological solutions to its clients thanks to the hard work and skill of its employees. "We get pretty good folks. This area has a strong work ethic and skilled people," says Susnjara.

In fact, he says many of the people who were with the company in the beginning are still there today. Their very first employee just retired last year, and many employees are second generation. And while there have been layoffs and pay cuts due to the economy, Susnjara says that in a normal year a turnover rate of 1 or 1.5 percent is bad.

Thermwood also cultivates long-term relationships with its vendors and distributors. Having been in the same business for so long, they have maintained great relationships with all of their vendors. "We have a philosophy that everyone needs to make money. We don't squeeze our vendors. It's better to create relationships where you support each other," says Susnjara.

Similarly, the company has worked with many of its distributors for 20 or 30 years. Many are now second generation.

FACTS AT A GLANCE:

Company Name: Thermwood Corporation

CEO: Ken Susnjara

Operations: Thermwood is the oldest CNC router company in the world and the only CNC manufacturer in the country with a GSA certification

Established: 1969

http://www.thermwood.com

 

 

Thermwood's new "CNC Routers by Application" section

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Mon, Mar 16, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, Composites, plastics, aluminum, Nested Base, 3 Axis, 5 Axis, aerospace, edgebander, trimming, solid surface, wood carving, molds

Thermwood has added a "CNC Routers by Application" section on their home page.  By selecting the different applications, you can view examples, videos and the machines related to each application.  We will continue to add more pictures and videos to each application.