Zoller Smile tool pre-setter delivers confidence in quality at TEG
TEG, a specialist in the provision of bespoke engineered solutions to fully accredited specifications, is leveraging the advantages of pre-setting its cutting tools using a newly installed Zoller Smile 600. The investment has seen the company witness “significant improvements in quality”, with over 98% of parts now coming off the company’s machine tools right-first-time.
Based at Mullingar around 70km west of Dublin, Ireland, TEG provides tailor-made solutions for customers located in over 30 countries worldwide, typically to high profile, quality-driven sectors that include aerospace, pharmaceutical and biopharma. With sales offices in the UK and Germany, the company is a global concern with many accreditations to its name, including ISO9001 and AS9100 Rev C, and is an EASA Part 21(G) approved production organisation. This means that TEG is approved to manufacture new aircraft parts up to and including primary structural elements. The company is even authorised to sign EASA Form 1, the document necessary to install a part on to a passenger-carrying aircraft. Such responsibility and accountability requires a high level of discipline, expertise and training.
John Hunt, TEG’s CEO;
“We are in competition internationally, going up against the best American, German, Italian and British companies on a regular basis, in order to hold our own we have to use the latest and best techniques, which is where Zoller Smile comes in.”
The company’s quality management systems are integral to its business. Strict and continuous measurements are part of everyday life at TEG, where each member of staff is responsible for the quality levels achieved.
“There is no point in designing something with tight tolerances if you’re not able to manufacture and measure it within those limits, we work hard to ensure good quality products and services are delivered to our individual customers, both internal and external.”
When a block of material is set-up on one TEG’s advanced CNC machine tools ready to begin machining a complex part featuring tight tolerances, the company’s customers want to know that a high level of confidence exists in getting that component completed correctly at the first attempt.
“For this reason, our cutting tools must be pre-set accurately – they have to be spot on, we knew we had to invest in technology which was consistent so that we could control that section of the process, and this is what the Zoller enables us to do. Our percentage of getting parts off the machines right-first-time is over 98%.”
As a privately owned company, TEG has a shareholder commitment to reinvest 100% of annual earnings into capital equipment, business development and training. This enables TEG to take a long-term view for the development of the organisation.
Some of the world’s leading OEMS today rely on TEG for a high quality engineering service. In the aerospace sector, customers include ASL Airlines, Icelandair and Lufthansa Technik, while typical parts machined include wing spar stiffeners, stringer end fittings, horizontal stabiliser cover plates, wing straps, galley mounts and rod bodies, to list but a few.
The same standards of excellence are used by TEG to supply the pharmaceutical industry. Here, the company’s processes are fully compliant with current good manufacturing practice (cGMP). TEG supplies pharmaceutical blister pack tooling, tablet feeding/dispensing systems and orbital brush systems, for example, to blue chip clients that include Merck, Teva, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble and Bristol Laboratories.
For biopharma customers such as Amgen and Delpharm, TEG can offer expertise in the manufacture of everything from component washer racks, GMP storage trolleys and sterile filling format parts, through to dust extraction devices and heat exchange plates.
“When we take customers on tours of our facility and they see the Zoller machine, we talk about the confidence it provides in being able to machine accurate components, we need our customers to feel confident in our ability as we want their repeat business. And, in many ways, that’s what it boils down to – repeatability.”
The Zoller Smile 600 at TMG is a general purpose pre-setter with guaranteed accuracy and repeatability for all tools weighing up to 30kg. It provides excellent levels of precision and repeatability thanks to its unique CNC spindle with genuine auto-focus capabilities. Furthermore, Zoller’s telecentric optics further enhance performance, while making the system easier to operate. Data can be seamlessly transferred to machine tools thanks to Zoller’s control-specific output, or via RFID. This ensures that operator intervention is eradicated.
“There is no room for deciding that we will need a second or third attempt at making a part – we don’t want to be doing that,” says Mr Hunt. “We make a commitment to our customers that when a part comes from TEG, it will be right, and it will be manufactured according to the design model. The Zoller machine plays an important role in fulfilling that ambition.”
The Zoller Smile 600 is easy to operate and is manufactured exclusively from high-quality branded components. It is equipped with all of the standard measuring functions required to achieve professional pre-setting and offers a 600mm Z-axis measuring range, 210mm X-axis measuring range and 420mm diameter capacity.
Using its new Zoller, in combination with the company’s CNC machine tools, cutting tools and highly trained staff, TEG has total confidence that it will be able to machine parts in strict accordance with the CAD model; within the tolerances specified.
“With our new Zoller Smile tool presetter we have achieved both of our objectives, we’ve got an advanced and repeatable tool pre-setting process, and we’ve got people trained on it satisfactorily – thanks to the training service provided by Zoller. As a result, we have seen very significant improvements in quality, which both ourselves and our customers are very happy about.”
Clearly, TEG places its customers at the heart of its organisation. For this reason, the company has become renowned for its trustworthiness, straightforwardness and scrupulousness. Some of the most successful companies in the world rely exclusively on TEG to provide process-critical parts, and it’s easy to see why.