Maintaining Tight Tolerances – Fifty Years of CNC Excellence
In times such as these, with reshoring making a comeback, it is good to know that there are manufacturers on American soil that never left. Celebrating half a century in business this year, Drake Manufacturing is headquartered in Warren, Ohio.
The turnkey manufacturer supplies local and international clients with top-quality, high-precision computer numerical control (CNC) machines that focus on internal and external thread grinding and other automation functions like milling. Its product selection is as diverse as its clientele, and there are many options to suit clients in the oil and gas, automotive, medical, and aerospace industries.
The company is especially sought-after for its thread grinding machinery that maintains close tolerances and has exceptionally long lifespans, so investing in a Drake machine means cultivating a lifetime relationship with the company. The company ascribes the precision and longevity of its machines to purpose-built motors that are able to withstand even the most demanding applications, provided that the machines are serviced regularly to prevent unnecessary damage and wear, of course.
Rather than the standard servo motors, the company uses linear motors in its machines. Some of the advantages of using the custom-built linear motor drive systems include their accuracy, low maintenance needs, and long lifespans. These motors are more energy efficient and are used to create external threads on taps, gages, electronic steering components, thread rolls and rotor parts.
The company’s fabrication machines are complemented by its offering of preventative maintenance services provided by seasoned field support experts around the world, from associated facilities as far afield as India, Germany, and Taiwan. It also provides original equipment manufacturing components.
In addition, it prides itself on ensuring that its machines reliably operate at full capacity, keeping downtime to an absolute minimum so that its equipment gives clients the longevity, performance, and output that they have come to expect from Drake machines.
All Drake service engagements come with fifty-point inspections that have made it known for thoroughness and effectiveness. It also offers control system renewals to stretch the lifespan of its equipment even further. In the retrofit, outdated or obsolete controls are replaced on otherwise healthy machines with a range of new components such as new electrical panels, PartSmart™ menu-driven software to upgrade to the Drake CS:R.
The improvement ensures that all existing processes can be programmed and includes operator training. “Your current custom routines and thread form functionality can be converted to the new control,” states the company website.
Its clients could not be happier as is clear from the customer praise Drake Manufacturing shares on social media. “My 12×45 thread grinder is the heart of my manufacturing operations. High-precision, accurate, and efficient thread grinding is paramount to the success of my business and the quality of my product line,” Doug Kremer, President of Kremer Precision, LLC IN Phoenix, Arizona, is quoted as saying on twitter.
“Drake Manufacturing has the expertise to complete a thorough and precise CS:R [-] and that made choosing them an easy decision. I am extremely satisfied with my decision to choose Drake Manufacturing for my CS:R,” he continues.
Drake machines are true workhorses fabricated from quality materials. Its website also provides detailed product specifications, making it a worthwhile go-to for product information.
To ensure that its products adhere to industry standards, protecting buyers and end users, the company’s services are in line with International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) protocols, as well as those of the International Standards Organisation (ISO) and other electrical standards such as NFPA-79, a standard set by the National Fire Protection Association.
There are several ways in which to achieve threads on metal, including an array of turning equipment, cutters, and rollers, none of which provide the same tolerances, accuracy, and consistency that Drake Manufacturing’s thread grinding machinery can.
The company is continuously innovating, like with acoustic emissions monitoring (AEM), for instance. This technology improves machine precision and output even further by running non-destructive tests that measure ultrasonic stress waves created when material deforms under applied pressure to detect damage or defects that would otherwise be undetectable. This gave rise to several unique products, including the Drake automatic wheel balancer and its Touch Dress™ and Exact Dress™ products.
Drake Manufacturing is big on the international trade show circuit and is often represented at shows like the International Power Transmission Expo (IPTEX), last held in 2020 in Pimpri-Chinchwad, Pune, India. There are also the Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association Show (IMTEX); the China International Machine Tool Show (CIMT), which has hosted nearly twenty shows since its inception in 1989; and TIMTOS, the Taipei International Machine Tool Trade Show in Taiwan. Its teams are always out and about making contacts and inviting people to join the Drake Manufacturing family.
The company is also of value to its local community as it is always on the lookout for new talent. From electricians to engineers, this computer numerical control leader is looking to hire people who are qualified and match its culture of dedication to service. Two of the best aspects of working for Drake Manufacturing listed by former employees are its great people and its work atmosphere.
There is also room for its people to grow. Like when former employee, Adam Reed, was recognized as Best Young Professional Engineer in 2018 and nominated for the ‘Community Impact Award’ at the Mahoning Valley Engineer of the Year Awards, an event held by Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center in collaboration with the Valley Alliance for Science and Technology.
Drake Manufacturing prides itself on giving customers what they need, where and when they need it, and at a price that suits them. Irrespective of the tumultuous global economic climate of recent years, its level of customer care has secured the company’s spot as one of the world’s best. The company’s drive for excellence will most certainly lead it safely through the next half-century ahead.