Advanced Equipment from the Ground Up

Delivering Unprecedented Precision with Fully Customized CNC Mill

Posted on: June 12, 2019

Since introducing the industry’s first machine-sharpened rotary dies in 1999, we’ve been continuing to raise the bar, holding tighter tolerances and reducing turnaround time. Also, as tool and die technology continues to advance, we’ve adapted our equipment to keep pace (and stay ahead of) our changing industry. When it comes to innovation, we’re not afraid of trying new things. Whatever it takes to create a solution to any problem, at Wilson, we will find a way to make it happen. 

The Challenge

Recently, we identified a need for new CNC capabilities for precision sharpening that could accommodate continually growing web width demands while performing intricate work to very tight tolerances. 

In the past, we had been able to buy CNC machines that satisfied our needs. However, as our requirements grew more advanced, we needed equipment that far exceeds industry standards to achieve our desired results. The available equipment on the market did not have the features and software we required. We approached several equipment manufacturers for help, but none were interested in building a machine for us because the project was so specialized. 

So, it became clear that if we wanted to make this machine a reality, we would have to build it ourselves. 

The Approach

Custom production of CNC machinery was not our specialty, however, we were determined to succeed in creating this piece of equipment. We pulled together our software, electrical, and mechanical engineering teams to make it happen.

Our team came together quickly to plan out what specifications we needed from this new machine. As we discussed our “wouldn’t it be cool if…” ideas, we began referring to this dream piece of equipment as the WHIM—the Wilson High-Precision Ingenious Machine.

Creating the WHIM

To bring the WHIM into reality, we knew we would need support from outside experts, so we created a partnership with a leading supplier of robotics, CNC systems and factory automation. Their team became trusted advisors as they worked with us through the entire process. 

We decided to create customized controls for flexibility. The customized controls required sophisticated software in a unique programming language, which ultimately proved to be a key factor to achieve the targeted results.

The Results

With the new WHIMs, we can achieve unparalleled blade profile and height accuracy unlike any tooling currently in the marketplace. However, the most important improvement that resulted from this project is in the quality, precision, and repeatability of the tools we can produce for our customers. The WHIM is able to hold a 0.0002-inch blade height tolerance, all day, every day.

Conclusion

When we’re solving problems for our customers at Wilson, we take the same approach we took to creating the WHIM. The best results don’t happen because it’s easy to get there. Our team refuses to be limited by what’s always been done, because our experience has shown us that with a little ingenuity and a lot of hard work, there’s always a way to make it happen. 

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