Monday, February 6, 2017

Another Great Reason to Head to Mexico in February

This hardly seems post worthy, does it? Who needs any excuse to head to sunny Mexico in the cold, dark month of February? But here at Feed Lease, our motivation for heading south of the border strays from what most would consider traditional.

Sure, we’ll take advantage of the sun and the warmth and the enchiladas. We’re not crazy.

But we have an affinity for a part of Mexico you probably wouldn’t consider and it isn’t the sipping margaritas in a cantina part. It’s the metal stamping industry.

That’s why Feed Lease is happily heading to the PMA Metalforming Technology Conference in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, February 16-17 to connect with the great people in that industry.

Technology continues to play an increasingly important role in securing new business and minimizing cost in the metal stamping industry in Mexico - an industry that’s strong and thriving. There are numerous companies with a wide range of equipment and the ability to produce a broad range of component parts from a number of metals. Feed Lease is a worldwide company and we love working in Mexico to support the employees and manufacturers in this industry.

(And frankly, the beaches are nice.)

More importantly though, these conferences serve as educational forums with knowledgeable speakers and sponsors that help promote the continued growth and expansion of Mexico’s press stamping industry.

PMA has developed this event to arm senior Mexican business leaders and their key technical staff in Mexican facilities with the most updated information on numerous technology trends in the metal forming industry. All of which will help them increase operation productivity.

The Metalforming Technology Conference addresses topics such as mechanical presses and their components; safety considerations, maintenance procedures and schedules, as well as whether to replace or repair your press.

Other topics include preventive and predictive tool and die maintenance, sensors and die protection and lubrication systems and lubricants. The sessions are conducted in Spanish and will be developed for company executives as well as engineers, technicians and operators.

Feed Lease participates in quite a few of these educational conferences and we always find them to be informative and beneficial. Plus, we love connecting with our friends in Mexico. So get away from the cold for a few days and join us in Mexico. It’s going to be a good - and educational - time.

Hasta la vista.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Coil-fed laser table - NOT the stuff of wizardry.

Coil-fed laser tables -  NOT the stuff of wizardry.

Here at Feed Lease, we’re big fans of the new coil-fed laser tables.

But all the hoopla surrounding them as this new year of 2017 approaches has people believing they’re the greatest thing conjured up since sliced bread.

Yeah sure, a coil-fed laser table could cut through a loaf of bread. But the reality is, coil-fed laser tables are not the love child creation of magical sorcery.

The coil-fed portion is the same…
They operate on the same technology that has existed on traditional coil-fed stamping presses for decades.

And that’s why we like them so much. They’re like family. The newest addition to the family. Take a look at one and you’ll see.

They resemble a traditional blanking line, right down to the coil reels, precision straighteners and feed units. And they run on consistent cycle times with automatic feed up. (They’re so darn cute at this age.)

Nothing new or magical there.

The biggest advantage of these tables is they allow for greater efficiency on low volume production jobs. We can feed a continuous strip through the machine to lessen sheet handling time and more effectively nest parts to get more out of a sheet.

All of this translates to FAR LESS waste. It also means we increase production capability.

Ours settled right into the family without so much as a fuss. And the benefits of coil feeding your laser table for smaller production jobs are:

     Lower cost per part (no dies or die maintenance)
     Optimized part nesting resulting in less scrap
     Ability to immediately change part geometry vs. hard tooling die
     Flexibility in production, blanks or sheared parts
     Quick change over from part to part with the push of a button

What’s essentially happening is that we’re using the same equipment we’ve always used, but just applying it to different applications.

As for the larger production jobs, we’re leaving those to our stamping presses - our big boys. And we’re as proud of them as ever.

Friday, November 11, 2016

At FABTECH, What’s Old Is New Again

It’s November and we all know what that means.

Well, yeah, Thanksgiving. There’s that.

But for those of us at Feed Lease, it means that FABTECH is quickly approaching. November 16th-18th, to be exact. And for that, we’re thankful. So we’ll soon be packing our bags and heading to Las Vegas for a good time. Metal forming style.

FABTECH is one of PMA’s biggest shows of the year. In essence, it’s the place to be noticed. It’s also NOT the place to be noticed for being absent. Not cool. But we have many other reasons for attending, including reconnecting with old friends, making new friends and meeting prospective clients. Staying in the know with (and ideally out ahead of) new technology is also big on our list of reasons.

Still, in these days of rapidly advancing technology, there’s something to be said for “older” technology that continues to stand the test of time. (Like the bread slicer. One of the greatest things since… sliced bread.)

Take our Gemini 30K with heat shield technology, for example. Maybe you’ve heard of it? The Gemini 30K is a complete line built specifically for heat shield applications. The advantage of this line is its ability to run two layers of different materials simultaneously. Before the Gemini 30K, manufacturing double layered heat shields was more challenging, not to mention expensive. It was simply not cost effective to produce single layers and then put them together after the fact.

So our engineers and designers came up with an effective way to deal with problem. They designed the line with two coil reels at the back end that hold the separate coils and each one is pulled off the straightener and then fed into the press at the same time. But it’s also versatile enough to run as a single reel.

This is where the new technology comes in.

When a company in the automotive industry came to us with the request for a design that had triple layering capability, we said, “Yeah. Okay.” (The encounter was more elaborate than that, but you get the point: Feed Lease was ready to take it on.)

Our solution was a servo grip feed that acts as a component of the Gemini 30K. The option and ability to add that third layer was revolutionary in the field of heat shield technology. It was also essential to the automotive industry in the evolution of their own technology. The company has found so much success with this new line that we’re already busy building the next one they’ve ordered. And they’ve got plans for a couple more next year. (Twins!). They’re even in negotiations for additional duplicate lines for other facilities internationally.

So it looks like we’re going to be busy. That’s the way we like it, though. Because at Feed Lease, we’ll always pursue the best solution, not just the easiest.  And we’ll continue to do it with success.

Visit us at our booth at FABTECH to see how we’re making the old new again with our latest servo grip feed. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Feed Lease and PMA: Straight Outta Nashville

When is the last time you found yourself in the midst of a community of metal forming engineers and technicians just having a good old time? You might be saying never. For Feed Lease though, it was October 5th and 6th, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.

If you’re envisioning us kicking up our boots, eating barbecue and listening to honky tonk, you’re not quite there. (That came later.)

We were actually attending the PMA Servo Press Technology Experience. And the experience was great. We knew it would be though. That’s why we had a table display there and were proud to sponsor the event.

Here’s a play by play of what we gained at the conference:

-  Information about the most recent state-of-the-art servo technology used in presses, transfer systems, coil-feed lines and more. 
-  Technical presentations and case studies that demonstrated how modern servo-based equipment can lead to improved productivity and quality.
-  Networking with industry thought leaders to gain insight into how this technology is leading the evolution of the industry and where it’s headed.
-  Education on transfer systems, coil-feed lines and other servo-based technology that currently exists in pressrooms and how they work together with press feeds to increase performance and efficiency.
-  Knowledge from the experts, including press control manufacturers, servo press manufacturers and transfer system manufacturers.

As you may know, the PMA (Precision Metalforming Association) is a full-service trade association representing the industry that creates precision metal products using stamping, fabricating, spinning, slide forming and roll forming technologies, and other value-added processes. PMA is nearly 900 members strong and includes suppliers of equipment, materials and services to the industry. 

But more than that, PMA is also the linchpin of the metal forming industry community - offering a regular menu of events, seminars and conferences throughout the year to draw a bunch of like-minded folks together who normally only see one another in passing on a busy factory floor. If they see each other at all.

Coming together this way helps us to stay abreast of advancements in other technologies as they relate to servo press technology and affords us the opportunity to talk about such advancements face to face with the manufacturers.

So what’s next for Feed Lease? We’re heading to Las Vegas, Nevada, November 16-18 for the same reason everyone hits Vegas - to have a good time.

In our case, the good time will be at FABTECH, PMA’s big show of the year. Look for us at booth #15055, where we’ll be showcasing servo driven grip feeds in heat shield manufacturing applications, advancements in servo controls, and the exciting technology behind coil fed laser tables. We’ll also be looking to make connections with those who want to coil feed servo presses because at Feed Lease, we have the experience, the knowledge and we fully understand the application.

See you there…?

Friday, September 30, 2016

Feed Lease Offers A 24/7 Hotline for the Health of Your Equipment

You’re not a banker. You don’t close shop at 5pm. Neither do we.

Your factory floor is a 24/7 operation. And because of this, Feed Lease phone support is available any time of the day, any day of the year.

Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. We’re not sure who Murphy is, but he’s right. And it seems more often than not, when that something goes wrong, it’s usually at the worst possible time.

That’s when you get on the horn with Feed Lease. 

Go ahead. Our technicians aren’t going to think horrible thoughts or cast disparaging looks at one another when you call us at 3:24AM. In fact, our 24/7 technical support is happy to help. (Don’t worry; it’s not the annoying “happy morning person” kind of happy.)

We’re happy because we want to help. And we know the importance of being proactive in minimizing downtime.

For example, say the heavy-duty peeler/threader/hold-down arm on your straightener stops peeling. Or threading. Or holding down. Maybe all three. You get the point. Bottom line, you’re in a bind. You’ve got a job that requires this specific part and you can’t afford the downtime. Even in the middle of the night.

A Feed Lease phone support technician will talk you through the troubleshooting process, help you to pinpoint the problem and possibly even get you back up and running. But even if the problem requires a mechanic to come to your factory floor the next day, all of the time draining guesswork is now out of the way and the technician can get straight to work.

Plus, you can be sure that any replacement parts will be manufacturer original components and will meet all of the specifications of the original design, so they’re bound to keep working. 

Regardless of what Murphy says.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Feed Lease Service Contract - Like A Check-Up, Only Better

As we age, we become more seasoned.

That’s just a nicer way of saying that over time our bodies start speaking to us in different ways. In fact, if we don’t pay attention to them, they just plain start talking back. And we don’t always like or even understand what they’re saying.

Your Feed Lease machinery is no different. And while it doesn’t feel pain or forget where it left its reading glasses, it can encounter problems or difficulties that come over time from use. You don’t want issues with your machinery any more than you want a constant headache. And a headache is just what you’ll get if your equipment goes down.

That’s where our service contract comes in.

It’s like visiting the doctor. Except in this case, the doctor comes to you. And the doctors are actually certified technicians dispatched to your factory floor to perform a thorough once-over on your equipment.

Another difference, Feed Lease technicians know your equipment because Feed Lease made the equipment.

Here’s how it works:

  • Appointments are scheduled two weeks in advance to get access to equipment. These appointments can be set up quarterly, semi-annually or annually. Just like a check-up.

  • Technicians will check the important aspects of the lubrication, electrical and operational systems to ensure that all are operating to factory specifications. They will perform a thorough inspection of the following:
  • Hydraulic system
  • Lubrication system
  • Loop control system
  • Air pressure settings
  • Drive parameters
  • Drive belts and chains
  • Sprockets
  • Tension controls
  • Braces
  • Overall functionality and efficiency 
  • Upon reviewing the equipment, technicians will provide any needed maintenance on machines, utilizing only OEM parts. They’re also more than happy to answer any questions you may have. 

The service contract is the ideal solution for busy factory floors; serving as an assist to in-house maintenance so they’re free to take care of other pressing matters. The bottom line result, an increase to your equipment’s uptime, while minimizing any downtime.

Now if only there were a doctor who could offer the same service.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Feed Lease Machine Inspection Is Like A House Inspection, Without All The Stress

If you’ve ever gone through the process of buying a home, you likely remember the inspection. There was so much depending on that inspection.

The same can be said for inspecting your machinery.

After all, your machinery is the heart of your business.

You don’t want something gumming up the works, much in the same way you don’t want to find black mold in your basement. Or squirrels eating your electrical wiring.

And you certainly don’t want to wait until that heartbeat stops, right in the middle of a big project or a busy day. Or ever, really.

It all starts with a call from you.

There could be any number of scenarios:
-You have a big job coming up and you want to be sure your machinery is in top running shape.
-Your maintenance department is overloaded and you need assurance that your machinery is operating at optimal performance.
-You’ve had the machine for a certain amount of time and you just want it to give it the once (or twice) over.
-You like your Feed Lease service technician and want to forge a friendship with more bonding power than a Facebook friendship.

The reasons aren’t important.

Once you make the call, a Feed Lease service technician is dispatched to your site. Wherever you are. Whatever the machinery - even someone else’s. We’re on it.

Our technician will determine what, if anything, from a maintenance or repair standpoint will be required. This could be done on a select line basis or for the entire facility - based on your needs.

The technician will then loop back to Feed Lease with a fully documented report of what was found (hopefully no squirrels) and recommendations will be made to you based on these findings.

And that’s it.

It’s way easier than a home inspection. But every bit as important.