D&S Manufacturing in Black River Falls, Wis., recently has installed a new fabricating cell, with a Toyoda FA800 horizontal machining center and two six-axis welding robots from ABB Robotics. The Toyoda system is already in operation, while the two robots will come online this month.

Toyoda design horizontal and vertical machining centers, grinding machines, and bridge-and-gantry machining centers. ABB Robotics is a business unit of the global electric power-engineering group, and supplies industrial robots, modular manufacturing systems, and service. It has installed more than 190,000 robots worldwide.

As an ISO 9001:2008-certified custom manufacturer, D&S Manufacturing fabricates large-scale components, assemblies, and complete weldments for OEMs, including Caterpillar, Oshkosh Corp., Parkson, The Trane Co., and CNH. Its capabilities include advanced machining; laser, high-definition plasma and oxy-fuel cutting; and manual and robotic welding.

According to Rob Bucek, D&S Manufacturing production control manager, the 61,100-lb. Toyoda FA800 was selected by a team of D&S employees, including machinists and welding cell operators. “When evaluating a variety of equipment manufacturers, our objective was to determine where technology had taken the machine tool industry,” he explained. “The group quickly focused on Toyoda because the FA800, which is used by large OEM manufacturers and features an 800-mm pallet, provides D&S with the increased capacity necessary to accommodate higher production runs,” Bucek stated.

D&S reports that lately it has identified significant demand for products that require horizontal machining area, and the decision to install the Toyoda FA800 in advance of the robotic welding systems allowed D&S to address current production constraints.

Joe Lane, D&S continuous improvement manager, observed that the capacity and size envelope of the company’s existing ABB robot welders are well suited to D&S’s current manufacturing requirements. Thus, D&S acquired two of these same ABB devices and is incorporating them into the new cell configuration. The two new welding robots will flank the new horizontal machining center. This means that D&S will be able to manufacture two unrelated components at the same time, efficiently, and significantly increase its productivity rates.

“The production hours logged for our existing cell system have significantly surpassed our expectations,” according to Lane. “As a result, both cell systems will be actively utilized to ensure the D&S team continues to meet the delivery commitments we have made to our customers.”

Along with its cutting and welding capabilities, D&S offers services that range from liquid spray painting and shot blasting to assembly and testing.