MTD CNC North America visits KWM Gutterman to talk about how the MIDACO A4020SD Automatic Pallet Changer has doubled productivity on their existing Okuma Genos M560V.

When Karl W. Minor Sr. Founded KWM Gutterman, Inc. in northern Illinois in 1983 after roughly 20 years experience as an independent contractor, he had one goal in mind for his business – build the highest-quality gutter machines possible.

Today, KWM Gutterman, Inc. is the #1 producer of gutter machines in the USA, and this family-owned and operated business in Rockdale relies on MIDACO to get the job done.

KWM Gutterman’s mechanical engineer, Max Tucker, has spent roughly the past decade helping guide the company’s expansive growth in fabrication, made possible by the implementation of MIDACO co-operative automation.

“When I started in 2013, we had a total of four lathes and four mills. We have now grown to eight mills, and we’re at 12 lathes. It’s been a wild ride. We’ve incorporated the MIDACO Pallet Changers. We’re at three of those now. Those have immensely brought production through the roof for us.“

“It’s been a whirlwind of changes on our part. When we first started, we had four vices in here, and we were manually loading, unloading, blowing out the vices, and we had a downtime of one to maybe three minutes of load times, that you have a man standing there loading the machine, and the machine is waiting for it to run. Now we are running with a MIDACO Pallet Changer that you are loading outside of the machine.

The machine is no longer waiting for parts — back to machining in 30 seconds

“The cycle times are getting quicker and faster and we are demanding more, so the problem was with the downtime of the machine sitting and waiting for those operators to load the machine. We needed something to kind of combat that, so we ended up getting these MIDACO Pallet Changers, and they’ve been great. There’s no more load times, because essentially you’re loading outside the machine. The machine is no longer waiting for the operator to be ready to get the parts ready. It’s in and out, maybe thirty seconds, and you’re right back to machining.”

Double Production

“We’ve seen at least double in production, because what we were getting was a lot of times a four or five-minute cycle might have two or three operations within that cycle, so now you’re loading two parts flat, two parts stand-up and maybe two parts are flipping it, so the issue with that is you may be loading it for two, three minutes, just standing there loading that part. With the pallet changers, there is no more of that waiting.”

Regarding retrofitting a MIDACO Pallet Changer on his new Okuma machine, Tucker says the results have spoken for themselves.

“It’s been a lot of fun." - Max Tucker, Mechanical Engineer at KWM Gutterman, Inc.
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Video Credits:

Tony Gunn of MTD CNC North America

KWM Gutterman, Inc.
795 South Larkin Avenue
Rockdale, IL 60436 USA
(815) 725-9205