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Simmons Machine Tool Corporation, a machine tool builder for the railway industry, was faced with the need to purchase a new 5-axis mill-turn machining center for their machine tool manufacturing processes. Given the heavy-duty nature of railway wheel set applications, Simmons’ machine tool products must be extremely robust and reliable.

Simmons needed a 5-axis machine to turn and mill precise products like their profile milling cutters for underfloor wheel re-profiling machines. After using various 5-axis machine technology over the past 12 years, leaders in the company realized that standard tool and die mold machines couldn’t keep up with the hardened cutter bodies and other extremely robust tools and components they were manufacturing. The company had concerns about chip fall, robustness, accuracy, and consistency that led to many 5-axis machines not meeting Simmons’ needs.

After rejecting several different vertical 5-axis machines, the team at Simmons met with a representative from GROB, who presented the company’s horizontal spindle, 5-axis universal mill-turn machines. After extensive conversation, the team at Simmons was convinced that one of these machines would be robust enough to meet their needs. In addition, they knew that GROB’s service offerings would be suitable in their unique position. The company ultimately decided to purchase the GROB G550T 5-axis universal mill-turn machining center, which is built for more highly demanding manufacturing settings.

The G550T has enabled Simmons to not only meet but exceed their ROI goals in the first three years of operation. This has been the case because: downtime was dramatically reduced over previous 5-axis machines; the GROB machine can be operated unattended, saving on man-hours for manufacturing; and the G550T’s unparalleled accuracy and consistency has reduced the need for frequent accuracy measurements.

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