Interview with John Henderson, Davenport Manufacturing Engineer

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The new Davenport Hybrid Machine is the future of Davenport multi-spindle machine tool technology. It incorporates the best of the mechanical versatility you have come to expect from Davenport, and leverages the power of an intuitive CNC interface to make operation and set-ups easier than ever.

These new capabilities answer to many of the internal demands of your workforce. The retirement of your most tenured operators can lead to a loss in tribal knowledge. Training a younger generation, whose skillsets are very different than those of generations past, can be challenging and time-consuming. The Davenport Hybrid brings real solutions to issues of workforce development.

John HendersonWe recently sat down with John Henderson, Davenport Manufacturing Engineer, to talk about his experience with the new Davenport Hybrid Machine. John is a recent (2018) graduate from Rochester Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering. At the time of this publication, John has been working with Davenport Machine for a little under two years.

Prior to his hire at Davenport Machine, John had little to no experience in an action manufacturing environment.

Can you talk a little bit about your journey from engineering student to Davenport Manufacturing Engineer?

When I first joined Davenport, we were just beginning to make parts on the Hybrid concept (prototype) machine. It became my responsibility to learn how the machine operates. I read a machining manual on basic G-code which all of your typical industry standard CNC machines follow, and shadowed one of our more experienced manufacturing engineers. It was through that hands-on experience that I picked up on the operation of the machine.

The Hybrid Machine has been designed from the ground up to be easier to program, setup and operate. Can you talk about your training and use of the machine?

From Day One the Hybrid was designed with the end user in mind. Davenport machines historically had to overcome an impression that the machines were challenging to set up and run. All of our design criteria for the machine involved trying to mitigate that notion about Davenport.

There are several features on the machine that make it, well, not the legacy Davenport machine. All of our tooling on the machine is quick-change tooling, which can be set up and pre-set on the bench while you’re running the machine. That way, when it comes time to swap out tools, all that’s required is a couple bolts and you’re back up and running!

In my opinion, one of the better features of the machine is your ability to comp diameters in your CNC slides on the fly, without shutting down the machine. Say you’re running a part and your tolerance is starting to creep up. With the press of a button you can offset an update so that the next part that’s presented to that tool will have that comp reflected in it. This allows you to can keep your parts in tolerance part after part after part without stopping the machine.

Were you involved at all in the programming of the machine?

Yes, we get to wear a lot of hats here. I had my hands on everything from design, set up, customer part runoffs, and programming the CNC axis.

What is the easiest part about operating the Hybrid Machine?

Unlike the legacy Davenport Machine, the Hybrid doesn’t have clutches and brakes, where you have to reach into a machine and pull a lever to operate it. Our Hybrid is outfitted with a 15-inch touch screen, and the operator has all the information necessary to run the machine right in front of him/her. You can access all of the functionality of the machine on one page, while the machine is active and running parts. The user interface is super easy to navigate, and I think that makes the machine that much easier to use.

What would you say to someone who has little to no manufacturing experience, who needs to train on the Hybrid Machine?

First and foremost, gone is the need for years of mastering the intricacies and “art” of the Model B. The Davenport name is on the machine, which means the highest quality engineered and produced machine, but it’s not your traditional Model B. It truly is a CNC machine that the next generation can learn to operate quickly and easily. That was the whole purpose of releasing this product. Don’t be intimidated by the history: it’s a lot simpler now.

What kinds of things are you now capable of performing on the machine?

In previous generations, all of your side working axis were controlled by cams. In order to present a tool to a workpiece, you had to have a cam made which would drive your tool in and out. That takes time, and downtime means lost potential revenue! First, you have to call us and have a cam made, sent to your facility, and installed.

With CNC control, you can create a new cam in a matter of minutes with the click of a button, bypassing the four or five days it previously took with the legacy machines. That’s a huge advantage.

To hear more from John and a couple of other engineers at our shop, check out our latest video.

Davenport Introduces New and Improved OEM Replacement Parts

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Davenport Machine focuses on continuously improving our genuine OEM parts through redesign and customization to enhance the value of these items for our customers. We do not just sell replacement parts to fix problems—instead, we work with our customers to implement the optimized, durable, and cost-effective solutions they need. Throughout more than 100 years in the business, our primary emphasis has been on delivering quality solutions at competitive prices to our customers.

New and Improved OEM Replacement Parts

At Davenport, our Engineering Exploration and Advancement Group focuses on developing improvements to our parts and manufacturing practices. In the last few years, Davenport has made millions of dollars in investments to improve our production equipment and processes. These capital investments have brought about substantial progress in our manufacturing efficiency and quality, thus dramatically impacting our ability to produce superior parts at competitive prices.

Listed below are some of our new and improved OEM replacement parts:

9-27 Stationary Heads

Davenport’s updated manufacturing process for our 9-27 stationary heads resulted not only in a more aesthetically appealing part, but also a number of improved functions:

  • More accurate taper angles, increasing contact with mating boxes.
  • More accurate spindle positions.
  • Interchangeability with all current Davenport OEM components.

These changes are backwards compatible, so they do not require any changes on the customer’s end.

8-SA-OS Oversize Revolving Heads

Davenport’s 8-SA Oversize Heads are now available in custom sizes up to Ø8.850. This is an improvement from the previous maximum of Ø8.790. This is the largest Revolving Head size allowed that will fit within the ring gear. These larger heads allow customers to get several additional rebuilds on machines that have already been re-bored to an oversize condition, resulting in an increase in the service life of expensive machines by many years. The larger oversize head can be interchanged with all of our OEM parts, and is manufactured with the same quality and precision you would expect from Davenport OEM revolving heads.

SB-849–200 Coolant Pumps

Identifying our traditional coolant pump as Davenport’s single largest contributor of machine noise, we’ve upgraded the system with a robust pump that improves operator comfort and safety, while outperforming on coolant pressure and flow. The older positive displacement gear-pumps, both chain driven and direct drive, produce a distinct noise that can be heard over all other gear and tooling noises. The new SB-849-200 uses centrifugal vane technology to deliver larger amounts of coolant than previously possible, at higher pressures for most viscosity coolants, and while generating less noise, heat, and vibration. The new pump can also handle larger abrasive particles without risking pump seizure.

Key features of this new pump include:

  • Virtually silent operation
  • Average of 8-10 dB drop in machine noise levels
  • Powerful 3 HP motor frees up machine power for chip making when replacing chain-drive units
  • 3 stage stainless steel impellers
  • Carbide seals and bearings
  • Large 2” NPT inlet and outlet to maximize flow
  • 2-3x more flow at typical viscosities
    • 30 GPM at 50 psi (~SAE 30 motor oil / 80 cSt @ at 40° C
    • 45 GPM at 40 psi (~SAE 30 motor oil / 80 cSt @ 40° C
    • Maximum recommended viscosity 500 cSt @ 40° C
  • Available retrofit kits for most Davenport machines
  • Made in USA

BP-600 Cam Operated Rear Brake (Davenport Brake)

Davenport is now manufacturing a new alternative to the standard 5080-187-57-SA rear brake. The BP-600 Cam Operated Rear Brake uses a Cast Iron Brake shoe, and solid bronze drum for a long, trouble-free life. Its main features include:

  • Larger surface area between the shoe and brake drum creating strong braking force
  • Elimination of radial loads being placed on the camshaft that could cause wear in bushings
  • Stops the tool spindles from lunging forward while using extra springs on cam levers or positive return cams
  • Easier adjustments, and long-lasting consistency
  • Less frequent adjustments of the brake, improving function of the high speed clutch
  • Only relies on mechanical actuation through a cam profile and drive dog
  • Interchangeable parts to similar cam operated rear brakes

Innovate With Davenport Machine

Any parts supplier can sell you yet another replacement part for your problem. However, Davenport’s highly trained and experienced staff members are able to provide timely technical support and real solutions to our customers.

For information about these new and improved parts—or any of Davenport’s products—please contact us today.