DRAKE MANUFACTURING – PRECISION MACHINES FOR THREADS & GEARS
At Drake we do more than build machine tools. We apply our part making experience to your specific manufacturing applications and help you build better products.
We not only take responsibility for machine performance, but also for process capability. Drake machines are designed and built with the concept that a customer wants finished parts meeting the relevant specifications. We understand that customers don't want machines, they want quality parts out the door.
If your application falls into any of these categories, there’s a Drake engineering and machine solution for it:
Drake Machine Applications
- Threading Tools
- Forming Taps
- Thread Milling Cutters
- Thread Rolling Dies
- Gear, Worms & Worm Wheels
- Plug & Thread Gages
- Steering Components
Our control renewal service is designed for machines which are still good mechanically, but have failure-prone controls. We can retrofit your machines with the latest Fanuc servos and controls, and you’ll get complete parts and service support for your new CNC system.
Drake is certified as a Fanuc 5-Star Retrofitter – the top level of achievement in Fanuc’s Machine Tool Retrofit Program. We can replace your aging, unreliable controls with those of the 21st century – giving extra years of life to otherwise good machines at a fraction of the cost of new.
While every machine tool builder wants to sell new machines, Drake realizes that it’s not always in the customer’s budget. Remanufacturing is a smart alternative that minimizes a customer’s capital outlay and maximizes its use of depreciated property. We suggest that companies take a hard look at that old iron out in the shop before scrapping it.
Over the years we have developed a complete line of machines for producing each major component in modern steering gear systems: GS:G2 5-Axis Profile Gear Grinders, GS:TE-LM Worm Grinders, GS:H Gear Hobbers, GS:RM Rack Mills and our new VTM Linear Motor Thread Mill. Our machines fit easily into a cell environment and can be equipped with our latest automation packages. From hydraulic rack nuts to rack and pinion to e-steer, few builders offer the breadth and depth of steering component experience that we do.
Recent Drake Developments …
Tap Grinding… Drake is continuing to develop grinding technology for the small tap and gage market (<M10). We have recently ground M0.5 x 0.125 forming taps (that is 0.020” diameter x 0.005” pitch) on the GS:TEM “Mini.” While the smallest production tap we have seen is actually M0.8 x 0.25, we expect the demand for even smaller taps to continue as devices get smaller and smaller. As you can imagine, work holding, measuring, and inspecting these tiny tools is a challenge!
Yes, there are actually threads on that!
Manual Helix LM and Power Helix TEM Grinders—In response to demands from our high production customers, we have developed single purpose versions of our internal and external Linear Motor thread grinders. For installations where the machine is likely to only grind a single part over its life, we have eliminated the A-axis gear box and its power helix function. The wheel helix is manually set and clamped in place resulting in a lower cost machine with higher stiffness suitable for high production environments where seconds count.
On the other end of the market, for small lot producers, we have introduced a power helix version of the GS:TEM that allows for CNC helix positioning and automatic clamping for faster change over from part to part.
Motorized Spindles and Internal Balancers—Integral motor spindles for the GS:TEM and
GS:TE LM grinders are now available with internal automatic wheel balancers. Due to space and interference constraints, the TEM and the LM machines present difficulties in mounting and maintaining automatic balancers. In a joint development effort with our spindle suppliers, we now have in-the-spindle-nose automatic balancers available for both the GS:TE-LM200 and the GS:TEM that allow either machine to be configured with both a motorized spindle (no belt drive) and an automatic balancer.
Drake offers fully integrated automation systems including robot load, conveyor and carousel systems. Our robot load system for grinders features an adjustable infeed conveyor and grippers designed by Drake for maximum flexibility. The entire grinding and load/unload process is programmed into the machine control by Drake. The system provides consistent handling and maximum throughput for increased productivity.
We recently shipped a tap grinder with a robot loading and pallet changing system that delivers up to 9 full pallets of tools. Depending on tool diameter and pallet density, this system can provide up to 30 hours of unattended running!
Process Design for Manufacturing
Achieving the goal of maximum productivity and lowest cost per part is the job of Drake System Engineers who are focused on optimizing the grinding process. Our machines are designed for outstanding performance running aluminum oxide, seeded gel and plated or dressable CBN wheels--as required to optimize the process.
With Drake, you have software support throughout the life of the machine. If your part requirements change, Drake System Engineers are available to develop and install new menu-driven programs at modest cost.
Process, program and machine are designed so the operator can maximize parts production. Your operator is not a machine troubleshooter; he's a parts maker. Full on-site training is given on operation of control, use of menu-drive software, process understanding and parts production. Operator comfort and confidence in the machine are maximized.
We Value Our Customers
The Drake customer relationship does not end once a machine tool has shipped. Drake Manufacturing Services is committed to providing superior machine tools and ongoing service that meet and exceed customer expectations.
The customer is at the top of the Drake organization chart, and the people at Drake have direct customer contact. You will get to know the team members responsible for your machine and process. All take pride in their work. All are accessible. All are available for phone and on-site problem solving. Our quality system is ISO 9001 certified and we adhere to those standards.