What new technology does is create new opportunities to do a job that customers want done.

- Tim O'Reilly
Elkins Machine Detroit

Screw Machining and Tool Making

Elkins’ 11,000-square-foot screw machining department offers experienced specialization in Stainless Steel and promotes its ability to turnaround problematic projects.

"Stainless Steel is difficult to machine," said Plant Manager Mike Nicastro. "It takes a lot of experience to master working with it. Many facilities don’t like to work with it, but we do. We work with a lot of Stainless Steel because our staff has the experience to deal with it.

"In addition, we’re the shop that customers want to go to when they have a difficult project, or a problem that they need solved, in a limited amount of time. Our workforce is experienced and versatile, and we have the ability to solve problems in tight time frames."

Elkins offers an inventory of 20 screw machines:

The 6-spindle New Britain is a multiple-spindle lathe. It operates in a counter-clockwise, indexing manner, starting in the No. 6 position where overall length is set and cutoff takes place. Moving into the No. 1 position, forming, turning, drilling and knee tooling is started. At No. 2, the main drilling is accomplished, along with additional box and knee tooling. At No. 3, more drilling takes place, along with finish form and recess work. Moving to No. 4, more drilling, knee tooling, forming, shaving, tapping, recessing and turning can take place. The No. 5 position offers the main threading work, OD/ID positioning and recess knurling.

After going through the 6-spindle operation, the order is then moved to the Elkins Secondary Operations unit for additional specified work until it is ready for washing, polishing and packaging in the Elkins Shipping Department.

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Tool-making capabilities offer quick turnaround

A huge advantage for any costumer dealing with the Elkins Screw Machining Department is its diverse product abilities, along with an ability to make its own form tooling.

"We make our own form tools,” Nicastro said. “Many other facilities shop that process out and delay the entire project. That’s one of our key advantages at Elkins. We have great turnaround abilities. What can take another shop two or three weeks takes us two or three days.

"When you have ‘rush work,’ Elkins is the place that will get it done for you."

Elkins’ tool making includes Electrical Discharge Machining (wire EDM), which can be accomplished as long as the material conducts electricity. They deal in widths from 10/1000ths to a height of just under seven inches. The EDM process can enables the operator to even run production jobs on it. Elkins still can grind tooling if the specifications call for that.

The PEPS Wire EDM software is a powerful 3D CAM product that generates optimum roughing and finishing CNC tool paths from the complex shapes generated by all major 3D modeling systems. It forms, shaves, broaches, step drills, recess tools and custom reams – all in an effort to cut down turnover time. "What used to take weeks, we can now do in a day," Nicastro said. In fact, due to this ability, it has even ended up creating tooling for other machine shops.

Elkins’ tool-making room is 500-square-feet and includes surface grinders, OD grinders, attachments, bead blasters to clean tooling and Bridgeport lathes.

How do I know my part needs to be made on a screw machine?
The screw machine can be used for many parts, depending on the O.D. of the stock and the overall length of the part. Quantities depend on the order.
What diameters are the largest and smallest that you are capable of running on your New Britain Screw Machines?
2 ¼” diameter is the largest and 3/16” is the smallest.
What materials are you capable of running?
Steel, Stainless Steel, Brass, Bronze, Aluminum, Plastic
Do you make your own form and shave tools for the screw machines?
Yes, we have a full service tool room that designs and produces all tools to support our screw machines.
How many screw machines to you currently have in operation?
At this time, we have 22 New Britain Gridley screw machines in operation.
What model New Britain Gridley screw machine are at Elkins Machine and Tool?
The models in operation are models 51, 60 and 61.
Do you follow ISO practices related to screw machine operations?
Yes, we are TS16949 compliant and that includes ISO9000 standards.
What is the typical run size of orders that fit at Elkins Machine and Tool?
We excel at the quantities between 500pcs – 50,000pcs.