• April 1, 2024

Unveiling Our New Engineering Center and Tooling Storage Room

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Companies typically progress in stages – they grow from smaller start-ups with limited space to needing more square footage, more people, and more technology to meet demand. That’s the story of JR Machine, as we started out in a garage stall at the local Chevy dealer in 1992, and have grown into a facility approaching 40,000 square feet with technology we could only dream about in the beginning.

We recently had another growth spurt, if you will, by building out an Engineering Center that is separate from our Quality Lab. These areas were initially combined into one space, but we soon realized separate areas would be more efficient. We also wanted a state-of-the-art Tooling Storage area to streamline our technicians’ work. After all, we believe when engineering is at the forefront, quality follows.

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New Engineering Center Designed with Growth in Mind

Shane Kunschke, our VP of Manufacturing, was tasked with designing the new spaces, which are now complete and fully operational. The Engineering Center is where we program all jobs and conduct our design for manufacturing assessments. There are two workstations and a view of the majority of our DMG MORI equipment, so staff can keep an eye on operations while they’re programming. We also meet with customers here during on-site meetings to review their jobs and specifications, and as well as any potential issues that could arise and discuss solutions. The Engineering Center has plenty of space and technology to allow us to grow while staying true to our focus on accuracy and quality.

Unveiling Our Tooling Storage Room

We’ve always been proud of our use of space. From the cellular arrangement of our DMG MORI equipment to having identical cabinets at each station, everything we do is designed to streamline our work. Our new Tooling Storage Room, which organizes and holds thousands of tooling inserts, is no exception.

We can easily go through 1-10 inserts per job, each with different coatings, sizes and geometries. This dedicated room with custom cabinets houses the thousands of tooling inserts we need to meet specs and hit our delivery deadlines. Every insert that’s needed to make a part is identified when the job is programmed in our Engineering Center. Machine operators use that information to quickly find the tooling inserts they need and input the product number into the computer. Our tooling supplier, Badger Mill Supply Company, receives instant updates on our inventory levels, and visits our shop twice per week to restock any materials that are running low. The room is fully customized to our needs, and our friends at Badger Mill say it’s one of the most advanced systems in a machine shop they’ve seen.

Our commitment to the Lean Manufacturing philosophy means we’re always looking for ways to streamline, be more efficient and cut waste from our operations. The new Engineering Center and Tooling Storage Room are two examples of this in action. We’d love to show you these new spaces, so let us know if you’re interested in an on-site visit.