Eliminate Manual Drilling and Tapping


A company specializing in construction machinery was producing a large, 7’ x 10’, part with a tolerance of ±1/16″ of an inch. Each part needed to have 30 holes drilled into it and many needed to be tapped. It took 8 hours for the company to drill and tap the holes after the perimeter was cut.

With the need to grow their manufacturing capacity to meet increasing customer demand, the company wanted to find a solution that would make manufacturing this part more efficient and cost effective.  Additionally, many of their machines required customizations or optional features which required subtle part changes from one machine to the next.

For that reason, it was critical to find efficiencies, lower costs and allow customization without increasing their inventory.


Plate Machining Example

After analyzing the part, West Central Steel determined the complete part could be produced on their Plate Processing Machine. West Central Steel was provided with the part file and the part was programmed and then produced. First, by drilling the holes, then tapping them and lastly, the perimeter was cut using high definition plasma. This helped ensure the precise location of the holes could be maintained. Once the part was finished it was inspected and found to meet all the company’s specifications.


The results were tremeondously successful and truly helped increase the company’s capacity. By having West Central Steel process this part and similar parts, the company freed up more than a thousand work hours per year. This has allowed the company to take on additional business it would not have otherwise had the capacity to process, and helped reduce its total production costs.

Partnering with West Central Steel has also allowed the company to submit an order and receive custom parts with in 1 week. That responsiveness gives the company the capability to react quickly to the needs of their customers and production schedule while keeping the cost of their inventory very low.

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