High speed steel wire drawing new machinery

Poor wire drawing productivity by megalomaniac manager

Case of poor wire drawing productivity by megalomaniac manager

There is a plant in Europe where plant lay out is suitable for minimum materials handling:

  • The operator takes the steel wire rod for his drawing machine directly from stock house.
  • And by crane, the operator takes the finished product from the wire drawing machine to the finished product stock hose that is just besides the wire drawing machine.
  • Truck operator takes the crane and load the delivery truck.
  • The company use the cranes in regular production operations and the fork lift trucks just for emergencies.

The customer bought two new wire drawing machines, 12 and 10 dies for producing upholstery spring wire at 25 m/sec.

General Manager doing the Process Engineer

The General Manager, based on his experience, defined to use local supplier’s dies for the 10-capstans machine. Hence this decision, that changed process design, allowed the machine to get just to 9 m/sec (1771 ft/min) for the 13 ½ gage (even with good quality wire rod). as a result as the speed reached to 10 m/sec, the wire scratched.

Result of lack of knowledge

This manager used to be wire drawing operator for several years, and through the years he became General Manager.  Based in his experience as operator, he thought that these dies could run high speed, taking the efficiency directly to 36%.

Therefore you have to consider metallurgical knowledge to obtain high productivity in the wire drawing process, such as:

  • Steel composition.
  • Die design and die lineup
  • Lubrication
  • Process and customer requisites

Hence, you must acquire metallurgical knowledge instead of solely relying on the experience of one that looks too experienced.

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