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Answering The Call For Lifesaving Equipment

Answering The Call For Lifesaving Equipment

Answering The Call For Lifesaving Equipment

Emergency responders require the very best tools available to get their challenging jobs done. Here’s how ESPRIT is helping Holmatro in manufacturing hydraulic rescue equipment. 

Emergency responders require the very best tools available to get their challenging jobs done. In critical life-and-death situations, every second matters. Countless fire, police, and other first response organisations around the world count on Holmatro to equip them with the most reliable and efficient tools available. To satisfy these demands, Holmatro has relied on ESPRIT for more than two decades. From the products that Holmatro makes to the manufacturing processes required to complete them, efficiency is key—and ESPRIT fits the bill by allowing them to machine more features in a single operation.

Since 1999, the Maryland-based company has been using ESPRIT to manufacture hydraulic rescue equipment (like cutters and spreaders), as well as cylinders, plungers, check valves, and more from aluminum, steel, and exotic alloys. Although the Holmatro name is most often associated with hydraulic rescue equipment, the brand makes complex parts for many demanding industries, including railways and energy. 

Manufacturing Complex Parts 

Although the Holmatro team have been long-time ESPRIT users, they’re far from complacent. “We periodically check in with our team to ensure ESPRIT is evolving with our needs,” said Chuck Cain, Manufacturing Engineer at Holmatro. 

“ESPRIT was very good at multi-function machining when we bought it in 1999. A few years ago, we reviewed many other CAM packages to evaluate if we were keeping up with the times. After many demos, we concluded that ESPRIT was still the best choice for us. We ended up adding multiple seats of ESPRIT to our facility in the Netherlands,” he continued. 

Holmatro’s sprawling US headquarters is home to more than 30 CNC machines, ranging from 9-axis mill-turn to 5-axis simultaneous equipment, mostly made by Mori Seiki and Okuma. This highly specialised company uses incredibly demanding processes to get the job done. 

“The parts that we manufacture are complex due to the nature of manufacturing parts to such close tolerances. A typical product will have tolerances not to exceed 30 microns. We also have many products with 20-micron [.0007 inches] tolerances,” said Chuck. And because many of their products save lives, there’s no room for error.

Chuck and his team regularly use ESPRIT to manufacture new fixtures and program parts on their 5-axis milling machines in record time. “We were able to save approximately 30 minutes per part by utilising a 3+2 machining mentality. ProfitMilling also helped with cycle time reduction,” he said. 

Improving Efficiency with Automation

In recent years, the team at Holmatro has also been interested in exploring how automation could improve their efficiency and, ultimately, their bottom line. 

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