F&L Tools Precision Machining User Story

Since 1972, F&L Tool Corp. has operated as an industry leader in Precision Machining. Located in California, F&L is built around the idea of customer success. Their ability to meet extremely difficult customer requirements has enabled F&L to stay competitive for over 40 years. Most recently, F&L has began looking for tougher jobs that many machine shops would be hesitant to take on. This move towards higher dollar, premium work is both a testament to the experience of the engineers at F&L, and the tools they use.

One of these tools is CAMplete TruePath. As a long time 3-Axis machine shop, F&L realized that the future of machining was 5-axis. Keeping their finger on the pulse of the industry, F&L Tool Corp. began shopping various Machine options. Although the world of 5-axis was foreign to the engineers at F&L, the commitment to superior quality carried over.  With that in mind, they needed a machine that would allow them to complete the complex work they were aiming for, while holding tolerances for years to come. This led them to their eventual choice, a Matsuura MX-520.

Although Production Engineer, was happy with their choice of machine. They ran into issues when coming across a part that was almost too big for the machine to handle. The location of the spindle on the MX-520 allowed F&L to mill on one side of the component, flip around the C-axis and get a larger work envelope. The issue was that Mastercam did not support this, and at the time, neither did CAMplete. When Ryan Lacroix reached out about this, CAMplete saw his issues and acted. After minimal back and forth, the problem was fixed, and F&L was able to complete the project.

This was a defining moment for Ryan, noting the importance of support in this industry while praising the support staff at CAMplete. He followed up on this by later adding that “In this industry, support is almost more important than the product. All of these products are complex, and without good support, you are dead in the water.”

The biggest factor for Ryan Lacroix is the fact that CAMplete TruePath has allowed them to become more competitive, taking on work that they would otherwise be unable to. He added to this by bringing up a specific example of the importance of CAMplete TruePath at F&L Tool: “One project was a 9/10 on the complexity scale and without CAMplete it would have been way over our heads. With CAMplete we can verify our program, allowing us to maximize our machine. We used every square inch of the machine and it let us. TruePath knew where out limits were, allowing us to get right up to them, without having to hold back or worry about crashes.”

As F&L Tool continues to take on increasingly challenging projects, they have recognized the need to add additional machines. They are beginning their search for new 5-axis machines by “narrowing it down to the machines that CAMplete supports and starting from there.” By choosing a machine that is already supported by CAMplete, F&L tool will have a software solution ready to run from day one and have the flexibility to easily move new or existing programs between machines and provide flexibility to move between machines easily.

Want to learn more about F&L Tool? Learn more about their equipment and capabilities on their website here: http://fltcorp.com/