Farris Automated Systems LLC (Stoughton, WI) manufactures custom, turnkey automation systems for use throughout North America. The company specializes in pick-and-place and assembly applications for the plastics, packaging and automotive industries. Core competencies include vision inspection cells, packaging cells, and fastening cells used in automotive and electronic assembly processes.

In late 2005, the company decided it needed an outside source for machine components, to accommodate an increase in business.

"Our full-service machine shop was taxed and couldn't keep up with demand. We were looking for an alternative source for standard components used in a wide variety of our subassemblies," say Farris project manager Brian Terry. "Our objective was to outsource the common items that took up machine time and tied up our machine shop resources. This would allow our machine shop to concentrate on the unique parts used in the assembly machines we design and build."

Farris began by purchasing rotary shafts, hexagonal posts, locating pins and bearings from Misumi USA Inc. (Schaumburg, IL). In doing so, Terry found that Misumi was able to provide the necessary components for less than it cost Farris to manufacture the components itself.

The company then began using Misumi's CAD Configurator service, an online resource that allows customers to configure unique components to their exact specifications and then download the native drawings directly into their own assembly drawings. By streamlining both the design and ordering process, Farris engineers are now able to spend more of their time designing actual machines, as opposed to the many small components that go into them.

"The savings using the CAD Configurator are huge," Terry says. "[We are] now additionally purchasing roller chain, sprockets, angle plates and linear guides from Misumi...further allowing [our] machine shop to concentrate on what they do best."

For more on standard and custom machine components, visit www.misumiusa.com, call 800-681-7475 or eInquiry 1.

For more on automated assembly and text equipment, visit www.farrisautomation.com, call 608-345-0487 or eInquiry 2.