Werkema Machine Company, Inc.

custom machines
What We Do
7300 S. Division
Grand Rapids, MI
49548 USA
Phone: 616.455.7650
Fax:  616.455.1361
click on any image to expand...

Werkema Machine Co. specializes in dedicated and flexible machines for high production machining of castings, forging, and sheet metal.  We build a variety of machines from drilling and tapping to milling, reaming, and boring.  

Our expertise for rotary index as well as single and multiple station machine design has earned a reputation for excellence and durability.  Now in the 3rd generation as machine engineers, our quality is unsurpassed and well-respected by the industrial community. 

We engineer, design, fabricate, assemble and test for capability entirely within our own facility.  Our state of the art CAD and CADCAM systems enable us to manipulate models in 2D or 3D to meet the demands of today's technology.

Radial index machines provide the quickest production cycle times by allowing simultaneous operations on multiple parts by a single operator.  The heart of the design is the dial plate which resembles a mechanical "lazy susan".  Parts are loaded onto fixtures carried by the dial which rotates to precise locations at each station aroundthe machine for processes such as drilling, reaming, boring, tapping, facing or milling. While new parts
are being loaded and completed parts removed, other parts are being machined.  Line balancing techniques, such as sharing longer operations between stations, are used to reduce the overall cycle time which means less idle operator time and lower labor cost for our customers. 
custom machine
Example #1 - Part shuttled past a milling station to a
multi-spindle drilling head station
Example #2 - Part shuttled past two milling cutters to a tapper

For certain applications, a back-and-forth straight line motion is the most practical way to present a part for machining.  When the superior cycle times of a radial index are not required, this "shuttle" type machine may offer an affordable alternative.

A part is loaded onto a fixture carried by a hydraulic slide or other linear motion device past a series of stations somewhat like your car goes through an automatic car wash.  When the last operation is completed, the travel reverses and the part is returned to the load position where it is replaced with a raw part and the process is repeated.

In some instances, the machining operations for a particular part may all be performed at one station, either simul--taneously or in sequence.  A single station design might involve any of the typical machining processes including turning, as shown above.  Here an operator simply loads aluminum discs into a track while the machine automatically feeds them into the lathe for simultaneous face grooving, outside diameter grooving, and chamfering.  
Automatic Lathe Automatic Feed
Though many of our machines are designed to mill, drill, and tap, our expertise is by no means limited to these areas.  Often there are high speed assembly needs which lend themselves well to our automatic machine concepts.  Pictured above are two such applications, one of which employs an automatic riveter for steel brackets and another which uses a multiple spindle head to drive several studs at once into part castings.
Riviting Machine Stud Driver
Retooling of surplus or previously owned automation equipment can mean big savings to someone in need of a large sized multi-station rotary index machine.   Werkema has a wealth of experience with rebuilds like the Kingsbury Center Columns shown above.
Kingsbury Center Column 14 Stations Kingsbury shown without stations

A myriad of fixture and tool designs over the years has brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to our engineering staff, particularly when it comes to special machining needs.  Techniques and skills in the area of bridging 3D CAD models and  CNC equipment enable us to generate complex intricate 3D geometries useful in everything from unique metal forming operations to out-of -the-ordinary fixture components.  With the proper programming and expertise, jobs that formerly required lengthy delays while special cutters were produced can now be run on a CNC machining center with readily available cutting tools.
CAD CAM Machining

One of the most critical elements in machine design is the tool itself.  In order to perform properly, every consideration must be given to the cutting geometry, compatibility with the work material, coolant applications (including through the tool), chip formation, durability, cost, and availability.  For standard cutting tools, we rely on suppliers in the industry whose names are associated with top quality -- names such as Balax, Greenfield, Guhring, Kennametal and Sandvik.  When the need arises for special tools, our engineering staff works closely with tried and proven companies like Tristar and Garr Tool in order to provide unsurpassed precision and reliability.  Our own in house grinding equipment allows Werkema Machine to even further refine or modify special tools to meet the specific needs of your application.
Form Cutting Tool

Stand Alone Duplex Tombstone Feature
Our engineering staff can increase your company's production capability by designing and building part holding fixtures for use in your own CNC machining center.  A duplex CNC unit with opposing spindles like the CellCon pictured above can be equipped to run two parts or both sides of a single part simultaneously using a tombstone fixture.  Reduced cycle time and increased output improve profitability and efficiency.
Your CNC machining center can be set up as a stand alone turn-key operation, or as a shelf unit module, can be incorporated into a multi-station machine such as illustrated above.  In this example, a CellCon simplex unit became a milling station on a Kingsbury center column index machine allowing a complex operation that a typical spindle/slide combination could not perform.
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