Smithy Quality Statement
Smithy has earned the reputation of being a quality leader in benchtop machine tools. The Smithy Granite line is considered to be the finest manual benchtop machine tool that is widely sold on the market today. The company’s emphasis on quality in engineering, design and product quality has stepped up dramatically with the development of the SmithyCNC product line. A very experienced and determined team of company engineers works hard to balance important factors like precision, flexibility, and cost when designing these machines. The goal at Smithy is to provide small shop machinists with quality tools that meet and exceed expectations.
DESIGNING FOR QUALITY AND FUNCTION
Smithy’s Product Development Philosophy
By Joe T. Muhkerjee, PhD
Product Development Manager at Smithy Company
Prior to working at Smithy I spent nearly thirty years in product development at a number of large industrial companies. I spent my first twenty years after graduate school designing machining tools, starting at Warner Swazey, then on to Hardinge, and lastly at Makino. My last job in the machine tool industry was as Manager of Product Development at Makino’s headquarters in Japan. I hold a number of patents related to machine tool design. I then spent fifteen years at Ford as a Supervisor of Product Development and Research.
I have been working with Smithy Company for over ten years, first as a consultant and more recently as an employee of the company. I was involved with the development of the Granite machines as a consultant and I am proud of the Smithy design team’s accomplishment in designing the Granite product line. This product has become recognized as the quality benchmark that other machines are compared to in the small shop machine tool industry. The Granite machines truly do provide owners with a high quality machine for a very fair price.
Once the decision has been made to manufacture a new product, the Smithy design team goes through each of the following six design steps to assure that each new Smithy machine tool model fits our exacting standards for design, manufacturing and ultimately, functionality in the user's workshop.
Smithy’s Six Steps for Machine Design:
Step 1: Determine System Requirements: Do initial comparative benchmarking studies - leading to system specifications, machine life requirements, desired precision, reliability and cost restraints for the new machine model.
Step 2: Sub-System requirements: Determine design, cost and quality requirements for the sub systems or assemblies of the machine based on the desired overall machine system requirements determined in Step 1.
Step 3: Design and Develop: Design the structural, electrical hardware and electronic components (including software) for each sub systems or module.
Step 4: Prototype Manufacturing and Assembly: Manufacture the components and sub assemblies satisfying all the given constraints using best possible manufacturing facility, processes and quality principles.
Step 5: Design Verification through Testing: Subject the subsystems and overall machine systems to rigorous life and field-testing to verify the design against desired life requirements.
Step 6: Refinement: Refine the design, if required, to bring all components and sub-systems up to design standards that satisfy the established criterion.
Working with the Smithy engineering staff to develop the new line of SmithyCNC machines has been a great experience for me, both professionally and personally. The Smithy people are great to work with. I now understand why Smithy has developed such a good reputation over the years for being helpful with customers. Smithy has good people working in the company.
Even more importantly, Smithy has capable and experienced technical people who are passionate about machine tools. Smithy wants to build the best benchtop machine tools that can be offered at a value price. All of Smithy’s products are high quality, and none more so than the SmithyCNC line. Every component and manufacturing process has been carefully analyzed to assure that these CNC machines are the best in the small shop market. I can say with confidence – Smithy tools are the best.
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