“I know it’s hard to have a career that is stable in this day and age,” said Chastenay. “And I realize that there are also risks in working for a small business. I want to make sure that taking that risk is worthwhile. I want my employees to have a workplace where they feel secure, and that our customers can feel confident they are getting the quality products that they expect, delivered on time. That is what matters most.”
Technology is the company’s competitive weapon to achieving this goal, and Chastenay uses it efficiently for prototype part manufacturing in the electronics, aerospace, glass and industrial printing industries.
“We want to be the best, so we try to buy the best.”
To handle the sheer diversity of materials and parts it works with, All Axis requires flexible and reliable equipment, like its Makino PS95 vertical machining center. This equipment has not only helped All Axis handle this kind of part variety, but it has also reduced cycle times by up to 50 percent over previous equipment, showing customers that the company is committed to completing jobs on time, on budget and with exacting tolerances.
“Prototype part manufacturing is not a cookie-
Chastenay has followed his passion for machining since high school; and while he may own his own company now, he still enjoys spending time on the machines.
Standard features of the PS95, like the through-
With the improved speed and quality afforded by the PS95, All Axis has been able to decrease costs by 10 percent, passing those savings along to its customers.
In parts transferred from previous equipment to the PS95, All Axis has seen cycle time reductions from 20 to 50 percent due to fewer machining passes and faster feedrates.
The rigidity and precision of the PS95 enable All Axis to handle tight-
Ever since high school, Chastenay has enjoyed machining and working jobs where he was able to use his hands. He has always been good at tinkering with cars, trucks and other heavy equipment. A trade class in high school piqued his interest early on and drove him to excel in this type of career.
After high school, Chastenay worked at a few local companies, including an aerospace manufacturer that handled many exotic metals. When a friend recommended an open development position at another company, Chastenay found himself eager for the challenge. He started working as an experimental machinist and gradually moved up to supervisor and then into a management position.
“I stayed for 14 years, and it was there that I learned a lot about engineering and design,” he said. “I enjoyed handling the more challenging projects and overseeing the experimentation, test machining, data collection and feedback.”
When the company decided to discontinue its experimental machine shop, Chastenay saw a new opportunity. There was continuing demand in the market for prototype part manufacturing, and he already had a Bridgeport machine at home for performing side jobs. Chastenay decided to go into business for himself at All Axis. He had the blessing of and encouragement from his former employer, and he qualified Chastenay’s business as a vendor before Chastenay even left the company.
“We are finding that we can get the highest metal-
“I had a great transition to business owner,” he said. “Today I still work with my former company on new designs.”
With prototype part manufacturing, batch sizes are typically small with quantities of 10 or less. As such, All Axis found itself performing a lot of setups and programming.
“We found that we needed more capacity and better performance from our equipment,” said Chastenay. “We were already stretched thin on our schedules. In fact, we had three of our commodity vertical machining centers already scheduled out for the entire year.”
Running its existing equipment nonstop meant that All Axis didn’t have a moment for downtime. The company was afraid that if it lost a machine, there would be no backup, it could lose a customer, or that the loss in profit would be more than the machine itself. Moreover, it was already experiencing some reliability issues with its previous equipment.
“We decided to invest in infrastructure,” said Chastenay. “We needed equipment that would perform roughing on tough materials. To do that, we needed something extremely rigid with fast spindle speeds. We wanted something that would work well for a lot longer than other machines and that would retain its value.”
INVESTING IN TECHNOLOGY
Chastenay had some familiarity with the Makino name and the machine’s Fanuc-
“The machining demo was impressive,” he said. “And I appreciated that Makino shared extensive details and specific metrics on the machine’s rigidity and build, unlike the other manufacturers who would not disclose to me how their machines are designed.”
“A key to producing quality products is machine reliability,” said Chastenay. “We require equipment that will not break down. All of us liked the heavy-
“We used to shovel enough to fill a 55-
“After installation, we found that all the details that Makino and Able Machine Tool Sales had provided us about the machine prior to installation were 100 percent accurate,” Chastenay said. “I believe that you get what you pay for. The machine is very efficient and user-
“We find it very efficient to not have to remove chips from the machine,” said Chastenay. “We used to shovel enough to fill a 55-
“On average, in parts transferred to this machine, we have seen 20 percent cycle-
Another area where the company is saving time is by consolidating setups by using progressive fixturing. In addition, the larger work envelope and travel of the machine compared to the previous machine have enabled All Axis to take on larger part applications and to perform multiple operations in a single load for faster completion of parts. All Axis also appreciates that the PS95 follows the geometry it is programmed to, with less tool deflection and better blends.
“We get higher resolution and adjustability with the Makino controls compared to our other vertical machining centers,” said Chastenay. “In fact, we get one full decimal point better.”
The company is also now able to use more advanced tooling. “We can drill through six inches of aluminum with a quarter-
“We can handle tight-
The results seen on the PS95 have brought in more orders. The machine has also made the company more competitive, which is reflected in its part costs.
“On parts transferred to the PS95, we have had a 10 percent decrease in cost. We are now bidding on jobs that we couldn’t previously, and customers who once passed on our services are now coming back to us.”
Chastenay explained, “By reducing our cycle times and achieving better quality, we are able to pass along savings gained from those efficiencies to the customer. In fact, on parts transferred to the PS95, we have had a 10 percent decrease in cost. We are now bidding on jobs that we couldn’t previously, and customers who once passed on our services are now coming back to us.
“We have learned that if you don’t invest, you will lose bid after bid on jobs you quote. With the new efficiencies gained from the PS95, we know that All Axis as a whole will be stronger.”
EXCELLING BEYOND EXPECTATION
“We believe that technology puts us on top,” said Chastenay. “This equipment arms us with the recipe to be the best. We want our existing customers to know that their business is important to us. We are demonstrating that by building a reliable business where people feel confident when working with us. We take our customers seriously and aim to serve them well, delivering what they ask for and more.
“We all know that there are no guarantees in life. That is why I typically set goals beyond my reach. It allows me to excel in what I do so that I can exceed the expectations of my family and customers. This high-
Claremont, New Hampshire