In graphite machining, as in all things in life, you get what you pay for. Semco Carbon is in the business of manufacturing the highest quality graphite applications for our customers. That means that we invest in the best graphite production equipment. We do not skimp on technology. Our strong capital investment in our machines means long-term benefits for our customers and our company. In order to maintain and increase our productivity and quality, Semco is in the process of purchasing a brand new milling machine and lathe. This equipment upgrade represents a capital investment in excess of half a million dollars. While that figure may sound exorbitantly high for those not in the graphite production business, what it really shows is Semco’s confidence in the future of our business. We know, and our clients know, that we offer the best source of quality graphite applications on the market, and we plan on maintaining that position by investing in the most cutting-edge technology.
Milling machines and lathes are bread-and-butter machines in any graphite machining shop. Mills are used to shape graphite by removing material from the surface using a rotating cutter. A lathe essentially inverts the cutting process -- with a lathe, the spinning object is the thing being cut, the block of graphite, while the cutter remains in place. These kinds of machines have been around for centuries, but the improvements to design and the materials used in the machines, as well as the incorporation of computers into these machines (CNC), offer graphite specialists the ability to machine complex graphite applications to very tight tolerances. While the new machines do require some training of our shop floor workers, most of our experienced employees have worked with similar machines before. The new machines will be brought on-line and integrated into our graphite production operation fairly quickly.
The milling machine and lathe are state-of-the-art machines that will instantly increase the capacity for their respective departments by up to 30%. This is company growth that demonstrates our commitment to our existing customers, and to our future ones. With the tight labor market in mind, these machines were specially selected to have capabilities of running multiple parts at the same time, with minimal operator input after the initial programming and set-up. These graphite machining capabilities of the new mill machine and lathe not only offer a more efficient way to run product, but also enable us to use our machine operators in other areas of the shop.
While the new mill and lathe represent the bulk of our recent capital investment, they are not the only new machines Semco has recently invested in. For instance, we have written extensively in this blog about the newly purchased Romer Arm CMM, a $130,000 investment in the quality department. The Romer Arm will allow rapid inspection of the product produced on the new mill and lathe, as well as on the rest of our current machines. This inspection machine also makes the inspections of large graphite applications much safer for our quality department employees.
Graphite production never slows down at Semco, and neither does our investment in the future of our company.