So What Happens To the Tooling?

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hydrogeo
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So What Happens To the Tooling?

Post by hydrogeo » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:54 am

Always wondered what happens when an equipment manufacturer like Deere ceases production on a model. Take the 420C, are the casting molds and tooling still sitting on a rack in some giant warehouse someplace with an inch of dust on them, or do they do a spare parts production run and then scrap everything when a model gets superseded?

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Lavoy
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Re: So What Happens To the Tooling?

Post by Lavoy » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:03 pm

What was told to me by a tour guide at the Deere foundry many, many years ago was that Deere has all of the patterns for all the parts stored somewhere. He also claimed that they would tool up a piece if someone needed it. Now my assumption is that he was incorrect at least on the last part, or at least you will need to take 50 of them at an exorbitant price. I also question that they still have the patterns, but I guess it is possible. I can see no reason they are keeping patterns for example of a casting for a small combine that was made 75 years ago. Storage has a cost, and any company that has a cost with no possible return would get rid of that cost, big company or small.
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mavs1422
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Re: So What Happens To the Tooling?

Post by mavs1422 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:37 pm

Well as a welder and assembler of some of John Deere products I can say that once they determine that a product is obsolete now they buy a certain amount of service parts then scrap the fixturing. The company I work for does several sub assemblies for John Deere and once they decide to change to a new model they either buy 5-7 years worth of service parts or pay us to keep fixtures for 5-7 years. After that they say scrap them. Of course this is weld fixturing not castings

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hydrogeo
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Re: So What Happens To the Tooling?

Post by hydrogeo » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:16 am

Makes sense. In this day and age, at least all the new stuff is saved for posterity in digital files that truly do have almost zero storage cost. And now it's easy to scan an old part and create a file, so hopefully things will only continue to get easier for us fans of the obsolete to keep our stuff running.

Ray III
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Re: So What Happens To the Tooling?

Post by Ray III » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:17 am

If a casting was needed badly enough, you could always use an original part as a pattern. A molder at a foundry that does custom castings would add the necessary channels to feed metal, let gas out and allow for expansion/contraction. It might take a couple of tries with a more complex part to get the iron in all the corners and skinny areas with enough time to cool gradually. There might even be hardened areas such as thread bosses that would be created by a rapid cooling. A very experienced molder would be able to figure it out, but their craft is becoming a dying art with the advent of computer aided manufacturing and button-pushers.

Then you'd have to have a machine shop duplicate any milled areas.

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CuttingEdge
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Re: So What Happens To the Tooling?

Post by CuttingEdge » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:38 am

Lavoy wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:03 pm
What was told to me by a tour guide at the Deere foundry many, many years ago was that Deere has all of the patterns for all the parts stored somewhere. He also claimed that they would tool up a piece if someone needed it. Now my assumption is that he was incorrect at least on the last part, or at least you will need to take 50 of them at an exorbitant price. I also question that they still have the patterns, but I guess it is possible. I can see no reason they are keeping patterns for example of a casting for a small combine that was made 75 years ago. Storage has a cost, and any company that has a cost with no possible return would get rid of that cost, big company or small.
Lavoy
I am not sure about John Deere, but when I worked for Douglas Dynamics as a welder, they had every pattern every made so that a person who had a 1950's Willy jeep and needed a mount for their old snowplow, could still have the part made. It would be a one-off part, but there was welders in the factory who did that, and only that.

Douglas Dynamics makes Fisher, Western and Blizzard brand snow plows.
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