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Left to right – Manufacturing Manager Daniel Nguyen, CEO Roy Jones, COO Kelly Olischefski, Matt Tierney of DMG MORI.
One of Senga’s 3 DMG MORI DMU5o 5 axis MX mills with 10 pallets. MX Manufacturing allows parts to completed via high technology machines in single set-up.

Senga Engineering’s expertise began in 1979 with military spec electronic connectors. Through the last four decades this Santa Ana, Ca. company have expanded their capabilities into high complexity 5 axis milling and turning. As a one stop manufacturing partner to the biggest names in aerospace/defense/energy/medical/ and automotive, connectors have become just one of the many industries they serve. Titanium, Inconel, stainless, aluminum, Delrin, brass or steel, no matter the material their advanced machining centers and quality lab meet the high demands set by their customers.

Left – Senga worked closely with Hexagon on a complex problem of reading serial numbers on an all black anodized part with a curved surface. All the CMM measurements are tied to the serial number. Together they wrote an OCR allowing Senga to load the bed of the CMM up with 50 parts and turn the lights off and go home. Right – Senga are a big proponent of having CMMs on the shop floor with direct access to those who need it. They have 9 total Hexagon CMMs, 6 out on the shop floor for quick first article approval and 3 more in their quality lab. They began integrating Quality to the shop over ten years ago.

Roy Jones purchased the company when it had only five employees and 2500sq.ft building. After a few years he bought his first CNC machine, an Okuma lathe. Roy quickly saw the value in having quality-built machine tools and designed the shop around the latest tech available from the best regarded brands. The lathe department now is made up of a multitude of different Okuma turning stations, LT, 3000, 300 and a Multus. The milling side is all DMG Mori that range in size and capabilities like DMU50s, Monoblock 75 and an NTX1000. “We have 40+ CNC milling and turning centers in about 32,000sq.ft. of manufacturing,” tells Roy Jones, owner and CEO of Senga Engineering. “Our prominent two brands of machines are Okuma and DMG Mori, but we just installed a Tsugami SS327-III-5AX. I put off buying a Swiss machine for a long time since our Okumas can go down to ¼”, but we are investing in the newest technology and the Swiss drastically cut our cycle times on those smaller parts.” “Our big focus is on lean processes throughout the company,” adds COO Kelly Olischefski. “We are automating the office and QC too, not just manufacturing. We are working towards a paperless ecosystem and on the verge of getting a new ERP system with all the latest features to pair with our advanced machining and quality capabilities. We are going through changes right now that when we come out the other side is going to make us more productive, more competitive, more state of the art.”

Senga have 3 DMU Series monoBLOCKS 75, 5-axis vertical machining centers. They have a large work area, lots of travel and deliver the precision required by their customers.

Senga has always been on the forefront of technology investment and was one of the early adopters of palletized automation with a Mori Seiki NH4000DCG linear pallet pool (LPP). These multiple (3) Horizontal Machining Centers linked together with 24-Pallets is still a key manufacturing center even after 12-Years of daily operation. Senga also embrace the advantages of 5-sided machining through what DMG MORI terms “Machining Transformation, (MX)”, by process integration. MX Manufacturing allows parts to be completed via high technology machines in single set-ups. Every new DMG MORI that Senga has purchased in the last 6 years all have process integration (MX) capabilities. “I program everything to be a completed part directly off the machine,” explains Senga Engineering’s milling Manufacturing Manager Daniel Nguyen. “When you talk tight tolerance, it isn’t always about size, sometimes it’s about location. For example, if we were to produce a complex part on a 3 axis machine chances are we would need to sneak up on a difficult feature. That might mean multiple operations to get to the point we need to be. Every time you load and unload a part there is room for error. The 5-axis machining does it all in a single operation. Datum, critical features all can be done in a single hold. I design it to be one and done for better efficiency and accuracy. The last 18 months we’ve added 4 new advanced DMG Mori MX machining centers in the milling department alone.” 

As Senga’s business has grown, they realized the advantages of process integration even further by introducing multiple DMU Series monoBLOCKS, 5-axis vertical machining centers. The speedMASTER spindle makes quick work of the most difficult materials thanks to extensive cooling measures and multi-sensor compensation. The generous work envelope is easily accessible via a unique door system, and it’s 5 axis capabilities proved to be both accurate and efficient. It was shortly after those purchases that Senga upped their game once again by integrating more un-attended operations with a DMU50GEN3_PR 5-axis machining center and an automated 10-pallet system. This reinforced what they already knew about the advantages of operating “lights-out” from their 3-Machine LPP. Daniel has been with the company for the last few years and is credited with driving the company into a more lights out mentality. “I think we are doing a better job than ever as far as using the latest machines,” tells Roy. “Daniel has been instrumental in getting us deeper into lights out operations. There are few things nicer than coming in to work and seeing finished parts ready to unload.” “We had a few stand-alone 5 axis machines when I got here,” continues Daniel. “Quality was top notch, but down time on two shifts was very high and a 3rd shift the machine sat completely idle. The machines we had were good machines, but to me they seemed incomplete. They were missing something like if you buy an F-35 and leave out the flight suit and helmet system. Sure, the plane still flies, but it isn’t ideal. Good thing about working here is Mr. Jones is very technology minded. If we need new tech, it is as simple as showing him the data to support the purchase and he will get what you need. Not all owners are like that. You can see that we use the very best tools to do the work we need to do.” Daniel’s goal was to build the ultimate lights out 5 axis machine tools. He spec’d out what he wanted with automation, maximum tooling, probing, wear indicators, laser positioning, and complete cooling systems. Senga decided that a palatized DMU50GEN3_PR 5-axis machine fit the bill perfectly and have since added two more. “Our DMU50 5 axis machines have 10 pallets, 120 tools, high speed spindles, and all the bells and whistles,” adds Daniel. “The pallet system allows us to run multiple jobs at the same time without being down for setups and change overs. We are a high-level contract manufacturer, but sometimes we need to do a quick turn part or two. We couldn’t break in before, but now with multiple pallets we can accommodate for both production and prototype jobs all on the same machine seamlessly. We have enough tools to have multiple jobs setup at the same time ready to run, the spindle is always cutting. You load up all ten pallets and the machine will go for hours and hours. A single operator can now manage multiple machines. The increase in efficiency has drastically improved. We’ve reduced idle time by 2/3rds on our manned shifts and added a 3rd shift that runs completely lights out.” 

Senga’s NTX1000GEN2 mill-turn is a 5 axis manufacturing powerhouse. It is capable of running lights-out thanks to its unique ability to load raw material and automatically unload finished parts.

One of the newest machine tools to hit the floor at Senga is the DMG Mori NTX1000GEN2. Also purchased for process integration and lights-out capabilities this mill-turn is unique in a critical way.  “The NTX is next level 5 axis machining because it can mill and turn simultaneously,” describes Daniel. “With its bar feeder the NTX is more of a lathe than a mill, but what it does that others in its class can’t is manage finished parts. The NTX1000 has a delivery system that keeps with our process integration goals of loading material and automatically delivering a finished part, unmanned. Like all our DMG Mori 5 axis mills the NTX is a highly accurate and stable machining platform with maximum tooling, laser measuring, probing, a tool life management system and active cooling. Over my careen I’ve been involved in buying 50-60 machines from DMG Mori. I’ve always had a great relationship with them and glad it continues here at Senga Engineering. Their quality, service, support, application and sales are fantastic. They are a local company so not only are they just a call or email away, but they are literally 20 minutes down the road.”

Left – More of a lathe than a mill the NTX is a highly accurate and stable machining platform with simultaneous multi-axis milling and turning. Right – Senga love the Siemens controls on all their Mori machines. When it comes to 5 axis work Daniel feels the Siemens is the best.