Joe Gibbs Racing #11 driver Denny Hamlin celebrates after winning the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, 2020. (Photo by Jasen Vinlove; NKP, courtesy of SCHUNK)

“Most people think of Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) as a race team that centers around the action that takes place every weekend at a track. Actually, JGR has 2 divisions: Manufacturing and Competition. On the Manufacturing side, JGR Manufactures ~2,000 different parts and pieces in-house which make up 90% of all parts being assembled in the race cars. With its arsenal of 40-plus CNC machines, quality is the number one priority, because part failure is not an option – with part failures come wrecks! JGR teams up with SCHUNK for the reliability and uncompromising quality of its products.” – Mark Bringle, Technical Sponsorship and Marketing Director, JGR

The substantial engineering department at Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) generates different designs each day to continually improve car performance in a highly competitive racing environment.

JGR’s in-house machine shop must manufacture components as quickly as possible so the team’s drivers can immediately reap the benefits on the track. To create small batches of various workpieces in short order, JGR’s shop strives to reduce and simplify setups.

SCHUNK has been a long-standing workholding sponsor of JGR, and during their partnership the companies have worked together to reduce setup times and increase productivity to enable the JGR manufacturing team to quickly and accurately produce new parts for the cars.

SCHUNK supplies a wide variety of products that help JGR manufacture its parts to their high standard:

  • SCHUNK tombstones fitted on 4 Doosan horizontal mills
  • SCHUNK vises, magnetic chucks on 15 Doosan vertical mills
  • SCHUNK chucks, vises on 3 Doosan 630 5-axis machines
  • SCHUNK chucks on 7 Doosan lathes
  • SCHUNK VERO-S quick-change pallet system on all mills – allows JGR to change out its fixtures in minutes, reducing setup time dramatically

Setups for one mounting plate were time-consuming because it required shimming to level the plate on the vertical machining center (VMC) prior to machining. Self-leveling pole extensions on the magnetic chuck eliminated shimming, enabling faster setups and improved tolerances.

SCHUNK VERO-S quick change pallet system

The SCHUNK VERO-S quickchange pallet system enables parts to be set up for the next job, while the machine is running the previous job. The pallet system allows operators to quickly remove the fixture holding the completed parts and install the fixture with workpieces for the next job. The common mounting pin interface allows the shop to use any of its existing fixturing or vises with the pallet system. This system also allows JGR to interrupt a part run with a more urgent part without lengthy setup changes.

Bringle concludes, “SCHUNK has definitely given JGR a competitive advantage with its product line. Just like the race cars, it’s all about speed, and we get to the finish line in manufacturing quicker with SCHUNK.”

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