B.C. Instruments

Case Studies

B.C. Instruments

APPLICATION: Ultrasonic Machining

BACKGROUND: B.C. Instruments (BCI) is a family-owned company with more than 140 employees based in Schomberg, Ontario, just north of Toronto, Canada. Comprised of five manufacturing groups, BCI specializes in precision machining of tight-tolerance components for the aerospace, nuclear, injection molding and medical equipment industries. The company’s Engineered Materials Machining Section (EMMS) successfully installed the first North American application of DMS35 ultrasonic machining technology from DMG, providing BCI with the unique capability to machine such advanced materials as fixed ceramics (alumina and zirconia oxides), quartz, silicon nitride, graphite, composite materials and precious stones.


When BCI’s EMMS purchased a DMG DMS35 Ultrasonic Deckel Maho machining center, equipped with a Sauer spindle, the company gained the ability to bypass traditional grinding methods, instead machining advanced materials with high accuracy. One specific example of the manufacturing challenges presented by engineered materials can be found in ceramic components which are extremely hard and wear-resistant. For one BCI customer, EMMS utilizes their ultrasonic machining capability to cut grooves in a ceramic cylinder used in a medical device. "Our productivity needed to improve," said EMMS Project Manager Mike Docker. "We were losing too much time with each fixture changeover."


  • Locating required on all four (4) workpieces with each set-up
  • Machine set-up time ranged from 11/2 to 2 hours


BCI selected the Ball Lock Mounting System from Jergens to improve both workholding and work relocation on the DMS35 ultrasonic machine. Having utilized the Ball Lock system with traditional machining applications, BCI felt confident that it was the perfect solution for the ultrasonic machining issues. The Ball Lock system functions as a quick-change mechanism, enabling simultaneous clamping and locating.


  • Fixture plates accurately and repeatably located & locked
  • Set-up times reduced to 5-10 minutes


The improvement in changeover time was dramatic. We now use the Ball Lock system on every single fixture for the ultrasonic machine.

— EMMS Project Manager Mike Docker


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BCI enjoys tackling manufacturing challenges and takes pride in jobs with complicated processing or especially tight tolerances. The company typically produces components in low to medium quantities and is also experiencing growing demand for rapid prototyping.


Faster set ups with the Ball Lock System have been priceless for our operation, especially for the growing number of short-run jobs
and prototypes.

— EMMS Project Manager Mike Docker


Jergens Workholding- Ball Lock System

Jergens Workholding- Ball Lock System
ABOVE: Ball Lock locating pin cutaway