Cimatron North America,
Quality Tooling Inc.'s two new Makino high-speed machining centers didn’t complete jobs as rapidly as anticipated because the CAM software it used couldn’t really handle high-speed machining. Projects usually took several runs, and costly cutting tools often wore out because of inconsistent feedrates and chip loads. To improve high-speed performance, the shop tried software from Cimatron North America, Novi, Mich.
“The software lets us program complex 3D contoured surfaces and quickly make clean parts,” says Quality Toolingmanager Brian Alvey. “And, better yet, it has helped us boost production. For example, one job entailed cutting a die-cast mold that had about 5,500 ribs. In the past, we had to machine parts like that area-by-area. The NC program, though, lets us accurately machine parts such as this in a single run.”
Also, the shop’s cutters last longer because the software keeps chip loads and feedrates constant, so machining is smoother, says Alvey. “And the software provides templates to save programming time in cutting EDM electrodes. In addition, simulation eliminates double setups and the risk of electrodes hitting parts,” he says.
Alvey says the software lets the Corydon, Ky., shop run machines with fewer operators. Also, faster delivery times have brought in more repeat business and new customers. “To top this off, the capability to quickly make quality parts gives us a winning edge over offshore competitors,” he says.