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marzo 18, 2008

WorkNC 20 years on

In the late eighties, CNC programming of complex components was a difficult and lengthy process. This was when Bruno Marko, CEO and Gérard Billard, R&D Innovation Manager, the driving forces behind Sescoi, pioneered the development of a new, reliable and automatic 3-axis CAM system, which led to the launch of WorkNC in 1988.

Over the years, Sescoi has stuck to the original philosophy behind WorkNC : to speed up toolpath calculations, ensure optimum reliability to facilitate machining directly into hard materials, and maximise ease of use so that programming can be carried out on the shopfloor. Automation is a theme which runs throughout the development history of the software. According to Bruno Marko, “WorkNC’s aim has always been to be the closest thing possible to ‘single-button’ CAM”.

20 years later and WorkNC has evolved into a world leading CAM/CAD solution for 2 through to 5-axis machining, with Sescoi now clearly leading the way in the domain of automated 5-axis machining.

Gérard Billard commented, “Only a small percentage of companies is equipped with 5-axis machining centers so there is a high potential for growth in this market. Our 5-axis system, first developed in 2001, includes a full range of tools such as machine simulation and toolpath editing to generate risk free cutterpaths.” Auto 5, unique to WorkNC, was the next step, automatically transforming 3-axis toolpaths into 5-axis movements. This process brings 5-axis programming within the grasp of manufacturers everywhere, enabling them to speed up and improve the quality of their toolpaths and machine more of a complex part in one setting. WorkNC’s 5-axis capabilities have been further extended in WorkNC G3, the third generation of the software launched last year.

WorkNC G3 has a single ergonomic interface which combines interaction and manipulation of CAD data with intelligent toolpaths and simulation. The new standards in ease of use set by this latest version are intended to further build on the software’s global success.

At the end of 2007, WorkNC was the most widely used CAM system in Japan for the third year running, according to the Nikkan Kogyo Newspaper annual survey of Japanese die and mold makers, and it has achieved prominence worldwide in a range of industries. WorkNC customers include well known names such as the ARRK Group, RYOBI, Playmobil, Eurocopter, Samsung as well as all US, European and Japanese car makers.

Today Sescoi’s turnover exceeds Euros 20 million and it continues to invest heavily in WorkNC’s development, allocating Euros 2.5 million in 2006 to its development centers in Europe and Japan. WorkNC’s route to market is through its eight subsidiaries in France, Germany, USA, UK, Japan, Spain, India and China as well as an extensive distributor network.

Sescoi sees a bright future for automated CAM systems. Its original philosophy has proved to be correct as automation, ease of use and reliability in CNC programming are clearly key factors in improving productivity and profitability for engineering companies and in countering the increasing shortage of skilled staff.

Gérard Billard concluded, “We are constantly working on new strategies and calculation algorithms to improve tolerances, times, knowledge management, and hence ease of use. Collaborating with users and reacting rapidly to their requirements will continue to drive the evolution of WorkNC, ensuring that we continue to deliver perfect reliability and leading edge technology.”

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