noviembre 20, 2007
WorkNC Automatic CAM/CAD keeps it simple!
Manufacturers are continually looking for ways to improve efficiency and achieve a leaner working environment, by multi tasking, speeding up and simplifying tasks, and introducing automation. As molds, dies and components become more complex, the technology required to achieve these productivity improvements needs to become increasingly sophisticated. The WorkNC Automatic CAM/CAD system, from Sescoi, help deliver these productivity gains whilst simplifying CNC programming, in a wide range of demanding industries including companies within the automotive, aerospace, tool and die, sport and recreational, and medical fields.
True to the company’s ‘Keep it Simple’ motto, ‘ease of use’ is a constant key development criteria for WorkNC and Sescoi’s research has shown that ease of use is an increasingly important attribute for users. The company recognizes that to achieve efficiency improvements, engineers need to be able to produce the toolpaths they require quickly and easily and that, for occasional users, the system must be easy to learn – in a matter of days rather than weeks. WorkNC G3, the latest version of Sescoi’s flagship software, draws on this ease of use philosophy and the 20 years of experience which Sescoi has within the manufacturing industry. It features a completely new intuitive and ergonomic interface which integrates design, analysis, CNC programming and toolpath verification, to make the software even more user friendly and the user more productive.
Bentley Motors in the UK uses WorkNC in its model shop to develop new vehicles. Kevin Baker, Design Model Manager said, “Four modelers in the Styling Studio use the two WorkNC seats. Its ease of use makes their tasks much simpler and they have absolute confidence in the results it produces.” The improvements have had a major impact on the company’s development program. Prior to using WorkNC and Bentley’s new ITP machines, shaping a full sized model would take four to six people three weeks. The same task can now be completed by one person in one week.
WorkNC’s ease of use enables operators to program new jobs on the shop floor at Bélisle Industries. The Canadian company has increased the efficiency of its shop floor programming by 200-300% enabling operators to continue with other tasks such as assembly and mold polishing. Frédéric Jean, General Manager said, “We can continue programming another job while WorkNC is calculating. The multi-tasking capability is a big boost to the productivity of our programmers.” Additionally, the company has benefited from the reliability of the stock model and the rest model management in WorkNC, which has given it the confidence to run several machines with one operator between them. He added, “WorkNC suits our approach and fits well with our company business plan of achieving maximum metal removal rates with existing equipment.”
5-axis machining brings some big advantages to manufacture. More of the job can be reached in one setting, eliminating operations and increasing accuracy. Shorter and more rigid tools can be used, which will improve surface finish and enable the machine tool to run faster. However much of the existing 5-axis CAM software on the market is considered very complex and difficult to use. WorkNC‘s 5-axis module includes its unique Auto 5 function which automatically converts 3-axis cutterpaths to 5-axis. This brings the automatic creation of complex 5-axis toolpaths within the reach of most companies.
Japanese die cast products manufacturer RYOBI achieved a 33% reduction in machining time and a 20% reduction in programming time by introducing Auto 5. Mr Ono, of the Die Section said, “Adopting Auto 5 enabled us to reduce five surface finishing processes to three, while electrode manufacture and EDM die sinking has been much reduced as we can machine the bulk of the cavity using 3/5-Axis toolpaths. The result is a reduction from 12 processes to 8."
Adelaide Pattern Tooling & Design in Australia has achieved similar results on its foundry patterns by introducing WorkNC Auto 5. CAD Manager, Drazen Vincekovic said, “We don’t use any EDM tools now. Previously, we would have used 10 or 20 electrodes on each pattern. This has resulted in a 40% time saving. We run all the toolpaths through Auto 5, which allows us to pick out walls 70-80mm high using the shortest possible cutters, tipping the tool in 5-axis to reach otherwise inaccessible areas of the job. We find that programming in 5-axis with Auto 5 is easier than programming in 3+2.”
German mold manufacturer Heck & Becker highlighted the quality improvements - Auto 5 allowed the tool to machine around the complete workpiece, making face machining unnecessary. Consequently there were no transitions or unmatched surfaces. This produced a reduction in reworking of approximately 15%.
The automated technology built into WorkNC’s toolpaths has enabled companies to achieve large reductions in cycle times with the minimum of effort. High torque roughing automatically considers the stock material and produces a fluid tool movement which eliminates air cutting, reduces tool load and enables the machine to run at a higher feedrate.
Riken Forge took full advantage of high speed machining for direct machining of its dies at its Japanese factory. By using small depths of cut, tool load and cycle time were minimized, saving 62% of the roughing time. Hiroki Takama of the Production Engineering Department said, “A set of dies used to take a week, this is now down to two days with WorkNC.”
WorkNC’s Feature Recognition capabilities and the integration of WorkNC-CAD has made a big difference to the working methods and the productivity of the Tooling Systems Group which comprises six companies centred around Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. For the large stamping dies which the company manufactures, programming the hole machining used to take 1.5 hours. With Feature Recognition the process is automated and is now completed in 5 minutes. The company also programs on the shop floor, thanks to the ease of use of WorkNC. Additionally, by using WorkNC-CAD the operators can prepare the design for production by themselves. Jon Armstrong, Programmer at Tooling Systems said, “Feature Recognition has automated the programming, eliminated human error and enabled us to increase the productivity from 10 to 60 steels per operator per week.”
Companies that have invested in WorkNC have quickly reaped the benefits, realizing that time savings and productivity improvements are directly related to the ease of use and reliability of the software.