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Case Study CAM system offers functions and strategies that save time and money

| Editor: Rosemarie Stahl

The medium-sized Knarr Group, located in Helmbrechts, Germany, is a tool and mould-maker that manufactures and supplies all standard parts through to complete mould bases according to customer requirements. In addition to the company’s highly motivated employees, its modern machine tools and its CAM system provide the basis for the company’s steadily growing business success.

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Knarr employees Thomas Wunsiedler (left) and Marco Mergner (right) in conversation with Nils Nabor, responsible Area Sales Manager at Open Mind.
Knarr employees Thomas Wunsiedler (left) and Marco Mergner (right) in conversation with Nils Nabor, responsible Area Sales Manager at Open Mind.
(Source: Open Mind)

With 20 years of professional experience gained as Head of Tool and Mould Making at a renowned plastics processing company, Rainer Knarr founded his own company of the same name in 1994. The company devoted itself completely to the manufacturing of tools. With the knowledge of what tool and mould-makers really need, he founded another company in 2000 that set itself the task of selling standard parts – with its own trade catalogue.

The Knarr Group now employs around 190 workers at its headquarters in the Upper Franconian town of Helmbrechts. The employees work to ensure that Knarr is regarded as a competent partner by a range of tool and mould-making companies.

The internally produced standard parts benefit from the expertise that has been developed over the last 20 years. Knarr also supplies special versions of these standard parts, as Thomas Wunsiedler, Deputy Marketing Manager, explains: “The expertise of my manufacturing colleagues and our production equipment make it possible to respond to almost every customer wish. My sales experience tells me that anyone who has had a chance to experience the high quality of our products will return – again and again.”

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Open Mind Technologies

Open Mind is a developer of powerful CAM solutions for machine and controller-independent programming.

The company designs optimised CAM solutions that include a large number of innovative features to deliver significantly higher performance in both programming and cutting machining. Strategies such as 2.5D, 3D and 5-axis milling/mill-turning as well as machining operations like HSC and HPC are compactly integrated into the Hyper-Mill CAM system. Hyper-Mill provides benefits to customers thanks to its full compatibility with all current CAD solutions and extensive programming automation.

Open Mind ranks among the top-five global CAM/CAD manufacturers according to the 2017 CIMdata NC Market Analysis Report, Open Mind says. According to the company, the CAM/CAD systems from Open Mind meet the strictest requirements in the tool and mould manufacturing and production machining industries as well as in the automobile, aerospace and medical engineering industries. Open Mind is active in all of the important markets in Asia, Europe and America and is a Mensch und Maschine company.

Knarr is a full-range provider for the tool and mould-making industry and offers all standard parts, ranging from ejector technology, guides and tempering elements through to quality products such as limit switches, centring units, slide elements, short-stroke cylinders and collapsible cores. Since 2013, Knarr has also been providing mould bases (System K and System F) and P plates of different sizes, designs and materials. In addition to the company’s standard product range, complete machining is also playing an increasingly important role. “The demand for mould bases with customer-specific inclusions (customer-specific additions) is rising constantly,” reports Marco Mergner. As head of department, the engineering technician and master precision mechanic is responsible for the CAD/CAM programming and milling technology of the department, which has grown considerably within a short period of time.

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Special versions ranging from ejectors to mould bases

According to Marco Mergner, the expertise, motivation of the employees, friendly and respectful co-operation within the team as well as the modern machine park are all part of the company’s recipe for success. The company’s managers have full confidence in their workforce. This has prompted them to invest in state-of-the-art machining centres for the mould base milling area. Since going into operation, the centres have been used to capacity in a two-shift system. Marco Mergner also highlights the importance of the Hyper Mill CAM solution that “not only meets our requirements but also plays a decisive role in ensuring that we keep pace and continue to develop.” As the production of mould plates – with a range of special wishes and requirements – is similar to the classic manufacturing of single parts, CAM programming has a key role to play here. “With Open Mind’s software, we’re optimally equipped for the future,” emphasises the CAD/CAM professional.

Rainer Knarr and his team of CAD/CAM specialists have been placing their confidence and trust in the partner from Wessling near Munich, Germany, ever since the 1990s. Marco Mergner explains: “The considerable technical performance of the individual machining cycles with extensive options for multi-axis and 5-axis machining, deep-hole drilling, automation and measurement technology is and remains a decisive factor. Another factor was the user-friendliness of the system, plus the excellent service offered by Open Mind, which we were already familiar with.”

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