CAM system supports 5-axis machining strategies

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5-axis simultaneous milling for mould makers

In the past, this broad range of tasks has been handled with two different CAM systems: "In many assignments the preparation work takes as long as the machining on the machine,” Huber said. "Some of our parts programming is very time-consuming."

In 2011, new customers in the mould making sector triggered a growth spurt and 5-axis simultaneous milling became increasingly important, forcing the company to take a good look at their CAM strategy. Besides the two existing systems, the company evaluated the CAD/CAM system Hyper Mill/Hyper-CAD from Open Mind. In demonstrations it quickly became apparent that the different requirements could most efficiently be met with this system. "In addition to the wide range of functions and the good price/performance ratio, we also saw an advantage in the well-matched products from Open Mind and Heidenhain," Huber said.

Meanwhile, the two CAM workstations are now manned over two shifts. There is no distinction between machine operator and NC programmers, Huber explained. "Here, every employee has the time and the know-how to write the programs for his machine on the CAM workstation and make changes at the machine itself," he said. "As a result , knowledge of current tool technologies and possible cutting speeds and feed rates always feeds back into the NC programs."

Experienced employees discovered the first advantage of using a single CAM system through the common tool management offered by Hyper Mill. "We aim to reduce the set-up times by using large capacity tool magazines on the machines, automatic tool removal and automatic zero point clamping," Huber said.