CAM System From design to machine: Modular CAM software ensures subcontractor's flexibility
UK — Birmingham based Cutting Blue was founded four years ago by Piotr Parobczy as a consultancy imbued in the programming of complex high-value components for the F1 and motorsport industries. However, in the last 18 months, the small subcontract company has commenced manufacturing, purchasing machine tools from Doosan and DMG Mori that are supported by the CAM software from Open Mind Technologies.
Located in central Birmingham, Cutting Blue has rapidly built a customer base in the electric vehicle (EV) and micro-mobility sectors, manufacturing drivetrain components, battery and electronic enclosures and more. The company has invested in a large bed Doosan DNM6700 and a DMG Mori CMX600V machining centre to undertake the processing of primarily plastic and aluminium parts that are machined in batches from 100 to 500-off.
Alluding to why the company opted for Hypermill from Open Mind Technologies, Cutting Blue Company Founder Piotr Parobczy says: “As a business, we are currently only running 3-axis machining centres but Hypermill is perfect for this type of machining. Open Mind may be known for its 5-axis strategies, but as a completely modular system, we can ‘bolt-on’ additional features as and when we need them. As Hypermill is not a subscription model, it is far cheaper than other premium software.”
Whilst Hypermill is only required for 3-axis machining on the shop floor at Cutting Blue, the consultancy division of the company undertakes the programming of complex components for a host of industry sectors — it is here where the benefits of Hypermill are evident. As Parobczy continues: “We have Hypermill fully loaded with strategies from Maxx machining and 5-axis through to tube machining, multi-blade, probing, turning and more. That is the beauty of Hypermill, you can add features to suit your specific requirements.”
“Compared to other CAM systems, we have found Hypermill faster, more productive and easier to use than other packages. Moreover, we have often found alternate CAM systems unreliable with limited post-processor availability and the collision avoidance doesn’t always fill you with confidence. This is not the case with Hypermill. They have post-processors for every machine and the collision detection and avoidance is outstanding. When going through the NC Code, Hypermill is at least 20 percent faster than rival CAM systems.”
The components machined at Cutting Blue can often have cycle times from 5 to 22 hours per part and Hypermill generates considerable cycle time savings on many of these components. As Parobczy says: “By using strategies like the Maxx machining for roughing, we can use high-speed cutting tools and trochoidal milling to reduce cycle times on some parts by more than 30 percent. When you are machining batches of 100-off or more each month, this is a significant saving. In fact, the strategies in Hypermill often shave one hour or more off the cycle times of many parts. Some parts that we have programmed for customers have also seen cycle times fall from 22 hours to 17.”
The CAM programming consultancy offered by Cutting Blue generates equally high cycle time reductions for its clients. If customers are adopting the latest cutting tools and machine tools the benefits can be impressive. Alluding to this, Piotr continues: “We have one customer that is 5-axis machining impellers for the marine industry and we have yielded impressive cycle time reductions on these single blade impellers. By utilising the Multiblade feature in Hypermill, the blades are quite easy to programme, as the strategy has a host of small options that simplify the process while a lot of the other tasks are automated. The customer is applying conical barrel tools and as Open Mind are the pioneers in this technology, applying the tools and strategies is straightforward.”
“The result of this project has seen the client reduce the cycle times from one hour per impeller to just 20 minutes. This is a credit to the combination of the Hypermill strategies and the adoption of conical barrel tools that enable the tool paths to run with a stepover of 3 mm or more compared to a stepover of just 0.2 mm with conventional ball nose tools.”
Concluding on this impeller project and the application of Hypermill, Parobczy says: “The impeller project is something that we will be machining in-house next year and we are currently investigating suitable mill/turn centres in the market to support us in doing this. By utilising Hypermill, we can undertake such challenges with complete confidence and peace of mind. The CAM system is exceptionally reliable and consistent with post-processors and collision avoidance that is second-to-none. As our company and machining capacity and capabilities evolve, so will our application of Hypermill.”