Case study / DP Technology Increasing productivity without bending on quality
USA / France – When a US-based toolmaker for rotary draw tube benders and continuous roll form tube bending machines was looking to eliminate manufacturing bottlenecks, it invested in a Mazak Integrex J-400 B-Axis mill-turn machining centre and Esprit CAD/CAM software.
Tube Bending Concepts is a well-known custom tooling manufacturer for both rotary draw tube benders and continuous roll form tube bending machines for the automotive, HVAC, aerospace, and fitness equipment industries. Tube Bending Concepts prides itself in not bending the rules when it comes to providing their end-users with the precision and durability they demand. According to the motto that “every job is a custom job, and every part has to be perfect”, Tube Bending Concepts has successfully been in business for over 25 years.
Since the core of the company's business is made-to-order tooling requiring machining of extremely customer-specific parts, set-up, tear-down, and part programming make up more than 50% of the manufacturing time, becoming a bottleneck in their manufacturing workflow. To address these production pains Tube Bending Concepts needed to invest in more elite technologies to get the job done right, the first time. They decided to start by investing in a Mazak Integrex J-400 B-Axis mill-turn machining centre. In doing so, parts that would normally require three to five different set-ups were completed in just two set-ups with better geometric accuracy and repeatability.
Automated CAM platform drastically decreases programming time
The next step in order to utilise their new Mazak multi-tasking machine tool to the fullest was to choose a CAM software that could handle complex machining, but did not compromise on the product quality their customers demanded. The company ultimately chose DP Technology’s Esprit CAD/CAM software for its Knowledge Base and Application Programming Interface (API). These two exclusive features, when used in conjunction, turned their new powerful Esprit 5-axis CAM solution system into an automated CAM platform which drastically decreased their programming time.
Tube Bending Concepts now relies on Esprit’s Knowledge Base to automate and save their machining operations, which enables them to define parameters for each operation based on logic statements and equations. Using Esprit’s API, Tube Bending Concepts was able to create macros and subroutine programs that automatically recognised and created features from the 3D solid model.
When one of Tube Bending Concepts' customers needed custom-bend dies quickly, without bending on quality, Esprit CAD/CAM software was successfully put to the test to machine these intricate parts. Esprit enabled the company to see complex kinematic simulations with realistic machine tool simulations before machining their custom parts. Moreover, the company increased its productivity by 500%. Esprit helped cut their programming time from four to six hours per part to 15 to 30 minutes. With factory-certified post processors and full machine kinematic simulations, Esprit CAM software was the right choice to decrease set-up and programming time.
Manufacturing Engineer Trevor Dutrow said, "Ultimately, Esprit is the future of CAM software for businesses that program in high volume, and has the industry’s best support team to keep you focused on making parts."