Vero Software Manufacturing dies for the automotive industry with a progressive edge

Author / Editor: Marc Freebrey / Barbara Schulz

CAD/CAM - In the early 2000s, Ohio-based Atlantic Tool & Die (ATD) found that their CAD/CAM software was not able to cope with the company's increasingly challenging design demands. The new solution they chose, Visi CAD/CAM by Vero Software, was able to fulfill this complex range of tool and die needs.

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Atlantic Tool & Die is working with Visi CAD/CAM software to manipulate solids, sufaces, and wireframes.
Atlantic Tool & Die is working with Visi CAD/CAM software to manipulate solids, sufaces, and wireframes.
(Source: Vero Software)

ATD's main business is tool and die-building, but they also offer stamping, welding, assembly and tube-manufacturing services. While products and dies manufactured by ATD read like a veritable laundry list, the company primarily serves the automotive sector as a direct-to-OEM, tier-one, and tier-two supplier.

“One thing that we really hang our hats on as a company is the process of how our dies are designed and built. We really invest in how we process our tools,” says Jason Andras, design manager at ATD for the past decade. “Our customers are relatively diverse, so we do have some variety, but it’s primarily automotive, and primarily repeat customers,” Andras says. To fulfill its wide range of design and production demands, ATD employs a crew of 650 associates stationed around the globe. While the number of dies built annually by the company is in the hundreds, it produces an average number of stamped parts in the millions per year.

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The company receives CNC software support from Tooling Software Technology (TST), LLC, the Michigan-based master distributor of Visi in the United States and Canada. “The support is excellent,” Andras says of the service provided by TST. “They are quick to respond to any issues that arise, and the follow-through is better than any software support I’ve ever experienced.”

“The software we use has to be complex enough to do what it needs to do, but simple enough that people who aren’t engineers are able to visualise what they need to see. We can see how quickly our employees can pick Visi up as compared to the software that we have tried to use in the past,” Andras explains. Visi delivers a dynamic, flexible structure within which designers are able to manipulate solids, surfaces, wireframes, or a combination of all three. Visi surfacing technology offers a set of tools and methods tailored to assist in an organic, free-form creation of geometry.

Surface modelling functions within Visi include ruled, lofted, drive, sweep, n-sided patch, drape, tangent, draft, resolved, and piped surfaces.

Rapid 3D strip layout for customer requirements

As ATD primarily builds progressive dies, the company takes advantage of Visi’s strip-layout tools to quickly answer questions posed by customers. Beginning with the developed component blank, Visi is used to rapidly generate an efficient 3D strip layout with its automatic blank alignment, rotation, and optimisation tools.

Another tool used frequently by Andras' team is the Visi assembly manager. The assembly manager allows the designer to rapidly build a solid based upon the layout of the required bolster plates, along with pillar and brush arrangements. By providing access to the parameters of each plate, Visi ensures that the modification of the tool is fast and accurate. The tool assembly also includes critical data required for the operation of the press tool, including press stroke, strip stroke, punch height, and tool-stroke data.