Organising a shop’s entire production process
When making the decision, the Portuguese subsidiary is said to have drawn on the experience of its parent company, which in 2011 decided to use Tebis throughout the group. An initial analysis revealed a six-figure savings potential per year. The analysis was performed jointly with the vendor based on data, provided by Schneider Form employees, about time, effort and costs. The results of a benchmark test with other CAD/CAM systems pointed in the same direction: In terms of calculation time and surface quality, Tebis outscored its competitors.
Rocha noted that the vendor offers a large portfolio and covers the necessary CAM spectrum for tool and mould making. “Today we have six workstations for 3+2-axis milling and one for 5-axis milling, an electrode module, two Simulator licenses, and a measurement point generator. This is exactly what we need at the present moment. It’s nice that all the modules are part of a higher-level process. The software effectively thinks along with us.”
Intelligent process tools
He highlighted the job manager, said to be the system’s central organisation and control tool, one that can be accessed from every workstation. NC templates ensure safe, standardised workflows, Rocha noted, adding that for the shop, this means the communication between the employees involved in the process is better than ever before. Changes are immediately fed back into the information chain. “Tebis has really managed to virtually map all of our processes – from job planning, to NC programming, all the way to manufacturing – and make them accessible to everyone.” This has motivated shop staff, he added.
The other Portuguese mould manufacturers have also recognised that good software is much more than the sum of its parts. Investments are currently being made in software at a very high level. Rocha's take on this: “The companies are wise to always use the latest programs. Ultimately, the software must support the company's development in order to pay off over the long term.”
Rocha underlined the improvements at the plant since choosing the software. “Production has increased by 20% to 40%, depending on the application. Overall, our machining has become more reliable and more routine.”
Partners through and through
Rocha said the working relationship with his software vendor has played an important role in the shop’s success. “The co-operation based on partnership, the support before the sale, and especially the support we receive after the sale are especially important to us. These factors instill a sense of security and trust, which keeps our minds free so that we can concentrate entirely on our core tasks. We know that Tebis closely observes the market, flexibly responds to new trends, and continuously evolves.”
Moreover, the vendor remains engaged, and offers help and advice, Rocha said. “We work to solve our problems together.”