CAD/CAM for exceptional parts

Nowadays, automatic turning machines are genuine machining centres which performing turning operations, naturally, but which also perform milling, burnishing, thread whirling, decoration and many other operations. To ensure efficient programming during complex operations, companies often have to use CAD/CAM. Meeting at atokalpa with Richard Steulet, Bar Turning Manager and Yannick Meyer, Technical Sales Representative at Productec, supplier of GibbsCAM software.

The company specialises in the production of luxury watch parts and subassemblies, and in particular produces moving parts for the movements of watches from Parmigiani and other prestigious brands. The company is today renowned in this very demanding field thanks to its significant investment in creating, maintaining and developing the necessary expertise. This is also due to the fact that it can rely on a fleet of some twenty different types of automatic turning machine.

How does it work?
The technical department sends the 3D body of the part to be produced to Richard Steulet. He works in GibbsCAM, and because these parts often belong to families of parts, the specialist calls up the processes stored in the software and stipulates which tools to use using the integrated database, then GibbsCAM generates the ISO code. He opens the part in the TB-Deco and applies the code in the relevant operations and it’s ready to go. TB-Deco’s visualisation tools mean the code’s trajectories are controlled immediately. Richard Steulet adds: “Software does not mean you don’t have to think when it comes to the manufacturing process, but it does save us a considerable amount of time. Programming as described above only takes around twenty minutes”.

Knowledge bases
“We implement new set-ups every day and we are constantly improving our processes. What is more, these processes are instantly saved in GibbsCAM so, when producing a part with similar constraints (for example to take into account the deformation of the material in micro machining pockets on balances), the program reuses processes we have already optimised” explains Richard Steulet. In terms of tools, Productec has provided atokalpa with a certain number of tools in the database. Richard Steulet calls up and modifies these on request. Mr. Meyer adds: “We are very flexible in terms of the solutions we offer our customers. In this case, as Richard Steulet often uses the same types of tool and he only changes the dimensions, we have provided him with a customised catalogue and he adapts the tools as necessary”. The combination of these two knowledge bases ensures that optimal programming can be performed quickly.

We will publish a complete story in our next issue.

Productec SA
Grands Champs 5
2842 Rossemaison
Tel. + 41 32 421 44 33
Fax + 41 32 421 44 39