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
[email protected]

The integrated chip conveyor …

When talking about machining, we often estimate that producing chips is paramount, but the evacuation out of the machines and treatment of chips remain operations for which little professionals are available. At the Siams, Rimann SA, the chip processing specialist will present Novaxess universal conveyors.

I discussed with MM Eichler (Rimann) and Fouillot (Novaxess) at Simodec… the solutions I discovered are great.

Customised and…
Novaxess products approximately 300 conveyors per year. Mr. Stéphane Fouillot its director  says: “We have more than 20 years  of experience in the realization of chips conveyors. For high precision turning we offer mainly 2 models: the automatic motorized system and the economic one on which the advance is realised manually”. These conveyors are designed to be universal. Indeed, the part that is situated out of the machine is the same regardless of the type of machine on which it is adapted. Mr. Fouillot says: “We go to our customers to measure dimensions and ensure a perfect adaptation”. The bases being the same, it is even possible to start with an economic conveyor and upgrade it to the automatic version later. Another advantage, the delivery time is on the order of on month.

…modular conveyor
According to the requirements of machining, the volume of chips and the viscosity of the oil, a conveyor is indispensable, but sometimes it is necessary to have a more complete solution. Mr. Fouillot explains: “Our conveyors are adapted to the different requirements, if the customer wants a more complete solution, for example with additional filters (hydrostatic or magnetic), a high pressure group or a cooling station, the adaptation is quick and easy with add-ons”.

A “users oriented” conveyor…
The manipulations are simple for users, for example installation with wheels or the evacuation of chips with adjustable delay. It is on “details” that we know the conveyor will be very much appreciated in the workshops.
Mr. Fouillot says: “We have worked with users, for this reason, our conveyor systems include a support for the parts basket, it is very simple and much appreciated”. Another aspect that will simplify the lives of users: the filter can be installed in a draining position, this even if another filter is in working position.

… with clever uses
“Ideally the machines should be dedicated according to the types of material, for example in the watchmaking field, passing from “steel” to “gold”. On a same machine, cleaning takes time and if the chips are mixed, it is an immediate net loss for customers.” With Novaxess conveyors we offer an answer to this problem: the customer machines its steel parts with its standard Novaxess conveyor. Once it has finished, he rinses the machine and moves all the chips into the conveyor. Then he can simply remove the conveyor (on wheels), drag to its place the Novaxess “gold special” conveyor (with a special color for example) and he can immediately work without any risk of mixed chips and thus losing the precious metal” explains M. Eichler. The return of investment for an additional conveyor is quickly done.

Rimann AG – Maschinenbau
Römerstrasse West 49
CH-3296 Arch
Tél. + 41 3 Tel.2 377 35 22
Fax + 41 32 377 35 24
[email protected]

I will come back on Rimann and Novaxess very soon..

Delcam to show easier inspection software at Control

Delcam will demonstrate the 2012 release of its PowerINSPECT inspection software at the Control exhibition to be held in Stuttgart from 8th to 11th May. The new version includes a number of extra options to make inspection easier, plus the addition of basic reverse engineering functionality to the point-cloud module.

The new mirror command in Delcam’s PowerINSPECT 2012 saves programming time for symmetrical components.

PowerINSPECT is firmly established as the world’s leading hardware-independent inspection software, with the 64-bit version providing exceptional calculation speed where larger CAD files need to be manipulated, especially for very complex parts and multi-component assemblies.  The software combines the ability to work on all types of inspection device with a comprehensive range of measurement routines for making simple measurements, for inspecting geometric features and for checking complex surfaces.  The resulting reports present detailed information in easy-to-read formats that can be understood by all engineers, not just inspection specialists.

One option in the 2012 release offering significant time-savings, as well as improved ease of use, is the new mirror command that has been added for symmetrical components.  This allows the inspection sequence to be mirrored from one half of a component to the other half, or from the left-hand version of the design to the right-hand copy.  The new feature also reduces the possibility of programming errors and improves the consistency of the results between the two halves or parts.

The range of dimensions that can be displayed on the model has been increased to include more types of distance, angles and diameters, and radii.  The options to display the various dimensions from the increased range have been made more versatile, to ensure the reports remain easy to read with only the required dimensions shown.

There are two important additions to the PowerINSPECT 2012 point-cloud module for laser scanners and other point-cloud devices.  STL export provides basic reverse engineering functionality for scanned data.  The STL files can be used within Delcam’s PowerSHAPE Pro design software for more advanced reverse engineering operations.  Point-cloud display has been enhanced with an option to show any back-facing points in a second colour.  This highlights any discontinuities in the data, including gaps or other problem areas, and so makes it easier to identify areas that may need re-scanning to capture the complete model.

A number of enhancements have been included to give faster and easier programming, with less chance of errors.  A new “lock workplane” option automatically creates a datum scheme within PowerINSPECT’s GD&T True Position, matching the part’s coordinate system, while standard tolerances for Limit and Fit to ISO 286 and ISO 2768 have been included so that they can be selected from a pre-defined list.

For further information on PowerINSPECT
Peter Dickin, Marketing Manager
Direct phone: 44 (0)121 683 1081
[email protected]

Delcam plc  
Small Heath Business Park,
Birmingham, B10 0HJ, UK

Simodec’s trophies just awarded

At the end of its first day the Simodec lived a nice moment with its own “Oscars”. And guess what? It’s great; two of the winners were largely presented by Eurotec in our latest issue.

This morning’s opening celebration at Simodec.

The organisers received 32 files and the jury spent quite a lot of time to analyse them and discuss and debate and think… the categories were:

  • High precision turning machines
  • Other machines
  • Tooling and cutting material
  • Control and measuring devices
  • Equipment
  • Services and softwares

Two more trophies were awarded:

  • Simodec Gold trophy (amongst other trophies)
  • Press trophy

On the left, Emmanuel Turlot and Francis Koller –  Cyklos and on the right Alain Liechti – Wibemo.

The winners are:

  • Index MS22C-8 –Multispindle lathe
  • Cyklos – surface treatment machine
  • Fuchs – protection against corrosion
  • Keyence IM6500 – measuring device
  • Fuchs – portable oil-separator
  • Quasar solutions – software to help set up

You can discover the two articles on the two latest trophies following the links here above.

I will come back on some news soon.


Quick geometry control of machine tools

Because of stricter requirements of precision, the manufacturers and users of machine tools need to be able to measure the linear axes quickly and in a reliable way. This is why Kunz precision AG presents a new unique system of measure to control all geometric deviations of a linear axis in a single operation at Control 2012. It sets new standards in terms of speed, reliability and ease of use.

RAIL-check measurement system consists of a standard of straightness of high-precision, a measurement head with five integrated sensors as well as an interface and easy to use assessment software.

When measuring, the head indicates the data compared to the standard and the measured values are recorded. The straightness is stored with extreme precision in both directions and entered into a synthetic report; so for deviation in terms of roll, pitch and yaw. The operation takes about 15 minutes per axis. Thus, the control of a machine tool with three linear axes requires less than an hour.
Thanks to an integrated module (option), it is possible to determine and edit the values of compensation of several controls of machines.

With the new RAIL-check measuring system, the manufacturer of machines, its customer services and the user have precise data regarding the straightness and deviations on different axes in a very short time. From the precise protocol of the machine and the edition of compensation data, users earn a significant advantage on competition in terms of accuracy of the machine, quality insurance and traceability.

Kunz precision AG, represented in Germany by messwelk GmbH, presents the new measuring system live on the Control 2012 show (hall 1/booth 1050).

Kunz precision AG
Riedtalstrasse 16
CH-4800 Zofingen
Tel.  +41 62 746 00 20
Fax. +41 62 746 00 21
[email protected]

For more practical competence

To discuss practical solutions and provide lasting food for thought – these are the objectives of praxisFORUM+. With this new series of events, the KOMET GROUP, in collaboration with selected cooperation partners, is establishing a regular platform for issues and questions from various disciplines, with the main focus centered on current developments and practical tips.

The opening event will be held on March 29, 2012 in the IDEEN-FABRIK+ (IDEAS FACTORY) in Besigheim and will be organised together with the cooperation partners MFI AG and I&O. With the motto “Focus on Logistics – Competitive advantage in Supply Chain Management”, the future challenges facing the field of logistics will be discussed.

Logistic chain as value provider
Cost reduction and optimisation of customer service along the value creation chain are the key issues here. Renowned speakers with many years of practical experience will shed light on company-wide integration of planning, monitoring and controlling of the logistical chain from various perspectives, as well as inter-company coordination and coupling of the corresponding processes.

Other topics at the praxisFORUM+ 2012 will be:

  • June 21, 2012: Mechatronics – Discipline of the future
  • November 8, 2012: Coating – Increase quality, reduce costs

The praxisFORUM+ follows on from the successful tradition of the IDEEN-FORUM+, with the new series of events clearly concentrating attention on practical orientation.

The idea factory
The IDEEN-FABRIK+ reflects the evolution of the KOMET GROUP®  from a tool manufacturer into a creative expert for solutions covering all aspects of boring, reaming, thread milling and mechatronic tools. The central objective is to offer the group’s customers and employees scope for creative working and learning

With its brands KOMET®, DIHART® and JEL®, the KOMET GROUP is a leading global manufacturer of precision tools for bore machining, reaming, and threading. The group has been at the forefront of innovation in the sector for over 90 years – a tradition that began with the early indexable insert borers and continues today with their mechatronic tool systems. The company currently employs more than 1,700 staff in its 20 subsidiaries and is represented in around 50 countries.

Zeppelinstrasse 3
74354 Besigheim
Tel.: +49 7143.373-0
Fax: +49 7143.373-233
[email protected]

What about doing “impossible” parts?

Thanks to the technology of SLS additive manufacturing (Selective Laser Sintering), Ecoparts located in Rüti near Zürich (Switzerland) can achieve functional prototypes in metal and small series of complex parts with very short delivery time.

“Ecoparts is the only company of its kind in Switzerland,” says Mr. Kündig its director. Working with two EOSint M 270 machines produced by EOS (recently represented in Switzerland by Springmann) this small structure is specialized in the manufacturing of complex metal parts by laser sintering.

Still little known technology
The principle of building the parts is simple, a thin layer of metal powder is deposited on the working surface (250 mm x 250 mm), and a laser moves in X and in Y to merge metal on selected locations. Once the “cut” at this level of the part is fully sintered, a new layer of material is deposited and the laser moves to selectively sinter metal at required locations. The part is thus constructed layer by layer. Huge advantage, shapes are not limited by conventional technologies of machining by material removal. Mr. Kündig says: “For example we produce parts that include curved Interior cooling channels. To achieve such parts without additive manufacturing, we should resort to casting which is incompatible with the notions of prototypes and small series, both in terms of costs and deadlines”.

Very short deadlines
“According to our workload, an urgent complex part may be provided within a few days” says Mr. Kündig which adds that the normal delivery times are around two weeks. This reactivity is one of the reasons why many leading-edge companies use Ecoparts’ services (especially in the medical). They often pass through long design and validation processes and when it is time to produce the parts, the production deadline is an important element of differentiation.

The benefits of the process at Ecoparts’

  • All possibilities of design
  • Very short manufacturing time
  • Flexibility and reactivity
  • Very high quality parts
  • Reduced costs

Are you looking for a partner to make this kind of parts?

Ecoparts AG
Generativer Metall Aufbau
Neuhofstrasse 6
CH 8630 Rüti
Tel. + 41 55 260 18 00
Fax + 41 55 260 18 01
[email protected]

Are you interested in additive manufacturing solutions?
Springmann SA
Route of 110 cliffs
CH-2008 Neuchâtel
Tel. 032 729 11 22
032 725 01 01 Fax
[email protected]

We will go into deeper details into our next issue.