Production Machining

MAY 2016

Production Machining - Your access to the precision machining industrial buyer.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 45 of 75

Optimizing CNC Legacy Parts with CAM Edited by Lori Beckman CASE IN POINT 44 PRODUCTION MACHINING :: MAY 2016 M ark Ellis recently set aside a day to make progress on one of his latest projects—writing CAM programs that would allow a group of 17 parts, manufactured in two setups on an older CNC lathe and mill, to be produced in a single setup on a multitasking CNC lathe with live tooling. During that day, the manufac- turing engineer at Mahr Federal Inc. (Providence, Rhode Island) was able to open solid model fles for 11 of these parts in his Mastercam software (CNC Software Inc.) to generate optimized CNC programs and prove out several of them on new equipment over the course of several weeks. One day's work resulted in productivity improvements that allows the equipment to pay for itself, while leaving spare capacity for additional production work. Mr. Ellis' work refects the nature of the current state of Mahr Federal, a precision measurement products manufac- turer. Te company is in the midst of moving parts previ- ously manufactured on conversationally programmed mills and lathes to the latest CNC equipment with advanced features such as fve-axis high-speed machining, mill-turn lathes, multitasking machining centers, a horizontal machining center with pallet-based tombstone fxtures that can be used for lights-out manufacturing, and so on. Over the past fve years, the company has invested millions of dollars in these advanced systems that improve capacity and productivity, and maintain strict control of tolerances. Initially, to get the new multi-axis machining capabilities up and running expeditiously at the company, the conver- sationally generated code for the existing programs was stitched together manually to create multi-axis programs that could be used on advanced machining centers. However, now that a sufcient amount of manufacturing started taking place on these systems to keep production moving and to justify their cost, the company is looking to create more optimized cutting programs using Mastercam. Mahr Federal has three seats of Mastercam for SolidWorks with multi-axis mill and lathe capabilities. Mr. Ellis and another engineer have taken training provided by Macdac Engineering, their local Mastercam reseller, and they are using the software to systematically transition a range of :: Savings from part programs written in Mastercam to take advantage of this modern mill-turn system will pay for this equipment in less than fve years.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Production Machining - MAY 2016