Production Machining

MAY 2016

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

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Page 46 of 75 :: 45 Optimizing CNC Legacy Parts with CAM new and legacy parts to the newer manufacturing systems and to optimize many of the parts that have already made the transition. "In my opinion, the savings I have been able to squeeze out of these parts using the software has been incredible," Mr. Ellis says. "All of our parts are solid models, so I can open the CAD fle in Mastercam for SolidWorks and begin plugging away at the CNC program without doing any conversions." Te software has many tools that can be used to optimize cycles, according to Mr. Ellis. "Te fact that Mastercam has a tool library with a catalog of vendor inserts is really helpful. Te program automatically selects the vendor-recommended feeds and speeds based on the insert I select, and the material I am cutting. I don't have to do any hand calculations or adjustments, and it is nice and stream- lined." Mr. Ellis says that fact alone can save him an hour or more per part program, depending on the part's complexity. As for the legacy parts, he says he has not found one yet that he hasn't been able to save time on, and time is worth money. Mr. Ellis cited a specifc part from the family that he reprogrammed for a mill-turn operation as an example of the savings achievable. Te part, which was previously manufac- tured in two operations on a lathe, used to take two minutes, 42 seconds to cut—not including setup time between the two operations. On the new system, the cutting time was reduced to 42 seconds for a complete part. Mahr Federal makes approximately 3,300 of this one part every year, and those cycle time reductions accounted for about $7,000 in annual savings for this one part alone. "For just those 17 parts, we are looking at around $24,000 in annual savings, which allows us to stay competitive in the market," Mr. Ellis says. "Te machine upgrades cost about $105,000, so those cycle time reduc- tions will pay for the machine in less than fve years." Mastercam improved Mr. Ellis and Mahr Federal's time and workload. Using Mastercam to program mill and lathe cycles for four of these parts took only one day. Mr. Ellis says it would have taken twice that time to manually write far less efcient programs. Also, during his time programming with Mastercam, he brought the equipment's workload up from about 60 percent yearly capacity to 82 percent full capacity. So there is still more room for additional production to be run on this one machine. For more information from Mahr Federal Inc., visit For more information from Mastercam/CNC Software Inc., visit :: With Mastercam's simulation feature, programmers can quickly verify the adequacy of material removal and tool movement safety. :: This Mahr Federal model of a legacy part in SolidWorks can transition immediately for programming simply by selecting Mastercam for SolidWorks from a dropdown menu. For related articles, visit PM's CAD/CAM and Related Software Zone. CADCAM

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