CAM reduces machine tool set-up time by 50%

Manufacturer of encoders machines all parts in multi-axis cnc machine tools and said that Delcam CAM software has reduced machine set-up time by some 50%

US manufacturer of rotary incremental and absolute encoders used for motion feedback reports that it has reduced machine tool set-up time by at least 50% as it no longer has to prove out its programs on a machine. Encoder Products Company, based in Sagle, Idaho, USA, said the use of Delcam’s PartMaker cam software has enabled the company to boost its output significantly.

Production manager at Encoder Products, Todd Egland, said: ‘The productivity improvements we’ve seen using PartMaker have been incredible.’ He said that all the parts for the encoders are manufactured in-house in multi-axis CNC machines.

These include a number of Mori-Seiki twin-turret, twin-spindle CNC turning centres and a Star CNC multi-axis, Swiss-type CNC automatic lathe.

Company founder, Bill Watt, set up Encoder Products in 1973 after inventing a novel encoder contained in a cube housing.

As the product line expanded, faster programming was needed, which is why Encoder Products standardised on Delcam’s PartMaker in 2005.

* Coping with increasing cnc machining complexity – the company had acquired more multi-tasking lathes, and so the complexity of programming increased.

All of these machines perform extensive milling operations as well as simultaneous machining operations.

Egland explained: ‘For us, the software has really enhanced our ability to program a part on a PC and run it on the screen, rather than having to waste spindle time running it on the machine, which was what we had to do before’.

He continued: ‘Before we had the software, we would program manually off-line, get the program as far as we could and then start making parts on the machine to see how they were going to come out’.

Egland said: ‘With PartMaker, set-up times are greatly reduced especially on new parts.

What used to take four hours or more can be reduced to less than an hour due to the ability to process the part on a PC without actually using the machine tool’.

Delcam told manufacturingtalkmold.wiki that the ease with which PartMaker handles turning and milling operations on each part allows EPC to de-burring them on the machine.

In-machine deburring avoids carrying out costly and time-consuming secondary operations.

Giving an example of this, Egland said: ‘The software has helped us by allowing us to run a chamfering tool quickly around sharp edges, alleviating having to do deburring by hand.

By the time we pull the part off the machine, it’s an absolute finished piece that needs no secondary finishing or hand touching’.

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