Modern Machine Shop

JAN 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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MODERN MACHINE SHOP 103 Toolpath Simulation Software Mr. Wolcott sees that rate increasing in the future as its FMS is used at a higher capacity. And when the shop is "running hard," he says he has seen 98-percent uptime, thanks in part to Vericut. Because the software enables him to catch problems on the computer while the machine is making parts, he can avoid costly mistakes. "Vericut tells us when the machine is going to over-travel or trigger an alarm," he says. He is not scrapping out expensive chunks of material or having to revamp programs while the machine is sitting idle, either. The HMCs keep making chips as his team performs the preparation work for the next job. According to Mr. Wolcott, he feels so confident in his production process that he is comfortable going into extra innings: running new programs overnight after testing them in the software. He says, "It might run at midnight or it might run at 4 a.m., but we know that when we come in the next day we'll have good parts." | CGTech 949-753-1050 | ...we know that when we come in the next day we'll have good parts. "We turn stuff around pretty quickly because our setups are basically nonexistent." It took some effort to get to this point. Over the past six years, the team has modeled every machine, toolholder and fixture in the system to a thousandth of an inch. Every machine shares the same tool library, which is stored in Vericut. For instance, the 0.5-inch, four-flute carbide end mill that defines tool 7 on machine 1 will have the same definition on machines 2 and 3, with the same holder and stick out, Mr. Wolcott says. Cutting tools are preset offline, touch probes are used to check machine features in process, lasers are used to check for tool breakage, and the CAM system's postprocessor has been customized to fit the shop's needs. "It's a complete package," he says. Since the company implemented these mea- sures, shop-wide spindle utilization has become roughly 70 percent over a 24-hour period, though PROFILING PARTING SPECIAL TOOLING BORING DOVETAIL FACE GROOVING FORM TOOLING 888 - THINBIT • 888-THINFAX • THINBIT.COM Made in the U.S.A. Since 1964

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