March 15, 2010 - By using Sescoi’s
WorkNC CAD/CAM software and its
MyWorkPLAN job management system,
CA Tooling, based in Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S.A.,has been able to cut its machining cycle times by 25% and generate 15% more business. Specializing in foundry tooling and general machining, the company is growing rapidly, has a turnover of $5 million, and will shortly be opening a new 8000 sq ft facility that will nearly double its present capacity.
The speed of expansion was a key driver for investing in new systems. Darrel Gallier, Tooling Shop Manager, explained the need for the WorkNC CAD/CAM System. “We were having a few mishaps with tool and holder collisions which prompted us to look for new software. WorkNC came out on top for the way in which it reduces the number of rapid moves and keeps the tool in the job for much more of the time.”
Keith Kessler, Machine Shop Manager, described how the increasing levels of business also required changes to their management methods. “We needed a management system that would quickly produce accurate quotations and manage the growth in our production levels. The MyWorkPLAN job management system can interrogate old quotes and similar jobs, this way the quotation is immediately half finished. Once the software has been set up with our rates we can be sure that we won’t miss any items or processes.”
WorkNC’s reliability has had a big impact on the way in which CA tooling produces its toolpaths. Machinists are responsible for the programming and machining of a complete project, which gives them pride in their work and has significantly improved quality standards. Darrel Gallier says, “A block of 4140 tool steel can cost around $50,000 and we typically machine away 60-70%, so the reliability we get with WorkNC is crucial for our success.” Tool and holder collision checking in the software enable the company to operate seven days a week with absolute confidence. Finishing operations can often take 60 to 80 hours with laser tool probing checking for tool wear.
Darrel Gallier comments, “We frequently machine down to a 1mm fillet, so WorkNC’s smooth cutting trajectories help us to avoid shock loading the tools, and keeps the stresses within them as low as possible. Not only does this increase tool life and reduce wear, but it enables us to run unmanned for long periods. Furthermore, the software’s automatic cycles and the way in which the tool stays in the job for as long as possible, has resulted in a 25% reduction in machining times.”
Total control of business
Keith Kessler goes on to explain how MyWorkPLAN, developed for custom manufacturers like CA Tooling, is used. “We have a customer and supplier database within the software which makes it easy for us to keep up with our customers. We can, for example, query all plating jobs irrespective of customer, which gives us a better understanding of costs and manufacturing times. We can also keep track of supplier pricing and delivery times, thanks to the early warnings provided by MyWorkPLAN.”
As well as rapid quotation production, achieved through analysis of CAD data and reference to historic quotation information, the software has helped CA Tooling to adhere to delivery schedules and keep track of the individual costs associated with each job. Keith Kessler says, “Without MyWorkPLAN we would have been unable to continue to expand. The software has greatly reduced our administrative load, automatically generating purchase orders and producing quotations in a fraction of the time. It is certainly a big change for the company and we can attribute a 10 to 15% increase in business directly to the installation of MyWorkPLAN.”
Easy to learn Sescoi designs its software for ease of use, and this has certainly been a benefit to C A Tooling. Both WorkNC and MyWorkPLAN are supported over the Internet and through self teach tutorials, which help employees to increase their skill and efficiency levels. Darrel Gallier says, “We have a continuous learning program and these self teaching methods save us a considerable amount of time as well as travel costs.” Keith Kessler adds, “MyWorkPLAN has been tailored to the way in which we work. The software is extremely easy to use and the support we get over the Internet is extraordinary.”
Darrel Gallier and Keith Kessler agree that the WorkNC and MyWorkPLAN systems are both vital parts of their operation and that they make a significant contribution to cost reduction, productivity and business growth. Darrel Gallier concludes, “Expanding our Sescoi software to meet the demands of our new facility will ensure our success for the long term.”
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