hyperMILL helps Maztech speed through Covid-19 project

May 4th, 2020 10:15 am | by admin

COVID-19 ventilator parts ready for machining

 

Close to ‘Motorsport Valley’ in Letchworth, Maztech Precision Engineering was founded just six years ago by Wayne Bouchier to specialise in multi-axis CNC machining. During this period, the company has earned a reputation for producing quality components for a diverse and growing customer base, specifically in the aerospace, automotive and Formula 1 markets. Now, with the F1 teams so heavily involved in the Coronavirus (Covid-19) ventilator project, reputable technology partners like Maztech are now making parts for ventilators.

“My strategy all along has been to invest in the best machinery, the best CAD/CAM software, the best tooling, the best workholding, the best of everything. This is because I believe it all plays a role in producing the highest quality parts. I think the quality of our parts is a reflection of what we’ve got here on the shop floor; the Mazak machining centres, ITC cutting tools and of course the hyperMILL CAM system from OPEN MIND Technologies,” says Wayne Bouchier, the 31-year-old Maztech managing director.

It is this strategy that has now seen Maztech become involved in the government response, winning an order to produce 7,500 aluminium tube manifold components. The company is currently running its four Mazak machining centres 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Maztech has four members of staff and a prestigious client list that is largely attributed to the philosophy of investing in the best. It recently invested in its fourth Mazak machine, a VariAxis i-300 AWC 5-axis machine that boasts 32-pallets and tool storage capacity for 145 tools for continuous round-the-clock production. This has proven priceless during the race to produce ventilators.

Compared to its previous CAM system, Maztech witnessed a multitude of benefits by converting to hyperMILL. Wayne Bouchier continues: “The main benefits are the sheer number of options in terms of available strategies to machine parts. In the past, we have wanted to do jobs in a particular way and the CAM system has prevented us from taking our chosen strategy, this isn’t the case with hyperMILL. It can be the most frustrating thing, as an engineer when you know exactly what you want to do, but your CAM package won’t allow you to do what you want. Now, every job that I want to program in my particular way, I can. This is saving us a huge amount of time in both programming and machining times on the shop floor.”

The Covid-19 response
Discussing the race to produce ventilator parts and how hyperMILL has helped, Wayne Bouchier says: “The tube manifold is a relatively simple 3-axis part, but with such quantities we needed to design new fixturing to conduct multiple setup machining. Using the Linear Pattern feature in hyperMILL, we have been able to effectively ‘copy and paste’ the machining cycle from one position to the next on our machining centres. On one of our machines, we now have 16 WNT ZSG4 vices with suitable fixturing setup for non-stop machining. The hyperMILL programme for each part is simply ‘copied and pasted’, not just across each fixture, but also across all of our machines.”

Wayne Bouchier continues: “hyperMILL also has all the modern up-to-date programming strategies within hyperMILL MAXX Machining, such as trochoidal milling and Arbitrary Stock Machining. This is a massive benefit for us as we machine a lot of stainless steel. The reduction in machining times with hyperMILL MAXX Machining can be huge. The Arbitrary Stock Machining module enables us to maintain a constant load on the spindle and tool to maximise material removal rates. Equally important is the fact that this is also prolonging tool life and improving surface finishes by retaining an even chip load.”

Likewise, the Z-level finishing module within hyperMILL enables Maztech to retain a continuous Z-axis movement when undercutting pockets and waterline machining, thus ensuring optimal surface finishes. This is complemented by the 5-axis SWARF module that tilts the cutting tool to the desired angle during 5-axis machining of angled walls within pockets. By tilting the cutting tool, the end user can increase the engagement between tool and component, further increasing stock removal rates, extending tool life and surface finishes significantly.

“The new strategies are improving our cycle times by at least 20 percent on most components and significantly more on heavy stock removal parts,” says Wayne Bouchier.  “Our tool life has also been hugely improved. We have doubled the turnover and output of our business in the last three years, but our tooling costs have remained relatively constant. While this is largely credit to the cutting tool vendor, the new hyperMILL strategies have contributed hugely by increasing engagement and reducing tool loads.”

From a programming perspective, the office functions have been streamlined significantly, As Wayne Bouchier recalls: “Our programming times are at least 35-40% faster with hyperMILL. One example of this is the Mirror function within hyperMILL. More than 30 percent of our work has a left and right-hand variant, for these parts hyperMILL and its Mirror function is slashing programming times from hours to minutes.”

For Maztech to produce complex components with confidence, its engineers have modelled all workholding accessories, such as all vices, vice jaws and chucks, and created a template for each. “With hyperMILL, if you put good data in you get good data out. If you set up your tools exactly as they are set up in hyperMILL, run a collision check and the software says that there is no collision, you’re 99 percent guaranteed there won’t be a collision.”

“So, when you first programme a job, you open the template and select the vise and the jaws and pull that into your job. Straight away, you are collision checking against your vice and jaws as your machine is modelled up. Especially on the 5-axis machine with its tilting spindle, you know that the spindle isn’t going to catch a table, as its collision checks everything.”

Wayne Bouchier concludes: “I think without a decent CADCAM package you could have the best machine in the world but, if you’ve got nothing to drive it, it’s an absolute waste of time.”

OPEN MIND Technologies UK Ltd
Tel: 01869 290003
Email: info.uk@openmind-tech.com
www.openmind-tech.com

 

Lantek strengthens its global presence with more than 22,000 customers

June 2nd, 2019 9:30 pm | by admin

Lantek, a pioneering multinational in the digital transformation of the sheet metal and fabrication sector, continues its unstoppable growth in market presence and number of customers. The multinational company of Basque origin founded in 1986 has just exceeded the figure of 22,000 companies using its licenses and/or services, spread over more than 100 different countries on five continents. Year on year, the company continues to increase both its number of customers and its turnover at a rate that demonstrates its strength in the different markets which it serves.

Lantek’s constant commitment to innovation plays an essential role in these results. This policy has allowed it to evolve, since its launch more than 30 years ago, into a company specializing in the development, sale and integration of control and management software solutions for industrial plants (CADCAM, MES, ERP) as well as, a pioneer in advanced manufacturing applications in sheet metal, tube and profile cutting. Its innovations have enabled it to become a multinational technological leader in its sector through the addition of new industry specific manufacturing solutions to its traditional portfolio.

Lantek’s solutions respond to specific problems which are set to be resolved by digitalising the sheet metal industry, allowing manufacturers to undertake the transition to Industry 4.0 and become more competitive and efficient in a global market.

Of the existing 22,359 customers who rely on Lantek solutions, the majority come from the laser cutting machine sector, followed by the oxycut-plasma, punching and waterjet cutting machine sectors. In terms of their profile, the clear trend is increasingly demanding and connected customers. These are companies with several plants in different countries in which the supply chain life cycle is integrated with both customers and suppliers. Infrastructure developments which are a response to the progress of the industry and its organizational complexity.

“The significant increase in the number of customers is clearly reflected in the company’s results. In the last financial year, Lantek recorded a growth of 10 percent in turnover, cementing a solid financial position that gives us the resources us to take on the growth necessary to face the new challenges of Industry 4.0”, states Lantek sales director Juan José Colás.

Lantek is leading the way in the digital transformation of companies in the sheet metal and metal industry. With its patented smart manufacturing software, it enables factories to be connected, turning them into Smart Factories. It rounds off its range of services with CAD, CAM, MES, and ERP solutions for companies that manufacture metal parts from sheet metal, tubes and profiles using any cutting technology (laser, plasma, oxycut, waterjet, shearing, and punching).

Founded in 1986 in the Basque Country (Spain), one of the main European hubs of machine tool development, Lantek enables the integration of sheet metal and metal processing technologies using the most advanced manufacturing management software. The company is currently the outstanding leader in its sector thanks to its capacity for innovation and commitment to internationalisation. With more than 22,359 customers in over 100 countries and 20 offices in 14 countries, it has an extensive network of distributors with an international presence. In 2018, its international business contributed to 86 percent of its revenue.

Lantek Systems Ltd
Tel: 01684 342345
Email: rob.powell@lanteksms.com
www.lanteksms.com

Hexagon’s new G-Code simulation software wows at Southern

February 13th, 2019 11:29 am | by admin

NCSIMUL exhibits with Hexagon’s CADCAM software for the first time in the UK 

Market-leading CAD/CAM software products EDGECAM, VISI and RADAN have exhibited in the UK for the first time since becoming part of the Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence Production Software business.

They were also joined for the first time on the stand at the Southern Manufacturing trade fair by NCSIMUL, a G-code simulation software from recent acquisition SPRING Technologies.

Gareth Henwood, area sales manager for the Production Software business, says visitors to the stand were excited by and impressed with on-screen demonstrations of NCSIMUL, showing its versatility and ease-of-use:

“Although there’s a powerful simulator in EDGECAM, it simulates from the file, whereas NCSIMUL reads the data that’s actually going into the machine, giving manufacturers full confidence that when they start to cut metal there won’t be any collisions or gouging.”

Described as a high-end CNC simulation software, NCSIMUL manages the complete machining process from the NC program to the machined part.

Visitors to the Hexagon stand saw how its capabilities allow users to fully master the shop floor, including automatic G-code reprogramming and G-code simulation. Other benefits that complete the platform and enhance production include DNC program management, real-time machine monitoring and publishing technical content.

As well as NCSIMUL, three of the Production Software business’s CADCAM solutions were on display, along with the WORKPLAN ERP system, while a section of the stand was dedicated to Hexagon’s scanning devices.

Demonstrations of the latest release of EDGECAM included its Additive Machining module, supporting the Direct Energy Deposition method, offering a specific manufacturing cycle which accurately guides a laser as it deposits material to form a shape. After that, the shape is machined using EDGECAM’s milling cycles to create the final component.

Visitors also saw how RADAN 2019 R1 focuses on doing more with fewer clicks, plus a range of new and enhanced CAD/CAM functions in VISI, providing a boost for reverse engineering for the mould and die market.

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence
Tel: 01242 542040
www.hexagon.mi.com