A Safe Option for Tools and Operators
M.R.S. Machining manufactures a wide variety of low-volume parts, many of which have complex geometries or tight tolerances. Staying competitive while producing an average of 50 parts per job requires M.R.S. to save money by efficiently using materials and tools. The company uses Mastercam Dynamic Motion technology to reduce cutting tool damage, machine wear, and material gouges.
- Products Used: Lathe, Mill, Multiaxis
- Industry: Job Shop, Energy, Aerospace & Defense, Medical, Heavy Industry
- The Challenge: Maximize profits by reducing tool and machine wear while producing high-quality parts.
- The Solution: Dynamic Motion, OptiRough toolpaths, Debur toolpaths
- Dynamic Motion technology optimizes cutting motion to lengthen tool life.
- OptiRough toolpaths quickly and safely remove material.
- Debur toolpaths eliminate the need to manually deburr, saving finishing time and keeping employees safe.
- Aggressive continuous product development to keep software competitive.
Being able to fill even the most unique custom orders has not only kept M.R.S. Machining in Augusta, Wisconsin, in business for more than 30 years, it has also earned the company recognition as one of the best manufacturing shops in the country. While many shops focus on continued production of a handful of preprogrammed parts, M.R.S. excels in low-volume production.
“We don’t run thousands and thousands of parts here, we just run small batches. I’d say 50 or less is kind of our niche,” said President Matt Guse, son of founder Robert Guse.
To maximize profits, the M.R.S. team relies on Mastercam to reduce machining time and material costs. The shop uses Mastercam Mill, Lathe, and Multiaxis with Mazak CNC machines. One of the more valuable features of the software is Dynamic Motion, which uses proprietary algorithms to keep the cutting tool constantly engaged with the parent material, eliminating air cuts and ensuring the tool is cutting at optimal speeds and angles. M.R.S. takes advantage of Dynamic Motion toolpaths when machining hard materials like 4140 stainless steel, as even the most intricate geometries are safe at high speeds.
Alex Thronson, program operator at M.R.S., finds the OptiRough toolpaths within Dynamic Milling to be invaluable. “So far, it’s worked really well for what we do. I think it’s simple to use, because I choose my geometry and then use my boundary chain with a 1” ball endmill to rough that out and do our step-over. Then we’ll finish and use a Scallop. Overall, it seems to be the best toolpath I’ve used. Less air time for sure.”
OptiRough uses the entire flute length of the tool but a small percentage of the tool diameter to make the first cut. The first cut is then followed by several shorter cuts, optimizing the roughing process. Not only does the greatest amount of material get removed in the least amount of time, the even tool wear means that one tool can last much longer than was possible before Dynamic Milling.
Not only does the software protect M.R.S.’s cutting tools, it protects its employees as well. Guse shared that manually deburring parts has always made the finishing process much more dangerous than he would prefer. “I don’t like to hand deburr because there are safety concerns. There are sharp edges, and bad things can happen. So once we have the customer’s model, we draw up our own model and then deburr it in Mastercam. And the part actually ends up looking nicer that way.” The part is shipped off with an inhumanly perfect finish, and Guse can rest easy knowing his employees are safe.
As M.R.S. continues to evolve in line with the quickly advancing precision manufacturing industry, Guse takes confidence in Mastercam’s dedication to continued progress. “What was a complex project five years ago isn’t complex anymore,” said Guse, explaining why he needs software that will grow with his company. Each new Mastercam update provides his company with the tools needed to stay competitive in its field.
“Tool life is just phenomenal. I mean I used to go through thousands of dollars of endmill inserts before Dynamic Motion. It more than paid for itself in a year now just by tool savings.”-Matt Guse, President of M.R.S. Machining, Augusta, Wisconsin