Challenge Us!

Most of the programmers at Monsees Group, a small but rapidly growing job shop in Rochester, NY, are such experienced Mastercam® users that they are teaching some of the younger machinists how to use this software, which they use exclusively for their complex parts. For these advanced users, there are no training courses available to help them get to another level. However, that does not mean that they couldn’t benefit from some expert advice themselves.

They get this by attending monthly Jam Sessions conducted by OptiPro, their Mastercam Reseller. Alexander and other programmer/machinists go there as often as their schedules allow, bringing with them their most challenging programming projects. Usually there are four or five other companies in attendance, but Programmer/Machinist, Scott Alexander remembers fondly a Jam Session he attended when no one else showed up. He said, “it was wonderful!”

The shop team became so confident in their CAM capabilities that the company recently redesigned its web site and put a bold link on the home page that says “Challenge Us!” Customers have been taking them up on this with increased frequency.

For example, an advanced optics customer had a prototype design that included a two-prism housing with mounting pockets that needed to be on different angles and positioned exactly. The anodized aluminum part had a combination of tightly toleranced features that included: a 0.001″ profile tolerance from one prism seat to the next; 0.0008″ size tolerance for prism pocket walls; 0.002″ true position on prisms seats to the housing face, O.D. and timing feature; traceable inspection on prism position relative to critical features for customer alignment.

Monsees Group worked with the customer to optimize GD&T to meet application needs and determine achievable and acceptable tolerances. Then Mastercam was used to create a combination of mill/turn and 5-axis milling programs to complete this unique part in just two setups.

Another customer had a very complex part that it absolutely needed to have in four weeks. This customer’s usual supplier was quoting eight weeks. Based on its process knowledge, Monsees Group was able to reduce wire EDM time for 25 parts by 50% vs. conventional approaches — a savings of about 100 hours. Using the 5-axis mill vs. conventional lathe and mill operations eliminated many more setups and another 50 hours. The customer got its four-week delivery without sacrificing quality.

Based on its aggressive approach to continuously expanding its CAM capabilities to take on challenging high-precision parts, this lean company has grown by 30% over the past five years. Now Monsees Group President, Jason Spurling is looking at the acquisition of more skilled people, high-end equipment, and beefed up marketing efforts to accelerate the pace of growth in its specialized niche.