Dynamic Thinking: Take Strategic Advantage of What You Already Have

In a shop with powerful software, high-quality tools, and advanced machining centers, the last thing a machinist wants to do is underuse his or her equipment. Ignoring techniques and toolpaths already available can heavily impact a company’s bottom line. The good news is that fixing this type of problem is just a matter of exploring ways to take advantage of what you already have.

Are you missing out on any of the benefits of your shop’s technology? Now is a great time to explore the strategic advantages you may already have available.

Here are five areas where existing assets are often overlooked:

1. Mastercam Lathe

Lathes with live-tooling are becoming more and more popular for their reduced setup times and increased cutting performance. Mastercam Lathe enhances the value of these machines by incorporating 3-axis mill capabilities. These lathe solutions can even be combined with Mastercam Mill to expand options like cross contour and drilling, and to allow you to take full advantage of your lathe’s capabilities. You can tackle more complex parts in one setup, eliminating the need to use a milling machine for additional operations. By freeing up the mill, you open to more job opportunities for your shop.

2. Stock Model Capture

This feature provides a better representation of what is going to be cut next so that operators are not wasting time cutting air. Mastercam is stock aware – this means that it keeps track of the in-process stock throughout the manufacturing process. Imagine starting with a solid block; every toolpath or operation will remove some material, creating a new solid model. Each subsequent operation knows what the shape of this in-process stock is and it will only cut that, not waste time by cutting air.

3. Tool Manager

Tool Manager is a comprehensive organization system for tools and tool holding components. It also integrates data on work material and cutting parameters to make a complete database for safe machining. Creating tool assemblies can cut down programming time and keep operators organized.

4. Automated In-Process Gaging

The Mastercam Productivity+™ module eliminates the downtime inherent in waiting for manual in-process gaging and can cut cycle times in half. Mastercam’s interface with Productivity+ automates set-up and in-process measuring operations. Initial part location checking can be programmed in Mastercam and then branching-looping logic in Productivity+ can make alignment adjustment on the fly.

5. Multitasking

Advanced Mill-Turn Solutions for multitasking machines streamline the machining process by eliminating setups for milling, turning, and drilling operations. Fewer setups yield faster productions, and it doesn’t take long before stream syncing pays for itself.

Dynamic Thinking

Periodically examining the capabilities of your existing shop assets can be a valuable part of your long-term plans for manufacturing success. If you are a Mastercam user, run a machine shop, or are simply looking for more ideas to keep a shop running at peak safety and productivity, check out additional content in our Dynamic Thinking series. This series includes training opportunities, webinars, and more to help you find ways to adapt to changing conditions and expectations in manufacturing markets. [https://www.mastercam.com/dynamic-thinking/]