Part 6: Scalable CAM Technology Helps Small Shops Grow

How small shops can use advanced CAM software features to achieve steady incremental growth

Part 6: Entering new dimensions

One of the best ways for small shops to grow is to take on more assignments from existing customers. Frequently this requires taking on more complex manufacturing challenges requiring multi-axis manufacturing capabilities.

4- and 5-axis machining: As the work a shop receives becomes more complex, multiaxis equipment becomes more and more valuable for maintaining tight tolerances and reducing the number of setups required to make a given part. In addition to upgrading CAM software to a level that supports multiaxis programming, almost all of the other good moves mentioned to this point will serve to make multiaxis manufacturing more effective.

Adopting simulation as a way of life: Modern CNC equipment has been designed to run long shifts operating continuously at the highest allowable chip loads. With today’s tendency for short production runs, too much time can be lost stepping through a program to make sure it is safe. This can take most of the profit out of a short part run. You need to be confident that you can post the program and go full tilt.
This is accomplished by simulating everything that has been written into the program at every stage. These simulations take only a few seconds at every programming stage. This makes it possible to correct potential problems before they reach the machine and to produce parts at the highest possible machine cycles.

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