Shop Thrives on Evolving CAM Capabilities
Their equipment includes mills, lathes and horizontal boring machines from such builders as Mori Seiki, OKK, Okuma, Doosan and Mazak. To program these machines, the shop uses nine seats of Mastercam X6, including Lathe Level 1, Mill Level 3, Multiaxis and Solids. This version of the software is the latest in a series of releases that have provided UMMF with significant competitive advantages over the years, Mr. Johnson says.
The shop has also benefitted from increasingly sophisticated tool paths that combine different strategies to reduce programming and cycle time. As an example, he cites an aluminum base mold for a carbon fiber chest protector. While simple-looking, this three-cavity mold once took hours to program because its straight sides and contoured floors required different types of tool paths. Recently, however, the use of hybrid tool paths that combine both types of operations cut programming time in half.
He recalls one highly polished, 5-inch cylindrical extruder equipment part that once took a day and a half to produce. It required operations on three machines: a lathe, a VMC and finally, a rotary indexer to achieve a specific surface patter. Then, it required hours of polishing time to meet the 8-RMS surface finish specification. Recently, however, UMMF completed 12 of these components in less than a week. All roughing operations were conducted on the Integrex E410H using Mastercam’s high speed area clearance toolpaths, which use smooth motion to remove bulk material from the inside out. Then, fine rotary fourth-axis moves created a profile with sufficient finish quality to reduce buffing to a fraction of the time it used to take. The total productivity improvement amounted to nearly 200 percent!