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WorkNC shop floor programming at Pure Medium reduces costs

Shop floor programming with WorkNC is helping Pure Medium, based in Nuneaton, to provide the rapid delivery of patterns and prototype tooling its customers, in the wind turbine, aerospace, defense and automotive markets, require. Often working with leading edge products, the company prides itself on the quality of the molds and prototypes it produces, and its flexibility and responsiveness in this fast moving industry.

Shop Floor Programming

Keith Oldham, Managing Director of Pure Medium, installed WorkNC on the shop floor to maximize productivity and eliminate the delays associated with office based programming. He said, "We get model data in IGES, STEP and native CATIA format. Generally it is fully surfaced, so we only need to add split lines or run offs in WorkNC prior to adding the toolpaths." WorkNC has the ability to interrogate and modify the surface model, cutting sections, checking draft angles, patching holes and measuring dimensions. Previously, this was done on a separate CAD system, but now it can all be done on the shop floor. The machine operators understand exactly what extra geometry is required to enable them add the toolpaths and, because they can do it themselves, there is no delay and no possibility of communication error. By making the best use of the skills of its machine operators the company can optimize its machining processes, save the cost of an office based CAD/CAM specialist and utilize the time which the operators have while the machine is running, in the most effective way.

Ease of use and best practice

Two operators use WorkNC at Pure Medium, and found the system very easy to learn. "Reliable handling of imported CAD data, the tools to modify and repair surfaces, and the software's automatic toolpaths are a big help. Users only have to be computer literate to operate WorkNC. It was much easier to learn than the other systems we considered, as it has been designed to suit a machine operator's way of working," said Keith Oldham.

Collision and damage avoidance

Collision checking and avoidance are important features for Pure Medium. This is especially true for the 3+2 axis machining it uses on complex jobs. Keith Oldham said, "3+2 machining is simple to program, we just change the axis or add a view. We find the collision avoidance particularly useful on steel molds, where we need to use shorter cutters for rigidity. The software adds loops in the corners, which eliminates squealing and the subsequent damage to the tool and job."

Tooling cost savings

The company has experienced increased tool life since the installation of WorkNC. It has also saved money by making use of available cutters, working with suppliers to test and implement new types of tool and by taking advantage of any special offers. Because WorkNC is used on the shop floor, the operators have the flexibility and knowledge to optimize machining processes and get the most out of their cutters, making significant savings in tooling costs.

High quality products, fast

The automatic toolpaths in WorkNC make programming straightforward and reliable. The company uses Global Roughing and 3D Planar Finishing for the majority of its work, even though each job is different. The stock and rest models keep the tool engaged with the material, avoiding air cutting, while trochoidal tool movements eliminate shock or excessive tool loading. Keith Oldham added, "We aim to build a strong relationship with our clients by giving them high quality patterns and molds and short delivery times. This builds customer loyalty and ensures repeat business."

Time and cost savings

95% of the prototypes and molds produced by Pure Medium go through WorkNC, so its performance is an essential part of the company's success. Keith Oldham said, "We have absolute confidence in the results produced by WorkNC. It gives us fast collision and tool breakage free machining, and produces consistent and reliable toolpaths. Furthermore, its simple operation enables us to get significant time and cost savings from shop floor programming, maximizing our use of resources."

Press release issued by Sescoi UK Ltd on May 4, 2009


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Sescoi UK Ltd CIM Software, Computer-aided Design


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Computer Integrated Manufacturing

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