EDGECAM Scores Heavy Duty Hat-Trick
The market-leading EDGECAM software provides three distinct CAM advantages for a Chennai-based heavy duty component manufacturer.
Precision Machine and Auto Components Ltd (PMAC) says using EDGECAM helps them avoid three particular issues which could cause expensive and lengthy delays. It avoids online programming which Director Mr B. Karthik says is a dead activity but is prevalent throughout manufacturing in India; it avoids unwanted tools; and it avoids dependency on 1 programmer.
The company specialises in manufacturing precision machined components to a number of sectors, including earthmoving equipment, automobile, industrial valve and other industries across India. It has the capacity to supply fully finished components from forged, cast and fabricated materials, exactly as shown on customers’ drawings.
“EDGECAM’s offline programming is particularly important to us, as it gives faster throughput time, meaning we have faster delivery times to our customers,” says Mr Karthik. “Many companies undertake line by line programming on the machine, wasting several hours of what could otherwise be useful production time, resulting in higher cycle times.”
The cycle times for producing their heavy duty components can vary from 1 hour up to 7½ hours, so any reduction in total time from starting programming to the finished machining cycle is extremely valuable in helping them to meet delivery schedules – which he says could be the difference between them winning or losing business.
Offline programming has another major benefit to PMAC. “When the program is finished we run it through the simulation cycle which checks for possible collisions. If it shows there will be a collision, we simply correct it before the program is installed on the machine.
“With online programming, a single small mistake in a line of code can cause a collision leading to damage costing many thousands of rupees. But with EDGECAM, we always know the machine will be safe from collisions.”
In many companies, online programming is often carried out by just 1 or 2 employees, which causes problems when those workers are ill, on holiday, or leave. “EDGECAM is so easy to use that with a little formal training of just a few days, anyone who can operate a computer can do an excellent job of offline programming. It avoids dependency on any one person, and means a number of our 200 employees are able to successfully program our cutting machines.”
Another aspect of EDGECAM which helps PMAC to win business is the fact that they can provide an accurate estimation to customers. “It means we’re not losing business by quoting too high on a job,” says Mr Karthik. “Using EDGECAM means we can give accurate quotes. We’re confident that our estimates are in the right direction, and the customers also are able to justify this is what they get at the end.”
PMAC’s EDGECAM software, along with its associated training and support, are managed by Kriatec Services, which provides complete EDGECAM software manufacturing modules for mold and die applications, aerospace, automotive, mass production and jobshop production across India. Director Ajitha Prabu.G, says Kriatec helped PMAC set up a fully seamless integration between their EDGECAM CNC machining software and their cutting tools.
Says Mr Karthik: “Tool selection is an extremely important task, and EDGECAM ensures we always have the right tool for the job. It avoids us buying unwanted tools which will not be utilised. It means we will only purchase tools which are going to be used.”
As a recent example, PMAC supplied a component to a customer in the forging industry which required around 35% of the material to be scooped out. “With EDGECAM we could completely visualise how the tool was going to work on the 4 to 5 hour cycle time, and ensure it was the right one for the job. Overall, it saved us a lot of setting up time and meant we had a relatively quick turnaround for our customer.“Once you’ve tasted EDGECAM you will definitely feel it is worth it.”