Hill Phoenix sees 8-month ROI with JETCAM Expert

hillphoenixHill Phoenix Inc., founded back in 1887 manufactures commercial refrigeration and grocery display units. Based in Conyers, Georgia the company has a variety of CNC punch and laser machines across two sites, with The Aquila’s Group’s DMM software passing orders for nesting to their CAM software. Their previous system could not automatically common cut on punching machines, had inferior tool management which created programs that either needed manual interaction or were unable to run altogether. It also had no teach mode and material efficiency was poor, which was the major driving factor to look at alternative systems.

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Case Study - Interroll Automation LLC

Interroll reduces material waste and saves programming/nesting time on their Hankwang laser.

Benefits achieved: Hankwang Machine

  • Excellent local dealer support
  • Software supplied by machine tool vendor
  • Several beneficial updates received since installation
  • New version reduced tooling by 2 hours per day and nest creation time by 2 hours per day
  • New version delivered additional 10% material savings
  • Can now ‘remodel’ nests to check the best material size to use
  • Orders imported dynamically through CSV to further reduce possibility for error
  • JETCAM Remnant sheet management reduces time to manage remnants and saves more material
  • Upgrade to high performance nesting paid for itself in four months
  • Integrating with Inventor to automate CAD file to nest process

Interoll Building

 

Interroll has linked JETCAM to another in-house data system to streamline the flow of orders; “We download a CSV file containing part numbers, order quantities, due dates etc. By transferring the data in this way rather than re-keying we reduce errors and speed up the process. Once downloaded we can quickly determine which components are tooled and can then automatically apply tooling to the remainder. After nesting files are transferred via the network to the controller ready for production. By integrating JETCAM with our other systems in this way we have a system that is quick and responsive to the production and customer demands.”

Interoll ProductInterroll use AutoDesk Inventor and are currently testing automation to dynamically import native Inventor files to JETCAM, with tooling being applied automatically during the import process. Once completed Stephen cites that this will reduce man-hours by a further 30 minutes per day.

Stephen has been delighted with the support from US distributor NestOne. Using remote desktop and JETCAM’s unique support file generation, which provides a complete working setup that can be used by the distributor for support any issues are resolved quickly. Stephen said; “The software is very robust in many ways. I don’t see how support could be any better with anyone else. Support has been excellent.”

Interroll saw a return on investment on their upgrade in just four months through material and time savings, but the company is still discovering benefits. Stephen finalized; “One intangible cost was a reduction in lead time in the order preparation. Our customers are date driven because they are project driven, meaning our due dates have to be achieved.”

 

  

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JETCAM drives all Trumpf machines

Industrial Laser Solutions for Maufacturing Article

 

01/07/2013            

Balingen, Germany - The 100-year-old Walter Götz GmbH, with more than 100 employees, provides subcontract services producing semi, fully finished metal products for prototypes and small/medium sized production runs. To do this, the company has continually purchased and upgraded a wide range of CNC cutting machines, employing a mix of laser, waterjet, punching and combination punch/laser technologies spanning several manufacturer brands.

In the mid 1990s,Stefan Burghard, managing director, discovered that programming the machines was becoming a bottleneck within the business, with three different CAD/CAM systems in use programming the machines. This was a problem when, for example, a new job had to be re-programmed for another machine if a machine was unavailable due to workload or maintenance. In addition, it took a long time for the staff to learn to use all three systems. If a programmer was away some production areas would stagnate because other programmers would, again, need training time on the respective software.

In the attempt to commit to a single CAD/CAM system it quickly became clear that it was simply not possible to use the software supplied with each machine brand to program other machines from different manufacturers, so the company researched the market for software that could drive a wider range of brands and technologies.

Burghard came across JETCAM from the dealer, Blechwelt, that offered a system that was simply and logically built so that new co-workers understand the system easily in a short period of time. The company could buy any brand of machine without having to worry about the programming process. It could just simply order a new post processor, and nests could be running on a Trumpf Laser  and on a waterjet with a mouse click.

As newly purchased machines became more complex, the software was adapted to take advantage of the new features. A fully automated Trumpf Trumatic 6000L with SheetMaster could be controlled with the same precision and ease as the previously manually loaded TC500.  

A problem with the Bystronic Bystar, with its proprietary software, was solved by purchasing a postprocessor from Blechwelt so that all of the company’s machines could be programmed by each of the two programmers. Götz keeps their systems up-to-date through purchased updates, and any programmer can control all the machines with the same quality. New people to CAD/CAM programming can be trained in-house and be up to speed in an extremely short time.

Burghard says when the company needed assistance, it was readily available. For new machines, they simply purchase a new postprocessor and have staff trained on how to program for any new features. The interfaces to 3D CAD system are kept up-to-date through regular updates and technical questions and problems are resolved quickly between the programmers with Blechwelt’s technical support. 

Goetz runs JETCAM Expert Premium on three Trumpf lasers, a Bystronic laser and a Foracon waterjet. The key benefits of the JETCAM are: replacement of three CAM systems with one easier interface, the staff can program all machines, new machines can be programmed just by adding a new postprocessor, all existing geometry and nest files can be immediately programmed with new postprocessors, and fast technical support for any issue.

JETCAM International s.a.r.l.  has been developing and distributing its JETCAM Expert range of CADCAM in over 80 countries worldwide where it supports virtually every CNC punching, laser, plasma, routing, waterjet and flatbed cutting machine available today, allowing users to program any combination of CNC machines with a single CAM system.

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JETCAM featured in American Machinist

 
A single CAM drives multiple machines across several locations, deriving functional efficiencies and cost savings
 

Liebert’s four plants operate several variants of laser shearing and punching systems, and Jetcam makes programming, nesting, and process optimization simple and efficient across the network.

Jetcam International

Liebert Corporation manufactures air- and power-conditioning systems for computers and server rooms at three plants in Ohio, as well as a fourth in Mexico. The Emerson Electric division purchased its first Finn-Power Shear Genius right angle shearing and punching system in 1997, an installation that had Jetcam Expert CAM software installed by the vendor.

Senior manufacturing engineer Alan Mauerman explained that, “the previous CAM software was simply not designed to support right-angle shearing, and was barely acceptable for creating basic X and Y g-code for machines like our standalone Amada turret punch press. It was slow to use, often displaying unexplained errors and suffered from problems importing DXF files.

“Having the Jetcam and Finn-Power machines being supplied together proved to be a great combination as it greatly reduced our training time,” he continued. “We could make a nest and see our results quickly.”

Since Liebert adopted Jetcam it has expanded significantly, and upgraded its CNC machinery across several plants. The operation in Columbus, Ohio has six Shear Genius machines, five that are CNC punch operations, and one performing a punch/laser combination. All six have material loading robots, and most also are benefiting from right angle shearing. One of these is link to an Express Bender machine. 

In fact, Jetcam drives 14 turret machines across Liebert’s plants in Columbus, Delaware, and, Ironton, Ohio, and Mexicali, Mexico.

CAD import routines had been a problem for the previous CAM software, but Jetcam's automatic “healing” routines ensure that any “unhealthy” files can be cleaned up (“healed”) automatically using pre-defined parameters. Complete directories of CAD files can be healed, imported and tooled automatically using Jetcam's Single Component Automatic Processing (SCAP) function. Then, they are immediately ready for nesting.

Moving forward Liebert and its staff have gained continuing benefits thanks to Jetcam's ease of use. They had a number of new users who had extensive shop-floor knowledge, but little computer experience. In less than a week, according to Mauerman, they had gained the confidence and skill to produce highly optimized nests.

“It's easy to use because there are only a few keystrokes required for each step,” he commented, “and what you see on the screen is what happens at the machine. There are no surprises.”

As the price of raw materials continues to rise, Liebert has engaged Jetcam to help it derive further savings. The company purchased Jetcam's high-performance nesting module, which has delivered savings on materials ranging from 5% to 13% by continuing to try different nest patterns over a specified size range. The software also includes functions like common line cutting and remnant sheet management that allow every possible square inch of material to be used, or saved for reuse where possible.

Although Jetcam provides interaction at every level Liebert wanted to automate the system as much as possible. In 2010 the company investigated automating methods for analyzing optimal sheet metal material sizes. Previously new material sizes had been based on 'educated guesses' for small runs (fewer than 30 pieces.)

“It took weeks to analyze even a small number of possibilities,” the Liebert engineer recalled, “and we simply could not analyze all of the parts for a particular material type and gage. We realized that we needed an automated method to achieve better material utilization, so we talked to Jetcam to see if they could create a solution.”

Jetcam developed a separate application using its Remote Control Processing (RCP) system to compare previous sheet sizes versus several options for new sizes. It uses the component file for each part, monthly part usage, and current sheet dimensions. Other information, like material cost, part spacing, trim width, sheet increments, and minimum/maximum size ranges, also were selected. Then, RCP automatically nests each part on all of the different sheet sizes, which takes an average 3 seconds per nest to compute. A spreadsheet is generated that compares the current cost and provides three recommended sizes based on the best weighted-average material cost savings.

“I've used RCP to analyze over 15,000 combinations of sheet sizes for just one material type. I simply could not have done that manually,” Mauerman noted.

Liebert has been using Jetcam for over 15 years, at four locations and covering many types and models of NC punching equipment. “In the past our sheet utilization was around 68-72%, but now with the RCP method coupled with high-performance nesting we have seen increases up to 13%,” he concluded.

“This has resulted in many thousands of dollars saved, and we are just getting started.”

 

 

 

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