Here at I&G Precision Engineering, we utilise a number of cutting edge CAD / CAM systems to control our machining processes. These include SolidCam by Solidworks, OneCNC and of course, EDGECAM. EDGECAM is a Hexagon system that leads the CNC machining field with a top quality precision control system. Using EDGECAM has given us the precision and efficiency we need to deliver services that we are proud of, and helps to cement us as a contender in the precision engineering sector. But how does it actually help us?
How We Use EDGECAM
This year, we have transferred much of our CAM programming over to EDGECAM. Since 1992, we used EDGECAM to drive an Emco lathe, back when we first invested in CNC machining. Gradually, as more machines were implemented into the shop floor, other systems were employed, with EDGECAM only being used on the lathe. However, now that much of our processes are ran by EDGECAM, it allows us to run machining processes across our full range of Haas CNC machines, along with our Mazak machining centre.
EDGECAM is a versatile system, able to give us precise control over multi task machining and toolpath simulations on a variety of mills and lathes. The system is simple to use, with the usual procedure being a customer sends us a STEP, IGES or any other CAD file, we simply import it into EDGECAM, identify the appropriate machine for the job, and then run Feature Finder to identify all the features of the parts and generate our toolpaths.
Maximising Efficiency on the Shop Floor
Since moving much of our processes to EDGECAM, we have seen immediate benefits. This includes cutting cycle times by 40% and turning 3 hour all-round jobs into 1 hour all-round jobs. This has a tremendous impact on our bottom line, allowing us to ship between 600 and 700 components each month. This increase in efficiency not only improves manufacturing times, it frees up machines and gives us additional capacity to take on more work.
Alongside all this, machining processes are far more rigid and precise than ever before. With EDGECAM running the machining, we can run programs overnight, rein back the stepovers and rest assured that the tooling will last for the entire production run and complete the machining to our exact specifications.
Moving With The Times
Along with every other sector, the precision machining sector constantly evolves as technology develops, and EDGECAM is an example of this. Due to this, the skill set required for precision engineering is changing, with a lot of traditional methods dying out and no longer becoming practical as new methods appear.
We ensure that all our engineers embrace computer-led skills from day one, allowing us to produce our components in the most efficient and modern way possible and evolve our processes with the industry. When apprentice engineers start working for us, we immediately introduce them to the EDGECAM system. This is due to how easy EDGECAM is to implement. Why waste time teaching CAD / CAM to apprentices on anything but EDGECAM?