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Edgecam Partnership Optimises Cutting Tool Performance
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A cutting tool distributor slashed a customer’s machining cycle on a complex aerospace component from four hours 20 minutes to just 93 minutes, by programming it with Edgecam.

It was part of Advanced Cutting Tools’ Technical Solutions service, where they optimise customers’ machining strategies.

As well as offering all premium brands of cutting tools from companies such as Seco, Sandvik, Iscar, Tungaloy, OSG, IMCO and Garr, they focus on giving the customer a full package of services. Working with other sectors of the industry, they can also supply everything from the spindle tooling, workholding, coolants and oils, measuring equipment, hand tools, packaging and general consumables.    

But perhaps the most far reaching aspect of what they call their Technical Solutions Program, is a partnership with Vero Software’s game-changing CAM package, Edgecam.

ACT owner and Managing Director Michael Richardson says they now provide their customers with machining strategies and Edgecam CAM programming for specific parts. “Our philosophy is that the cutting tool you buy from us isn’t important, but what you do with it, is. So we look at the components our customers want to produce with the cutting tools, and what they’re looking to achieve with them. That may include increased productivity, greater efficiency, and faster machining cycles.

“In many cases we’ll suggest changes to the strategies, and give them an Edgecam program for optimum machining of the part.”

To ensure that the cutting tools are always implemented with the correct CAM strategies, two ACT employees, one of whom is Mark Ranft, have recently undertaken a four-day Edgecam training course. “We introduce Edgecam to our customers whenever we believe that there’s an opportunity to improve their manufacturing process. It gives our technical department considerably more depth and means we can offer an important added-value service, giving us a serious competitive edge.”

He programs parts on Edgecam at the customers’ own premises, and says they can instantly see the benefits. “They’re particularly impressed with how the Waveform Roughing strategy’s increased speed and feed rates, and improved material removal rates, can make a difference to their bottom line.

“We’ve recently carried out a job where Edgecam reduced a cycle time by almost half, from 25 minutes to 12 minutes.”

With time being money for manufacturers, Michael Richardson explains how their Technical Solutions Programme made what he describes as “phenomenal” savings for a manufacturer in the aerospace industry.

“The customer was working on a complex part that took four hours 20 minutes to machine, in four operations. They were two years into a five year contract with it, and during that time they’d succeeded in getting better prices from suppliers, but the part had never been in profit.

“We carried out a complete overhaul, reprogramming it with Edgcam, which also involved changing the setups and workholding. It became a three operation process, and the production time was reduced to 93 minutes.

“It’s also interesting to note that we actually replaced their cutting tools from the cheaper ones they were originally using, to more expensive, premium tooling in order to achieve faster times, and time was the customer’s biggest cost. It meant the component was in profit for the first time in two years.”

Overall, he says ACT’s approach is that success in manufacturing is achieved by a combination of aspects…not just one individual item. “Although our philosophy is to provide the most accurate cutting tools first time every time, we ensure our customers are able to use them to their full potential, by optimising their machining strategies and toolpaths.     

“Manufacturers who are using other CAM software packages are amazed when they see how the Edgecam programs we give them improve their productivity.”

Vero’s Strategic Partnership Manager Wesley Tonks says: “This partnership between Vero Software and ACT is realising early success, and having a significant impact in reducing end users’ manufacturing costs.”  



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