Some of Carolina Precision Components most recent additions have been advanced manufacturing systems including 5-axis mills and lathes with live tooling. Mastercam’s CAD for CAM capabilities are invaluable for creating workholding solutions that help resolve complex tool presentation and reach issues that allow expensive parts to be manufactured in a single machining operation.
Since 2008, when Carolina Precision Components, Inc., moved into a new 60,000 square foot facility in Granite Fall, North Carolina, work volume has grown at a pace that required adding two to four CNC machines a year. To help its programmers keep up with the steadily increasing volume the company installed Mastercam.
Up until the move, Process Engineer Kennith Englert said, all the programming was done manually at the machine. For complex parts practice hampered productivity because parts took a long time to program and the machines were not making chips as they were being written. Even worse, the company found itself turning down a lot of work, particularly molds and dies, because it was too complex to program at the machine.
As the volume of work steadily increased, Englert found additional ways to keep pace with the work flow using the capabilities of Mastercam. Being able to select features from the model and automatically generate toolpaths for making them is a big contributor to efficiency, with simulation being another. Using simulation throughout the programming process insures that the toolpaths are both safe and accurate. Simulation of programs is so fast and accurate that Englert frequently uses it for analyzing jobs and quoting them.
Dynamic Motion Technology has also made an outstanding contribution to the shop’s productivity. Englert said,
– With Dynamic Motion you can reduce machine cycles for many parts by 50%. During one of my first exposures to this approach, my colleague John Johnson showed me how we could take a part with a 25-minute roughing cycle down to just 12 minutes. You can also reduce tooling costs by using the full depth of the cutter, instead of stepping down with just a small area of the cutter over and over again. That was a real eye opener.
Some of Carolina Precision Components most recent additions have been advanced manufacturing systems including 5-axis mills and lathes with live tooling. John Johnson, who oversees creating the programs for this equipment, has posted dozens of examples of these, sometimes micron precision, sculptured components on the company’s Instagram page. For many of these jobs, Mastercam’s CAD for CAM capabilities are invaluable for creating workholding solutions that help resolve complex tool presentation and reach issues that allow expensive parts to be manufactured in a single machining operation.
Today, Carolina Precision Components has 37 CNC machines that are still being supported by a programming staff of three people. That is likely to change as work continues to flow in. Improved one and done efficiencies of multiaxis equipment are allowing the company to capture business (one offs and tens of thousands of parts). Its quality and pricing is so competitive that it is more economical to buy the part locally than pay for shipping.
– When you are programming at the machine, you really can’t see ahead. Mastercam gives you the ability to look ahead and see what materials have been removed and helps you plan ahead on how to process it. To me that is priceless. There were so many times when I was programming at the machine that I backed myself into a corner and had to start over. When we installed Mastercam we had nothing like that to hold us back anymore.
Kennith Englert, Process Engineer, Carolina Precision Components, Inc.