JW Kane Precision Engineering has maximised the potential of its 5 axis machining by making better use of its seat of HyperMILL CAM software from Open Mind Technologies, which is now responsible for programming 95% of the company's parts output.
HyperMILL has helped JW Kane reduce programming and cycle times by what is said to be up to 50% when machining complex parts for clients including Bombardier, Airbus and Thales.
One example of this saw a 51% reduction on main frame structure parts for Bombardier, where a Heidenhain 3-axis control previously managed a stage 1 operation time of 10 minutes and a 2nd stage cycle time of 42 minutes.
HyperMILL CAM reduced these times to 8 minutes and 20 minutes respectively.
Ryan McClure, Engineering Team Leader at JW Kane explains where he believes this time saving is made: "I attribute this time saving to the ability of the software to calculate the 'Rest' material or residual stock during roughing, and to only cut exactly where the 'Rest' material is with consecutive cutters during rest milling and finishing operations."
"The linking of toolpaths within the work area removes the number of rapids the machine requires during positioning. This reduces air time and keeps the tools cutting."
Linking cycles to move the tool around the work piece was also said to help ensure the shortest possible tool path.
'Mirroring' left and right hand components in aerospace parts has also reduced machining time for the opposite hand of each component from 4 hours to a maximum of 30 minutes.
The success of HyperMILL encouraged JW Kane to purchase a second seat of the CAM software, whilst also trialling Open Mind's hyperMAXX roughing module option.