VISI helps double production VISI helps double production VISI helps double production  Productivity through CADCAM integration

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Plastica Thermoforming located in Bergen op Zoom (NL), has 65 years experience as a supplier in the design, development and production of synthetic products. The main activity of Plastica Thermoforming is the thermoforming of client specific products based on customer defined product specifications and functional requirements.

Plastica have been using VISI Modelling for the design of customer defined CAD models since early 2000. “Everything is now constructed in 3D,” states Andre Ekeren. “The advantages of using VISI Modelling for us are the flexibility to make our own 3D designs and the continual use of the data for our own engineering needs. VISI offers several standard CAD translators and this allows us to work with data from almost any supplier. Using VISI Analysis, we can easily detect minimum radii, product draft and wall thickness for example. When the product design is complete, the model for the thermoforming mold and clamping fixtures are constructed in 3D prior to 5-Axis milling. Sometimes we only have a master mold of which we measure the points to reconstruct the complete product using VISI” concludes Ekeren.

"The programming is now faster and of higher quality. The Geiss machine is now used to maximum capacity and we have been able to double the production.”

Timo Osse

5-axis machining, a real success
Plastica has 25 years of experience with 5-axis simultaneous milling for the trimming of the thermoformed products. Before using VISI, the previous ‘teach’ procedure was very labour-intensive as one engineer had to manually drive the CNC around the component – This would often take half a day, even for a simple job. The diversity of the products has increased and they are also getting larger in size. The decision was taken to purchase a new 5-axis Geiss ECO in 2005. Together with the machine, Plastica also decided to invest in the 5-axis simultaneous milling module from Vero Software.

For the Geiss ECO, all 5-axis programs are currently generated off-line using VISI Machining, based on the CAD model. The programr has complete control over the 5-axis toolpath, the tilting of the tool axis and the lead in/lead out methods. For the trimming of the thermoforming products, the “Swarf cutting” method is often used, where the side of the tool is driven along the surface edge. Often, product holes are difficult to reach, and an extra tilting of the tool is required in order to avoid collision with the tool holder. For the machining of planar holes, the tool is tilted perpendicular to the surface. All of the possibilities are clearly defined within the graphical interface which greatly helps the operator when defining the NC program.

When the toolpath is complete, the operator programr is able to virtually walk through the complete program using the integrated kinematic simulator and prove the toolpath is collision-free.

“The programming is now faster and of higher quality. When the program on the PC is complete, the CNC machine is started immediately, without further delay. The Geiss machine is now used to maximum capacity and we have been able to double the production”, says Timo Osse.

Expansion
After the success with the Geiss ECO, Somatech, the Benelux software distributor of VISI generated post processors for all the other 5-axis CNC machines: the Maka KPF 334RT, the Geiss G98 (Siemens 840D), the Norma Profil (Num1060) and the Maka KPF2500 (CNC783) have all been constructed to run with VISI. The last two machines are located at Plastica Thermoformage, a division in Lille (Northern France). Importantly, all machines are programd off-line, from Bergen op Zoom, using VISI Machining 5-Axis.

Improvement of productivity
“It is easy to notice the progress we have made on the shop floor after switching to VISI. Everything runs more smoothly, there are no more interruptions as a result of the program and the machine-operators do not have to stand around waiting for a solution to be able to continue. The continuity and reliability ensures we are now able to keep to our planning schedule more accurately than before. Close relationships with the software distributor, Somatech, and the VISI products have now established themselves as an integral part of our operations. It is important for us to know that we have a commitment from a key supplier to support us in a positive manner.” concludes Ton Proost, R&D Director.

 

About The Company:

Name: Plastica Thermoforming

Webwww.plasticabv.nl

 

Benefits Achieved:

  • Single software source for all 5-axis CNC machines
  • Total control over the 5-axis toolpath including tool axis tilting
  • Production capacity doubled
 
Comments:
 

"The programming is now faster and of higher quality. The Geiss machine is now used to maximum capacity and we have been able to double the production.”

Timo Osse

 

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