Haland Teknik AB in Spånga (Sweden) - "Continuous innovation is the foundation"
"You have to continually invest in the latest in CAM - in combination with maximum 2-3 years old CNC machinetools. It is also important to concentrate to two vendors - one for IT systems and one for the machinetools. For us, this has meant that we can promise delivery of complex parts overnight", explains Sven Halfwordson, CEO of Haland Teknik in Spånga. In 2009 and 2010 Haland Teknik was named "Supplier of the Year" by TA Instruments. The company philosophy is to make use of their central location to the max while getting the most out of their suppliers. The business was founded in 1985 to manufacture a component to IBM. From there, it has now developed into more advanced components for a variety of industries.
The need for CAM arises...
It started with us for about 6-7 years ago when we realized that we need to machine directly from 3D CAD models in order to be effective enough. Previously we had only worked in Mazaks 2D programming system. We evaluated two different CAM solutions, both seemed very competent but myself I personally got the feeling that GibbsCAM was technically ahead of the others. All of our staff were however not so enthusiastic about the introduction of CAM programming as it meant that the working methods would partially change. But as we recruited a person who had worked in GibbsCAM and the others saw what he could accomplish, this really helped to spread both curiosity and enthusiasm.
Programming on the shop floor
Fructus Data, who supplied and installed GibbsCAM, kept talking about how important it was to work near the CNC machinetools to minimize time when doing changes in the CAM system. The opposition that initially existed against this new workingmethod was broken down since the machinists status was also raised. They now saw themselves as technicians who participated in the development process rather than just "regular" CNC operators, and they became more and more interested. They all got a computer on the shop floor next to the machine itself. Johan Ramström works with Mazak Integrex machines, while Stefan Fischer programs a Mazak Variaxis machine. Stefan says;
"What we usually get is a SolidWorks or a Parasolid file. I open them directly in Gibbs, add tolerance information, create toolpath and simulate the machining in detail. This way I can discover quickly if there is a risk that something is wrong, or for example if there is some detail in the design that will complicate the manufacturing process, "says Stefan." But often it's all pretty simple. "For example, he showed a little clip in stainless steel with a high surface finish made in a Mazak Variaxis 5-axis milling machine. Complete preparation including CAM programming, setup of tools and fixtures and everything took about three hours, which he sees as very competetive.
He says that also the more complicated parts now flow quickly through the shop. One example he shows is a complex component that is located underneath the touchpad on a laptop PC. We could have produced this part according to the original design, but this would have been quite a complicated task due to sharp inside corners in the design. So, we discussed the design with our customer, and did some modelchanges in GibbsCAM. This helped to simplify the manufacturing process a lot and is a good example of what you can do with knowledge and efficient tools.
For Mr Halfwordson it's all about looking at your suppliers as strategic partners and to do things right from the start, and absorb as much knowledge as possible from the suppliers.