WorkNC improves lean manufacturing at Reich Tool & Design

Reich Tool & Design Inc is an expanding company, and is currently doubling the size of its factory in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, USA. It is ISO 9001 2000 certified, and is participating in a world class lean enterprise programme. It is a second-generati


WorkNC improves lean manufacturing at Reich Tool & Design




Reich Tool & Design Inc is an expanding company, and is currently doubling the size of its factory in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, USA. It is ISO 9001 2000 certified, and is participating in a world class lean enterprise programme. It is a second-generation company, dedicated to serving the metal stamping industry by making complex 3D tools as well as by contract machining. Its customers are in aerospace, the domestic appliance market, the medical field and the automotive industry. Reich Tool & Design Inc. also manufactures hydro form dies, as well as stamping dies for electronics.



The company’s old CAM software could not cope with the complexity of its work, leading it to evaluate new solutions. A trial of WorkNC at its factory showed that a job which previously took 24 hours to machine could be completed in 12 hours when reprogrammed in WorkNC. Eric Neumann, CNC Specialist for Reich Tool & Design Inc, said, “We were programming and machining complex 3D parts after our first day of training. The short learning curve and the time savings which we achieved proved to Fritz Reich our President, and Brett Reich our CNC Manager & V.P. that WorkNC was the correct choice.” As a relatively new user, the company was particularly pleased with Sescoi’s software support. Eric Neumann commented, “The technical support team is proactive, you can call them anytime and they are happy to work with you to resolve your queries.”



Currently Reich Tool & Design has seven vertical machining centres including an OKK VM5 which it runs at up to 20,000 rpm with shrink fit toolholders cutting Rockwell HRC 60 material. Eric Neumann often starts with WorkNC’s High Volume Roughing. He finds that plunging the tool into the material is a good way of quickly removing the excess. “Sescoi’s Re-roughing is excellent, all the toolpaths keep the cutter in the material with the minimum of air cutting.” The company also uses the software’s Z-Level and Optimized Z-Level toolpaths, starting with 32mm ball and working down to a 1.5mm ball. He continued, “WorkNC’s toolpath editing is also very powerful, making it quick and easy to modify or restrict cutterpaths.”



For machining hard material the trochoidal toolpaths, which add spiral moves whenever full engagement of the tool is detected, are particularly valuable. Eric Neumann said, “These cutterpaths are excellent. You can select climb movement, which results in a good surface finish and smooth cutting with no squealing of the tool in corners. We run at around 6.5 metres/minute with a 8mm cutter. The tool life is also tremendously extended, we have achieved 2 hours in-cut on Rockwell HRC 60 material.”



Simulation and tool holder collision checking in WorkNC enable Reich Tool & Design to double check toolpaths and pick the right tool combinations for deep cavities. Eric Neumann added, “These checks build confidence in WorkNC in both the office and the workshop. Furthermore, to eliminate the possibility of machine setting errors, we have customized WorkNC’s automatic documentation to give us exactly the information required at the machine, such as tools used, machining time, and datum position.”



Currently Reich Tool & Design produce around 10-15 programmes in WorkNC each week, but it anticipates that this will rapidly escalate. Eric Neumann said, “WorkNC is crucial to our success and has enabled us to efficiently tackle more complex work than we could easily machine before.” Reich Tool & Design is looking at expanding into 5-axis machining, so the capability of WorkNC in this area is an important part of its plan. Eric Neumann concluded, “I believe that behind every good company there is good software and WorkNC is certainly good.”



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