For the team at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies (FST) to grow, they knew that there were inefficiencies in their existing processes, so they initially contacted Autodesk for support. This support involved training and post-processing creation.
FST bought a new CNC Lathe – Doosan Puma 2600 Series. This machine introduced a new machining technique to the team at FST. The team were primarily using Turning techniques in the past but wanted to venture into the use of Turn-Mill machining techniques. Autodesk supported them with training using Autodesk FeatureCAM for Milling and provided a post-processor for their new lathe.
The FST design and engineering department use Autodesk Inventor for CAD modelling, therefore this relationship to the Autodesk products is already rooted in the team.
For FST to become proficient in the use of Turn-Mill they would have to learn the Milling techniques. Autodesk FeatureCAM provides a very mature Turn-Mill equipped software, that would help build a foundation to join Turning and Milling techniques to earn the Turn-Mill knowledge.
The understanding of the types of Milling tools was also new to the team, meaning they had to connect with a tool supplier that could help them understand the best tools to use with these new techniques they must learn.
The main objective is to build confidence in the team with respect to a new workflow, using Turn-Mill Techniques inside Autodesk FeatureCAM. To connect the software to the new lathe the workflow is required:
- Tool libraries are built-in Autodesk FeatureCAM for Turning and Milling
- Autodesk Post Processor is set up in FeatureCAM
- CAD model is opened in Autodesk FeatureCAM (originally built in Autodesk Inventor)
- Toolpaths are built around the part using Turn-Mill operations
- The toolpaths are simulated to confirm the real-world process
- NC code is generated by using the post-processor Autodesk provided
- The NC code is taken to the machine and the part is machined
For FST to become more productive they need to be confident with this workflow.
What was the solution?
The main solution was for FST to be trained in the use of Turn-Mill techniques using Autodesk FeatureCAM. This training would involve Turning, Milling and Turn-Mill techniques.
What was the outcome for FST?
The team at FST would have an automated software process to help simulate the production and manufacture of their parts as a prototyping phase before full machining. This process will cut out the errors that could be made by the machine. The CNC operators will be able to simulate the environment fully inside Autodesk FeatureCAM and build confidence knowing that when they arrive at the machine, they have eliminated any error processes by utilising the prototyping software.
Production will speed up as this confidence builds and the members of the team will learn new skills to elaborate and save time in other areas of manufacturing.
When FST had their first interaction with Symetri technical consultants it was clear that they were keen to learn and that they were willing to upskill to make production changes in the business. This is always a difficult first step for Symetri, but the customer already knew the value of change and was onboard from the beginning.
During the training course, it was clear that FST needed additional assistance with Milling techniques in FeatureCAM therefore Symetri adjusted the agenda to cover subjects from previous Autodesk delivered training courses. The additional training that was required was split across a number of days and scheduled to meet the criteria of FST employees.
As a follow up to the training, Symetri provided a written document to FST to help them digest the training information quickly. This document was also coupled with access to all training materials for future use as well as training support.
Symetri also provided modifications to the post processors for the Doosan Puma as well as further discussions with the team to help guide them in the use of specific operations and tooling inside Autodesk FeatureCAM.
The impact of this training and services meant that FST is closer to an automated process, which eliminates errors in machining.