Machining STRATEGIST with Ingersoll Machine Tools
Ingersoll Machine Tools, Inc. supplies its customers with specialist machine tools and services for the world’s metalworking industries. The company’s applications are heavily used in aerospace, heavy machinery, machine tool, automotive, and other manufacturing industries. Its Manufacturing and Engineering Services Division in Rockford, IL produces and manufactures molds, die machining, and aerospace machining.
Bob Ponikvar, project manager says, “Every project has its challenges including time constraints. A few years ago, my colleagues and I realized that in order to remain competitive, it was essential to migrate from conventional machining to true, high-speed machining.” Simultaneously, they reviewed several software packages that facilitate high speed machining including Machining STRATEGIST from Vero International Software.
“We selected Machining STRATEGIST because it allows us to utilize all of our high speed machines due to the dedicated HSM toolpath techniques within the software. We are in the business of producing and manufacturing high speed machines with spindle speeds of up to 24,000 RPM and feed rates of up to 1,200 inches per minute. The methods that Machining STRATEGIST uses to produce the tool paths are very conducive to the high speed machines,” claims Ponikvar.
In order to supply the machining finishes required in the mold and aerospace sector, Ponikvar and his team conduct extensive investigation of tooling and machining techniques. “We apply a lot of high speed techniques almost 100 percent of the time. That effort gives us the high quality finish and accuracy required,” Ponikvar notes. Typical Ingersoll molds and aerospace machining are comprised of contoured surfaces that require polishing. “Customers do not want to take the additional time necessary to polish them. Machining STRATEGIST allows us to generate accurate and highly polished surfaces straight from the machine.”
Recently, Ingersoll produced a series of vacuum-form molds machined in aluminum. The molds are used to generate clear plastic food containers as found in most grocery stores and restaurants. “The mold itself may contain up to 16 cavities to produce 16 parts at any one time. The molds require a lot of machining with very small, detailed surfaces. We used Machining STRATEGIST to produce a surface finish that needs very little polishing. The software, along with our high speed machine greatly reduced the time it took to machine the part and the overall cycle time. It was a very satisfying experience,” says Ponikvar.
In addition, he notes that Machining STRATEGIST is very useful in the quoting process. During the bidding phase, Ingersoll must determine machine time to complete a project. “It’s essential to calculate the number of hours it will take to machine a part. The customer provides a 3D model, and using Machining STRATEGIST, we can create enough tool paths within one hour to determine how many hours and feed rates it will take to machine the entire part,” Ponikvar explains. “As a quoting tool, Machining STRATEGIST is so easy to set up and use. Being able to quickly and accurately quote a job gives us a sense of confidence.”
User-friendly Machining STRATEGIST can run on the same computer that is being used for other work. “We can work on other projects using the same computer that is running Machining STRATEGIST. The software allows for multi-tasking. All the users like the product because it is simple to use yet is very powerful. The users are very proficient using the software, pushing its features to the maximum. The product is easy to learn with only a day or two of practice.” concludes Ponikvar.
About The Company:
Name: Ingersoll Machine Tools
- Ability to maximize the high speed machining due to software’s dedicated toolpath techniques
- Generation of accurate and highly polished surfaces straight from the machine
- Greatly reduced cycles times
- Quickly able to determine machining time during the initial quoting process
- Multi-tasking support means that other projects can be worked on at the same time on the same PC
“All the users like Machining STRATEGIST because it is simple to use yet very powerful.”