One CAM system, no limits
AWM Mold Tech
Standardizing on NX CAM saves time, lowers costs and improves quality
Added value as a corporate philosophy
Added value as a corporate philosophy AWM Mold Tech AG (AWM Mold Tech) is part of the Injection Molding Technology Division of the Adval Tech Group. Adval takes its name from “added value,” and has the corporate slogan, “We create added value for our customers.” AWM Mold Tech and its sister companies, Foboha (injection molds) and Teuscher (medical applications), cover the complete added-value chain in plastics injection molding – from the development of components to mold-flow studies, prototype construction, manufacturing of high-capacity injection molds and even the delivery of turnkey production facilities.
AWM Mold Tech, which has 250 employees, specializes in the development and manufacturing of multi-component parts. These are parts that combine different types of plastics. In addition, AWM is the world-leading manufacturer of tools for the production of optical storage media including audio CDs, HD-DVDs and Blu-Ray discs as well as the corresponding packaging. Machines that produce high volumes of CD packaging operate 360 days a year, with a daily schedule organized in four shifts around the clock.
Integrating CAD and CAM
AWM has been using the NX™ digital product development system from Siemens PLM Software for eight years. Four years ago, the company implemented NX CAM functionality as well. The company’s CAM Manager, Erik Klemm, explains, “We had been using NX CAD with success and without problems for a number of years, so it was logical for us to consider NX CAM.” One reason the company chose NX CAM was its seamless integration with NX CAD. The associativity between the two programs ensures that design modifications are automatically updated in the CAM system. Another reason is the breadth of the NX CAM solution. “The program covers our processes from beginning to end and never sets a limit on our creativity,” says Klemm.
AWM reviews new versions of NX as beta testers, and Klemm, who is considered one of the most competent NX users in Switzerland, takes part in three-day workshops whenever a new beta version becomes available. It was during one of these workshops that Klemm first heard about NX feature-based holemaking. “I immediately realized that this could be something important for us,” he recalls. At the time, the company was using a second CAM system to program holes. The new functionality would allow them to standardize on NX.
A closer look at the NX feature-based holemaking showed how the module simplifies holemaking by automating drilling processes and standardizing tools. The software incorporates proven manufacturing methods into rules that are applied to geometric objects. NX feature-based holemaking recognizes elements in 3D format or cylindrical surfaces, circles and points, even in nonparametric models. As a result, simple and complex drilling elements can be created at the push of a button.
Standardized processes save time
“The unusual aspect of this project is that we carried out the implementation from bottom to top,” explains Klemm. “I first spoke with a colleague, who had worked with the previous program, showed him the pros and cons, and explained how NX feature-based holemaking works.” Klemm managed to convince his colleagues, who in turn won their superiors’ approval.
“We were the first in Switzerland to implement NX feature-based holemaking,” Klemm adds. For support, Klemm relies on his company’s strong partnership with Siemens PLM Software. “AWM and Siemens have been working together for many years,” he says. “They know what we need and stand by us with moral and practical support.”
Thanks to this support, the change to NX feature-based holemaking went smoothly. This was the last logical step that allowed the company to replace the second CAM system and standardize on NX CAM. Since then, programming time has been reduced, in large part due to having standardized processes. Processing sequences have been optimized to shorten machine run times and minimize tool changes.
AWM has also implemented the NX CAM integrated simulation and verification (ISV) functionality for tool kits and machine components. With this capability, the NC programmer can simulate both individual operations and complete operation sequences as well as program new ones, without having to export the data to an external simulation program. This is safer and more cost efficient than having to wait to use the machine tool to discover errors in the program. Never before has early problem identification and program adaptation been as easy as with NX CAM ISV.