CAD/CAM Answers New Automotive Challenges

Case Study From: MoldMaking Technology

Posted on: 1/1/2014

For this blow mold manufacturer, the right CAD/CAM software yielded time savings, productivity gains and streamlined customer communication.

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The mold design and NC machining data for this two-cavity, cowl-side prototype were generated using Cimatron software. The prototype was machined on an Awea 1250 CNC machine.

Cimatron prepared the machining data and 3D rib curves for NC for this slider on a prototype air box door tool. The part was machined on a Kitamura CNC machine.

Cimatron with Mold Wizard was used to design this production four-cavity filler tube, including the use of full catalogs, 2D drawings and bill of materials.

Cimatron using advanced surfacing and solid cut created this production secondary fixture.

Production mold design prepared for Cimatron motion analysis.

Sable Engineering of Port Huron, Mich., got its start in 1999 within the medical field when an orthopedic doctor urged owner Andreas Batz to buy the right equipment to produce his own line of medical devices. Over time, market demand pushed Sable Engineering into the automotive industry. Early work involved using CMM and mold flow data to unwarp and reverse-engineer 30- to 40-percent glass-filled parts. Today, most of this ISO 9001:2008-certified company’s jobs are focused on prototype and production blow molds, fixturing, and product design.

With this transition to the automotive industry came new challenges. Designs became more complex and assembly jobs more frequent, and the software Sable Engineering was using was not up to the task. “One of my best customers advised me to get software that could better handle large assemblies,” Batz says. “That’s when I realized I needed Cimatron.” 

Making Complex Jobs Easy
Working long hours to get the job done and delivering exactly what was promised has helped the company build a loyal customer base of automotive suppliers.  According to Batz, before Sable Engineering started using Cimatron, a lot of time was spent on labor-intensive design work, including redrawing standard components in the company’s previous 3D CAD software, which resulted in lengthy projects and eroded profit margins. 

“Moving to Cimatron was quick and easy for my designers,” Batz says. “The software gives the designer a great level of freedom to go back and forth between solids and surfaces, making complex jobs easy. When we need help, the team at Cimatron has been extremely responsive, and their tooling knowledge is second to none.”

According to Batz, Sable Engineering now can save a lot of time by using catalog parts and assemblies, and with just a few clicks at the end of the project, it can generate the complete bill of material. “Overall, we can now do things five times faster compared to what we did prior to using Cimatron,” Batz says.   

Gaining More Business
Batz realizes value in his purchase of Cimatron software every day. “Completing complex mold designs faster without lowering our margins is something that we wouldn’t have accomplished if it wasn’t for Cimatron,” he says.

Cimatron enables multiple designers to work on one 
project, dramatically speeding up delivery time. Additionally, Batz says that nearly every component the designers add to the job has a cut body, and Cimatron creates the hole/pocket and then automatically updates it if that component is moved.

The time savings and productivity gains are not the only benefits of the software that Batz and his team value; it’s also the streamlined customer communication and collaboration. Batz finds these capabilities especially helpful when dealing with design and engineering changes. 

“Handling modifications quickly and effectively is critical to keeping projects on time and on budget,” he says. “Most  of our customers use Cimatron, which makes communication and changes much simpler. If the customer needs to modify something quickly, they can do it on their end in a seamless fashion. Regardless of who makes the changes, this software enables us to implement them seamlessly, because everything is associative.”

Taking on More
Additional work has been another benefit from Sable Engineering’s move to Cimatron. “Just recently we received a job outsourced from a large progressive stamping company, which is not using Cimatron and needed assistance with the surfacing work,” Batz says. “Even though the designs were correct, the software they were using created poor surfaces, even after spending more than 45 hours working on the part. With Cimatron, we were able to help them get the job done in a matter of hours. They were able to deliver the project on time and, most importantly, to the complete satisfaction of the customer.”

For more information:
Sable Engineering Inc.
810-689-9399
sableengineering.com

Cimatron
248-596-9700
cimatrontech.com
 

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