Spotlight on - Mold & Tool Company Optimizes Tool and Die Operations With CMM Software
Save Money With CMM Inspection? “Measuring costs money, it doesn’t save money.” This is the view of most Mold and Tool Makers because the traditional methods are done after the part is made. Which brings to mind the old adage—“Measure twice, cut once.” Here’s how one company is turning the accepted norm into competitive advantage.
Current tooling Process is non-optimum and costly
Mold and Tool Makers know the problems well - When a part or component is produced from new tooling it is very rare that it is perfectly correct. Even when that component is produced exactly according to the engineered drawing requirements imperfection can be expected. This means losses, delays and multiple correction iterations. Worse than that traditional options are all done after the component is made, that is very costly. F. & G. Hachtel GmbH & Co. KG is a medium-sized, German, injection-molding company with its own tool and die making operations looking to a solution to mitigate these “normal” time delays and subsequent losses in time and money.
Optimize the processes, gain on the competition
One company and its Managing Director, Steffen Hacthel and his team, faced almost daily with these challenges, knew they needed to optimize F. & G. Hachtel’s processes to resolve these inherent problems in tooling operations. They came to WENZEL looking for an innovative and simple solution for this “industry norm.” WENZEL’s answer was the PointMaster CMM software. PointMaster is part of Wenzel’s 3D Scanning and Reverse Engineering technology solutions. The actual geometrical data of the produced components are first generated by Computer Tomography (CT). After measuring, the ‘CT voxel data’ is processed using the PointMaster software. The component data is analyzed and compared with the nominal CAD data. At a single glance, the shape variations can be seen due to a topographical deviation map. In contrast to the traditional measurement protocols all deviations measured are shown in color and the functional relationships can be described, analyzed and evaluated.
A cost-effective tool correction can be performed quickly. It’s not enough to consider only the differences among functional aspects of the components; the tool maker has to find the optimal method for tool adjustment. “The PointMaster software is very flexible and allows our tool designers a variety of corrective options to simulate the mold. They can select the quickest and cheapest option for the tool,” explains Hachtel. But that’s not all. If the strategy of the tool offset is set, then PointMaster enables the determination of a geometry correction before manufacturing providing a high probability of achieving the correct shape of the component after the manufacturing process according to the drawings. The number of traditional tool correction iterations is drastically reduced. “Since we started to qualify our plastic parts and tools in this way we have saved on each new tool by at least 1 or 2 correction loops and on the costs for complex traditional measurement reports,” raves Hachtel. And the software can do even more. “PointMaster is the only software package worldwide, which can visualize and process standard geometry, free form surfaces, milling programs, voxel data, point clouds, poly meshes, polygonal curves and higher order curves,” explains Ralf Jaumann, Managing Director of Wenzel’s Reverse Engineering and 3D Imaging Technology subsidiary