“The latest version of WorkNC is a quantum leap in speed,” says UK Company
Wide range of mold tools
Harvey Precision makes mold tools at its factory in Ashreigney, Devon, UK and has been using WorkNC since 1999. The company produces tools for a wide range of industry sectors including consumer goods, medical, telecommunications and automotive, including molds for parts used by Jaguar Land Rover, BMW and turnkey motorsport projects for companies such as AeroCatch.
Counted as one of Sescoi’s most loyal customers, Harvey Precision has seen some major advances in WorkNC since the original installation. John Harvey says, “Over the years we have seen some impressive leaps in functionality, but at the heart of WorkNC is its ease of use, its reliability and the quality of its toolpaths, which is what attracted us in the first place. However, the most amazing advance of all has been the speed increase we got with WorkNC V21. I can only say that when I saw the speed of WorkNC on the new hardware my jaw hit the desk."
The company produces a large number of electrodes which it requires to spark the complex cavities it produces, so the reliability of WorkNC is an essential element in its production cycle. John Harvey explains, “When quoting, our customers send us a wide range of different CAD formats. Translation into WorkNC CAD is very easy and foolproof. Once we have the go ahead we can then import the 3D tool models in WorkNC CAD to extract the electrode shapes directly from the design data. Once the electrodes are inside our software we quickly analyze the electrode geometry for the smallest radius so we know the minimum cutter size required, we check draft angles and simply select a machining sequence from a set of standard machining routines that we have developed over the years. We apply this sequence to the new geometry to automatically create a new set of toolpaths which are perfectly adapted to each new electrode. It is easy to underestimate the complexity of this task and to forget about the problems associated with producing roughing and finishing electrodes from the same geometry. WorkNC makes it all very straightforward.”
Reliability enabled overnight machining
The high speed Hurco machine used by Harvey Precision cuts the electrodes quickly, rarely taking more than an hour even for the most complex ones. The blank electrodes are first mounted on System 3R pallets and then loaded onto System 3R pneumatic chucks on the machine table making location of the copper blanks quick and accurate.“Once we have created the CNC code for each new electrode in WorkNC we just press start on the machine and it works, the only labor involved is loading and unloading. We have recently added a robot to do the electrode handling, enabling us to run the CNC machine unmanned overnight, producing up to 16 electrodes in series without stopping! If we did not have WorkNC’s 100% reliability, this would be impossible,” says John Harvey.
Parallel processing in WorkNC
Just recently, Harvey Precision has upgraded to WorkNC V21 and replaced its computer hardware with an i7 4 core processor. WorkNC V21 uses parallel processing and multi-threading algorithms to take advantage of the capabilities of these computers. John Harvey was highly impressed with the speed improvement. “I can only say that when I saw the speed of WorkNC on the new hardware my jaw hit the desk, it is a huge quantum leap in performance. We did a back to back comparison and a job that took 4 minutes 45 seconds on the old system took just 50 seconds on the new one.”
Continuous quality improvement
WorkNC is hugely important to Harvey Precision. John Harvey says, “WorkNC makes complicated things easy. We cut cavities in hardened steel and the high-speed toolpaths are absolutely reliable. We see the problems that other toolmakers have, and we just don’t get them. The surface finish in particular is excellent compared with others I have seen. Each release of the software has seen a refinement in the toolpaths which are very high contact with no wasted movement. We would not be in business without WorkNC.”