ESPRIT de Corps
Willemin-Macodel is a supplier of cutting-edge, made-to-measure machining solutions for complex, very high precision workpieces that offer added value to the aerospace, medical, jewelry, and watchmaking industries, among others.
While productivity gains are the goal of just about any manufacturer, improving efficiency can be a delicate balancing act between quality and speed. Harnessing the power of machinery that repeatably produces high-quality, complex parts can help manufacturers significantly boost efficiency without sacrificing quality, but advanced machinery can be challenging to program without the right computer-aided-manufacturing (CAM) software.
Willemin-Macodel is a supplier of cutting-edge, made-to-measure machining solutions for complex, very high precision workpieces that offer added value to the aerospace, medical, jewelry, and watchmaking industries, among others. To help its customers utilize the company’s sophisticated machinery to its full potential, Willemin-Macodel has partnered with ESPRIT CAM, by Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, to provide a streamlined programming experience.
“Willemin-Macodel machines do tend to run more complex, difficult, feature-dense parts and it’s been important for us to partner with ESPRIT to have software that supports the multi-axis programming of feature-rich parts,” said Applications Manager Jim Davis of Willemin-Macodel, who notes that the company’s bar-fed 5-axis machining center is unique in the U.S. market.
ESPRIT CAM engineers worked closely with Willemin-Macodel machine specialists to create a turnkey digital machine package that consists of post processors and virtual machines for the company’s MT series — specifically the 408MT, 508MT, and 508MT2 — which can be challenging to program and simulate using conventional CAM software due to their innovative configuration and complexity. The digital machine package helps customers eliminate time spent editing G-code and streamlines machine setup and first article runs.
“Working with the ESPRIT team has been a fantastic experience,” Davis said. “They’ve dedicated multiple post designers to work with me to set up and perfect the post and simulation, and worked with various mutual customers to tailor the post and simulation to what they desire and their style of programming.”
Wrist plate programmed by ESPRIT being machined on a Willemin-Macodel 508MT2.
In addition to an improved user experience and edit-free G-code, programmers can take advantage of additional custom capabilities, including the ability to engage and disengage the tailstock, strategies for easily mounting soft jaws on the vise, and a simple interface for controlling global machine settings. While achieving accurate simulation is important in any machining scenario, ensuring that the simulation generated by the CAM system is exactly what will occur once the job is sent to the shop floor is absolutely vital with complex machinery.
“It’s very important that the accuracy of the machine tool and the accuracy of the software correlate with one another to keep parts consistent, and to make it easy for customers to program parts and be comfortable with what they’re getting from the CAM in relationship to what they’re getting from the machine tool,” said Applications Engineer Josh Martin from Willemin-Macodel.
Davis is pleased with what he’s seen mutual customers achieve by using a combination of Willemin-Macodel machinery and ESPRIT CAM software.
“ESPRIT and Willemin-Macodel have a bunch of mutual customers and a couple of the medical shops have used ESPRIT very successfully amongst giant families of parts,” Davis said. “It’s been fascinating to watch how fast they can get parts programmed, set up, approved by quality, and turned out.”