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Integrated CAD-CAM boosts UK firm's order book

01 July 2008

A British injection moulding company has successfully beaten off competition from China thanks to an installation that includes Edgecam’s CAM system for NC part programming, working in conjunction with Autodesk Inventor 3D CAD

Todmorden, Lancashire based Kavia Moulded Products ( specialises in injection mould manufacture for customers in a wide range of industry sectors including textiles, wire goods and electrical. The company had been using Autodesk Inventor 3D design software for some time before it took the decision to invest in CAM technology from about four years ago.

Kavia selected Edgecam because of the efficiencies it offered, along with seamless integration with Inventor. As Autodesk’s preferred CAM system, full associativity between the two ensures that when any modifications are made, the Edgecam NC program automatically generates new code. With true data integrity assured, loss of data or downtime is prevented, and this proved a tremendous time-saver for Kavia in project managing plastic components from concept through production to delivery. Kavia managing director, Chris Cole takes up the story.

“We considered other packages but Edgecam is clearly superior, reducing downtime by 30-50%. Additional benefits include the data translation functionality, which eliminates potential issues with third party CAD data. The facility to simulate everything allows us to automate much more of the process, providing the opportunity to run lights-out, confident that the programme will run smoothly.”

Jobs can be planned to run overnight with all the necessary tooling set-up in advance – it’s just a matter of pressing a button before leaving the factory at the end of the shift.

“A lot of our manufacturing processes involve quite complex shapes, but Edgecam simplifies and streamlines our production operations,” says Mr Cole. “In the past it would have taken us an hour or more to set up a machine – this is now achieved in around three minutes.”

Kavia specialises in the design and manufacture of both simple and complex precision injection mould tools and plastic components (nylon, polycarbonate, ABS, polypropylene and acetyl). Providing high quality low cost tools, the company’s continued investment in new machines ensures efficient production overall and that components are produced to the required tolerance levels.

“In combining our design and toolmaking knowledge with state of the art CAD/CAM technologies, we are able to offer the optimum 3D and 2D solution in terms of component tool design and performance,” says Mr Cole. “Tooling can be tailored to suit customer requirements - including single to multi-impression, hot runner, auto-unscrewing, moving core (hydraulic and mechanical), split cavity, 3D cavity and sprung core. Associated mould tool mechanisms and maintenance support our total service provision from component to mould tool design through to manufacture and final product sampling.

“The enormous flexibility and efficiencies that can be achieved using Edgecam have definitely given us a significant advantage over competition from the Far East when it comes to quoting customers for mould tools.”

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