From: Larry Rehak [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, May 03, 2013 3:23 PM
To: Tim Mika
Subject: Re: SolidCAM Order Processed - Intricate Metal
We bought the Mikron HEM 800 at IMTS. A CAM software for SolidWorks was set up in the Agie booth, directly behind the mills. We purchased their package. The machine was delivered mid-November.
We had been in contact with the CAM company - classes were never scheduled, and no mention of a post, on their end. Training for the VMC was in MA at the Agie facility, the week following Thanksgiving. We were told at the classes we'd need a post for the CAM package to run the machine and were given a recommendation.
I programmed the VMC at the controls December and the first 3 weeks of January - the CAM company still had not scheduled classes! We paid for an instructor to come to IMF for the classes. This was Jan 21-25. I don't understand why they would send an instructor that had NEVER run a machine center to teach classes, but they did. Please don't forget, all this time the CAM company had not come up with a post!! We had given them the Agie recommendation in December. The classes ended, we still had no post and could not run the VMC.
They finally sent a post the end of January. We had problems from the moment the post was loaded. The programs would not backplot and/ or verify the same. I would run into problems, call the tech support, and do a virtual tech. I would have their techs do the program, backplot and verify it and hear comments like, "..I ain't never seen anything like that before!" and "... that's not supposed to happen". I had techs take models and try to program them over weekends and still never figure them out. The local rep came in on a Thursday, worked with me, not being able to fix the problems, said he'd return the following Monday. Been 11 Mondays now, still have not seen him...
We loaded 4 or 5 versions of the post, had problems with them all. The straw that broke the camel's back was that I wrote a program with simple counterbores, that needed to be milled to size. Of the four, two came out perfect, two were drastically egg shaped. We contacted Agie, asking them if ANYONE in the USA was successfully running that other CAM for SolidWorks on one of their VMC's, and if so, would they let us know who wrote the post and could they help us. We were alone.
Jim Nagel from Agie put us in touch with a friend of his that he thought might be able to help. That friend was Anthony Calderone from SolidCAM. A true God send.
Anthony worked with me for 4 days straight, we we're able to solve some of the (machine related) problems, and some (CAM related) not. The biggest breakthrough came when Anthony was able to program a simple part with SolidCAM and post it, via his post, send it to my VMC, and have it run successfully!! This was the same part that the other CAM for SolidWorks could not run.
He did this all without EVER mentioning we should change CAM packages. After 4 days, I sincerly thanked him for wasting his time with me. He said it was no waste and he stated he needed to prepare his company for the near future saying if we had these problems, it would not be long before his clients had the same, and he needed to be ahead of the game.
I brought up the idea of purchasing SolidCAM, knowing it would be a tough sell seeing as how we were out the funds for the other CAM for SolidWorks.
The sell was made easier on my part because Anthony had a program and post that ran my VMC! Something the other CAM for SolidWorks was not able to do for the previous 4 months. Anthony then enlightened me to the 30 day test run.
He helped me load the SolidCAM test run software, gave me a quick start on the tutorial, cut me loose and in less than 5 hours, I was cutting good parts!! (After 5 hours with the other CAM for SolidWorks, we were going to lunch, only partly through the first lesson!)
The SolidCAM techs have been great to work with, and not only know the software, but know machining as well. Can't say that for the other guys.
We fought with the other CAM for SolidWorks, and were able to re-coop some of the funds, allowing me to purchase SolidCAM, with the seat of Solidworks as well.
In the last 45 days (since loading the SolidCAM trial), I've been able to program complex parts and run them without concern. The machine seems to run smoother than before, cutters last longer and confidence levels are high.
I am able to train others here in using SolidCAM with ease. The software is pretty self-explanatory, the tutorials are easy to follow.
I've passed on my findings to friends in the industry that are having problems with the other CAM, you may have already heard from some of them.
That's my story!
Intricate Metal Forming Co.