InventorCAM & iMachining save time and money for a Vacuum and Laboratory Equipment company

...production preparation and programming time have decreased significantly and the scrap rate has been almost eliminated...

...production preparation and programming time have decreased significantly and the scrap rate has been almost eliminated...

Lavat is a joint-stock company in the Czech Republic, focusing on manufacturing machine parts, vacuum equipment and laboratory equipment components and specializes in precision tool working at a precision class of IT7. The production is performed at small series or single pieces.

The majority of the parts are intended for electron microscopes. Made of corrosion-resistant steels (AISI 304 a AISI 316 L), aluminium or cast steel, the parts are usually of smaller dimensions with weight not exceeding twenty kilogrammes (AISI 304 a AISI 316 L). Typical assemblies include connection elements, vacuum pumps and various other vacuum devices (sometimes consisting of up to 200 parts).

Production Preparation

Lavat employs 120 employees, mostly in a single-shift operation. Five of them work on production preparation. The programmer Ing. Tomáš Hloušek has 15 years of experience in preparing NC programs for CNC machine tools.

Typical manufacturing process is based on a printed drawing documentation provided by the design department or the customer. In the first phase, the technologist assesses the production difficulty, defines the technological procedure and price calculation.

The process is planned into the company’s operation as soon as the price is agreed upon and it lasts several days or weeks, depending on the scope and complexity of the order. 

The Complete Solution of InventorCAM

In order to keep the data synchronized with the CAD Inventor, Lavat has chosen the InventorCAM solution, implemented by DTS Praha for the preparation of NC codes. The reason for transitioning to computer support was the lengthy process of manual NC code preparation in text editors, resulting in a higher scrap rate.

The advantages of InventorCAM has proven itself over the five years of productive machining. Both production preparation and programming time have decreased significantly and the scrap rate has been almost eliminated. This is because InventorCAM can be used for easy collision detection during virtual environment simulations (i.e. prior to the actual operation on the CNC machine).

The Revolutionary Technology of iMachining

The company has also been using the revolutionary technology of iMachining for milling. This technology can be used for more effective distribution of cutting forces, as well as to program a continuous tool path with constant cutting resistance throughout the entire machining time, regardless of the shape complexity. iMachining can save 70% and more in machining time.

iMachining and its patented Technology Wizrad provide the optimal cutting conditions in terms of machine and tool load, significantly contributing to the reduction in tooling costs. The resulting path is smooth and the machining process does not involve jerky movement due to travel speed changes in the pocket corners.

According to the estimation of the business department, the investment return for InventorCAM has proven half a year after its implementation. The financial savings were due to shorter programming times and lower cutting tool costs.

Expanding on the Market

Due to the growing production demand, Lavat considers purchasing a five-axis CNC machining centre, two additional InventorCAM licenses and the iMachining 3D module.

 

 

programmer Ing. Tomáš Hloušek in cooperation with setters directly at the CNC machine. Photo: Marek Pagáč
Ing. Tomáš Hloušek has switched from a text editor to Inventor CAM five years ago, preparing programs for 30 various workpieces each month. Photo: Marek Pagáč
Comparison of strategies in InventorCAM: standard milling strategy (left) and the iMachining productive strategy. Figure: Lavat
Lavat has palletization implemented for serial production. Photo: Marek Pagáč
The advantage of computer support in Inventor and InventorCAM is collision detection and simulation of the machining process, including the layout of semi-products on a pallet
Made in three fixtures, the fluid distribution element is one of the typical produced parts. Photo: Marek Pagáč