A Cut Above the Competition
Australian tool & die maker Hosico Engineering stays on top of business in spite of fierce offshore competition for local manufacturing contracts.
Hosico Engineering, headquartered in Melbourne, Victoria, have stayed on top of the competitive tool and die industry in Australia for more than twenty three years. An impressive list of companies they service includes: NEC, Hewlett Packard and Vision Systems. It recently completed tooling for the controversial E-Tag tollway ticketing system.
Hosico Engineering specialize in diecast tooling and a range of services for the automotive and electronics industry. managing director Peter Hof, credits their long standing success to the companys continual re-investment in the best technology available.
Selecting a New CAD/CAM System
To keep up with level of production achieved overseas in countries like China, investment in a CAM system providing the best speed, accuracy and delivery times became an absolute necessity for Hosico. Peter Hof said, "Our previous CAD/CAM system was taking too long to generate machining files. On the machining side, the quality of the data was such that jobs required a lot of input from our programmers to reach optimum production levels. We purchased a high speed CNC machine with a digital controller that could produce a high surface quality with fast feed rates and needed a high speed CAM machining package to take advantage of its potential. When by Barry Dyson (of the Melbourne CADCAM solutions provider STS) introduced us to machining STRATEGIST we knew this was exactly the program we were looking for. Weve been working with it for eight months now, and it has been a quantum leap forward for the company."
Ease of Use
"Machining STRATEGIST was so easy to learn that we installed the program one day and were cutting with it the next," said Hof. "Since then it has been working very hard and our programmers love it. They would rather wait to have access to the machining STRATEGIST terminal, than use another machine. It works fast, is extremely accurate and hassle free. The generation of the tool paths is at least 50% faster than we used to and the integrity of the file data is now faultless. We dont have to worry about issues such as gouging any more and this save us a lot of time. Delivery is 30% faster and as an added advantage it has even improved the speed of our old machine by at least 30%."
"Machining STRATEGIST delivers Worlds Best Practice cutting strategies, and we agree with 80% of the things it does. The other 20% are simply things we prefer to do our own way. Even a person without much background in multi-surface machining can still make top quality dies very easily. With reduced dependence on programmer skill, all of our employees are able to produce very satisfactory results. This gives us a continuity of production that we struggled to maintain before." said Hof.
"The work we do is very visual. With machining STRATEGIST you are looking at what appears to be a solid, so the programmers can easily recognize what they are working one. It has changed the way the programmer approaches a job, giving them the choice to machine flat regions with one strategy and steep walls with another. They start to nominate multiple programs to take advantage of all the new features."
Automotive component injection molding die machined by Hosico Engineering
"Machining STRATEGIST is very quick. You can create or import a stock model into the product and trim your toolpath once it is generated. For example: once you have completed your pre rough, its stock model is available to trim subsequent toolpaths, saving huge amounts of time. The ability to optimize the rapids and keep the tool as close to the job as possible is a great feature. The radial type exit at the end of each pass, to keep a constant speed around the corners, has also made a huge improvement in the product and the amount of time we save."
"A typical product development cycle involves firstly taking the CAD files from the client for quotation. If the files are simplistic, we do a quick 3D view of the IGES, then verify the integrity of the IGES in one of our larger packages like CADKEY. From there we have some input to the customer. If we see there are some areas of the design that are not manufacturable or need improvement, we have a design review of the product with the client. Once this is completed, we begin the tool design using CADKEY. Then from the electronic models we go to the manufacturing, tooling end of the shop. We import the models into machining STRATEGIST, tell the program to rough it and select the tools we wish to use. Machining STRATEGIST does the rest for you. Its that easy."
"Financially, machining STRATEGIST has made us more competitive with the overseas market by making our deliveries faster. We can take on jobs now that would previously not have been possible. Machining STRATEGIST does a lot of the work for you. We have more opportunities to quote and most of our clients dont mind how we do it, they just look at the quality of the end product. We have had a marked improvement in the quality without a huge investment in people and other technology. Just by adding machining STRATEGIST to the people at our disposal and the resources we already have, business has taken a quantum leap forward."
Hosico Engineering md Peter Hof with a portrait of Mr Fritz Hof,
Peter's father and founder of the company.
Hof says Hosico deals with customers who use a variety of packages such as Pro/E, Unigraphics and CATIA, including many different file types. "Machining STRATEGIST reads and copes with them all easily. Any problems encountered are usually traced back to the customer and the way they exported their own files." Hof said.
Hof is well pleased with his company's continued investment in new equipment and the latest software tools to drive prproduction to its maximum potential. "Machining STRATEGIST hones the competitive edge for any company in the moldmaking industry. The nature of the response time, quality of product and the tool path all contribute to this."