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    Software

    Mouldmaker Rises to New Challenges

    • By Editor
    • January 22, 2020
    • 3 minute read

    Injection mould manufacturer Alpha Precision welcomes new challenges, believing it can push the boundaries of what is pos

    an almost full suite of VISI modules, which Director Brendan Feely describes as a seamless communication tool.

    sible in precision engineering through its state-of-the-art software. Based at Tubbercurry in County Sligo, Alpha Precision operates

    The 16-employee company produces an average of around 40 tools a year, ranging in size from 100mm by 100mm, up to 600mm by 1-metre, mainly for the automotive, medical, packaging and electronics industry sectors.

    “Several years ago, Ireland experienced an exodus of toolmaking contracts as work went overseas. At the same time, VISI CAD/CAM software for the mould and die industry was rapidly developing and adding new features. Even companies that weren’t computer literate were investing in the technology to survive. This had a huge effect on the toolmaking industry, giving us a competitive advantage.”

    Alpha Precision is now building high end mould tools with high end software. “The technology promotes a more automated process, and means our staff need a different skillset to use VISI to its full potential. We have a variety of machines doing different jobs, so our operators have different skills. The software’s applied on the back of the machining, and because there are several disciplines, such as design, milling, wire and spark eroding, the software fits naturally into its given area. The operator in that area is just trained on the one particular VISI module.”

    He compares the toolroom to a group of people from different countries, with none of them speaking a language other than their own. “One language is design; others include flow analysis, milling, wire eroding and spark erosion. VISI is the common language that unites all those processes, ensuring everything moves fluently through the toolroom from one discipline to another.”

    Partnering with their clients from concept through to production, the experienced design team utilises VISI to design complex moulds, such as a number of high cavitation tools for medical customers. With VISI programs running their high-speed milling on Röder, and F3 and F5 Makino machining centres, the challenges posed by the medical industry require very fine precision levels.  “We use high-end 42,000 rpm spindle speeds for very small detail finishing, and we cut electrodes on the Makino F3, with high definition being done on the F5. We can machine a cavity in just one night, that would otherwise take a week. Using VISI Machining we can quickly produce a highly polished medical part with fine detail, a milled finish, and a split line within micron accuracy.”

    VISI Electrode & Wire also powers Alpha Precision’s EDM machines for spark eroding and Mitsubishi wire erosion. He says parts of the tool will have been cut on each of the machines, and when it’s ready for shipping, it is a very fine-micron, accurately controlled finished tool.

    Having invested in many VISI modules including Modelling, Analysis, Flow, Mould, Progress, the wire cutting and electrode systems, along with 2D Milling, 3D Milling and High Speed Milling, the software is used at every stage of the process, beginning with providing an accurate quotation for the customer.

    VISI ensures that all milling for hard prepping and high-speed finishing is handled quickly and accu

    rately, which he says is vital to their operation. “We make a lot of one-off custom components for each mould, meaning we only run a program once. As pattern cutters we need to be very good at generating CNC code time after time, and VISI is exceptional at doing that job for us.”

     

    https://cdn.mtdcnc.global/cnc/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/20131701/d1-500x260.jpg

    Mouldmaker Rises to New Challenges

    Injection mould manufacturer Alpha Precision welcomes new challenges, believing it can push the boundaries of what is pos

    an almost full suite of VISI modules, which Director Brendan Feely describes as a seamless communication tool.

    sible in precision engineering through its state-of-the-art software. Based at Tubbercurry in County Sligo, Alpha Precision operates

    The 16-employee company produces an average of around 40 tools a year, ranging in size from 100mm by 100mm, up to 600mm by 1-metre, mainly for the automotive, medical, packaging and electronics industry sectors.

    “Several years ago, Ireland experienced an exodus of toolmaking contracts as work went overseas. At the same time, VISI CAD/CAM software for the mould and die industry was rapidly developing and adding new features. Even companies that weren’t computer literate were investing in the technology to survive. This had a huge effect on the toolmaking industry, giving us a competitive advantage.”

    Alpha Precision is now building high end mould tools with high end software. “The technology promotes a more automated process, and means our staff need a different skillset to use VISI to its full potential. We have a variety of machines doing different jobs, so our operators have different skills. The software’s applied on the back of the machining, and because there are several disciplines, such as design, milling, wire and spark eroding, the software fits naturally into its given area. The operator in that area is just trained on the one particular VISI module.”

    He compares the toolroom to a group of people from different countries, with none of them speaking a language other than their own. “One language is design; others include flow analysis, milling, wire eroding and spark erosion. VISI is the common language that unites all those processes, ensuring everything moves fluently through the toolroom from one discipline to another.”

    Partnering with their clients from concept through to production, the experienced design team utilises VISI to design complex moulds, such as a number of high cavitation tools for medical customers. With VISI programs running their high-speed milling on Röder, and F3 and F5 Makino machining centres, the challenges posed by the medical industry require very fine precision levels.  “We use high-end 42,000 rpm spindle speeds for very small detail finishing, and we cut electrodes on the Makino F3, with high definition being done on the F5. We can machine a cavity in just one night, that would otherwise take a week. Using VISI Machining we can quickly produce a highly polished medical part with fine detail, a milled finish, and a split line within micron accuracy.”

    VISI Electrode & Wire also powers Alpha Precision’s EDM machines for spark eroding and Mitsubishi wire erosion. He says parts of the tool will have been cut on each of the machines, and when it’s ready for shipping, it is a very fine-micron, accurately controlled finished tool.

    Having invested in many VISI modules including Modelling, Analysis, Flow, Mould, Progress, the wire cutting and electrode systems, along with 2D Milling, 3D Milling and High Speed Milling, the software is used at every stage of the process, beginning with providing an accurate quotation for the customer.

    VISI ensures that all milling for hard prepping and high-speed finishing is handled quickly and accu

    rately, which he says is vital to their operation. “We make a lot of one-off custom components for each mould, meaning we only run a program once. As pattern cutters we need to be very good at generating CNC code time after time, and VISI is exceptional at doing that job for us.”