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Jun 8, 2009

German toolmaker Werkzeugbau Laichingen has become Delcam’s 30,000th customer

Delcam has recently gained its 30,000th customer, the German toolmaker Werkzeugbau Laichingen GmbH. Coincidentally, the order was again for six seats of the FeatureCAM feature-based CAM system, the same as that placed during 2008 by the 25,000th customer, JR Automation Technologies.

Werkzeugbau Laichingen undertakes the design, engineering and production of any kind of cutting and forming dies, but specialises in press tools, forming dies and punch tools up to 50 metric tonnes in weight. The company was founded in 1891 and now employs around 170 staff on two sites in Laichingen and Leipzig. As well as offering a complete design, manufacturing and maintenance service, it has equipment to produce samples and undertake inspection reports on the parts.

The success of the company comes not just from the high quality of its tools but also from its very fast reaction times and rigorous adherence to delivery dates. To further improve its speed of response, Werkzeugbau Laichingen has invested heavily in the latest five-axis machines.

To gain the maximum productivity from this new equipment, Armin Schmid, head of CADCAM at Werkzeugbau Laichingen, needed a more powerful 3D CAM system. It had to allow programming directly based on the 3D CAD model and also be as flexible as the company’s existing 2D programming system.

The decision to select FeatureCAM was made after an extensive presentation of the system by Delcam GmbH. This highlighted some major benefits of the software: it was able to import very large CAD models, up to 400MB in size, quickly and accurately; the feature recognition successfully interpreted the CAD data to give faster programming; and it allowed direct transfer of tool details, with the associated cutting data, from the existing tooling management system.

Another important reason was the ability to generate NC output for Heidenhain TNC controls. FeatureCAM not only generates the drilling cycles and other subprograms, but also utilises specific Heidenhain SL-cycles. This combination gives programs that are shorter and that are laid out more clearly. In addition, it allows the machine operator to quickly edit the parameters at the CNC control.

Helmut Nüssle, one of the FeatureCAM users at Werkzeugbau Laichingen, praised the speed of programming that has been achieved with the software. He has already started to investigate opportunities to customise FeatureCAM to his company’s specific requirements and to automate repetitive tasks.

Mr. Nüssle also was impressed by the service provided by staff at Delcam GmbH. "The support was exceptional from our first contact through to the final quotation, as well as during the system installation and implementation,” he reported. "This has given us the confidence that, with FeatureCAM and Delcam, we have a strong partner for the future.”