A selection of high-precision parts manufactured by Sinnotech GmbH.

A Natural Progression in CAM Functionality

May 2, 2013
Ability to diversify CAM modularity Work on the geometry Continuing expansion

The Bavarian Forest was Germany’s first national park, established in October 1970, and it remains a pristine ‘ecosystem’ covering nearly 100 square miles.  In the Forest, nature remains undisturbed, but the region also is home to a number of specialty manufacturers adopting and advancing high technology to produce high-value parts and materials.  One of these is Sinnotech GmbH, in Neuschoenau, a manufacturer of precision parts as prototypes and in high volumes, for automotive suppliers and manufacturers.

Sinnotech manufactures precision parts for automotive suppliers and manufacturers, as prototypes and in series production.

Peter Simmet started the business 25 years ago, mainly supplying Bavarian automotive tier-one suppliers and the energy industry. Now, with his son Florian Simmet as owner and managing director, Sinnotech’s strength is its ability to deliver small, precision parts quickly, whether as prototypes or in series production.

Sinnotech’s ability to diversify is due mainly to its use of DP Technology Corp.’s Esprit CAM software to program its manufacturing processes, Simmet explained.

The Esprit system is a high-performance programming tool for any CNC machine. Its full-spectrum functionality includes programming for 2- to 5-axis milling, 2- to 22-axis turning, 2- to 5-axis wire EDM, multitasking mill-turn machining, and B-axis machine tools. It’s a CAM tool that can streamline operations by giving CNC programmers an extensive suite of machining cycles, comprehensive tool control, and capacity, to support the demands of an entire shop.

Sinnotech uses Esprit for a range of machining processes, including turning, milling up to three axes simultaneously, and multi-tasking. It also uses the software to drive different brands of CNC machining centers with equal effectiveness, including machines designed by Okuma, Traub and DMG Mori Seiki.

Multiple Programming Tools

“There are multiple reasons for using Esprit to program our machines,” according to Simmet. “First of all, it allows us to work directly on the geometry provided by our customers without any loss in data. It offers an easy user interface, integrated technology databases, and automation capabilities, including the Knowledge Base, that have allowed us to reduce programming time by 60 percent since day one.”

A Sinnotech operator at work with a Traub CNC machining center.

The company’s operators also appreciate Esprit’s modularity, meaning its ability to incorporate specific Esprit program modules that relate directly relate to Sinnotech’s needs. The pricing policies of DP Technology is a further advantage, and in all these benefits have allowed Sinnotech to start small and grow over time — in sync with the expectations of its customers.

Finally, the flexibility of the Esprit post processor allows Sinnotech to adapt to new machines easily, as well as new features on its machines, and eventually to optimize processes.

Esprit has a universal post processor develops G-code effectively and efficiently, so operators are to maximize the investment in CNC systems. With Esprit, the shop gains a proven system with a complete library of pre-defined post processors. Additional, factory-certified posts are available for many of the leading machine tool brands, and Esprit's open architecture allows programmers to adjust any post processor easily to suit preferences and/or shop floor requirements.

“We are just about to buy a new Okuma mill-turn machining center,” Simmet recently reported, “which also will be served by Esprit. It is so easy for me to add this machine with all the features needed for programming and simulation in Esprit. Then, I can program the full mill-turn process, including all operations in Esprit, simulate it completely, and generate the G-Code accordingly,” he said.

Once the programming is installed, Esprit's dynamic solid verification function is fast, accurate, and reliable, and eliminates the need for the shop to conduct time-consuming test runs on the CNC machine. The operators can gain confidence in the machining process as while comparing accurately rendered, as-designed models versus as-machined parts.

High-performance, real-time simulation and comprehensive collision detection ensure that even the complex parts will be machined correctly the first time.  

Thorough Verification

Esprit gives programmers and operators thorough verification of part programs, simulated within a complete machining environment: machine tool, fixtures, clamps, stock, and workpiece. It minimizes downtime, maximizes manufacturing efficiency, and cuts machining costs while establishing confidence in the machining processes.

Sinnotech has been using an adapted version of the KBM, or Esprit KnowledgeBase, delivered with Esprit for all of its drilling, boring, and threading operations. By adding all of its repetitive processes to the Esprit KBM, it gains the maximum advantage of its programming investment.

“I will continue expanding use of the KBM technology to other features, like pockets to make sure that all programmers work the same way, always with the same quality,” Florian Simmet said, “and always using our best-practice processes within Esprit.

“It is the easiest way to standardize and automate, to optimize our programming process. I have seen another 10 percent increase in productivity using that technology,” he said.

Soon, Sinnotech will move its operation to a larger shop, to serve its customers better, but using Esprit gives it assurance that its performance will remain precise, fast and agile as it responds to customers’ expectations with high-quality parts.

Patrick Burgun is a mechanical engineer, CAD/NC specialist, and Esprit channel manager with DP Technology.

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