ZW3D Integration Streamlines Design through Manufacturing
"No time is wasted before parts go into production."
Like the little Dutch boy who stopped the leaking dam, it's sometimes the most obvious of actions that save the day. Ramix faced daily challenges designing impellers and moulds while their sister company, Romit was responsible for the machining. Because of shortcomings in their existing CAD and CAM systems, Ramix and Romit were forced to outsource a lot of work causing leaking profits. They needed a solution to keep the work in house that went beyond just putting their finger in the dam. They needed to fix the problem.
ZW3D and other major competitors were pitted against each other to see who could close the gap. In the end, the choice was clear. ZW3D's total integration excelled and could get the job done easily...and at a price that wouldn't break the bank!
Romit Creates Profitable Niche
Romit had been trying to expand into the impeller market but it was a struggle; their old system simply couldn't handle the complexity.
ZW3D to the rescue.
"We were amazed at how the tools in ZW3D worked," explains Ramix-Romit director, Auke Sjoerd Tolsma.
“Customers would send difficult 2D drawings and it was easy to quickly construct 3D parts and get them on the mill. This opened the door to modeling and machining impellers.”
Romit often gets no more than a table of coordinates in radials for the complex 3D form of an impeller. They’ll use a spreadsheet to calculate the coordinates and import them into ZW3D where the powerful wireframe and surface modeling tools take over. “It takes us more time to import and convert the data in our spreadsheet than it does to model an impeller,” Tolsma says.
Machining the impellers is done with ZW3D using up to 5 axis milling. “After the introduction of ZW3D, we have increased our machining hourly rate by more than 20%,” he says.
Impeller manufacturing proves to be a specialty which notably increases Romit’s presence in today’s competitive market...and boosts that bottom line.
Ramix Maximizes Production
Ramix realized valuable time was being wasted from modeling to mold making. They needed an integrated, automated solution to speed things up.
ZW3D to the rescue.
“ZW3D’s associativity is a powerful and reliable tool,” says Tolsma, “and that played a big role in our decision to purchase ZW3D software.” Ramix rarely needs 2D drawings because of the seamless integration. They simply send ZW3D CAD models directly to ZW3D CAM.
Tolsma says, “After building up the mold, no time-consuming drafting is wasted before parts can go into production. The parts list is filled in using the assembly manager. In the shop, no time is wasted on punching in the dimensions of pockets or coordinates of holes into the machine. Milling the parts with ZW3D CAM saved us several days of machining time.” The payback has been enormous and the return on investment was just a few months, not years.
ZW3D’s Open Shape / Hybrid modeling is another important contribution to Ramix. “As a mold maker we get all kinds of files to work with,” he says. “Often we receive bad IGES files where surfaces don’t connect, overlap, or are missing completely. Despite these errors, we quickly make good working mould parts without healing the imported file to a solid model. We even help customers improve the design during the construction process.”
Ramix finds that all of ZW3D’s inspection tools work well with solids and open surface models, allowing them to inspect cooling channel clearances. In keeping with this open shape approach, ZW3D Quickmill™ doesn’t differentiate between surface and solids. That makes it easy to identify the regions that were changed by the customer for re-machining.
Before any metal is cut, ZW3D can do a full simulation of all movements of complex molds. This shows the customer how the mold construction will be realized. Ramix uses the powerful freeform tools of ZW3D every day to calculate and design parting lines and faces for very complex molds.
The orders and machines are humming along at Ramix and Romit and it’s easy to see how satisfied they are with ZW3D. Every CNC-machine has a shield which proudly proclaims... ‘This Machine is Powered by ZW3D!’
Note: VX CAD/CAM software and technology has been acquired by ZWCAD Software Co., Ltd. VX CAD/CAM has been rebranded as ZW3D. All the testimonials of ZW3D refer to its predecessor.