Moldmaking taken to the next level with hyperMILL®
Today, M.R. Mold is known for its unprecedented expertise in Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) as well as leaders in the education of the silicone industry. M.R. Mold had been producing their molds using a time consuming combination of EDM and 3-axis machining and CEO Rick Finnie realized that if they wanted to reduce time and increase efficiencies they needed to invest in a 5-axis machining center.
Last summer Finnie was introduced first hand to Yasda milling machines while at the AmeriMold Expo with a friend and fellow manufacturing plant owner. “I knew of the Yasda brand,” Finnie said, “It was popular, highly regarded and extremely accurate. My friend, who owned a Yasda mill, explained that he had nine other mills, that were well known and respected, but he told me that the Yasda was far superior.”
Finnie and M.R. Molds’ management conducted their due diligence and purchased a Yasda YBM Vi40 5-axis machining center and began looking for CAM software that was up to the task of controlling this high-end, high-speed 5-axis super mill.
“We chose hyperMILL® because we felt it was the best solution to complement our high-end 5-axis machine and fully maximize our production operations.”
Rick Finnie, CEO M.R. Mold & Engineering Corp.
‘Like putting unleaded fuel in a dragster.’
Finnie said, “When we purchased the mill, the Yasda representative recommended that we reconsider the programming software we were using. We had been using a very popular brand for years and all of our employees were trained on it. But, he basically told me that using that software on this new Yasda machine would be like putting unleaded fuel in a dragster.”
“He recommended 3 or 4 different CAM programs and we started our investigation by getting quotes and learning about their capabilities. We finally narrowed it down to two software packages and I did a little additional research by visiting and exploring their websites. The OPEN MIND hyperMILL® website was very impressive. One of the real selling points for me was looking at their testimonials and list of customers, realizing that hyperMILL® is the software that manufacturers use. We chose hyperMILL® because we felt it was the best out there to make this high-end 5-axis machine do what we wanted it to do. We needed it to hold extremely tight tolerances and deliver parts with superior surface finishes. With the Yasda mill if I want to take off one-tenth (0.0001 inch), I could remove one-tenth and that’s exactly the type of accuracy I need,” Finnie continued.
Totally focused on our needs
Another concern, especially when moving to new software, is the learning curve. Finnie said that, “Nobody here had ever operated a 5-axis machine before, and suddenly we were faced with a machine having a rotating table that not only rotated but tilts side-to-side while the entire axis moves simultaneously. On top of that, the programmers had to take a crash course on hyperMILL® while learning how to operate the Yasda 5-axis mill because we had just received a purchase order for a very complex part that required both.”
To help meet the deadline, Nhut Nguyen, M.R. Mold’s lead programmer, received five days of onsite hyperMILL® training. Nhut said, “The trainer came to our company, sat down with us and was totally focused on our needs. He customized hyperMILL® to fit our requirements, and that’s pretty unique.”
Nhut added that, “hyperMILL® customer support is top notch. When I email questions I get answers back within 10 to 20 minutes. I really appreciate this!” After the training Nhut programmed his first hyperMILL® 5-axis job, machined it on the Yasda and completed it well ahead of schedule. “We’ve only been using hyperMILL® and the Yasda machine for about 6-months, Finnie said, “and the guys have developed a high level of confidence in programming and operating the machine.”