Press release
For Immediate Release
2nd January 2007

Gazco warms to better efficiency with JETCAM Expert CADCAM software

Gazco Limited, based in Exeter, Devon, manufactures gas fires and stoves, and Redfire range cookers with its 130 strong workforce. In 1997 they purchased a Trumpf 180. Said Jim Stevens, Production Director; “Prior to this point we had no experience of operating a punching machine, let alone programming for it. I embarked on a benchmark of several systems, which quickly boiled down to two major UK vendors, one of which was JETCAM. Quite frankly, the other system we evaluated frightened me because of its complexity.”

They selected JETCAM, which was installed in 1998. Three people were trained, one of which had never used a PC before. Said Jim; “One of our machine operators had never even touched a PC before, but she was able to produce code reliably within about 90 minutes.  Although the JETCAM engineer was here for the allotted two days, most of it was only in an advisory capacity rather than needing to train us on an overly complex system.”

Gazco fires

In 2000 Gazco added a TC500 punch to the shopfloor, with another postprocessor installed into JETCAM. Installation was fast, with all parts immediately available for cutting on the new machine. Added Jim; “The engineer was not ‘just’ a software guy - he was also knowledgeable about the machine itself.”

In 2006 Gazco sold the TC180 and TC500, replacing them with a new TC500 with SheetMaster load/unloading, which is running at full capacity, cutting parts from a database of over 4500, plus prototypes. “Speed to market is critical, but also one of our biggest advantages - we are able to produce prototypes much quicker in-house than external vendors, much of which is related to our ability to swiftly and reliably convert a CAD file into NC code. We have never needed to actually ‘know’ anything about the NC code that is generated as it always works.”
 
Approximately 30% of Gazco’s parts are runs of a single component, so they make use of JETCAM’s Single Component Automatic Processing (SCAP) function. This allows a CAD file to be automatically nested within given parameters and tolerances, such as rotations allowed, microtagging or unloading etc, and then NC code being generated within seconds.  Said Jim; “As over 90% of our work is for stocked parts, the ability to create a nest in this way, or to quickly add items to an existing nest using bump nesting is extremely important. This has had a knock-on effect of reducing overall stockholding, especially important for slower moving items.”

A change in tooling was considered at the same time as the purchase of the new TC500 and subsequently implemented, with a 76mm slitting tool replacing the 56mm. Jim stated; “This was a non-issue with JETCAM as all of our parts could very quickly be retooled for the new configuration, and therefore did not impact on the decision.”

Gazco also subscribed to an annual maintenance contract, providing support and software updates. While Jim could cite many advantages received in updates he was unable to comment on the quality of support. “It’s hard to comment on technical support as I can’t recall ever having to use it! Changes we’ve seen in the software over the years have only continued to emphasise its ease of use and further reduce machining and programming time.”

Gazco has plans to rapidly grow the business further within the next few years, with JETCAM crucial to this plan. Jim concluded; “Programming is not a ‘value added’ activity - by using JETCAM we are saving wasted time through automation.”

Machine: Trumpf 500R with Sheetmaster support

Benefits Achieved:

  • Much easier to learn than other systems benchmarked
  • Generates 100% reliable code for all machines Gazco has programmed for
  • Ability to quickly change a part or its tooling not an issue when considering new tooling config
  • Reduced stocks due to ability to quickly nest components as required
  • Users with no PC experience able to design and program parts within 1 ½ hours
  • Around 30% of components are auto-nested using SCAP
  • From CAD file to CNC program without any knowledge of CNC code
  • Machine running at full capacity with minimal programming time
  • Lower ongoing costs
  • NO calls to support

 


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