For Immediate Release
7th September 2006
Erich Uhe GmbH (Uhe), based in Hemmingen, near Hannover, Germany is a solution provider offering general sheet metal subcontract services. Founded in 1932 with a staff of 40 people the company originally drove their Amada and Nisshinbo punching machines using a Unix-based CAM system, which was complex to use, expensive to support, limited tooling capabilities and only manual nesting facilities.
In 2000, after the purchase of a Trumpf 600L punch/laser combination machine they decided to replace their CAM system, which could not drive the more advanced features of the machine. They evaluated five system after which they selected JETCAM Expert. Managing Director Hermann Strathmann explained; “Our main focus when looking at new systems was ease of use. I knew nothing of programming before this, but I was able to design a part within a few minutes. All the other systems we evaluated just appeared to be too complicated. All staff were able to learn the system with just one day of training.”
After installation of two licenses of JETCAM Expert Premium in 2000 the most noticeable improvement was the speed from design to NC code output. Programming times improved massively, with imported CAD files being ‘healed’ automatically, a much faster and easier CAD design facility and automatic tooling and nesting all playing a part to further accelerate the process. Said Hermann; “We literally just import a file, run automatic tooling, auto nesting and generate the NC code - it’s that simple.” Single Component Automatic Processing (SCAP) also allows for a nest of a single component to be generated in seconds.
In 2003 another machine was purchased, alongside a new postprocessor for the two licenses. No further installation, configuration or training was required, with all existing programs immediately available to be run on either machine, with only a few seconds required to automatically ‘retool’ components for the new machine’s configuration.
Uhe regularly receives new releases of JETCAM Expert under maintenance and has seen many improvements that continue to deliver savings, such as improvements to common line cutting and intelligent lead-ins. Added Hermann; “On average we saw around 15% improvement in material utilisation over our old CAM system, and this is with only rectangular nesting and only 5-10% of components taking advantage of common-line cutting. I expect this figure to rise with the use of free-form nesting.”
Support and ongoing development are essential for any production-critical equipment, and CAM software is no exception. In addition to fast telephone and email support Uhe have also taken advantage of remote PC support, allowing the dealer to remotely connect to their JETCAM PC to provide support and additional training where required. Hermann commented; “Support has always been fast. On every question, no matter whether it is to do with the software or the machine, we get a reliable answer. This is very important, as we do not get caught in the middle between a software and machine vendor if there is a problem. We have also seen some of our requests find their way into the software, with one request arriving in an update just two weeks after we suggested it. Other updates we have benefited from include bump nesting, advanced networking and enhancements to the CAD environment.”
In 2006 Uhe purchased a Trumpf L3040 laser machine with LiftMaster. A third license of JETCAM Expert was ordered, along with the Free Form Automatic Nesting module. As JETCAM has postprocessors for virtually all machines Uhe were not limited to any one brand when making their purchasing decision. Hermann Strathmann concluded; “The main advantage that came through with JETCAM from the beginning is the ease of use along with 100% error-free code for all of our machines, but we are now taking advantage of the more powerful automation features, which reduce programming time, run faster on the machine and save more material. ”