Delcam’s CADCAM software produces major time savings for Shinyoung
A series of investments in Delcam’s CADCAM software, coupled with the introduction of five-axis machine tools from Mikron, has produced major time savings at Shinyoung Precision, one of Korea’s leading manufacturers of moulded components for mobile phones. Over the past four years, the introduction of the Delcam software and the support provided by Hankook Delcam has reduced the average lead time to produce a mould from thirty days to eleven days, with a future target of nine days.
Shinyoung Precision operates three factories and an R&D centre near the Korean capital Seoul. Since it was founded in 1993, the company has grown to around 300 employees and become a key supplier of components to Motorola and LG.
The first Delcam software to be purchased was PowerMILL, which was added in January, 2002, as part of the introduction of shop-floor machining by Shinyoung. The main incentive for the change was to eliminate delays resulting from the out-sourcing of CAM programming and instead provide an immediate response to the needs of the machine shop. As a result, typical lead times were reduced from thirty days to twenty-two days.
However, the new approach also produced a significant improvement in quality because the shop-floor operators were choosing more efficient machining strategies and more appropriate cutting tools. These two factors also reduced tool breakages and so produced savings in the cost of cutting tools; a welcome addition to the planned savings in the cost of external programming.
Following the success of the introduction of shop-floor machining, Shinyoung decided to also move electrode design onto the shop floor. In December 2002, Delcam’s PS-Electrode software was added to the PowerMILL seats and resulted in a further two-day reduction in the average lead time.
The next expansion in the use of Delcam software was the introduction of the PowerINSPECT inspection program in March 2003. The previous 2D inspection process undertaken in the quality control office was converted to a 3D inspection process in the workshop. The ability to provide instant verification of any machined part meant that any errors could be corrected more quickly. In addition, the greater detail provided by 3D surface inspection enabled further improvements in quality.
February 2004 saw another increase in the use of Delcam software following the introduction of five-axis machining with new Mikron machine tools. The combination of the Mikron equipment and PowerMILL five-axis software produced a significant improvement in the surface quality that could be achieved by enabling shorter cutting tools to be used.
This higher quality led to a significant reduction in the use of electrodes. Previously, EDM had been carried out with an initial roughing stage followed by finishing. The reduction in the amount of material left after machining meant that only finishing electrodes were required. Thus, the material costs and machining times needed for roughing electrodes were eliminated. Further time savings were achieved by machining those electrodes that were still needed on the five-axis machines, since they could be produced in one set-up rather than the two set-ups needed on the three-axis equipment.
Overall, for a typical mobile phone mould, the time spent machining electrodes has been reduced from fourteen hours to three hours and the time spent on the EDM machine cut from thirty hours to ten hours. This combined saving, coupled with a reduction in the amount of hand finishing, meant that the total lead time was further reduced from twenty days to eleven days.
Shinyoung estimates that NC machining now takes about 80% of total manufacturing time, with the EDM process taking about 15% and hand finishing reduced to 5% or less. The company believes its competitors need to spend as much time on EDM as they do on machining, and then take half as long again for hand finishing. Even so, the company is still aiming to further reduce the number of electrodes needed and is targeting the complete elimination of hand finishing.
07 November 2006