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Meeting The Need For Speed

Meeting the Need for Speed

Here’s how ESPRIT is helping Quick Drive keep up with the constantly evolving demands and innovations of the racing industry

Quick Drive LLC is a Colorado-based manufacturer of a proprietary line of high-performance drivetrain components for auto racing. Their parts are designed, engineered, prototyped, and manufactured in-house. That’s no small feat for a company that serves customers all over the globe. 

“We have clients on every continent with a racetrack, from the United States to South Africa and beyond,” says Brock Graves, Quick Drive’s owner/operator.

Brock and his team get it done using milling, turning, and mill-turn processes on a number of machines. On the Quick Drive shop floor, you’ll encounter both a Haas VF-2SS and a VF-4 vertical machining centre, a Haas UMC-750 5-axis machining centre, a Haas ST-20Y live tool lathe, a Takisawa EX-100 lathe, and a Mazak INTEGREX 200sy. 

Originally, Quick Drive relied on a third-party company to produce their programming. But working with an outside agency began to present challenges as the company grew and their production increased.

“As we started to ramp up our development, prototyping and constant part changes posed a big issue with quick turnaround times. In 2017, we made the decision to bring programming in-house,” says Brock. But shifting to internal programming meant choosing a CAM software to keep up with their shop’s brisk pace.

“After shopping many of the CAM options available, we decided to go with ESPRIT,” Brock says. What was the deciding factor? “ESPRIT could offer us proven post processors generated by their team of experts to work directly with our specific machines. And the simulation capabilities were like nothing else existing in the industry.”

The sheer breadth of components manufactured by Quick Drive is one element of their success.

“We build drive units, torque converters, and specialty pneumatic products for drag racing, monster trucks, tractor pullers, drag boats, land speed vehicles, and various high-end custom vehicles,” says Brock. “Our drive unit is composed of more than 20 individual components. The most complex part is a full-billet aluminium case that starts life as a 113-pound cube. It gets machined down to around 11 pounds over the course of about 27 hours of 5-axis machine time. Our converters are made from 6061 aluminium and use a combination of ProfitMilling, trochoidal channel roughing, and the 5-axis impeller strategy to complete.”

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ESPRIT Announces New On-Demand Learning Center For Programmers

ESPRIT Announces New On-Demand Learning Center For Programmers

ESPRIT has announced the release of its on-demand training platform, ESPRIT Learning Center, to the general public.

Traditionally, ESPRIT’s applications engineers lead in-person trainings in ESPRIT offices and also on-site at customer facilities around the world. While application engineers offer some of the best CAM courses in the industry, the ESPRIT team understands that not everyone who needs software training has the resources to travel to an ESPRIT office.

To support customers throughout the pandemic, ESPRIT began conducting instructor-led, online training sessions in early 2020. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. To further satisfy users’ growing appetite for high-quality online training, ESPRIT now introduces the ESPRIT Learning Center to the general public.

The ESPRIT Learning Center is an online training platform with on-demand, self-paced training courses created specifically for ESPRIT CAM programmers. ESPRIT’s top engineers and instructors have poured a huge amount of effort and energy into creating these courses. The first learning paths to be released are “New User Milling,” “New User Turning,” and “New User Mill-Turn.” Each learning path includes five to seven training courses that guide users through several different machine models and part models to introduce different machining processes in ESPRIT.

The main purpose for creating discrete online learning paths is to replicate what a student can learn from an on-site training class. Users may take the course anywhere, and at any time. ESPRIT customers can learn at their own pace while saving the time and cost associated with traveling. Each learning path also comes with one ESPRIT student license for each learner, so users can take the courses at home or in their free time, without interrupting their daily programming or production work.

“ESPRIT Learning Center gives us the exact learning experience that we’ve been looking for. The courses are very thorough, wasting no time getting to the point. Having all the supplied files and models within the course window makes access quick and convenient.” said Scott Hornbeak, programmer at Cassavant Machining. “This online training will not only make it easier for existing ESPRIT users to transition to the new ESPRIT—it will also help our new programmers rapidly get familiar with ESPRIT, without the need to travel to a training site.”

 

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DP Technology Releases The Updated ESPRIT 4.6

DP Technology Releases The Updated ESPRIT 4.6

DP Technology, a leading developer of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software, announces a new update to their popular New ESPRIT series. The New ESPRIT 4.6 includes features such as turning toolpath enhancements, support for contour-type features in pocketing, and automatic tool orientation for 5-axis toolpath, improved support for multi-spindle and multichannel machines, and a new connection to the Machining Cloud tool catalog.

Version 4.6 includes a series of toolpath enhancements for turning cycles. These enhancements will reduce perishable tooling consumption, minimise intervention from the machine tool operator by creating more predictable machining processes, and reduce the need for manual NC code editing, further improving users’ efficiency.

The new support for contour-type features in pocketing allows users to use ESPRIT’s ProfitMilling cycle to rough out a profile without creating extra boundary geometry. Programming is easier, faster, and it enables automation with KnowledgeBase (KBM) integration. KBM is a centralised database that supports consistent institutional knowledge across an organisation.

5-axis composite automatic tool orientation is a new programming method for the composite cycle. “This is a big leap forward for simplifying 5-axis programming and improving toolpath continuity,” says Yijun Fan, Director of Product Marketing at DP Technology. “It makes it much easier to program 5-axis composite, especially in parts with hard-to-reach areas.” Automatic orientation gives precedence to toolpath continuity, creating a better surface finish on a completed part.

ESPRIT 4.6 enables support for multi-spindle machines with off-center sub-spindle with X-axis slide including machines with tailstock and sub-spindle mounted on the same X-axis slide.

Multichannel machines can be controlled with a new interactive method that synchronises motions within a cycle. This new method enables advanced optimisation for shaving seconds off the program of a high-volume production lathe.

Machining Cloud is the fastest way to find, select, and assemble tools from leading tool manufacturers. ESPRIT improves the connection to Machining Cloud with a simplified workflow and with the introduction of a new job manager for full control over the import of the tool assemblies.

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DP Technology Developed Machine-Optimised ESPRIT CAM Solutions For Willemin-Macodel

DP Technology Developed Machine-Optimised ESPRIT CAM Solutions For Willemin-Macodel

DP Technology engineers have worked with Willemin-Macodel to develop highly optimised support within their ESPRIT CAM software to drastically improve the user experience and programming efficiency for the MT series, including output of machine-optimised, edit-free G-Code.

Willemin-Macodel is a supplier of made-to-measure machining solutions for complex, very high precision workpieces offering high added value in industries like watchmaking, jewelry, medical, aviation and more.

Due to the innovative configuration and complexity of certain millturn machines (508MT, 508MT2 X400, 408MT), programming and simulating using conventional computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software can be a challenge. Without the right software to drive those powerful machines, it is difficult to fully utilise their capabilities and realise their complete benefits.

Some of ESPRIT’s key capabilities for these machines include:

  • Create and sort operations in the required work coordinates
  • Optimise simulation to match the output NC code and actual machine behavior
  • Display various operation information to make programming in ESPRIT easier
  • Provide a simple interface to set global machine settings
  • Offer an easy way to mount vise jaws on the turret
  • Offer a quick solution to mount chuck and collet on the main and sub spindles
  • Allow programming of tailstock engage and disengage cycles
  • Enable programming of vise steady rest engage and disengage cycles
  • Let the user flag a milling operation as a cutoff operation

DP engineers also worked closely with Willemin machine specialists to create a turn-key digital machine package, consisting of post processors and virtual machines for the MT series. This eliminates the time spent on editing the G-code and streamlines the machine setup and first article run off for the end users.

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Faster Robot Programming With Hypertherm Robotmaster Version 7.2

Faster Robot Programming With Hypertherm Robotmaster Version 7.2

Hypertherm, a U.S. based manufacturer of industrial cutting systems and software, has announced a new version update to Robotmaster V7, its CAD/CAM based offline robot programming software. This new release contains targeted features and enhancements designed to make customers more efficient and profitable. New features include:

  • Path Transform

Path Transform allows users to copy, move, array, or mirror the path(s) in different or multiple locations on the part. This new feature eliminates redundant work and expedites the programming.

  • The All-New Intelligent Cell and Tooling Creator

Integrators, partners, and end-users can now set up their robotic cell inside of Robotmaster themselves. Its intuitive user interface with real-time visual feedback enables users to calibrate, optimise, validate, and commission their robotic cell and tooling up to 10 times faster with unparalleled ease!

  • New Welding Tools

The new welding tools will highlight how easy path creation has gotten in welding. The new welding selection method improves path creation in a visual method which virtually eliminates the need to modify the geometry to select the welding seams while minimising the number of clicks. This method and the new touch sensing grouping not only speeds up the process up to 10 times faster but also simplifies the overall workflow.

  • Geometry Filtering 

New Geometry Filtering feature automatically filters out bad geometry edges to create quality paths, without worrying about bad geometry edges being unusable. The geometry filtering not only allows for cleaner path creation, but also smoother robotic motion.

  • Video Tutorials 

Maximise the full potential of your software and get up to speed faster than ever with a new library of video tutorials—from step-by-step part programming videos to brand new Cell and Tool Editor tutorials.

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Sandvik Coromant Releases New Insert Geometries for CoroMill 331

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Sandvik Coromant Upgrades CoroPlus ToolPath For PrimeTurning Software

Sandvik Coromant Upgrades CoroPlus ToolPath For PrimeTurning Software

Cutting tool and tooling system specialist Sandvik Coromant has upgraded the CoroPlus ToolPath for PrimeTurning software to help manufacturers speed up their operations and planning processes. Part of the Sandvik Coromant digitally connected CoroPlus suite of solutions for machine shops, the software facilitates maximum turning productivity and output.

Introduced by Sandvik Coromant through the unique PrimeTurning concept, the all directional turning methodology enabled increased metal removal rates, offered significant time savings and boosted productivity while eliminating many of the misconceptions associated with small entering angles and chip control. The concept proved especially beneficial in mass production industries such as the automotive sector. It was also ideal for short batch production—for example in aerospace and oil and gas—of components in difficult-to-machine materials that require frequent set-up and tool changes.

To get the best out of the process, including more efficient and faster programming, the company launched its CoroPlus ToolPath for PrimeTurning software, which has now been enhanced with a host of new features, functions and an easy-to-use interface. Available in stand-alone and CAM-integrated versions, the software provides the correct grade, geometry selection, and cutting data while ensuring optimal productivity and tool life as well as maximum output. It is also compatible with a wide range of CNC turning machines that use ISO codes, thereby providing automatic storage for component profiles.

The CoroPlus ToolPath for PrimeTurning now supports profiling and facing for external turning in addition to existing programmable support for longitudinal turning. The software also enables CAD models to be imported (in STEP and IGES formats, amongst others) and offers 3D simulation with collision detection.

A key new feature is an improved and intuitive interface for machinists who don’t have CAM software with PrimeTurning support or those doing shopfloor programming, with the option of operating on desktops or mobile devices. The user is able to generate NC code in few quick and easy steps. After the user specifies the operation, machine parameters, workpiece details and material information, the software automatically recommends the right tools to use along with the cutting data. The operator can simply use the suggested solution or alter parameters to get customised results.

Before creating the final NC code, the PrimeTurning tool path software enables the user to run a simulation to verify no collisions and change any parameters as required, then generate a new programme within seconds and run another simulation until the user is satisfied enough to produce the correct code. The software enables the user to stop anywhere they like in the process, running a simulation block by block or going back into the code if preferred.

 

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Hypertherm Updates ProNest CAD/CAM Nesting Software

Hypertherm Updates ProNest CAD/CAM Nesting Software

Hypertherm has announced a minor version update to ProNest 2019, its advanced CAD/CAM nesting software for automated cutting. This new release contains targeted features and enhancements designed to make customers more efficient and profitable. New features include:

  • PDF import so programmers and operators can directly import vector-based PDF files such as engineering drawings or specification sheets, eliminating the need for separate .dxf and .dwg files to make the importing of parts and job quoting easier and faster.
  • Scribe text additions that make it possible to automatically mark parts during import with unique identifying information such as a part name, customer name, or work order number.
  • Reposition work zones allows parts to span multiple work zones in a single nest as reposition machines can now cut parts in sections, beginning the cut in one work zone before repositioning and completing the cut in another zone.

“These feature additions incorporate feedback directly from our customer base, providing users with the specific tools they need to increase both productivity and profitability,” said Tom Stillwell, Marketing Project Manager for Hypertherm CAD/CAM software products. “At the same time, the software remains easy to use with a highly intuitive user interface that benefits both new and experienced users.”

In addition, Hypertherm is announcing several major improvements to its ProNest LT software, designed for light industrial cutting. New features being added to ProNest LT include:

  • Cutting techniques used to specify how parts should be cut based on sections of a part’s geometry. For example, automatically adjusting cut speeds for corners, leads, and arcs.
  • Automatic height control can be automatically disabled based on certain parameters such as interior profile size, crop cuts, skeleton cuts, or lead-outs.
  • PDF import will also be included at the LT level.

 

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Garant: Solid Carbide Barrel Milling Cutters

Garant: Solid Carbide Barrel Milling Cutters

Garant’s Parabolic Performance Cutting (PPC) represents a further development of ball-nosed slot drilling and is used above all in machine tool building, toolmaking and die making. The particular feature of PPC tools is the main cutting edge in the profile of an arc of a circle. Compared to a ball-nose slot drill this permits significantly larger effective radii. The result is a line skip up to nine times larger, or a surface quality up to 80 times better. To allow finish machining of even more complex geometries, the Hoffmann Group has now extended its range to include a new stub point conical version for machining flat faces at the bottom area of the workpiece. The precondition for PPC is a 5-axis milling machine and CAD/CAM software which allows the tool geometries to be processed as a data model.

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NCG CAM: Software

NCG CAM: Software

NCG CAM Solutions Limited have released the NCG CAM v14 software bearing new features such as 5-axis along curve machining, UV surface machining to generate machining passes, tools to align 3+2 axis boundary planes. It has an ability to cover pockets, change the background colour or translucency of all surfaces.

The software also includes several improvements in automation of the drilling in macros, an ability to copy and paste strategy parameters, and to do rest finishing with a toroidal reference cutter.

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