Industry: Plastics and die casting for automotive, electronics, aerospace and consumer goods
Developing complex tools of up to 7 tons for customers requiring a continually reduced turnaround time
Cimatron’s master solution, including MoldDesign, NC and QuickElectrode
Giebeler has nearly halved the time it takes to produce a tool. In addition, the company has streamlined electrode design and manufacturing and improved change management across the entire toolmaking process.
Giebeler Formenbau is internationally renowned for its precision work and reliability. Specializing in the automotive, electronics, consumer, communications, aerospace and packaging industries, Giebeler develops injection molding and die casting tools of up to 7 tons.
Succeeding in a competitive business environment requiring continually reduced turnaround time for increasingly complex molds.
Giebeler tested Cimatron alongside several other CAD/CAM systems over a three month period to see if each could successfully complete a complex job. One candidate was eliminated during the milling, and after an additional two months Cimatron emerged the clear winner.
Marco Wolff, Giebeler engineer, explains that choosing Cimatron went beyond technological superiority: “We believe that customer support is just as important as the software itself”.
“After just three months it was already clear that Cimatron was a good choice,” says Wolff. He cites the user-friendly interface, and the guidance provided by the system. “I am free to define the blank first or last, but electrodes are only completed when I’ve worked through all the points indicated… This helps me avoid mistakes and saves lots of time.”
Giebeler selected Cimatron because of its powerful mold design, NC and electrode capabilities, enabling automation of the entire manufacturing process. “It used to take us 12-15 weeks to manufacture a tool. Today, we’ve reduced this time to 8-10 weeks, and it will likely be even shorter in the future. We know that Cimatron contributed to our success.”
The company acknowledges the benefits of working with a single, fully-associative product. “We’ve quickly come to rely on Cimatron’s MoldDesign,” says Wolff. With MoldDesign’s 3D parametric solution, design and assembly processes are streamlined, combining full automation with flexibility for user control.
For the manufacturing process, Cimatron NC optimizes 2.5- to 5-Axis toolpaths using high-speed machining, lowering machining time and reducing tool wear-and-tear.
Giebeler is particularly impressed with Cimatron’s QuickElectrode, an EDM electrode extraction and design solution. QuickElectrode shortens design and manufacturing processes, providing automation with templates and drawing tools, and built-in support for the burning process.
Markus Noll, Giebeler technical manager, comments, “Cimatron automates the process of electrode drawing creation and documentation. For the vast amount of electrodes we create at Giebeler, it is crucial that the software ensure control of the display and management of electrodes. Cimatron does this.”
Says Wolff, “QuickElectrode lets us recognize burn areas with dynamic positioning, rotation of an electrode blank, and dynamic checking for collision avoidance. Several users can work simultaneously on different electrodes for a single part.”
Making changes is easy for Giebeler staff. “There is a history for every part. I can exchange one workpiece for another, and specify different surfaces for the new part. If I make changes, the rest of the electrode is created automatically.
“Throughput times in the CAD/CAM department are much lower now that we’re using Cimatron software, and we’re anticipating a decrease of up to 50% in design time for simple and moderately complex electrodes.”
Giebeler’s management acknowledges Cimatron’s contribution. “If the software is profitable after a year, it means we’ve accomplished our goal of increasing annual sales by 10-15%. Clearly, the key to our success is Cimatron!”