Stargate Business Park
|Activity:||Electric and electronic product manufacturer|
Introducing MKW Engineering Group
MKW Engineering Group is based in the North East of England at Ryton, Tyne and Wear. The MKW group employs 150 people. As the company has grown it has developed further divisions including Stargate Precision Engineering, which covers the companies precision machining requirements and is equipped with 3, 4 and 5 axis CNC equipment.
MKW Engineering was founded in 1976 and started business as a fabrication company. MKW are general subcontractors and have the capacity to produce varied applications, including precision milling, turning, boring and fabrication work. MKW are sub-contractors and produce parts for a variety of sectors, including aerospace, defence, oil and electronics industry.
A change was required
The imminent arrival of a new 5 axis CNC machining centre brought forward the need to implement a cultural and system change at the company. The Mazak Integrex 1060V8 was the first to be installed in the UK and required powerful CADCAM software to run it. The purchase of the machine was to enable MKW to take on jobs of larger size and more complex in nature. The machine which has a capacity of 1,500mm x 1,500mm is a CNC vertical turning and milling centre. MKW’s previous CAD/CAM systems were both unsuitable and unable to cope with large programmes and did not have a level of machine verification required for complex machining. It was imperative that they could see the motion of the machine tool during programming along with the secure knowledge that the system was detecting any possible collisions before the programme was sent to the machine.
A major problem with their existing system was the inability to produce 5 axis machining programs, which is essential to run their new 5 axis machining centre. The decision was made that a new software package should be implemented for their manufacturing requirements.
Because the software was to be used at both the plants of MKW and SPE, they required a universal solution, which would allow them to centralise their manufacturing.
The decision process
MKW’s approach to such a cultural change was somewhat unusual in that the management empowered the programmers with the responsibility of choosing the best package. After seeing various systems the programmers gave a technical and commercial appraisal of what they considered the best 3 systems for their requirements. Missler Software excelled in all areas which it was tested on, including its excellent file translator capabilities. All the parts which MKW gave to MCL were programmed without any problems. Before the final decision was taken MKW contacted some existing TopSolid users in the UK, the feedback was excellent. Mike Larkin, Managing Director at MCL CADCAM recalls “When I saw MKW’s requirements I realised straight away that Missler Software’s totally seamless integrated software was the perfect fit for them.”
The management of MKW identified the need for one software solution to control all design and manufacturing needs, from fabrication through to machining and inspection. It was on the philosophy of “One programme for all applications” that TopSolid was chosen.
Major programs completed in three months
MKW needed to start production quickly, so the learning curve needed to be quick and seamless. Work was started immediately on the existing Integrex machine and post processors were supplied by MCL for all 17 CNC machines, which Missler Software would be controlling. To make sure that MKW was able to use the software proficiently the programmers came down to MCL’s head office in Huddersfield for one to one training, which has been backed up with onsite training as required.
"I really found the one to one training very useful. I was able to put it in practice as soon as I got to work. "The ease at which I can now develop 'flat back reducing cones with angled offset pipes' has astounded me. With my old system, what used to take several hours to develop, now takes no more than an hour." Kevin Crozier, programmer, MKW.
The benefits of TopSolid were immediately noticeable as they were able to import files which they had previously had trouble with, and in the 3 months of installation they have completed 3 major projects, which they would have been unable to complete without TopSolid. At present MKW have 3 seats of TopSolid which comprises of modules of 2-5 axis simultaneous milling and up to 8 axis turning, including live tooling, fabrication for CNC punching, CNC profile burning and CMM inspection.
TopSolid in action
MKW have the capacity and ability to accept a variety of work and in different formats. TopSolid excellent file translator enables MKW to accept a variety of formats including, Catia, ProEngineer, AutoCad, DXF, DWG, IGES, Step, VDA, STL, SolidEdge, Unigraphics and SolidWorks. The files can be received as solid models or created in TopSolid then converted to CNC programs, seamlessly and quickly with the knowledge that the end product will be correct first time, which results in shorter lead time and reduced overall costs.
TopSolid has enabled MKW to manufacture complex components with optimal cycle time due to the flexibility in the CAM processes. Upon completion of the programs all of the tool paths can be analysed to verify the processes and the remaining stock component with finish model. Using TopSolid 5 axis functions enabled MKW to find the optimum angle for machining the complex pockets for parts for a radar system and enabled:
- Reduction in time
- Exact representation of material removal
- Manufactured without collisions
- Accurate cycle times
Missler Software has enabled MKW to produce parts for companies, which are a better quality, completed sooner and for a 10% reduction on price. “TopSolid has proved very beneficial in MKW’s goal of increased customer confidence and satisfaction. In an increasingly competitive environment we need to be able to react fast and be right first time every time. Missler Software is a tool which allows this to be a reality.” Rahmon Nassor, Sales and Commercial Director.
MKW Engineering - www.mkw.co.uk
MCL CADCAM Ltd - www.mclcadcam.co.uk