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BOBST adopts NCSIMUL Machine for its machining simulation

NCSIMUL Machine cuts out mudas in the workshop, saves 50% of machine time, and fits seamlessly into BOBST’s comprehensive Lean Manufacturing policy

As a supplier of solutions for the production environment, SPRING Technologies invites users to share their success stories. BOBST has implemented NCSIMUL Machine, the machining simulation solution that is an integral part of SPRING’s NCSIMUL SOLUTIONS offering, and talks about its experience.

THE COMPANY

BOBST is the world's leading supplier of equipment and services to packaging manufacturers in the folding carton, corrugated board and flexible materials industries. The company designs and manufactures special machines, either standard or customized.

Founded in 1890 in Lausanne (Switzerland) by Joseph Bobst, the company now has operations in over 50 countries, 11 production plants across the world and a workforce of 5,000. In fiscal 2011, it generated 1.27 bn Swiss francs of consolidated revenue (around €1.06 bn, $1.4 bn).

Since January 2010, the group has been organized as three Business Units, the first two, Sheet-fed and Web-fed, offer equipment for a range of manufacturing sectors targeted by BOBST. The third, Business Unit Services, offers its customers full service, via BOBST’s global network of support centers, guaranteeing optimal operation of production resources.

With a portfolio of over 1,520 patents worldwide, BOBST invests 7% of its revenue each year in R&D, as well as high-performance technologies in order to maintain its rank as a top player on the packaging market.

THE CHALLENGE

In Switzerland, BOBST has concentrated all its product development cycle processes at a single site, Mex near Lausanne, and has introduced the TEAM (Tous Ensemble A Mex) project to develop tight bonds and collaboration at the site. One of the measures it has taken is the acquisition of new 5-axis Mill-Turn NC machine tools and has reorganized its production tool around a Lean Manufacturing philosophy. Its goal is to optimize its production processes and resources in order to increase the share of added value for customers.

“Back in 2010 we started to anticipate the needs of our future production center”, explains Pascal Fuchs, CAM system Manager at BOBST’s VPLM Group Competence center.
“We use CAD software ─ Dassault Systèmes CATIA ─ to create all our NC machining programs, to ensure that we could get our production resources operational as quickly as possible.”
BOBST evaluated and pilot tested other software on the market before opting for the machining simulation solution that best matched its environment: NCSIMUL Machine from SPRING Technologies.
“We needed a solution that would integrate seamlessly with our CATIA CAM applications to ensure that our NC toolpaths would be reliable, and check our ISO codes, before the machine tool was even installed”, adds Pascal Fuchs.

This is why BOBST intends to improve its overall equipment effectiveness (OOE) in the workshop by reducing and even eliminating the checks on the physical NC machines. NCSIMUL Machine cuts out mudas in the workshop, and fits smoothly into our comprehensive Lean Manufacturing policy.

THE BENEFITS

The NCSIMUL Machine solution from SPRING Technologies has proved to be an indispensable asset for the introduction of new production resources at the Mex site, and is part of the TEAM project. This has enabled BOBST to validate its new manufacturing concepts on complex machine kinematics, notably featuring 5 axes, multiple heads and collinear axes.

The simplicity and user-friendliness of the software, and above all the quality and reliability of the results have made it easy for all the engineers and technicians to take the machining simulation solution on board. Currently, all the NC programs without exception are checked with NCSIMUL Machine before deployment on the machine “and we have a maximum success rate”, says Pascal Fuchs.

“Previously, to bring a new 10-hour machining process for a part on stream, we spent four times longer, with the production machine tied up to set up and check the program”, he explains. “With NCSIMUL Machine, we save 50% of machine time, i.e. 20 hours for the first machining run.”

Summing up his experience Pascal Fuchs says: "we have been working with SPRING Technologies for two years and our close partnership has enabled us to take NCSIMUL Machine forward to match our needs. A truly win/win relationship."

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