Turbocharged machining centers

BE Technologie GmbH, manufacture tools with complex free-form surfaces for the automotive industry, such as rear parts for sunroofs or various mechanical parts, for example.

Lower cycle times thanks to the high-speed setting cycle

Advanced technology requires qualified partners. Large premium automotive manufacturers and suppliers therefore often value collaboration with small, innovative toolmakers and mold makers such as BE Technologie GmbH. The company was recently able to reduce the cycle time of its Sinumerik-controlled Spinner machining centers by up to 30% when machining free-form surfaces. A key factor in this was the adjustment of the high-speed setting cycle.

The year 2008 was not the ideal time for Jens ­Biedermann and Jürgen Englert to establish their company, BE Technologie, in Bischbrunn, Germany. Within just a few months, what looked like an enormous economic boom at the start of the year had turned into a worldwide economic crisis. The automotive industry – the start-up company’s primary target industry – was particularly affected by the crisis. “That dampened our initial euphoria somewhat,” explains Biedermann. “But we realized that good work that ultimately saves automotive companies money is always in demand.”

Extensive expertise in toolmaking

The toolmaker and mechanical engineer was to be proved right. What started as purely a construction service for the two owners has now evolved into a company with 14 employees and a turnover of around €1.8 million. With its high-performance construction department, in-house toolmaking, and the production of metal and plastic parts, BE Technologie offers a wide range of services, all of which are founded on the company’s extensive expertise in toolmaking. The managing directors therefore attach great importance to highly qualified employees. “We expect all our technical employees to be trained toolmakers. Only then can they bring along the necessary basic understanding of the many important details in mold making,” explains master toolmaker Englert.

Sinumerik impresses with its user-friendliness

The BE bosses consider modern technical equipment to be just as important for lasting success and growth. The construction department therefore has several up-to-date CAD/CAM systems and the plastics manufacturing facilities have four modern injection-­molding machines as well as a press. At the heart of the company’s modern toolmaking facilities are three CNC machining centers from the Spinner three-axis VC series, all of which are equipped with the high-end Sinumerik 840D sl CNC. “User-friendliness was crucial in the choice of CNC,” says Englert. He compared various control systems beforehand and found the user interface Sinumerik Operate to be the most suitable. “We are not cutting mechanics, but after just one day of training, we are nevertheless able to safely transfer the programs from our CAD/CAM systems, make the necessary adjustments and create simple programs directly on the machine using ShopMill if required.”

Reduced cycle times for complex components

The BE managers have come to greatly appreciate ­another advantage of the CNC as well. Whereas customers used to require standard molds with flat surfaces and various drill holes, complex free-form surfaces are now being ordered more and more frequently. These can be produced with the Spinner VC750 machining center as well as with the VC1200. Such tasks are no problem at all for Sinumerik 840D sl. Thanks to the Sinumerik MDynamics tech­nology package with Advanced Surface intelligent path control, the high-speed setting cycle, CYCLE832, could be optimized in such a way that BE Tech­nologie was able to reduce the cycle times for complex components with free-form surfaces by up to 30%.

The high-speed setting cycle, CYCLE832

When executing CAM programs, the CNC needs to process the shortest NC sets in High-Speed Cutting (HSC). By means of various machining strategies, the program can be fine-tuned using CYCLE832, and the individual points shown can be adjusted so that the machine achieves an optimum balance between the parameters of surface quality, accuracy and speed. In roughing operations, for example, the emphasis is placed upon speed, whereas in finish machining the focus is on accuracy and surface quality.