For Casio VERICUT watches production
A 10-year battery life, 10-bar water resistance and 10-metre shock resistance. These were the three requirements of the ‘Triple 10’ concept that led to the development of Casio’s G-SHOCK’s shock resistant structure. The rugged shape and robust styling originated with an engineer’s brief calling for an ‘unbreakable watch’. Since its birth in 1983, G-SHOCK has continued its unrestrained evolution while retaining its unique basic structure. A watch with this renowned reputation for dependability requires a reliable production process supported by VERICUT.
Even 30 years after its invention the G-SHOCK by Casio uses the same basic principle to protect its internal mechanisms, and today the watch is still experiencing strong global demand. In the Japanese ‘cherry’ District of Higashine, Yamagata Casio produce this iconic watch using the NC simulation tool in VERICUT. The company’s manufacturing facility includes every item of production equipment required, from printed circuit boards and forming tools, to injection moulding of components and final assembly.
Automation expert, Daisuke Noto, tool and mould making, at Yamagata Casio, says: 'Originally we introduced VERICUT more than 20 years ago. However, it is more recently that we have been using the software to its full potential. VERICUT takes on the role of full simulation of all parts for the HINET MOLD system, a company development that completely automates the process from mould design to manufacturing process. It is no exaggeration to say that VERICUT is the core of the system.'
The Mould Making & Moulding Division has developed this mould engineering system by integrating its Siemens NX 3D CAD/CAM system and 3D resin flow analysis system, which results in a digital engineering solution for plastic moulded parts in this section. It has enabled the company to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in the lead-time, from receiving an order to mass production.
Creating an in-house developed ‘high-speed’ post processor for the CAM software has resulted in impressive machining process speeds. Optimum NC cutting tool path data is generated by considering the axis travel speeds of the machine tools as well as the peripheral velocity around milling spots, to achieve load reductions on CAM system and greater efficiency on the machining centres.
Here, VERICUT is used to confirm the post-processed CAM NC tool paths. 'We built a system that can run the simulation and VERICUT module AUTO-DIFF in the background within our system. For example, if you want to check parts with multiple electrodes, the system will automatically produce definite results once you put the files into VERICUT. We have a spreadsheet of the processing results, so we only have to ‘confirm the result’. It provides significant time savings,' explains Daisuke Noto.
Supplying NC data to the machining system for up to 12,000 operational-hours per month, for the company AUTO-DIFF is the critical feature of the system. 'We implemented this module last year,' Daisuke Noto recalls, 'and now we believe it really highlights the power of VERICUT. It is indispensable for identifying gouges and excess material on the finished surface. Before using AUTO-DIFF we had, honestly speaking, a really tough time comparing directly between the CAD model and the finished workpiece material.'
He concludes: 'Since we have started to fully use VERICUT, we have experienced a great reduction in the occurrence of machine tool problems. It is possible to configure settings of actual machines, and that leads to the reduction in the time required for checking. In addition, VERICUT gives us a considerable feeling of security when we operate ‘aggressive machining’ cycles. I believe VERICUT is the most reliable simulation tool. It avoids any serious damage to machine tools, reduces CAM operators checking time, and also alleviates the psychological stress for the machining department. I can say we have realised a sharp decrease in processing errors and tool breakages during the past year.'