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VERICUT helps keep window and door  technology secure
VERICUT helps keep window and door  technology secure
VERICUT helps keep window and door  technology secure
VERICUT helps keep window and door  technology secure

VERICUT helps keep window and door technology secure

Added to MTDCNC by CGTech Ltd on 21 October 2014

As a global supplier of high security window and door locking mechanisms, at its Münster, Germany, facility Winkhaus GmbH & Co. KG has automated its manufacturing process at every possible step. Here, VERICUT CNC simulation and optimisation software provides process security and improved efficiency, as well as the safer introduction of new manufacturing technologies.

Originally established in 1854, and now in its fifth generation of family ownership, the motto at Winkhaus is ‘always precise’. From its five facilities in Germany, and eight international companies and partners, Winkhaus develops, manufactures and sells products and services for windows and doors technology across the globe. The Group employs about 2,000 employees, with 250 located at the Münster site. Export makes up 65 per cent of turnover, with most areas looking to the company for solutions, including business, science, political and social organisations.

Figures don’t lie, and Germany is moving towards becoming the destination of choice for criminals. In 2011, the police in Germany recorded 133,000 burglaries, an increase of nearly 10 per cent in comparison with the previous year. The police clear up less than 20 per cent of these cases. Recently, Bernhard Witthaut, head of the police union, warned that Germany was 'on the way to becoming a burglar’s paradise'. Prevention is needed, and that generally begins with the weak spot, the door lock. Inferior quality locking cylinders and door fittings often turn out to be significant factors in the lack of security. However, locking cylinders from Winkhaus provide security as the company makes no compromises with components in the manufacture of its locking cylinders.

As with nearly every commodity, Winkhaus locking cylinders have a long journey before they make it to the end customer. They progress through all the company departments, from R&D through design, to manufacture and finally quality control. The process at Winkhaus is quality and time optimised. As Ralf Münker, Winkhaus factory manager, explains: 'We hardly have any manual processes now, nearly all the stages run automatically. The customer order is entered and the machines know what they have to do.'

The fact that the machine data can be created quickly from the customer order is based on sophisticated workflow. For design, Winkhaus relies on the 3D CAD software SolidWorks, and the programming is done manually. VERICUT looks after the verification, simulation and optimising of the NC program, while material management runs through SAP.

VERICUT has proved indispensable. 'Since the introduction of VERICUT we have had no more machine collisions,' says Alfred Schunck, head of production planning and control. 'After design changes, tool changes or a process change, the NC program always goes to VERICUT first.' What could happen without the virtual machine on the PC, simulating the real machine movements in advance and checking it for errors, is well known: proving out the new machine, crashes, scrapped raw material and loss of production time generally follow. Moreover, at Winkhaus, slow manual prove-outs and a feeling of insecurity among employees in the pre-VERICUT era did not nurture optimal conditions for highly productive working.

Today, improved security, speed and quality is what VERICUT provides at Winkhaus. 'In principle, the performance targets in the technical catalogue correspond accurately to the benefits generated by VERICUT,' explains Phillip Block, marketing manager at CGTech Deutschland GmbH. 'VERICUT simulates CNC production independently of machine, control system and CAM system and verifies the NC program for collisions and errors before the actual machine tool is run. This means that manual testing is no longer necessary. The software also optimises the machining feed rates of the NC program, so that production runs more efficiently, especially in the case of high speed machines. This means reduced machine cycle times, fewer rejects, avoidance of collisions and hazard areas and improved component quality without rework.'

Machine tool manufacturer Chiron first recommended VERICUT to Winkhaus in 2009. Chiron machining centres, among others, are simulated with VERICUT: from the FZ 12 machining centre for one-hit 5-axis machining, primarily of initial samples which have to be manufactured at a cost-effective unit price at the tightest tolerances and with outstanding surface quality; to the MILL 800 machining centre, where the focus is on high speed milling performance, for productive and precise machining results.
 
Prove-out times have been reduced by nearly 94 per cent, with VERICUT simulating NC programs the initial cycle run on the machine is right first time. 'We are making cost savings due to fewer set-up parts and many fewer rejects, especially as our employees are now much more relaxed and less stressed,' says Alfred Schunck. VERICUT key user,  Martin Bootz, adds: 'VERICUT not only saves an incredible amount of time, but we are really impressed by its functions. In the case of complex parts, for example, you can always see straight away if the geometries are right.'

An Imo-Space rotary transfer machine from the Swiss manufacturer, Imoberdorf AG, is currently being simulated in VERICUT. Winkhaus uses the machine, with up to 16 machining stations, for the production for batches of between 10 and 100,000 parts. Each station has several tools and an X-, Y- and Z-axis and an adjustable table. The table is passed from one station to the next with the part to be machined. There are two horizontal spindles and one vertical spindle at each station. Each station is always occupied. For example, at Station 1 there is a new workpiece blank, while at Station 2 a drill hole is being created, and at Station 3, a thread. This machine alone produces approximately 7,000 parts each day, with a production range of about 250 different types. This means that not only is the time required for programming correspondingly lengthy, but also simulation of the NC program is vital for machine and component integrity.

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