New engineering consultancy service puts Brandauer on track for £2m rail opportunity
Brandauer is targeting over £2m of new opportunities in the rail sector after it launched a new engineering consultancy service.
Getting products to market as quickly as possible is often a critical requirement for Brandauer’s customers. When you’re supplying strict time-sensitive industries like the Automotive or Electronics sector with components for high-demand product lines, efficiency is key. It goes without saying that quality cannot be sacrificed and processes, particularly at the press tool design phase need to be well regulated.
New machinery, up-skilling staff and its reinvention of the apprenticeship scheme are often well-detailed when referring to Brandauer’s core investment in recent years. However, there is another area of investment which is just as critical to the production of high-quality precision tooling and metal stamped components and it brings Brandauer and its customers a multitude of benefits…
VISI Progress is a dedicated solution for progressive die design and press tool design. Industry specific functionality provides a more productive and efficient design experience, helping the designer with intelligent decisions and reducing the potential for error, greatly improving manufacturing productivity.
Brandauer pride itself on the quality and longevity of its bespoke and 3 unique standards of tooling, with the capability to run tools in presses from anything between 10 to 1,200 strokes per minute, consistently for some 15-20 years.
Facilitating this capability would bring with it many inherent problems at the press tool design stages, if not for the VISI software installed and utilised in the Brandauer CAD studio.
Traditional parametric CAD systems gave Brandauer inherent issues in the past. In the first instance there is the issue of very large file sizes, which slow down open and rendering times for detailed models.
For example, if Brandauer design a press tool circa 1,000 components, it is designing parts to the tolerance of a single micron (Watch Brandauer’s ‘What is a micron’ video for more details on its precise capabilities) or even size-on-size and as such, models quickly become huge lumps of data. Computers would typically take over 30-minutes to open a fully-detailed model.
There could also be the damaging issue of unnecessary knock-on effects occurring when making design changes to the tool in parametric software. In the past, these knock-on effects to other areas of the tool could go unnoticed, causing manufacturing issues and carrying with it delay in the whole production process – delays which need to be identified at the press tool design stage and eliminated if Brandauer want to satisfy the increasingly stringent time to market requirements set by its customers.
VISI software offers a full lifecycle end-to-end use, allowing Brandauer to quickly design where elements such as punches and pillars are positioned, and from there construct an entire press tool. Because it’s not parametric, the data issue no longer exists – large file sizes are a thing of the past and design changes can be made to your heart’s content, without associated changes going unnoticed.
Due to a much smaller file size, press tool designs, which are almost always complex and intricate can be opened quickly. Furthermore, thanks to remote capability, that design can be opened anywhere in the world.
With a global customer-base, it is important to have an open and fluid dialogue, keeping individuals informed at every stage of the press tool design and manufacture. Having the capability to share designs with customers remotely and discuss tools in detail becomes essential to getting products to market fast.
The design changes made during the 12-month development of a lead frame for power steering systems is an indicator of just how important the non-parametric aspect is.
Manufacturing Director, Stuart Berry confirms:
“We were manufacturing a high precision modular press tool to supply around 1.5 million components a year. Our design team used the original CAD data to create the tool in VISI Progress.
As always, quality is of the utmost importance and so with this product, we needed to strictly adhere to all tolerances.
The tool was constantly evolving, requiring a number of design changes and certain parts had to be re-manufactured until we achieved the accurate tool that the customer had ordered.”
All the individual parts were produced in-house at Brandauer using Agie Charmilles Wire EDM machines integrated with VISI Peps-Wire. 2D machining tool-paths for Mikron millers are programmed by VISI’s CAM package and the tool can then be built to within one-micron accuracy.
It was transferred to a Bruderer 51-tonne press with the capability of running at 1,200 strokes per minute. Check Brandauer’s full plant and capacity here.
“We set the tool and carried-out a full product review, and compared data from the first-off, back to the CAD models. Everything was perfect, and we began manufacturing, exceeding quality requirements and comfortably meeting the all-important lead times.”
VISI gives Brandauer full press tool design control, the ease of communicating that design with customers and progressing the design from its drawing board state to full manufacture as quickly as possible. Brandauer can also connect machining processes with the design software, so that there are no contradictions between the two and efficiently working in conjunction with one-another.
Check out the VISI website for in-depth software benefits or see the features at a glance below:
Manufacturing Director, Stuart Berry (as attested to in the video) regards the software as absolutely essential:
“VISI is key to manufacturing all three of Brandauer’s unique tooling standards.
It’s a fundamental part of our day to day activities, from design to manufacture, ensuring that we offer improved lead-times whilst meeting all tolerances.”
You can also use the detailed tooling enquiry form below for a quick response to specific tooling requirements.
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