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Marking the expansion of 3D modeling software to all engineers

Design Customer Success Story: Sandvik Coromant

This is part 2 of a series we're doing on customer success stories. You can find the first post here.

3D Modeling System as a Data Hub for Concept Development

As the global leader in the development and production of tools for machining, Sandvik Coromant doesn’t just support its clients with standard products. For the development of concepts for highly productive special tools which bundle extensive production know-how, employees use the 3D modeling software ANSYS SpaceClaim. This system enables users to easily import third party data, rapidly build tools and devices and visualize results convincingly. 

Sandvik Coromant develops diff erent tools for turning, milling, boring, reaming as well as for other types of metalworking. To this end the company off ers complete tool solutions and comprehensive know-how in the metalworking industry. Among others, the global market leader services clients from the automobile, aerospace and energy industry. Along with a large selection of standard tools, Sandvik Coromant builds special tools according to customer specifi cations. Proceeding with a selected component, an optimum machining process with the highest productivity is sought – for example for the high quantities in the automobile industry.

For the Region Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) an 8-person task force headed by Norbert Düring, manager of Team Engineering International is performing this task: “The overwhelming majority of our clients come from the automobile industry”, he says. “However, our clientele also includes almost all the manufacturers of machine tools as well as many small and medium-sized enterprises, for whom machining plays a major role.” Together with colleagues from Russia, Poland and Italy, Jürgen Kolschefsky has been working on this team for a year. Prior to that he was team leader of Design for 13 years in Bietigheim-Bissingen for initial machine equipment of Sandvik Coromant. 

The main function of the Engineering Department consists in designing the optimum production process for a specifi c component. To this end concepts are created that are based both on standard tools as well as special tools built with the aid of the 3D modeling software SpaceClaim. If necessary, additional cutting data and cutting force calculations as well as breakdown torque calculations and time studies are drawn up.

Wanted: 3-D Modeling System for Laptops

The basic prerequisite for selecting a new 3D modeling system in 2010 was the requirement that it also be possible to use the software with the limited system resources of a laptop. Moreover there was a desire for independence from in-house networks and servers. What was wanted was an open 3D modeling program that had existing interfaces for various fi le formats such as stp, stl, sat, igs, prt, and others. In addition, it should be able to import data from 3D models and drawings dwg/ dxf format in order to develop effi cient and fast solutions for necessary collision analyses. 

A total of ten diff erent proposals were investigated before the 3D modeling software SpaceClaim by ANSYS Inc won the competition. Deciding arguments were furnished by the straightforward user interface, the easy operation of the system, the good price/performance ratio and the multitude of “common” interfaces. Today 14 to 18 users share six network licenses. The licenses can be “borrowed” in certain situations – also by employees in design, who later reproduce the concept proposals for implementation.

Without History and Parametrics

SpaceClaim has established itself as a convenient and fl exible 3D modeling software program that allows users unimpeded access to third party data. Intelligent and self-explanatory functions like “Pull”, “Move”, “Fill” and “Combine” make it possible to adapt CAD models quickly and easily to user’s own specifi c requirements and intended purpose. Thanks to countless interfaces, fi les from all current CAD systems can be imported. 

Due to its direct interfaces SpaceClaim is very open and makes work easier. Without having to concern themselves with parametrics and the history of the models, engineers and designers can have direct access to the geometry and make changes to the object. In case of bore detection an Excel-capable list is output. Equally convenient are the function for the mapping of parts lists of complete tools on the drawing, as well as the possibility of deriving drawings from 3-D models without having to change systems. In the process the fi les remain associatively linked, so that subsequent changes on the 3-D model are automatically updated in the drawing. “Due to the resistance to faults we believe that in particular data migration is of tremendous importance”, explains Jürgen Kolschefsky. “After all, as the largest tool
manufacturer of the world, our customers expect error-free designs and products from Sandvik Coromant.”

Convincing Concepts

The concept studies of the project engineers aren’t just intended to convince technicians, but also business people. With the option of outputting PDF fi les in 3-D, SpaceClaim off ers a huge advantage. The integrated Keyshot software is also extremely useful. It lets users create renderings rapidly and easily for photo-realistic representation of the tools. SpaceClaim makes it possible to create precise, clear and very well visualized concepts. The off ers based on those concepts get correspondingly positive feedback. In the case of success, thus, when a concept is implemented, the data are passed to the design and serve as a foundation there for new models in accordance with the rules of the Master Model Concept. In view of the growing range of services and the undisputed advantages, SpaceClaim will be increasingly utilized in the future: “Our department is growing steadily, therefore we are anticipating the expansion of the installation”, says Jürgen Kolschefsky. With CAMTECH in Remscheid he has found a competent partner that undertakes service and training in Germany.

Sandvik Coromant
Sandvik Coromant is the global market leader for tools, tool solutions and know-how in the metalworking industry. With substantial investments in research and development, the Swedish enterprise
creates trend-setting innovations and together with its clients from the automobile, aerospace and energy industry, sets new standards for productivity. Sandvik Coromant has 8,000 employees
and has representatives in 130 countries. As part of the Sandvik Machining Solutions division, Sandvik Coromant belongs to the global consortium Sandvik.

-Rebecca Dilthey, Senior Product Marketing Manager, SpaceClaim


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