When Corin, a leading British medical device manufacturer, bought the Tornier Hip and Knee business it not only accelerated the company’s global expansion programme, it also introduced 870 established product lines into its implant portfolio.
One of the key challenges was to transfer the manufacture of these components from plants around the world into the Corin production process. The company had been using a diverse range of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) systems and the strategy was to optimise the value of the extended product range by adopting a common CAM platform that would also seamlessly integrate with CAD.
So Corin contacted TTL, Siemens Industry Software’s specialist CAM partner, with a remit to support the company’s move onto a common platform to create an integrated CAD/CAM solution with the potential to enhance productivity. The choice was Siemens NX.
As Paul Blanchard, Quality Director at Corin, explains: “The main reason for Corin choosing Siemens NX was to have an integrated CAD/CAM package and something that was more seamless than our current system.”
TTL’s brief was to help Corin transition engineers from a diverse range of CAM systems onto the NX platform, offering training along the way and creating a process pathway for the future that would offer improved tooling, fixture design, and NC machining processes.
“Following extensive consultation with the company, we not only recommended the NX software but also the Probing PL+S specialist add-on that applies process control in the CAM session,” says Simon Rogers, Business Development Manager at TTL.
Probing PL+S allows engineers to plan, visualise and simulate NX CAM driven process control, using machine tool ‘Macro Probing’ software for planning tool setting, part set-up and inspection strategies as well as in-process control. Corin has adopted the ‘cut-measure-cut’ strategy, verifying critical dimensions at each stage of the any given job. This reduces the time spent offline inspecting parts for conformity.
TTL also provided NX Shop Docs – an ‘out of the box’ solution within NX but which requires a high level of customisation to make it work for a business. Shop Docs provides tool sheets, program sheets, set-up sheets and inspection plans/records.
This supporting documentation ensured that the set-up sheets, which operators would generate manually, are now integrated into the software. At the same time, NX Templates enables Corin to apply relevant knowledge for reuse in the manufacturing process across parts families.
“One of the things we’ve really seen the benefit of is the use of data in multiple ways, so we can create toolpaths and measurement strategies once, but from that data we can extract multiple forms of good useful information,” says Paul Blanchard.
“We’ve developed a roadmap with TTL that’s based on our knowledge of what was already available within the Siemens NX package, but we’ve also enhanced our programming strategies as a result of our partnership with TTL.”
Training was central to the implementation, according to Brett Sansom, Corin Engineering Technology and Development Manager. “The training that TTL gave the engineers has been second to none. Now all of Corin’s manufacturing engineers are all using it, and they wouldn’t look back.”