Industry 4.0 is important and in some cases preparation is needed. One injection mould manufacturer felt that preparing was so important that it tasked CAD/CAM provider Vero Software with optimising its IT system to cut the time taken on non-value-added CAD tasks by 35%.
Based at Oyonnax in France, George Pernoud is a family-run business with around 100 employees, producing moulds for the automotive, domestic appliance and construction industries. CEO Gilles Pernoud said Vero’s involvement has meant the approach to digitising its design and manufacturing aspects ensured end-to-end digital processing, and represents a company project rather than just an IT scheme.
Pernoud commented: “We rely on innovation and productivity, and started digitising our systems in 2000. At that time we were looking for a 25% reduction in the price of our tooling equipment to remain competitive.”
The most recent digital investment involved replacing the CAD system to cut time taken on tasks such as data recording, file transfer and translating, alongside the creation of technical documentation.
Pernoud continued: “This led to Vero Software optimising IT and integrating the VISI CAD solution for 3D tool design. We reorganised our processes to digitise each phase, and, above all, link them by eliminating any discontinuity in the digital workflow. This enabled us to remain competitive, and sustain design and technical engineering in France, while continuing to sell our moulds at the same time.”
The VISI product suite is just one of four Vero Software packages currently in use by the company, as Pernoud explained: “After receiving data from our clients we use WorkXplore to analyse the geometry and rapidly supply a tooling feasibility report to the prime contractor. Then we move on to the actual project phase, using the VISI applications to design the tool and manage associated documentation.”
Using the WorkPLAN CAPE module allows Pernoud to link data both from the workshop and the CAD platform.
“Once the design is complete we recover all relevant CAD data, whether this has been generated internally, from our engineering office in India, or from the subcontractors.” And he said it has other procedures in place for recovering files originating in other CAD systems.
“Finally, we generate CNC programs for our machines with WorkNC using a native data transfer from VISI.”
The whole process means data can be accessed from any of the company’s sites.
Pernoud added: “This includes Slovakia, where we have 25 staff providing after-sales service for moulds sold in Eastern Europe. They can access all project data from our headquarters in France, and the same process applies to our subsidiary in the United States.”
Gilles Pernoud said not only did Vero help implement the system, they also provided security access and database duplication, ensuring operational continuity in the case of network failures.
“After using this system for two years we achieved a 35% reduction in time spent on non-productive CAD tasks. And we believe we can do even better by integrating the metrology branch, following Vero’s acquisition by the Hexagon Group.”
Finally, he added that incorporating VISI into the IT system has enhanced the company’s reputation as it enables their prime contractors to access up-to-date technical elements of projects on their FTP site.
Vero Software’s Sales Manager for France, Antonio Parisse, said: “We’ve established a fully collaborative relationship with the Pernoud company. We consolidated everything for efficient communication between the engineering department and the workshop, and later with production control allowing us to adapt each of the different software solutions to meet their specific requirements and ensure full interoperability.”