January 23, 2012 - A combination of unique knowledge, old-fashioned customer service and Delcam’s PartMaker CAM software has helped Marc Stipo, President of High Point Precision Products, to grow his business from the family basement in Northern New Jersey into a fifteen-man company serving the medical device market in Sussex, New Jersey. Programming all of its machines with PartMaker keeps the company competitive and provides its customers with fast turnaround and the shortest possible lead times.
Mr. Stipo admits that his company isn’t the biggest player in medical device manufacturing but claims that its cutting-edge machine-tool and CADCAM technology provides unique, cost-effective manufacturing solutions. To this end, the company employs seven multi-axis CNC Swiss-type lathes including a variety of Citizen L, K and M series models, a Star SA and two Haas vertical machining centres.
The Swiss machines typically cost between $250,000 and $300,000 each. Therefore, it is paramount that they are kept up and running as much as possible, no matter what the lot size might be.
According Mr. Stipo, the best way to achieve this is to make very technically demanding, complex parts, which is exactly where PartMaker software provides real help. "In today’s medical device industry, engineers are using CAD to the fullest of its capabilities, which means part geometries are getting more complicated,” explained Mr. Stipo. "As a result, there have been countless jobs we just wouldn’t have been able to produce without using PartMaker.”
The software allows the company to program faster and in a more automated fashion, which leads to fewer errors on the shop floor. Getting the programming of a part right the first time, especially for the company’s complex Swiss machines, leads to faster set-up times for High Point and shorter lead times for its customers.
Although High Point is a rather small shop, it is able to compete with much larger outfits because of the skill of its staff and the sophistication of its technology. High Point keeps a step ahead by focusing the unique talents of its small group on the customers’ problems. This allows Mr. Stipo and his team to come up with practical, cost-saving ideas.
Being smaller also enhances the need for diversification among his customer base. Having a CAM system that allows for the quick programming and turn-around of parts allows High Point to satisfy a diverse customer base across a relatively small number of machines without running into capacity problems.
"PartMaker allows you to quickly see where you have excess spindle waiting time so we can make sure our part cycle times are optimised before sending a program to the machine,” says Mr. Stipo. "Having the ability to run ‘What If’ scenarios off-line on PartMaker saves machine time and assures our customers that they are getting the best possible price for their products.”
Mr. Stipo finds that smaller medical-device manufacturers are receptive to the experience that his company has to offer. "To design a part on a computer, to have us make it and then to try it out back in the company’s R&D lab can be very time-consuming,” he explained. "When you are at the machine, making these changes can just be a couple of key strokes, or a quick edit in PartMaker. Working collaboratively with the customer can also make the machining easier and more efficient, so bringing costs down even further.”