November 3, 2008 - With its passion for the industry, handed down from father to son, and a solid reputation which has been built over the years, a “ French success story” would be an apt description for the ALLIO Group whose 2 production centers’ activities range from prototypes to tooling manufacture.
Since 1928 the Company has been one of France’s leading state-of-the-art technology adopters, and has evolved over the years into a group with 180 employees spread across 5 plants in France and Romania, and an annual turnover of Euros 25 million.
With two main areas of activity, the Group serves various industrial sectors including the aeronautic, automobile and shipbuilding industries. It has three engineering centers in the Paris region that work together in tight synergy, enabling the Group to offer its customers a full range of services.
According to Group CEO, Guillaume Allio "We will eventually be able to offer a complete product industrialization program. Our current services start with the CAD definition of a part through to the tooling equipment required to manufacture and build composite parts. Allio’s Ateliers Garcia is a part of this technological chain which makes Allio a forward looking Group with a solid past."
Located in Tremblay near Paris, Ateliers Garcia is the Group’s model and toolmaking unit, specializing in style validation and aluminium tooling for the automobile industry. It has 35 employees and a turnover of Euros 5 million. Acquired by the ALLIO Group in 2000, it manufactures molds, models and mock-ups and has been equipped with NC machines and a CAM system for many years. Philippe Quint, Atelier Garcia’s CADCAM manager explains, “In 1990, we had two CAM solutions but advances in machining and surfacing conditions led us review the technology we had in place. We put our trust in WorkNC which quickly enabled us to generate more toolpaths within a single application than with the previous two put together."
Guillaume ALLIO continues, "Our ambition has always been to employ state-of-the-art technology, not too ahead of its time, but above all not old hat. We set up a CAM technology watch team which has kept us posted on all the latest developments within this field, whoever the software vendor. WorkNC remains the best-fit system for our activity and Sescoi understands our requirements better than any other vendor. We speak the same language, they know our activity and both companies realize that we mutually benefit from close collaboration. WorkNC evolves according to our requirements and not just because of good marketing - we also appreciate Sescoi’s comprehensive services and our partnership status means that we progress matters quickly."
The first WorkNC license was installed at Ateliers Garcia in 1990. At that time it was the only system that enabled users to automatically perform remachining cycles that significantly increased tool quality and reliability. The second license was purchased in 1995 to meet the increasing CAM workload then, in 2005, another two licenses were purchased with the 5-axis machining option. Philippe Quint states, “Machining centers were becoming faster and faster and we needed to optimize our machining toolpath resources. Initially the 5-axis capability was acquired to satisfy one particular customer’s needs for trimmed parts." In 2008 a fifth floating license was purchased to allow NC machine operators to modify and create toolpaths directly on the shopfloor. Ateliers Garcia now has 7 NC machining centers, of which 6 are 5-axis machines, and 5 WorkNC licenses.
“5-axis machining is a complementary strategy at Ateliers Garcia, it's the operator who chooses either 3+2 or 5-axis, according to his experience and the part to be machined," advises Philippe QUINT. "5-axis machining requires the machine to be perfectly set up, which underlines the importance of the CAM system being able to take into account the various machines. WorkNC Auto 5 allows us to switch from one to the other very quickly and it's a great advantage. We therefore adapt according to the availability of the machines and our workload and not according to the CAM system."
According to Philippe QUINT, the advantages of WorkNC 5-axis machining are as follows:
• User-friendliness (easy to learn with minimum training requirements - only two days were required before generating the first toolpaths).
• Reduced cycle times (by up to 25%)
• Better Quality (surface finish, a single toolpath avoids marking the part).
• Fast toolpath programming, especially for existing remachining toolpaths (no need to recalculate everything).
• Reliability (collision management and simulation, including machine kinematics).
• Development of employees' jobs and skills.
In a nutshell; WorkNC 5-axis machining enables significant productivity gains in many areas.
Philippe Quint concludes “A few precautions must be taken to ensure the success of 5-axis machining; we must firstly ensure that the toolpath is correctly prepared and verified. Then we define the machine postprocessor and run a simulation, it's an essential step. With the single finishing toolpath set up, we then reduce the cycle time. 5-axis machining is not the solution to all our needs, we switch from one technique to another very quickly, depending on what's to be machined. It's the software which adapts itself to our requirements and that's an important advantage."
Ateliers Garcia has the following plans in the pipeline:
• The expansion of the fields of applications for 5-axis technology as the company gains ground experience.
• The provision of 5-axis CAD/CAM training for all programmers.
• Testing on different parts such as aluminium molds for example.
Guillaume ALLIO concludes: “5-axis CAM machining is part of Group strategy and a major advantage within our application specific processes. It enables us to optimize and strengthen our various fields of expertise and operational synergies. Longer term, it will be incorporated within the global processes managed by our ERP system (Sescoi’s WorkPLAN) in order to validate and secure all our processes and information flows."
For over 20 years, Sescoi has been developing software solutions renown for their quality, reliability, ease of use, and automatic features, as well as for world-class technical support and service.
Sescoi has established sales and support offices across the United States, Europe and Asia in order to serve thousands of local and international customers from a range of industries.
Sescoi's software solutions include:
• WorkNC, an automatic CAM/CAD solution for 2 to 5-axis milling,
• WorkNC-CAD, a uniform CAD solution for the entire manufacturing process
• WorkXPlore 3D, an advanced 3D data visualization, interrogation and analysis solution
• WorkPLAN Enterprise, a new generation ERP solution for custom manufacturers
• MyWorkPLAN, a cost effective and easy to use job management system.
With many years' business, engineering and software development experience, Sescoi understands customers' requirements, helps them master the challenges of new software implementation and build their business long-term.
For further information:-
Ms. Carol Jordan
International Marketing Manager
Sescoi International SAS
Blvd General de Gaulle
71009 Macon Cedex
Tel.: +33 385 216621
Fax: +33 385 216622