HELLER develops, tests, manufactures and demonstrates with VERICUT – the world’s leading NC simulation software from CGTech.

A crash in VERICUT® doesn’t cost anything

Machine tool builder HELLER advertises with the slogan “Knowing how it’s done.” HELLER has been offering the industry unique and efficient solutions since 1894, and 120 years later they are one of the leading manufacturers of machine tools and manufacturing systems for machining. Since 2008 the company from Baden-Württemberg trusts another market-leading product: VERICUT from CGTech.When programming customer applications, or providing training in the HELLER Technology Center, the world’s most modern, independent NC simulation and optimization software is used.

Heller profile:

With a staff of 2,500 worldwide, HELLER is a global manufacturer of 4- and 5-axis machining centers, flexible manufacturing systems, and crankshaft and camshaft machines. The company is headquartered in Nürtingen in the Stuttgart region of Germany. The company’s customers come from a variety of industries including automotive manufacturers and their suppliers, machine building industry, contract manufacturers, power engineering, mold and die manufacturers, and aerospace companies. Heller’s complete solutions for workpiece-specific tasks allows them to optimally respond to the needs of their customers.

Their solution competence comprises of a wide range of parts and materials machined under the most diverse conditions: from light-metal machining to heavy-duty cutting, from machining of individual parts through to high-volume production using wet, dry or MQL machining. Their products are complemented by comprehensive consulting and a wide range of services. HELLER operates production facilities around the globe, including the US, UK, Brazil, China and Germany. Record sales in 2013 (EUR 532.7 million) marked the second best results in the company’s 120-year history.

“The software is easy to use”

HELLER relies on VERICUT NC verification and CNC simulation software. “With VERICUT we have reduced prove-out times, reduced collisions and made complex technology processes — for example in material removal — visible to everyone,” said Erhard Hummel , group leader of programming customer applications at HELLER. “VERICUT runs independently from the CAD / CAM system. The software offers many useful simulation functions, is easy to use and runs on standard hardware.” VERICUT software is used to simulate CNC machining in order to detect errors, potential collisions, or areas of inefficiency. VERICUT enables NC programmers to correct errors before the program is ever loaded on the CNC machine, thereby eliminating manual prove-outs. VERICUT also optimizes NC program cutting speeds for more efficient machining, especially for high-speed machines like the ones HELLER produces or uses in its own production.

Reliable error detection

HELLER offers a diverse assortment of machinery. Hummel and his colleagues count on 4-axis machining centers, 5-axis machining centers, mill-turn centers, 4 and 5-axis machining modules with direct loading, process and special solutions, machines for crankshafts and camshafts, and CBC modules for coating cylinders running surfaces in crankcases. In the pre-VERICUT era, the programmer painstakingly tested the program on the machine to show errors, reducing process efficiency. “Today the manually generated programs and the programs from the CAM system are simulated with VERICUT and every possible collision situation, process error, material removal errors, or part/stock differences are demonstrated reliably,” said Hummel.

“Its saves you money”

HELLER reduces downtimes by only sending VERICUT-proven programs to the machines. VERICUT NC simulation is used to interpret machining processes including kinematics, syntax checking, and cycle times to simulate all products and application processes of HELLER . Furthermore HELLER tests complex cycles with VERICUT and conducts virtual prototype studies in the early stages.

“VERICUT as a virtual machining center on the desktop pays off,” said Hummel. “A crash in VERICUT costs zero euros, but a real crash could be 40,000€ or even more.” He elaborated on the topic of reducing prove-outs: “Testing on large, real machines cost 150€ to 250€ an hour. An hour in VERICUT costs far less. In addition, we estimate that the shortening of the process startup time brings a big advantage. If we already recognize collision situations between the machine and workpiece, fixture, or tool in advance, we eliminate a big expense. Anyone who does not know VERICUT is not really familiar with this industry.”

Simulated well – well presented

The positive view of VERICUT is also shared by Rainer Dangel, Head of HELLER’s Technology Center. “After years of use and experience in the programming department, it was only logical to use this software in our Technology Center as well,” said Dangel. ” VERICUT is very effective for providing both standard and specific customer demonstrations. We also use VERICUT to prove-out customer programs, as well as to develop exhibit parts for both internal and external events. Last but not least, VERICUT is also used by the Technology Center for classic tasks such as machine tests (kinematics, cycles, dynamics, etc.).”

Article published in VDI-Z, September 2014 [PDF]