The new CimatronE SuperBox combined hardware-software solution reduces the load on computers and speeds up tool-path calculations for multiple NC programmers. This breakthrough productivity-enhancing device was developed by Cimatron Ltd., which provides integrated cad/cam software for tool and mould makers.

“Up to 50% of a typical NC user’s day can be consumed by long tool-path calculations,” says Roy Sterenthal, Cimatron vice president of R&D. “Even if these calculations are done in the background, they put a very significant load on the user’s PC resources.” Cimatron’s aim in developing the SuperBox was to free up the user’s computer and expedite completion of the tool-path calculations.

Once the SuperBox is plugged in, all CimatronE NC seats in the facility automatically offload most of their calculation tasks to it, thereby freeing up the resources of individual workstations. The system add-on contains a state-of-the-art multicore CPU and ample RAM, considerably accelerating calculation rates. And, to push performance even higher, for procedures with no stock dependency (e.g., finish-machining), the SuperBox can execute multiple procedure calculations concurrently.

The plug-and-play SuperBox requires only a power outlet and a network connection within the user’s premises. “The central concept of the SuperBox is that it’s simple,” explains Cimatron CEO Danny Haran. “You plug the SuperBox in, and everyone starts working faster. That’s all: no training, no implementation process, no headache.”

The system’s architecture is fully scalable, and multiple SuperBoxes can be used to support more users and heavier workloads.

This innovation from Cimatron is being previewed at the Cimatron GmbH booth (F-70 in Hall 8) at EuroMold 2010 in Frankfurt, Germany, December 1–4.

US-based Kennametal Inc. has reported fiscal 2005 fourth quarter earnings per diluted share (EPS) at a record level of $0.98, up 21% from the prior year’s fourth quarter and above the original guidance of $0.90–0.95. There were no special items in either of the quarters compared.

For fiscal 2005, adjusted EPS was $3.25, also a record, and compares with a prior-year adjusted EPS of $2.15. That represents a 51% increase.

Sales for the fourth quarter were $619 million, as against $542 million in FY04’s final quarter. Full-year sales were $2.3 billion, 17% higher than last year’s $2.0 billion. Both the quarterly and full-year sales figures were record levels for the company.

Kennametal chairman, president, and CEO Markos I. Tambakeras elaborated: “Each of our three business groups, Metalworking Solutions and Services, Advanced Materials Solutions, and J&L; Industrial Supply, performed at record levels in both sales and earnings. Market penetration, pricing, and the underlying strength of our served end-markets all contributed to our performance.”

Tambakeras went on to note that Kennametal’s FY05 results were a function of the successful implementation of a corporate transformation strategy involving rapid expansion of the advanced materials and engineered components portfolio, among other factors. Rising raw material prices were overcome this year, but they will continue to present a challenge for pricing strategies in FY06.

Other highlights of the 2005 fiscal year for Kennametal included a 62% rise in net income, from $74 million to $119 million; free operating cash flow for the year of $118 million; and the acquisition of Extrude Hone for approximately $134 million, an addition to the company’s Advanced Materials Solutions segment.

Economic indicators project continued growth through fiscal 2006 in North America and the rest-of-the world markets, but modest growth at best in European markets in which the affiliated companies of Kennametal in Europe operate.

Zund America Inc., a subsidiary of the Swiss company Zund Systemtechnik AG, is partnering with NestONE Solutions to provide the JetCAM Expert CAD/CAM solution to the US market for its range of digital cutting machine tools for the aerospace, automotive, marine, and other industries. JetCAM Expert, nesting software specialized for the sheet metal and aerospace industries, is produced and developed by JetCAM International. NestONE Solutions is a US JetCAM reseller.

The agreement is intended to offer significant advantages to customers that utilize Zund machine tools in conjunction with the JetCAM Expert CAD/CAM system. It should increase production speeds, allow tighter nesting, and allow users to take fullest advantage of the Zund variety of bed sizes and tooling options and Zund’s unique conveyor system. A production solution offered by Zund and powered by JetCAM CAD/CAM will provide customers with an unprecedented price-to-performance ratio, says Zund. Along with higher production throughput, customers should see considerable reductions in scrap.

JetCAM International has already developed a postprocessor to support the advanced functions of the Zund cutter.

Commented Oliver Zund, president of Zund America, “Our strategy is to offer a total solution for manufacturers in the aerospace, marine, automotive, and other markets to best utilize our machine tools. In this age of ever increasing material costs, JetCAM provides Zund customers competitive advantage and the highest material optimization possible.”

David Lichtenwalner, president of NestONE Solutions, seconded his partner: “The superior cutting capabilities offered by Zund provide an unparalleled opportunity for producing parts of the highest quality while maximizing material utilization by using the JetCAM high-performance nester.”

Net revenues reported by Surfware Inc. for August 2005 were 42% higher than for the same period the previous year. The company attributes the dramatic increase to the recent introduction of a tool-path engine that allows the use of machining parameters in aggressive combinations that were not possible before.

“The company’s outstanding growth is undoubtedly the direct result of the release of SURFCAM Velocity,” said Domenic Lanzillotta, Surfware’s vice president of worldwide sales, referring to the latest offering from the CAD/CAM software specialist. “We are extremely excited about the future for Surfware and believe this groundbreaking technological advancement will revolutionize machining worldwide.”

Available only in SURFCAM Velocity is TrueMill tool-path technology, a completely original tool-path engine that dynamically and accurately manages the tool’s engagement with the workpiece material . This precise tool control enables machining parameters such as spindle speed, feed rate, depth of cut, and step-over to be specified in combinations that would result in material damage or tool breakage id used with existing tool-path generators.

SURFCAM software is designed for CNC programming of 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-axis mills, lathes, wire EDMs, and laser, plasma, and water-jet machining equipment. In developing and improving the software, Surfware Inc. applies its considerable experience in machining technology to a process of continual innovation in addressing industrial design and manufacturing concerns.

Agie Charmilles Ltd. is holding a post-EMO Productivity Plus Open House October 11 and 12 for UK manufacturers that did not get to the September machine tool trade fair. The market-leading specialist manufacturer of electrical discharge machining (EDM) equipment and machine tools for high-speed and 5-axis machining created the event in recognition of the fact that most UK manufacturers would not be able to get to Hannover. The UK-focused open house takes place at the host company’s state-of-the-art facility in Coventry. Its theme of Productivity Plus was explained by Tony Steels, managing director of Agie Charmilles.

“Irrespective of how busy or how successful individual UK manufacturing companies are at this moment in time,” said Steels, “there is always room for improvement. Increasing productivity and raising performance through investment in the very latest machine tool technologies can, and clearly does, help companies improve their competitiveness.”

For UK manufacturers that did not attend EMO, suggested Steels, “there is a real danger that they could be left in the dark and put their competitiveness at a serious disadvantage because they haven’t seen or experienced the most recent technological developments showcased at EMO.” The open house is designed as an opportunity to remove that disadvantage for UK companies interested in upgrading or adding capabilities in EDM or HSM/5-axis machining.

The event features the latest technologies from Agie Charmilles’ Agie, Mikron, and Charmilles brands. Fast, highly accurate EDM machines and ultrahigh-performance machining centres will be put through their paces for visitors.

And because the open house emphasizes the importance of raising productivity, attendees will have ample opportunity to discuss their production challenges with Agie Charmilles’ technical and applications experts.

The flagship Asian mould and die industry trade event Mould & Die Asia 2005, the 4th International Mould & Die Making and Manufacturing Technology Exhibition for Asia, drew more than 13,000 buyers from 41 countries and regions to the Chinese Export Commodities Fair Pazhou Complex in Guangzhou September 21–24. Of these, about 60% were from the manufacturing industries, according to preliminary statistics from Business & Industrial Trade Fairs Ltd. and Genertec International Advertising & Exhibition Co., Ltd., the fair organizers.

In addition to the 12,100 buyers from within China, 900 overseas buyers came to Mould & Die Asia 2005. About 59% of the visiting buyers were decision makers, engineers, and purchasers from the automotive, electronics, electrical appliances, household goods, machinery and hardware, plastics, toy, office automation equipment, and other industries. Ninety-one percent of these had the final say or offered recommendations in corporate purchasing decisions.

The strong attendance of leading regional mould makers at Mould & Die Asia 2005 made the exhibition a global sourcing centre for casting and forging dies, ceramic moulds, die-casting moulds, drawing dies, glass moulds, metal extruding moulds, plastic and rubber moulds, plastic extruding moulds, stamping dies, and advanced processing technology such as in-mould decoration and insert moulding. Also on hand were exhibitors showing mould and die processing machinery, hot runner systems and supplies, materials and components, heat treatment services, and other auxiliary equipment.

The Mould & Die Asia International Forum on Mould & Die Industry Development, a parallel event, consisted of a series of multitrack seminars on new technical and market developments and attracted more than 300 attendees. It was considered a Mould & Die Asia highlight.

Mould & Die Asia 2007 is scheduled for September 2007 at the same Guangzhou location.

Machine tool manufacturer Emco Maier GmbH of Hallein, Austria, near Salzburg, and DP Technology Corp., an international provider of computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software to CNC programmers, recently launched a CNC programming agreement to market DP Technology’s Esprit programming system as specifically adapted to fit Emco’s range of lathes and milling machines. Esprit, in conjunction with Emco’s machines, will henceforward be available in all Emco demonstration centres, and will be sold through Emco’s worldwide distribution network.

Esprit is a high-performance CAM system for a full range of machine tool applications. It delivers powerful full-spectrum programming for 2- to 5-axis milling, 2- to 22-axis turning, 2- to 5-axis wire EDM, multitasking mill-turn machining, and b-axis machine tools.

Emco is currently offering all of its clients the opportunity to buy Esprit software when purchasing an Emco machine. The Esprit out-of-the-box CAM package now delivers complete preconfigured and factory-tested solutions for programming machine tools, providing postprocessors and machine simulation for all Emco equipment models.

Emco chose Esprit by DP Technology because the software provides comprehensive support for Emco’s entire product range. In addition, Emco valued Esprit’s 100% pure Windows interface, its ease of use, and its comprehensive machine tool simulation with collision detection.

The Society of Plastics Engineershas named Fred Steil of the D-M-E Company in Madison Heights, Michigan, as its 2004 Mold Maker of the Year, and Wayne Hertlein of Collins & Aikman Tooling Center in Troy, Michigan, as its 2004 Mold Designer of the Year.

The awards, which this year will be officially presented on June 23, are given annually to individuals who have exemplified the characteristics of leadership and adaptability in the field of mold building. This year’s awards were announced at SPE-ANTEC 2004 in May by Patricia Miller, the 2003-04 chair of the SPE’s Mold Making and Mold Design Division, and Scott Peters, the 2003-04 chair of SPE awards.

Steil is currently the mechanical engineering manager for D-M-E, where he has been employed for the past 20 years. He is a journey-level mold maker with an engineering degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. In addition, he has owned a plastic molding firm.

As a senior tooling engineer at Collins & Aikman, Hertlein is responsible for new tooling programs related to the automobile industry. He is a journey-level mold maker and a certified mold designer with an engineering degree from Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Hertlein owns one of the largest personal technical libraries on mold making and design in the United States, and has been featured in Detroit-area newspapers.

A grant consisting of 40 licenses by Surfware Inc.for its SURFCAM software has been given to the Shanghai University of Engineering Sciences(SUES) in Shanghai, China. The grant is seen as a historic milestone for both Surfware and the university. Until now, Surfware has never issued an educational grant to a university in China. The grant was extremely important to the school as well, because it represented the first CAM software donation of its kind.

SUES has 45 different schools of education, including the School of Material Engineering, the School of Automobile Engineering, the Detection and Testing Center for Automobiles, the Center for Industrial Training, and the Computer Center.

Brian Kindilien, Surfware’s vice president of sales, and Dr. Wang Hong, president of SUES, met to discuss the importance of the grant to both Surfware and Shanghai University. The Surfware team, composed of Surfware staff and Surfware’s local reseller, Gallop Engineering, was given a tour of SUES’s facilities. Aside from Dr. Hong, the Surfware team met with Mr. Zihe Cen, vice president of the University; Hao Jian Ping, vice professor; and Li Peiyao, associate professor of the School of Material Engineering; and many other dignitaries.

After 30 years of service at Vollmer Werke Maschinenfabrik GmbH in Biberach, Germany, Josef Rieger has retired from operational responsibilities over the company. He will continue to work for the Vollmer Group on a consulting basis.

Vollmer is known for its leadership role in the field of sharpening machines for saw blades and eroding machines for precision tools. A large measure of this success is given to the strong commitment and entrepreneurial skills of Rieger.

With the retirement of Rieger, two new managing directors have been appointed. Siegfried Knüpfer has spent 20 years in international consulting and management positions in both mechanical and production engineering, and previously was managing director of Boehringer in Göppingen, a member of IWKA AG. Stefan Brand has held a number of high-responsibility industrial posts, lastly as head of product development at Gildemeister Lathes in Bielefeld.