Over the last three decades We Can Precision Engineering has gone from strength to strength. Based in the Hawkes Bay, We Can’s passionate commitment to their customers has seen it gain an enviable reputation as a company that thinks outside the box. Consequently it’s thought of by competitors and customers alike as one of New Zealand’s premier manufacturers.
We Can’s business focuses around the manufacturing of precision components, critical engineering spares, complex engineering parts and assemblies in the food and meat processing industries. Canning and packaging are included in their usual activities however they also extend to working with R&D teams, low volume manufacturers, inventors and start-up companies involved in the development and use of new and high tech equipment.
In the past We Can had encountered problems when integrating CNC machines into their business. These problems primarily stemmed from having one supplier of the machine, one supplier of cutting tools and yet another for the CAM systems. The difficulty was in coordinating them in a way that provided an acceptable time frame from order to operation.
Starting their search for the ideal machine and service We Can was quickly drawn to the unique offerings of iCNC. iCNC’s SPINNER U-620 ticked all the right boxes when it came to meeting We Can’s expectations. Ian felt that “after looking at the machine we thought the value for money was exceptional. Many things excited us, we liked the large tool changer capacity because we have a very strong focus on the throughput of work, not just the cycle time but the actual throughput through the shop, so the less tools we can change during set-up is very important to us. The Siemens’s controller with its “conversational” ease of use makes it hard to make a mistake and took all the pain and fear out of learning 5-axis programming. Also, the electronic probe and tool setter option as we wanted to be able to do one off jobs in the machine very efficiently. We also needed a machine capable of being able to check the tools automatically so we could potentially run it unmanned at a later date.”
iCNC stepped up to the challenge of providing We Can’s total solution. Ian states, “We requested that when we bought this package, we wanted to ensure that everything was taken care of. We handed total control over to iCNC and explained in detail what our mission was and what iCNC needed to supply to fulfill it. We didn’t want have to go through the details and check them”.
iCNC integrated all of the details including the relevant tooling from Iscar Pacific. Camplex was heavily involved with the training of the very user-friendly CADCAM software of the DELCAM family, FeatureCAM, with training of the staff almost complete before installation of the U-620. Rickie Pike, Managing Director of We Can, enthusiastically endorses Camplex’s FeatureCAM software, “Our previous CAM package had never had the tool library set-up except in a hap-hazard way and we can’t get the productivity from it. Now that’s all changed and productivity has increased. In the first two weeks we ran 5-6 jobs that were normally 6-7 set-ups and we were able to run those in 2-3 days instead of 2 weeks without the mistakes that are inherent in multiple set-ups. We were straight into the 5-axis operation in the first few days. Brilliant!”