Sophisticated software creates medical manufacturing opportunities

France’s Rescoll Mfg. seizes opportunities for rapid growth in fine-featured part production with the help of Esprit CAM software.

From left to right: Sébastien Cain, from distributor-integrator UsInConcept; Hélène Horent, from DP Technology; and Fabien Guillaume, methods manager at Rescoll Mfg.

Europe’s medical device market has grown quickly, representing more than $22 billion in revenue. From 2003 to 2013, France went from 144 ISO13485-certified manufacturers to more than 1,000. The medical devices made today involve machining increasingly complex, high value-added parts, driving manufacturers to evolve rapidly to improve their production capabilities and maintain their competitive edge.

In the city of Pessac, near Bordeaux, France, Rescoll Mfg. managers have seized the opportunity for rapid medical sector growth using Esprit CAM software from DP Technology Corp.

Move to CAM

From its founding in 2012, manufacturers turned to Rescoll Mfg. for increasingly complex projects. While most included simple turning, more required machining complex parts, 5-axis milling and surface finishing operations, making part programming increasingly difficult. By 2014, managers decided to invest in computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software.

“Our wish was to integrate a CAM solution adaptable to our entire range of Swiss and 3- and 5-axis machines. We knew Esprit’s potential and the distributor UsInConcept reinforced our choice,” explains Fabien Guillaume, methods manager at Rescoll Mfg.

Rise in productivity

An implant plate programmed with Esprit CAM software and machined in a single operation on a 5-axis lathe.

As programmers began Esprit training, Guillaume says, they realized that the software offered flexibility when programming parts.

Rescoll’s programmers then set to work on various 5-axis parts, optimizing full use of CNC machines and rapidly increasing productivity. The Methods department created a library of standard machining processes using Esprit to automate, facilitate, and improve CNC program generation. Process archiving and automatic shape recognition helped cutting tool managers fully use the software’s functions for intelligent machining.

With production in the shop on the rise, Rescoll Mfg. faced a new challenge: programming a cervical plate with complex 3D surfaces that required 5-axis machining on a milling lathe. Using Esprit CAM, the team machined the part on a 5-axis Mazak lathe in just one operation, meeting all of the customer’s expectations.

This difficult-to-machine cobalt chrome implant, produced on a 5-axis Mazak lathe, has to be completely finished, with small diameter end mills.
The machining assembly to cut the part in the 5-axis lathe.

Capturing evolving markets

For Rescoll Mfg., integrating Esprit CAM software solved many machining difficulties related to tight tolerance intervals, less-sophisticated machines, and refractory materials.

“We had problems completing a grooving operation on a 3-axis machine, and Esprit allowed us to simply program the machine using trochoidal cutting movements, which solved all our problems,” says Frédéric Combarnous, head of Rescoll Mfg.

The growing experience of Rescoll’s programmers also made it possible to diversify the typology of its parts and extend their use through improved quality. Simulation features integrated within Esprit enabled programmers to visualize everything – from machine environment, to part machining, to interferences.

“Esprit is a very reliable tool that allows you to anticipate errors and optimize the set-up times on the machine,” Guillaume says.

After using Esprit CAM for a few months, Rescoll Mfg. dramatically reduced its programming time and enhanced its production capabilities.

“With Esprit, we can optimize toolpaths, test manufacturing processes, and reduce programming and cycle times,” Combarnous summarizes.

Rescoll Mfg. had faced a choice between producing basic parts or growing its production capabilities to capture evolving markets. It chose the latter.

Using Esprit CAM software, programmers at Rescoll Mfg. can respond rapidly to customer requests and successfully meet any machining challenge from the medical and aeronautics markets.

“Without Esprit, we would have missed out on many opportunities,” Guillaume says.

Looking ahead, Rescoll Mfg. plans to acquire new 5-axis machines to produce even more complex parts, increasing its presence in Europe with Esprit CAM at the heart of its manufacturing process.

DP Technology Corp.

Mazak Corp.

Rescoll Mfg. manufacturing

November 2019
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