M2GN, located in Courlaoux, near Lons-le-Saunier in Eastern France, manufactures parts for key French industries. Founded in 1986, the company was purchased in 2005 by Laurent Poullain following the retirement of its first owner. In the beginning, M2GN focused on manufacturing unitary, or single, parts for special machines. Mr. Poullain wanted to evolve the company and invested in a newer machine shop and a larger, more functional building. Today M2GN specializes in precision machining and has a staff of 16 employees. Its activity is divided into four key industrial sectors: 30% in aeronautics, 35% in packaging, 25% in the food industry and 10% in mechanical engineering. Single parts represent 50% of its business, with the rest consisting of small and medium parts primarily for the aeronautics industry.
DP Technology recently spoke with Mr. Poullain, M2GN’s manager, and Brian Orcier, the company’s programming manager, about how ESPRIT CAM software has improved their manufacturing operations.
Laurent Poullain: The need for a new CAM software presented itself in 2015 when I wanted to further develop our team of turners, who worked from the beginning in conversational programming (on Mazak Mazatrol or Mori Seiki Mapps controls). At the same time, we bought a DMG MORI NTX bi-spindle 5-axis lathe, which was equipped with all modules of ESPRIT software.
How fast was the workshop able to integrate the new software?
L.P: Some controllers were able to adopt the new software quickly. For others, it took a little longer. In their defense, the first parts were complex; they required simultaneous 4 and 5-axis machining. Usiprog, our ESPRIT integrator, provided excellent support to us throughout this project. After six months, the entire team was working on its own and comfortably using the ESPRIT software.
How have you recently expanded the use of ESPRIT in your workshop?
L.P: After buying the NTX machine, we decided to buy two more licenses, one for 5-axis turning and one for EDM. We also updated the license on the NTX lathe.
You say that M2GN has a large machine park. How does ESPRIT help you to control all these machines?
LP: M2GN has a park with different brands of relatively new machines, which are divided into three parts: a turning pole consisting of five lathes and two multi-tasking centers, a milling center composed of four machining centers and two milling machines, and a final pole dedicated to EDM, which is mainly comprised of Fanuc machines. ESPRIT allows you to control the whole workshop with the same interface and lets you easily switch from one machine to another.
M2GN is specialized in manufacturing the unitary part, with high added value; what exactly does that mean?
L.P: [It means] we have established 100% control of all the parts coming out of the workshop. This allows us to check the quality of our parts daily to ensure that they have been manufactured properly. To do this, we utilize specific Mitutoyo control tools.
What do you consider to be the top three advantages of ESPRIT?
Brian Orcier: What impressed us was its ease of use and its flexibility: with just a few clicks, one can apply several machining strategies to any type of operation. Also, the reliability of the post-processors that adapt to each machine. ESPRIT gives us a new method for programming and manufacturing parts.
Are you satisfied with the ESPRIT solution?
L.P: Yes. Today, what makes me confident I made the right choice is that even the most reluctant programmer at the beginning now uses ESPRIT every day. It enables them to make the most of their machine to produce increasingly complex parts without outside help. It gives them peace of mind; the risk of error is minimized, and they have autonomy in their work with the recovery of the 3D files, and the automatic recognition of forms, etc.
Do you plan to further expand the use of ESPRIT in the workshop?
Laurent Poullain: At this time, we are thinking about purchasing a 5-axis machining center that would also allow us to extend the use of ESPRIT in the workshop and standardize our CAM system to be even more versatile and efficient.
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