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Job Shop Takes "CAM-Do" Attitude to Offset Decline in Grinding Orders

After seeing a decline in the precision grinding market in recent years, Nadjar company director, Renaud Nadjar, has expanded his Villeurbanne, France-based shop to take on a variety of other machining processes.

Based in Villeurbanne, France, Nadjar specializes in precision grinding. In recent years, technological advances in milling and turning have eaten into the grinding market and economic crises have resulted in highly irregular workloads.

Renaud Nadjar with his father, accompanied by Francisco Pardo (Usiprog), Emilie Dubreuil (ESPRIT) and Stéphane Crochon (Usiprog)



To safeguard the future of the family-owned company, founded by his father 50 years ago, director Renaud Nadjar has expanded the firm's capability to perform other machining processes. Nadjar combines milling and turning with grinding to provide customers with a complete service. He now handles orders from the automotive, rail, chemical and machine-tool sectors for small- and medium-sized parts. Grinding is performed after heat treatment for parts that need to have an accuracy of several microns.

A CAM+Machine Package Wins Out

Nadjar's first investment was in milling. Unimpressed by the programming software embedded in numeric control systems, Renaud Nadjar decided to equip the company with standalone programming software. He wanted to program more complex parts and program in the background while the machine was operating. Wanting to avoid any pitfalls, Nadjar decided to meet with several CAM software developers to help him make the right decision.

The operator in charge of the Haas ST10 lathe.



The partnership between machine manufacturer Haas and ESPRIT CAM software made it possible to purchase both in a package deal. "Thanks to this partnership, we were able to start with certified post processors and error-free CAM," Nadjar explained. He made an initial investment in three Haas machines with corresponding ESPRIT licences.

The developer of ESPRIT, DP Technology, works closely with machine-tool manufacturers to ensure that ESPRIT is compatible with all machines. The post processors are inspected and corrected by the manufacturers to ensure that users are fully satisfied.

Saved by Aftersales Service

Learning a new machining procedure, a new machine and new software all at the same time was a major challenge -- on some days it must have seemed too much to handle. The technical support available for the ESPRIT software was key.

Clamps intended for use in special machines, programmed with ESPRIT and machined on Haas.



The success of this initial experience led the Nadjar company to quickly buy an NC lathe with another ESPRIT licence and then another milling machine. Now the team has a 2-axis turning licence and a 2.5-axis milling licence. An ESPRIT programming course will allow operators to learn about even more possibilities. "I'm always curious. I love learning, and each time a programming session is finished, I check to see if it's possible to find a way to machine more rapidly," Nadjar says.

Limitless 3D

The demand for 3D machining led the company to purchase the 3D milling module. It was a new challenge, but several months on, Nadjar is delighted with the investment. "The 3D module in ESPRIT is great. Because the software calculates everything, it prompts with coherent values, and we save an incredible amount of time. And of course, the results obtained are outstanding," Nadjar says.

A resin panel programmed with the ESPRIT 3D milling module.



For example, to program a resin panel in 3D, the programmer chooses a standard tool (a ball-nose cutter), sets a few parameters, and the software quickly takes care of the rest. Nadjar really appreciates the software's simulation capabilities: the state of the surface on the screen during simulation is just like that of the real part. This allows him to adjust programming to obtain a perfect finish.

The Nadjar company has already exceeded its revenue forecast. It plans to invest in 5-axis milling and 3- and 5-axis turning next.

"We are limited by our machines, but there's no limit with ESPRIT CAM," Nadjar says.

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