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When Unnaryd Modell, a Swedish company specialising in the manufacture of models and prototypes for the automotive sector, was established 30 years ago, its founder Lars-Ingvar Larsson was convinced that the key to success lay in perfect details and professional competence.

Machine operator Leif Andersson and production manager Martin Larrsson with a Tebis workstation and 5-axis multifunction machine

He has been proven right as the small workshop in his garage has expanded over the years into a company well known beyond Sweden’s borders. “We are a well-established supplier for the Swedish automotive and engineering industries,” confirms Stefan Larsson, Unnaryd Modell’s sales and marketing manager.

Using a 3D model as a base, the company uses high-speed mills to produce prototypes, obtaining a surface roughness of 2 μm, without reworking or finishing.

The advantage of this is obvious – if defects in the part can be detected right at the prototype stage, a great deal of time and money can be saved.

“In contrast to earlier times, the machine operators themselves are now responsible for job planning, NC programming, and the evaluation of the surface quality,” explains production manager Martin Larsson.

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“The fact that they now have more responsibility and are able to independently organise their processes was very well received by the employees. Of course, this also has very positive effects on their work results.”

Cutting lead times

This new method of operation has considerably simplified the manufacturing process, from documention right through to production.

The redistribution of tasks means that existing manufacturing expertise is utilised optimally and that the designers and machine operators can now work much more interactively.

Additionally, with all the data now stored in a central database, employees can access not only manufacturing-relevant information, but the specialist know-how of their colleagues too.

CAD specialist Ronny Lofqvist demonstrates how to machine cast parts in Tebis

According to Martin Larsson, Unnaryd Modell fully relies on Tebis. “We have always been satisfied with Tebis in the CAM environment but the software now offers many options in the CAD environment as well that significantly simplifies the subsequent NC programming.

They also offer a multitude of functions for the smoothing of paths and curves. Even complex surface structures can be designed easily,” he comments.

“At this point in time, we have 13 CAM licenses, five CAD licenses and two Tebis Viewers. Using just one system for CAD and CAM projects is simply more effective and faster.

After all, we no longer need to switch between different systems or convert files. Or spend a lot of time learning different systems.”

Accelerating manufacturing

“With the Tebis job manager, structures and processes can be mostly automated.

Manufacturing processes thus can be more easily controlled, are faster, more reliable, and less expensive.

A prototype produced using a high-speed milling machine

And the capability to change the component even after testing is very important to us,” continues Larsson. “It is very reassuring to know that the geometry can be adjusted without having to fully reprogram the part.” With the objective of continuously expanding its product portfolio, Unnaryd Modell relies on new employees, new technologies and new machines.

In 2011, for example, it added two machine operators to its team, and added a DMF 260 5-axis travelling column machine to its machinery.

It has also invested in a robot cell from System 3R that is connected to a milling machine by the same company and has expanded its internal foundry in order to better benefit from the increased machine capacity.

Today, Unnaryd Modell covers the entire production chain, from the design to the tested prototypes. The company even develops monitoring and measuring fixtures.

Prepared for the future

“Thanks to the investment, we have increased our production capacities in model making by 10 to 15 per cent, and in manufacturing by 20 to 25 per cent.

As we now manufacture larger models and tools, we have become more competitive in these sectors as well,” says Larsson.

Per Gisslar and a customer service representative from Tebis Scandinavia

Per Gisslar, who manages the activities of Tebis Scandinavia AB, predicts a positive future for Unnaryd Modell. “The success of Unnaryd Modell is certainly based on its expertise, and their awareness of the key role of production that continuously evolves according to the latest standards,” says Gisslar.

“Because the company uses the Tebis AutoMill technology to manage its entire manufacturing expertise, all information is retained. Thus, the company has optimal conditions for staying competitive in a global market.”

Unnaryd Modell reaps the benefits of automated manufacturing processes thanks to Tebis
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