Karl W. Schmidt Mfg, Inc., is a global leader in the design, engineering, and manufacture of custom recycling systems. Through its focus on innovation, the company has grown steadily and now serves clients in more than 35 countries. In addition to supplying state-of-the-art recycling systems and equipment, Karl Schmidt Mfg helps its customers operate more efficiently by providing strategic insights on recycling trends and technologies.
The recycling firm’s commitment to innovation extends to its use of advanced design and manufacturing technologies. Karl Schmidt Mfg relies on the SOLIDWORKS® 3D mechanical design platform—including integrated analysis, product data management, and SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Designer software, and best-in-class partner solutions NESTINGWorks® and CAMWorks® software—to support system development and production.
When Karl Schmidt Mfg migrated from AutoCAD® 2D tools to the SOLIDWORKS 3D design environment, the switch also created opportunities for revamping the company’s transition from design to manufacturing, according to Vice President Mike Buchli. “The move to the SOLIDWORKS platform allowed us to gain greater control over our production operation—much of which had been previously outsourced—and pursue new avenues for improving the quality of our systems while controlling costs,” Buchli explains. “The machining partners in our area generally can only handle tolerances down to 1/16 of an inch, when we need to utilize tolerances down to 1/32 of an inch or lower. As soon as one of our parts didn’t come out right, we decided to implement our own design, machining, and manufacturing capabilities.”
Karl Schmidt Mfg acquired a Trumpf Model 2503 laser cutter and a CNC press brake as part of its initiative to move production in-house. The recycling system manufacturer then needed both integrated nesting and machining solutions to further automate its transition from design to manufacturing, as well as to streamline machining operations. The company evaluated available nesting and CAM solutions before choosing Geometric’s NESTINGWorks 3D nesting software to prepare designs for machining, and CAMWorks 3D CNC machining software to automate manufacturing.
“We looked at several packages—including Striker® and SigmundNest®—before choosing the combination of NESTINGWorks and CAMWorks software,” Buchli recalls. “In addition to enabling us to become more accurate and efficient in taking parts from design to production, as well as utilize tighter tolerances to boost quality, the combination of NESTINGWorks and CAMWorks software provided the tightest integration with the SOLIDWORKS design platform of any of the solutions that we evaluated. In short, NESTINGWorks and CAMWorks software provided the most value, offering the widest range of integrated solutions for the price.
“Many organizations treat nesting and CNC programming as afterthoughts,” Buchli continues. “At Karl Schmidt Mfg, we have a whole group of people who know how to use SOLIDWORKS, so it just makes sense to utilize an integrated nesting solution to prepare parts for manufacturing, and an integrated machining application, to take advantage of that knowledge. NESTINGWorks helps us on the design side by enabling us to optimize designs for sheet-stock usage, and explore what-if scenarios, in addition to providing an integrated front-end for using CAMWorks software to drive our CNC laser cutter and press brake.
“Because NESTINGWorks, CAMWorks, and SOLIDWORKS software are part of a seamless, integrated development environment, we can consistently do more with less and elevate our level of accuracy and quality, which helps make us more competitive and successful,” Buchli adds.