Hamilton Company enhances efficiency and streamlines its workflow with CAM Assist

Hamilton Company
Philip Linscheid
Hamilton Company enhances efficiency and streamlines its workflow with CAM Assist

Hamilton Company is a major global precision manufacturer. Headquartered in Reno, Nevada, and with operations around the world, including in Switzerland and Romania, it manufactures over 5 million parts a year out of its Reno Machine Shop alone. 

That’s difficult enough - but adding to the complexity is the number of parts it makes. Hamilton has around 10,000 parts numbers, with more than 3,000 active in any given year. And with work coming in constantly, it must create new machining strategies a week for component orders, all with high variability in production quantities. 

Those parts are all made with a wide variety of machine tools - including DMG Mori CNC Machines, Haas, Citizen-Cincom, Matsuura, Makino, and lathes - and programmed with different CAM CAD platforms. As a result, standardising operations across the business is a constant challenge. 

Seeking to enhance efficiency and streamline its workflows, Hamilton is now working with CloudNC to implement CAM Assist across its business, via a plugin to Autodesk Fusion. 

In a recent conversation with Autodesk, Philip Linscheid, Director of Manufacturing - Machine Shop at Hamilton Company, shared why he’s seeking to utilise CAM Assist within Hamilton’s CNC machining operations. Philip was delighted to share his comments with us. 

On how he became aware of CAM Assist

“We started a relationship with CloudNC in 2023. I saw that they were taking on beta customers and so we applied, and through that we met the team at CloudNC.

In Fusion, we’re probably making somewhere between 10 to 20 new programs a week, depending on the quantity of parts that are flowing through, and how small the work orders are. 

Most of the folks that are using Fusion are doing programming at the machine. So they have a desk, they program, they set up, they run. And then they repeat. 

What we’re trying to do is replace or eliminate the drudgery. The parts of the program, the clicks that are involved that bring no value.”

On the internal reaction so far

“[On CAM Assist] It’s a little bit of a battle internally [to get people to use it]. They’re a little bit afraid of it… but we’ve got several people who are using it every day. In particular, we’ve used CAM Assist to build the tool list in Fusion. We have about 128 tools or so in our library, and those are standardised - so what we’re working on right now is loading the tools in to the various Haas machines so they’re all basically ready to go, and then we’re using CAM Assist to get those things done quickly. 

We’re not at a point where everything’s been completely solved. But I think there’s a very high level of excitement towards the Fusion and CloudNC relationship.“

On the potential impact for the industry

“The thing that I try to tell people is that where [CAM Assist] is really gonna make an impact, is you can have someone buy a machine tool, not know anything and have a really good idea for something, and be able to model it. And then [with CAM Assist] they could be making their own product… and I think it’s going to be something that’s really going to change the industry. 

Theo (CloudNC co-founder) talks about making CNC machining the same as a 3D printer, and I think that’s what it will be. The printer is cool, it’s fun. I want the thing that it makes. Ultimately if you think about it, the people that we’re making parts for, they don’t care how it’s done, they just want it right. 

On what it means for machinists and job security

“I’m not really concerned about that. I’m not concerned about jobs going away. I feel like people are going to adapt and change, which is natural.

If a company does not adapt and adopt this technology, someone else will - and it will be difficult to defeat the competition without these amazing tools.

I think we’re on the precipice of a lot of really exciting changes, and I think if people get out of their own way, I think they’ll be able to see that.” 

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