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Sandvik Boosts CAD/CAM Ambitions with Mastercam

Pat Waurzyniak
By Patrick Waurzyniak Contributing Editor, SME Media

Contributing Editor Patrick Waurzyniak talks with Mathias Johansson of Sandvik Manufacturing Solutions.

Manufacturing Engineering: Software has become more critical for manufacturers in the machining industry. How will the acquisition of CAD/CAM pioneer Mastercam help further Sandvik’s tooling developments?

Mastercam CAM software aids in creating toolpaths and cutting strategies (Provided by Sandvik)

Mathias Johansson: Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) is an important market for Sandvik to enter due to its attractive growth rates and its proximity to Sandvik Manufacturing and Machining Solutions’ core business, allowing Sandvik Manufacturing Solutions to establish a leading position within digital manufacturing. Mastercam will be an important cornerstone in our growing CAM portfolio and a key enabler for us to deliver on our mission to develop and deliver new and innovative solutions that will help automate the larger manufacturing value chain for small and mid-sized manufacturing enterprises.

ME: Consolidation in the CAM industry has intensified in recent years, with many big industry players absorbing CAM developers. How will Mastercam operate within Sandvik’s organization upon the acquisition’s expected completion?

Johansson: Mastercam will continue to operate as a separate business unit within the design and planning automation division in the business area segment Sandvik Manufacturing Solutions. It will manage its own customers, using its established go-to-market model. Mastercam is a well-established and successful CAD/CAM product portfolio, and our goal is to help ensure it can continue growing and innovating.

ME: Partnerships with software companies have always been key to tooling technology developers, especially Sandvik Coromant. Will having Mastercam as part of the Sandvik family change the company’s approach to other software developers, and if so, how?

Johansson: Having Mastercam as part of Sandvik will not change our approach with regard to other software vendors. We intend to keep our open and agnostic approach, with the goal of building and providing solutions that promote and simplify open integration with inclusive collaboration.

ME: What specifically does Mastercam bring to Sandvik in technical capabilities, and how will it enhance Sandvik’s advantages in tooling software already offered to customers today?

Johansson: The acquisition of CNC Software, creators of Mastercam, strengthens Sandvik’s overall position in the digital manufacturing space. CAM has a key role in the digital manufacturing process, allowing us to provide increased automation, which saves time, reduces errors and improves both precision and productivity in the manufacturing process.

Mastercam is a highly intuitive, broad CAD/CAM solution with a very large user base across important segments. The CAM portfolio, in combination with our existing offerings and extensive manufacturing capabilities, will make Sandvik a leader in the overall CAM market measured by installed base. Combining this with Sandvik’s existing tooling software will allow us to improve user experience for the customer and deliver our machining know-how to a greater customer audience.

ME: How is the current business climate looking in the machine tool industry? And how does the 2022 forecast look?

Johansson: Sandvik Group published its earnings report for the third quarter on October 18. The report states that organic order intake for the business area Sandvik Manufacturing and Machining Solutions grew 16 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, driven by general engineering and automotive. While the impact of component shortages on global automotive production has been noted in the business area in the quarter, underlying demand is solid. The business area also saw the aerospace segment continuing to show positive signs of recovery in the third quarter, growing at a double-digit rate year on year. We have not issued a forecast for 2022.

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