ESPRIT helps Holmatro answer the call for lifesaving equipment

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Emergency responders require the very best tools available to get their challenging jobs done. In critical life-and-death situations, every second matters. Countless fire, police, and other first response organisations around the world count on Holmatro to equip them with the most reliable and efficient tools available.

To satisfy these demands, Holmatro has relied on the ESPRIT computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) system for more than two decades. From the products that Holmatro makes to the manufacturing processes required to complete them, efficiency is key—and ESPRIT fits the bill by allowing them to machine more features in a single operation.

Since 1999, the Maryland, US-based company has been using the CAM system to manufacture hydraulic rescue equipment (like cutters and spreaders), as well as cylinders, plungers, check valves, and more from aluminum, steel, and exotic alloys. Although the Holmatro name is most often associated with hydraulic rescue equipment, the brand makes complex parts for many demanding industries, including railways and energy.

Although the Holmatro team have been long-time ESPRIT users, they’re far from complacent. “We periodically check in with our team to ensure our CAM system is evolving with our needs,” says Chuck Cain, Manufacturing Engineer at Holmatro. “ESPRIT was very good at multi-function machining when we bought it in 1999. A few years ago, we reviewed many other CAM packages to evaluate if we were keeping up with the times. After many demos, we concluded that ESPRIT was still the best choice for us. We ended up adding multiple seats of ESPRIT to our facility in the Netherlands,” says Chuck.

Holmatro’s sprawling US headquarters is home to more than 30 CNC machines, ranging from 9-axis mill-turn to 5-axis simultaneous equipment, mostly made by Mori Seiki and Okuma. This highly specialised company uses incredibly demanding processes to get the job done. “The parts that we manufacture are complex due to the nature of manufacturing parts to such close tolerances. A typical product will have tolerances not to exceed 30 microns. We also have many products with 20-micron [.0007 inches] tolerances,” says Chuck. And because many of their products save lives, there’s no room for error.

Chuck and his team regularly use their CAM system to manufacture new fixtures and program parts on their 5-axis milling machines in record time. “We were able to save approximately 30 minutes per part by utilising a 3+2 machining mentality. ProfitMilling also helped with cycle time reduction,” he says.

In recent years, the team at Holmatro has also been interested in exploring how automation could improve their efficiency and, ultimately, their bottom line. “Right now, our main focus is on enhancing production with unattended machining. We always look for ways to avoid handling parts more than once or twice. We also strive to manufacture complete parts in one sequence of events,” says Chuck. “With ESPRIT, we are able to manufacture the fixture components in a short time.” The software’s  diverse cycle selection and ability to handle any machine is what makes “done-in-one” manufacturing possible.

The team at Holmatro shares a singular vision of improving their product offerings delivering them to the public faster and at a reasonable price point thanks to improved efficiency. “The future of our company is about manufacturing new products and providing our customers with the quality they expect in as few operations as possible,” says Chuck. And “efficiency” isn’t a concept limited to their manufacturing processes. “This philosophy is especially true for our first responders. We strive to provide solutions that allow the rescue team to use the least amount of equipment as possible while still being effective.”

One of the most interesting innovations on the horizon? “Cordless equipment,” says Chuck. “This means no hydraulic lines that connect a hydraulic pump and rescue tool.” Cordless equipment enhances the efficiency and mobility of first responders, helping them more effectively save lives.

“ESPRIT has not only grown since we started using it in 1999, but it’s also helped us grow as a company. With its new cycles, techniques, and software enhancements, we were always generating cost savings. This also increases capacity and throughput,” says Chuck. “We look forward to the end of each calendar year because we know that ESPRIT CAM will be releasing some new or improved version of the software.”

For more information about ESPRIT, contact: Esprit CAM UK Ltd, Floor 2, No 1 Waterside Drive Arlington Business Park, Reading, RG7 4SA, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 118 9756084, Email: [email protected], Website:

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