The execution of a test-job
In most cases, the request for a test-job was brought to AGIE by one of the sales engineers. Initially these people were only superficially informed about the possibilities of the AGIECUT, this being a completely new technology, whose limits were not yet known. Generally, important information was missing so that the program could not be established or the job could not be produced on the machine. The programmers had to request at the commissioning company or the responsible agency the missing data, of course still via telephone or telex. This could delay the execution by weeks, as the agents did not know what the programmers needed and the requests were like a game of ping-pong.
When all relevant data was gathered, the programming could commence, with plenty of patience, paper and pencils. It was common practice that the completion of the program included several test-cuts in aluminum or brass sheet metal, the checking for accuracy on a profile projector or shadowgraph and the following amendments to the program. Once the correctness of the program was proven, a short test-cut in the real workpiece of the customer was done, to determine the cutting width and therefore the needed path offset. This whole procedure could easily take up one complete work week, depending upon the complexity of the shape to be cut.
The actual sample work was generally done with the presence of the interested customer, not seldom the owner himself or at least a leading member of the company. First of all, the basic functions of the AGIECUT DEM 15 were explained, in many cases accepted rather skeptically than understood. Once this done, the work proper was started, with the raw material furnished by the customer. Whilst the machine was cutting the shape, the rudiments of the programming were explained to the customer, in many cases directly teaching them the whole thing. Programming courses were only introduced later on.
It was not an exception that the customer insisted on sharp corners, to which they were accustomed because the dies they were producing up to then were composed of several segments which were ground on high-precision grinders. The junction areas of those segments were really sharp, and also the counterpart, the punch, could be produced with a sharp edge. It took a while, until the designers of the toolings could be persuaded that an identical and very small radius, both internal and external, could improve the lifetime of the complete tooling.