10 March 2006
10 March 2006
Karnic Powerboats, a successful Cyprus-based boatbuilder, has introduced a five-axis CMS PK48 router programmed with Delcam’s PowerMILL CAM system.
The main application of the router is to machine full-scale models of each of the main parts of the hull and super-structure. Composite moulds are then cast onto the models, each mould being polished to a mirror finish so that its high-gloss surface will be reproduced in all the glass-fibre parts it produces.
While the staff at Karnic were expert boat builders, none of them had any experience of CAM or CNC machining before the introduction of the CMS machine and PowerMILL. Even so, according to Delcam they were able to machine the company’s simpler models within three weeks. A few months later, they were successfully manufacturing the most complicated shapes, involving deep recesses that required many rotations of the machine head to finish them completely.
The first benefit of the new approach was better repeatability. “This was apparent from the start when we were using the machine in three-axis mode to cut plywood and other production panels used on our boats,” said Nicos Karaolis, Karnic’s Managing Director.
The high accuracy became even more important as the company progressed to larger, more complex shapes. “PowerMILL enables you to machine shapes down to a fraction of a millimetre accuracy,” claimed Mr. Karaolis. “We can make a large piece, a hull for example, in several blocks which can be joined with a perfect match.”
A reduction in the amount of hand finishing also contributes to greater accuracy, as well as saving time. “We still need some time for finishing but it is considerably reduced,” commented Mr. Karaolis. “The extent of the saving depends on the complexity of the part. On average, we can produce tooling in half of the time required with traditional methods.”