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Delcam will preview the latest version of its PowerMILL CAM system at the JEC exhibition to be held in Paris in March.
Enhancements of particular interest to the composites industry will include a wider range of five-axis machining strategies, improved point distribution within toolpaths to give smoother machining and better surface finish, and faster calculation times for larger components or tooling.
While Delcam’s software is best known for its applications with injection moulded plastics products, it is also used for the design, manufacture and inspection of composites. For example, PowerMILL has been added to the software used by the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC with Boeing), a joint initiative by the University of Sheffield and global aircraft manufacturer Boeing with a mission to create a Centre of Manufacturing Excellence for the aerospace industry.
Professor Keith Ridgway, Research Director leading the AMRC, commented, “We have a range of equipment for five-axis machining of complex components in the most demanding aerospace materials, including Cincinnati H5-800XT and Starrag ZT1000 machining centres. We will be using Delcam’s PowerMILL CAM software to program these machines as part of our attempts to push the boundaries of all aspects of machining difficult and exotic materials.”
“One of our major projects at the AMRC is to build a complete ‘aerospace factory’ to test new research techniques in a real world environment and introduce advanced, efficient and effective manufacturing processes,” added Professor Ridgway. “We are looking forward to working with Delcam to develop the next generation of intelligent machining software for this project.”
In the marine industry, Delcam’s software has been adopted by Karnic Powerboats in Cyprus, even though no-one at the company had any previous experience of CAM or CNC machining. “PowerMILL enables you to machine shapes down to a fraction of a millimetre accuracy,” claimed Nicos Karaolis, Karnic’s Managing Director. “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. “On average, we can produce tooling in half of the time required with traditional methods.”
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