When a major tooling programme took a serious twist in the middle of a project, Thame based Ak-U-Rite was called in to help camera manufacturer Polaroid meet its delivery targets for the Spice-Cam a new Polaroid camera to be advertised and endorsed by the Spice Girls. Despite the project’s early problems, by using Delcam’s PowerMILL and some of the most powerful machine tools available, Ak-U-Rite managed to produce, within a few days of the original scheduled delivery date, the complete set of mould tools.
Steve Baker, IT director of Ak-U-Rite explains: ‘Polaroid had just placed an order with a company for a set of mould tools. That company was subsequently unable to fulfil the contract, and we were involved in a critical recovery exercise to pull out all the stops and meet a revised schedule.’ In particular, the mouldings had some very complex surfaces which had to be modelled before the tools could be produced.
Ak-U-Rite took all the surface models into PowerMILL for generating the CNC toolpaths. In performing this operation, and in making revisions to the models, the ease of use of the PowerMILL package was described as being ‘a great help’.
Baker comments: ‘As the job progressed we found we were being asked to incorporate design changes. Some of these were even requested after we had started cutting metal. I’m sure that we would not have been able to meet the deadlines without PowerMILL.’