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Delcam’s CADCAM software has given aerospace subcontractor LSNW (Lofting Services North West) the tools needed to specialise in the machining of challenging materials and complex shapes.

LSNW director Richard Fielding claimed his company had no interest in simple high-volume jobs, preferring to take on more demanding work that other subcontractors would struggle to complete.

LSNW was founded in Manchester in 1996 by two brothers, Richard and David Fielding, in a 1,200-square-foot factory unit.

It has since grown so rapidly that the design office alone is now bigger than the original site.

The company started out as a loft-drawing service, printing sections through designs onto aluminium sheets to act as templates for aerospace customers.

While it is still doing some projects of this type for sheet metal parts and checking fixtures, these are now only undertaken as part of a complete service to its bigger customers.

Now its main focus is larger aerospace projects, plus press tools, moulds and inspection fixtures for the automotive industry.

Fielding bought the company’s first CNC machine to create 3D models in 1997 and this initial investment was so successful that a second machine was added a year later.

At this stage all of the programming was completed externally by contractors, mainly using Delcam software.

Following the purchase of more machines and an expansion into a second unit in 1999, LSNW decided to bring programming in house as more of its projects became CAD-based.

‘Delcam was the favourite when we began looking for our own software, because we had never had problems with its machining programs and also were aware of other companies within our industry sector using Delcam products,’ said Fielding.

‘A demonstration showed Delcam’s to be the most cost-effective and powerful program of those we reviewed, while it also appeared to be easy to use.

‘The salesman was very knowledgeable and we knew it was a British company with a good reputation for support.’ LSNW invested in PowerSHAPE, PowerMILL and PowerINSPECT, plus Delcam Exchange to read in CATIA models.

Ten years since the addition of the Delcam software, LSNW has continued to grow.

In 2004 the company purchased a three-acre site and moved into new, purpose-built, high-security premises in 2006.

Since the purchase of the first CNC equipment, eleven further CNC machines have been installed, ranging from two-metre machines up to four-metre, double-column bridge-type machines, to ensure rigidity during the machining of tough and exotic materials.

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The latest and biggest machine tool purchase was a five-metre, five-axis machine installed in November 2009.

This machine’s post-processers were written by Delcam engineers who liaised closely with the designers of the five-axis head from ISA based in Milan, Italy.

LSNW’s reputation has spread with the completion of a number of high-profile projects, including work on components for JSF and the Eurofighter.

Approvals have been received from Rolls-Royce, Airbus and BAE Systems among others for supply of tooling and components.

Delcam supplies software and services that help manufacturing companies to maximise their profitability by increasing productivity, improving quality and reducing lead times. The company is the world's largest specialist supplier of computer-aided machining software, with its PowerMILL, FeatureCAM, Partmaker and ArtCAM programs making up the most comprehensive range of CAM systems from any developer.

This broad selection allows Delcam to offer a CAM system capable of machining virtually any product, in any material on any type of equipment. Delcam also develops product design, tooling design and quality control programs. The unique Tribrid Modelling approach to design incorporates solid modelling, surface modelling and triangle modelling in a single program, enabling complete design and reverse engineering projects to be undertaken without transferring data between software.

Delcam's Powerinspect offers fast, reliable comparison of parts, prototypes and tooling against CAD data on all types of inspection equipment and even on machine tools. This versatility has made it the world's leading hardware-independent inspection software. Related programs are available for checking machine tool set-up and part location. Delcam software is used in over 80 countries worldwide by around 40,000 organisations, from large multi-nationals to small sub-contractors, in industries including aerospace, automotive, dental, engineering, footwear, medical and toolmaking.

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