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Pump manufacturer Blue-White Industries has reduced the time required to program custom products by using the feature-recognition capabilities of Delcam’s FeatureCAM feature-based CAM system to largely automate the programming process. In the past, programming parts for custom products took about two days each because programmers had to define and create toolpaths individually for each feature.

Blue-White manufactures metering pumps, flowmeters and water treatment accessories. The company builds custom-designed products to fit customers’ specific needs on a fast-turnaround basis.

It produces its pumps in its facility in Huntington Beach, California, using Mori-Seiki turning centres and Mori-Seiki, Mazak and Fadal machining centres. The company’s engineers use Solidworks CAD software to modify the existing product designs to meet customers’ special requirements.

According to Darrell Freeman, CNC co-ordinator at Blue-White, when the company’s engineers modify a part design, FeatureCAM recognises any changes to the geometry automatically and updates the existing toolpaths. This reduces the time required for programming for a new design to an average of 15 minutes.

Key benefits of product application

  • Freeman — who reviewed more than 10 programming packages before selecting FeatureCAM — said that the Delcam software is intuitive and very easy to learn.
  • FeatureCAM has streamlined the company’s programming process. When an engineer modifies the geometry of a part that has already been programmed, he or she simply imports the new geometry into FeatureCAM and associates it with the existing part program. The software recognises the features and geometry of the new model automatically and associates them with the existing toolpaths.
  • The Delcam software provides the ability to evaluate features in new designs and recommends toolpaths automatically. According to Freeman, nine times out of 10 the toolpaths recommended by the software are correct.
  • The technical support provided by FeatureCAM is said to be excellent. Freeman said: ‘For example, if I need a post that provides a special feature, I can send the details to Delcam in the morning and have my new post back in the afternoon.’

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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