Product Details Supplier Info More products

When GE Precision Engineering (GEPE) was awarded a contract with an F1 engine manufacturer to produce CAM covers from solid billets, it purchased Hypermill CAM software from Open Mind Technologies.

GEPE works with manufacturers of radar systems, engines for unmanned automated vehicles (UAVs), the ‘Ultra Boost’ engine project, Norton motorcycle engine projects and a reverse-engineering and manufacturing project for English Premier Shotguns.

‘The English Premier Shotgun project is a good example of how we reverse engineer products, with each part being assessed with respect to its form, fit and function,’ said technical director Scott Bredda.

‘Ultimately, the aim is to replicate and, where applicable, improve the design, manufacturability, material and cost,’ he said.

‘Hypermill has been invaluable in the huge production-engineering exercise that has taken place,’ Bredda added.

‘Regarding the UAV project, again Hypermill is being used extensively in the production engineering of all the engine components,’ he went on.

The Ultra Boost project is another example of where GE can exploit its design and manufacturing expertise.

The intention is to produce a demonstrator engine that will use advanced pressure-charging techniques, together with an advanced combustion system to realise a downsized engine concept that returns diesel-like fuel economy with gasoline levels of engine refinement.

In addition to any design work, GEPE will manufacture the prototype connecting rods, pistons, cylinder head and inlet system components.

GEPE’s production technology sees the company retain a considerable customer base in the motorsport industry, with GEPE manufacturing small batches, prototypes and chassis work for F1 teams with larger production runs for Norton motorcycles running alongside the prototype work.

The first seat arrived in April 2009, with additional seats following in June 2009 and September 2010.

The toolpaths of Hypermill drastically improve the surface finishes and overall component quality while the programming times are significantly reduced,’ Bredda continued.

‘Hypermill is a million times easier to use than the previous package,’ said shop-floor machinist Stuart Palmer.

‘It has an extremely intelligent and user-friendly interface that gives the user the maximum output with the minimum input, making complex five-axis jobs simplistic to program,’ he went on.

‘Programming times have fallen by anything from 30 to 60 per cent and, when our average programming time is approximately 16 hours, it shows how invaluable Hypermill is to us,’ said company founder and managing director Garry Edwards.

‘Hypermill also has astounding computation times; this allows you to work on the next cycle while the previous cycle is being calculated – a time-saving benefit not available with most packages,’ he added.

‘It offers complete finishing cycles for all surfaces, whereas other packages have a cycle for horizontal machining and another for vertical machining, prolonging the programming times,’ Edwards continued.

‘Hypermill also offers shorter program lengths with less code by condensing outputs, such as incorporating radii into G2 and G3 codes,’ he said.

‘As well as prototype work, we now have a production cell machining 40 sets of Norton crankcases and cylinder heads per week,’ he explained.

‘With its port machining strategy, Hypermill makes port and exhaust machining simplistic,’ Edwards added.

‘It requires less effort to resolve tool paths, improves cycle times and makes the prove-out process faster – reducing the burden on our production-engineering department,’ he said.

Open Mind Technologies

OPEN MIND Technologies AG is a leading developer of CAD/CAM software and postprocessors for designing and manufacturing complex moulds and parts. OPEN MIND offers an extensive range of products, from 2D feature-oriented solutions for milling standard parts through to software for 5axis simultaneous machining. With their hyperMILL software, which is used in the automotive, tool and mould manufacturing, mechanical engineering and aerospace industries, OPEN MIND Technologies AG is represented in all the important markets in Asia, Europe and North America.  

OPEN MIND’s solutions feature a user-friendly interface and the largest range of 2D, 3D and 5axis modules available to users. In addition, the company delivers a fully integrated product concept encompassing CAD solutions, plug-ins, interfaces and postprocessors that cover the entire manufacturing process from design to manufacture. We take our innovative ideas, long-time CAD experience and milling expertise and create technologically sound CAM strategies. OPEN MIND has made a name for itself internationally as a pioneer in innovative 5axis technologies. What makes OPEN MIND and its products special is the unique blend of computing and production expertise, experience and vision, and international character and individual service. This combination of qualities results in a constant stream of new ideas that help companies optimise their production processes.  

View full profile