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German toolmaker Lahnwerk has invested in high-speed mills and five-axis machining centres, plus Powermill CAM software from Delcam, to significantly improve surface quality and reduced manufacturing times.

Lahnwerk specialises in the design and production of casting equipment, including patterns, dies and moulds, predominantly for cast metal components for cars and utility vehicles.

The company’s milling area encompasses 25 CNC machines, including the latest C40 and C50 five-axis machines from Hermle, plus a three-axis RXP 1200 from Röders.

Twenty-three engineers design the casting equipment in 3D using Catia, Creo Elements and NX software. Programming with Powermill takes place both in the office and on CAM workstations located directly adjacent to the machines.

The decision to move to Powermill software was reinforced by the company’s shift to five-axis machining because a recommendation to use Delcam also came from Hermle.

Another recommendation came from Aura, a specialist in the production and sale of high-quality milling tools, drills and clamping devices for the construction of tools and moulds, which are used at Lahnwerk.

Key application benefits

  • Burkhard Dersch, operations manager at Lahnwerk, said the decision to start using a new CAM system was not easy. However, as he explains, ‘the results are extremely impressive’ and he is ‘delighted’ that the company is programming the new machines with Powermill.
  • Dersch added that Lahnwerk is now able to mill extremely complex surface forms in a time and to a quality that it would never have dreamed of previously.
  • On top of the benefits of five-axis machining, Daniel Werner, head of mechanical production at Lahnwerk, has been impressed with the ability of Powermill to handle very large file sizes. These can grow to the two-digit gigabyte range when working with complex surfaces, yet the Delcam software processes them without difficulty.
  • Powermill supports fully simultaneous fie-axis drilling, which is equally vital to the everyday production processes at Lahnwerk.

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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