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TiNi Aerospace, a manufacturer of aerospace components based in northern California, has moved into Swiss machining with a Tornos ST-26 machine and Delcam’s PartMaker CAM software.

TiNi PartMaker simulation

Located in California’s Silicon Valley, TiNi Aerospace specialises in the manufacture of mechanical-release devices for the aerospace industry, based on the company’s specialist Shape Memory Alloy technology. Its products have been used on scientific missions flown by NASA, ESA and JAXA. Underwater applications of the devices include ballast release, buoy detachment, payload separation, instrument recovery and disentanglement manoeuvres on vehicles such as Alvin, the first manned submersible capable of travelling to the deepest regions of the ocean floor.

Historically, TiNi outsourced much of its machining work to shops in the Bay Area.  The company recently decided to bring some of its parts in house. It started with components appropriate for Swiss applications, such as titanium bolts, so that it could turn around small batch sizes for its internal R&D and testing efforts. TiNi made its first Swiss machine a Tornos ST-26. To better harness the power of the Tornos ST-26, TiNi chose PartMaker SwissCAM for its programming.

Key benefits of product application

  • TiNi operations manager David Bokaie said: ‘The challenge we have is achieving tight tolerances at short volumes. We don’t have a long production run to optimise our processes, plus everything is slightly different to the previous job. PartMaker has worked amazingly well in helping us manufacture our designs on the Tornos ST26. Particularly with being new to Swiss machining, PartMaker really helps us tap into what the Tornos machine can do.’
  • As the Tornos ST-26 was TiNi’s first Swiss-type lathe, it was imperative that the company chose software suited to the task of programming the machine productively and intuitively. ‘PartMaker is really easy to use; the learning curve has been awesome,’ said Richard Cosman, TiNi’s CNC programmer responsible for the new machine.
  • With introduction of the Tornos ST-26 and PartMaker into its manufacturing process, TiNi has been able to program quickly and achieve better cycle times.  Cosman said: ‘PartMaker helps us produce a good part the first time, which means a faster turnaround. Parts that we previously would have had to do in two setups we are pushing out in half the time.’

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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