Oct 23, 2009

French aerospace manufacturer - Creuzet Aeronautique achieves 80% faster programming with Delcam's PowerMILL

Creuzet changed to Delcam’s PowerMILL to support its five-axis machining.

Moving to Delcam’s PowerMILL CAM system for high-speed and five-axis machining has enabled French aerospace manufacturer Creuzet Aeronautique to cut its programming times dramatically. According to Tooling Department Manager Teddy Kanellos, the company can save between 25% and 80% of the time previously needed, depending on the complexity of the part.

The company, which is based between Toulouse and Bordeaux in the South-West of France, was first founded in 1934 by Robert Creuzet. It has worked exclusively in the aerospace industry since the 1950s and now takes part in all the main European aerospace programmes.

Creuzet operates a range of processes, including extrusion, forming and forging, plus conventional and electro-mechanical machining. The company has become well known for its ability to innovate and to adapt its processes to any specific manufacturing needs, in particular aiming to save weight and reduce costs significantly compared to traditional solutions.

Like many other companies, Creuzet Aeronautique started looking for a more efficient CAM solution when it introduced five-axis machining. A shortlist of five suppliers was drawn up, with two then selected for a benchmark on the typical types of part produced by the company.

"We focussed our investigation on the five-axis capabilities of the various programs,” explained Jean-Pierre Bayle, Production Manager at Creuzet. "This reduced the number of candidates able to meet our needs to two. For the benchmark, rather than rely on the CAM companies’ demonstrators, we allocated one of our own operators to learn each of the CAM systems. This approach showed that the Delcam software was the better choice for us: it is flexible and easy to use, and it seemed to improve the quality of our programming. Moreover, we enjoyed working with the Delcam team.”

Bruno Casagrande, Mechanical Department Manager, explained that the company decided to invest in a complete CADCAM solution by combining Delcam’s PowerSHAPE design software with PowerMILL. He also added: "The features that our users like most in the Delcam software are the automatic and rapid toolpath generation, the dynamic collision avoidance, via the direct connection with Vericut, and the fast calculation times. In addition, they particularly appreciate the speed of the Delcam team’s assistance.”

Mr. Casagrande acknowledged that Delcam software was not the automatic choice for many aerospace manufacturers. However, he quoted company founder, Robert Creuzet, to support his decision: "To be the best, you must be different!”