Oct 19, 2011

Delcam software supports Triangle Tool Corp's move into large part machining

Triangle Tool Corp. has strategically positioned itself as a leader in moulds for large plastic parts and has always used Delcam’s PowerSHAPE CAD system and PowerMILL CAM software exclusively. When the company added large-part machining to its repertoire of services, Triangle once again put Delcam to the test, and the software supplier passed with flying colours.

Triangle Tool is a 130-employee company in Milwaukee that produces moulds of all types for many of the country’s most recognisable names in home appliances, agriculture, consumer products and returnable packaging. It also manufactures custom components, castings and forgings for the aerospace, energy and transportation industries.

To meet the demands of its customers, Triangle Tool has made capital investments in machinery and space. The company purchases new machines on an annual basis to ensure it has the latest technology, to improve its efficiency and to meet market needs.

“Because we have specialised in large products, it is common for steel blocks or forgings to weigh greater than twenty-five tons and need multiple, precision operations for each piece,” explained Daniel Gouge, Triangle Tool’s Technical Sales Engineer. “Most companies would find this type of work intimidating but Triangle Tool has specialised in large parts to become one of Wisconsin’s strongest businesses. Not many companies have the capability to handle twenty such pieces at once but this is commonplace for us.”

Using PowerMILL and PowerSHAPE has played a vital role in the company’s new specialty-machining niche. “We have used Delcam software for years because of the company’s commitment to innovation and to the optimisation of the machining process,” stated Triangle Engineering Manager, Mark Pitzen. “Every mould, forging or casting that Triangle Tool machines is fully programmed, paths verified and machined using Delcam products. For our specialty-machining business, we use Delcam to program all of the intricate shapes and details. The versatility for both sides of our business has been instrumental in us being competitive and winning work.”

Mr. Pitzen pointed out that, years ago, a mouldmaker would have to have multiple CAM systems in-house to handle different jobs but this isn’t the case with Delcam. “Delcam has perfected its product to the point where there isn’t anything we can’t machine with efficient cutter paths,” he noted. “Because it is so capable, we don’t have the additional costs of having other CAM systems in-house. The learning curve is minimal with the software. Many shops won’t make the investment in a do-it-all software, but we did and Delcam makes programming and machining very cost-effective.”

“When we started our specialty-machining division, we didn’t know if we needed additional CAM capabilities,” Mr. Pitzen continued. “Delcam told us to put the software to the test and the systems have excelled in all areas of machining of castings, forgings and other components.”

“Anyone can buy a five-axis machine but, if your software is limiting your ability to maximise the productivity of the machine, the investment won’t be worth it,” Mr. Pitzen explained. “Because Delcam was with us early on in the five-axis era, we have been able to test the software and provide feedback. Delcam has been responsive to any areas where we saw potential for improvements and made the necessary upgrades to help us machine more efficiently. These regular updates make the product the most robust in the machining industry.”