Dec 8, 2011

Delcam prepares for mill-turn CAM bonanza

Delcam is seeing increased demand for software to program mill-turn equipment.

Delcam is preparing for a big increase in demand for its CAM software for mill-turn applications in the coming months. The company is looking to recruit extra experienced staff in this area to demonstrate its systems to potential customers, and to train and support the growing number of users of mill-turn technology.

"Our contacts in the machine tool companies have experienced high levels of sales for mill-turn machines over this year and are seeing continued demand going forward,” explained Craig Chester, International Support Manager at Delcam. "This means we can expect more requests for our CAM software to support these machines during 2012.”

The key benefit of mill-turn machines is that they can produce, on a single piece of equipment, parts that would previously have required a number of separate turning and milling machines. This offers the potential for huge increases in productivity as many parts can be produced in a single set-up, reduced costs because fewer fixtures need to be made, and greater accuracy because parts do not need to be transferred between different machines.

Furthermore, mill-turn machines makes it practical for companies to take on more complex parts that would be too difficult, or too expensive, to produce on conventional milling and turning equipment.

However, many companies buying these machines are unable to achieve the expected benefits in productivity and quality because of limitations in their CAM systems. Software that has been perfectly capable of programming simple milling or turning operations proves to be unable to handle the added complexity both of the new equipment and of the parts that need to be made.

Similarly, many users that have relied on manual programming on the machine control find it more challenging and more time-consuming to create programs for mill-turn equipment. To obtain the full benefit of their investment, these companies may need to invest in a CAM system for the first time. As well as offering easier and faster programming, Delcam software offers the ability to check the program on the computer before it is sent to the machine and so eliminates the need for prove-out trials on the machine.

"Delcam is seeing more and more requests from companies with mill-turn equipment that need to upgrade their existing CAM system or introduce CAM software for the first time,” commented Mr. Chester. "We need more people with mill-turn experience to meet this growing demand.”