Delcam Professional Services has manufactured its first part for the Bloodhound SSC (Supersonic Car) adventure, making the company both an SME Sponsor and a Product Sponsor of the project. The component is part of the steering support column and so is essential in ensuring that the car remains on track during its world land-speed record attempt.
Bloodhound SSC aims to set a new record of 1000mph in South Africa in 2016. Delcam is supporting the project with its manufacturing software and expertise, as well as producing components for the record-breaking vehicle in the Advanced Manufacturing Facility at its Birmingham headquarters.
Several Delcam customers and technical partners, including the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield, are using the company’s CADCAM software to manufacture parts for the ultimate jet- and rocket-powered racing car.
The steering support column was produced on Delcam’s Hermle C50 UMT machining centre, which offers five-axis machining through the incorporation of a trunion for the a axis and a rotary table to provide the c axis. This provides an alternative approach to the DMG, Mazak and Huron five-axis equipment in the Advanced Manufacturing Facility (AMF), and so increases the ranges of processes that can be undertaken and components that can be produced.
As well as providing prototype machining capacity for companies whose own machines are fully occupied with production work, the equipment in the Advanced Manufacturing Facility helps Delcam’s clients to improve their manufacturing processes. These process-development services are attracting increased demand, especially from the aerospace and power generation industries, as many companies now find that their engineering resource is needed to maintain their on-going operations, leaving them limited capacity to introduce new products or develop new processes.
The equipment is also used in testing new developments in Delcam’s software. Being able to test developments on-site on industrial-sized equipment obviously gives Delcam a major advantage in proving out its programs before they are delivered to customers.
The manufacturing expertise gained from the AMF forms an important part of the comprehensive support given by Delcam to all its customers. As well as helping the development teams, the experience gained can be passed on to the support staff. They can use this knowledge to give software users more detailed advice on all areas of their work, including aspects like the best choice of machining strategy and cutter selection, as well as the operation of the software.