Delcam Aerospace toolmakers invest in 5-axis CAM software

Author / Editor: Peter Dickin, Delcam / Barbara Schulz

UK – The variety of lightweight materials used in the aerospace industry requires CAM software to be precise, efficient and easy to operate. Now a Birmingham toolmaking company has invested in a package that reduces programming time by grouping work steps.

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Delcam’s Powermill has brought many benefits to Hockley Pattern, including faster programming of drilling routines.
Delcam’s Powermill has brought many benefits to Hockley Pattern, including faster programming of drilling routines.
(Source: Delcam)

As toolmakers for the aerospace and automotive industries, Hockley Pattern specialises in the production of composite components, together with all the associated jigs and fixtures for trimming, drilling, checking, assembling and bonding those parts. The company supplies clients such as Airbus, Bombardier, Rolls Royce, Spirit Aerostructures, Triumph Structures, GE Aviation, GKN, Bentley, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover.

Two generations of toolmaking, still family-owned

The firm was founded by Neil and Gareth’s father in 1979 and is now jointly managed by the two brothers. Since moving to its current site in Halesowen six years ago, it has doubled its turnover and increased its workforce to 53 people. The brothers decided to invest in a Mazak VTC 800 five-axis machining centre to expand the company’s existing machining capacity, in part to accommodate a large tooling order from Airbus. They believed the machine would be suited for the complex tooling of a variety of different materials needed in the aerospace industry but were less confident in the capabilities of the company’s CAM system.

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