Delcam Michigan firm switches to single machining software

Editor: Barbara Schulz

UK – Employing a variety of machining software can lead to time-consuming staff training and maintenance needs. Now a Michigan-based manufacturer of large components has implemented a single software regime for its production process with promising results.

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Paragon produces accurate, large tooling and components and worked with Delcam to create an integrated mechanism for optimising 5-axis positioning.
Paragon produces accurate, large tooling and components and worked with Delcam to create an integrated mechanism for optimising 5-axis positioning.
(Source: Delcam)

Paragon, which is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, US, is best known for producing very large, and very accurate, tooling and components. The company serves a variety of industries, including automotive, heavy truck, oil and gas, aerospace, defence, marine and nuclear. This diversity has been an important part of the company’s approach. “We can cross-pollinate ideas from different projects,” says Paragon President, David Muir. “What we learn in one industry, like aerospace, we’re able to apply in injection moulding or vice versa, or even in compression or hydro-form tooling.”

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In contrast, a diverse range of programming software used to be a major problem. “We had too many software programs on the machine floor,” remembes Muir. “That problem was causing a lot of inefficiencies with our training and the ability for our staff to move from one station to another. We explored the idea of looking for only one software program across the whole shop and decided on Delcam.” But the decision wasn’t only about the nature of the software. “Delcam brought us a willingness to listen to what our company needed,” says Muir. “Most of the competitors told us ‘This is how it’s going to be’ but Delcam says ‘What can we do to make your business more profitable?’ We needed more customised input and, instead of being the traditional software vendor that pushed back and tried to for us into its product, Delcam gave us direct access to their development team.”

“Delcam has been giving us regular training on site,” adds Andrew Samrick, Vice President of Manufacturing. “We were able to move from zero knowledge to a better cost performance in less than six months. We’ve got some great ‘mad scientists’ who can think up these incredible things. Powermill has helped us to take their focus off the day-to-day issues and to begin to look forward. The type of equipment that we build is among the largest of its kind but that’s simply a stepping stone towards being able to build more custom solutions for specific customer needs.”

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