Bigger and better
Many years’ experience with Delcam software is encouraging Moorland Toolmaking to take on progressively larger projects at the company’s 1,600 sq. m. centre in Batley, UK. One recent example was the compression tooling for the door of the stylish new Klixฎ drinks vending machine developed by Four Square in partnership with the company. This weighed around 10 tonnes.
Using a plastic composite offered a number of advantages over the conventional metal door. Manufacturing in metal would have required very much more expensive press tooling. The plastic composite is just as strong and will be better able to withstand vandalism. Using plastic allowed the complete door to be produced as a one-piece moulding, with all the internal features, such as brackets and clips for circuit boards, moulded in. This gave much reduced assembly costs to the customer.
The work at Moorland started from a CAD file sent by the customer. The external surface presented few problems but the internal details had to be altered considerably to make it possible to mould the door efficiently. PowerSHAPE made it easy to modify the design. Moorland held regular discussion meetings with the client and could quickly incorporate changes into the CAD model.
The company had recently upgraded to faster computers as part of its "Investment in Technology” programme. With the size of the initial CAD file, it was feared that the project might run into trouble. However, with PowerSHAPE running on the new hardware, everything went smoothly. Similarly, the production of the cutter paths in PowerMILL did not cause any problems. The success with this project led to orders for several more tools from Four Square.
Another example of Moorland’s positive experiences with new technology was a contract from Bosch/Atco for a range of tooling for components to be moulded by Yorkshire Moulds for the 30 GSD strimmer. Most of the individual mouldings included some very complicated 3D surfaces. Even so, one of Moorland’s PowerMILL programmers was able to generate all the toolpaths needed to machine the finishing electrodes over one weekend. Machining could then be started immediately so that the complete tooling programme could be finished efficiently and on time.
Again, a combination of close partnerships – with Bosch/Atco, Yorkshire Moulds and Delcam – allowed Moorland to produce the required high-quality results needed to ensure customer satisfaction.