Dow Chemical chooses Delcam software for Materials Engineering Center
The Dow Chemical Company is employing key elements of Delcam’s Power Solution family of software products to speed creation of both production and prototype moulds at its Materials Engineering Center in Midland, Michigan, USA. Dow Chemical is a science and technology company providing chemical, plastic and agricultural products, and engineering solution services to customers in 175 countries.
At its Materials Engineering Center, Dow executes complete engineering solutions for new commercial products in the automotive, electronics, recreational equipment and appliance industries for subsidiary companies including Dow Automotive and Inclosia Engineered Solutions. These engineering solutions include product design, engineering analysis, tool engineering, and injection mould tool fabrication.
Engineers at Dow Chemical’s Materials Engineering Center use toolpaths created with PowerMILL to machine complex moulds for products such as this rugged PDA enclosure developed by Dow’s Inclosia Engineered Solutions subsidiary.
Moldmaker Jerry Keel said the MEC is "here to show how to improve product value through design innovation with plastic in a ‘complete solution approach.’ We come up with a solution, perhaps to replace a steel or aluminium part. We’ll get part geometry from an outside customer or create it ourselves, design the mould, and build the tooling.”
Dow acquired Delcam’s PowerMILL, PowerSHAPE, and ArtCAM software to support rapid growth in the MEC’s activity. Over the last two years, the operation’s machining capabilities have grown from two to a total of 11 CNC machines, and its programming staff has grown from one person to three.
In addition to evaluating Delcam products at a tool show in Detroit, Mr. Keel said he also heard recommendations for the software at a Makino High Speed Machining Technology Transfer seminar. Learning the software was not difficult, Mr. Keel said, with its Windows-based interface helping to accelerate the process.
Mr. Keel is impressed with PowerMILL’s ability to quickly generate toolpaths and make changes. "The speed is amazing,” he said. The software’s wide range of machining strategies and options is also a major benefit. He pointed out that PowerMILL provides "so much control over your leads and links. You can helix in, you can ramp in, and you can change your angle or go with the line of geometry. There are a lot more options than with other software, you can fine tune just what you want.”
In all, the speed and ease of use of Delcam software helps Dow Chemical’s MEC serve its customers better. Mr. Keel said, "I believe we are getting our parts out quicker, and our quality and surface finish are better.”