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  • Delcam software helps Dutch company widen its circle of customers

Delcam software helps Dutch company widen its circle of customers

Eric Groothuis (right) instructing an operator finishing a model on the five-axis Zimmermann FZ30

A wider circle of customers was the first priority for Eric Groothuis when he entered the family business in Hengelo, Netherlands. At that time, the Groothuis company was completely focussed on components for machine building, whereas now the firm also serves the aerospace, automotive, petrochemical and other industries. "Looking back, that was an essential change, since the machine building industry in the Netherlands has completely collapsed,” he commented.

At first, Mr. Groothuis’s choice of CADCAM software seemed an equally good decision. The installation of the first system in 1993 was so successful that a second, and then a third, system were soon added. The company was able to take on more complex machining operations, especially after adding five-axis machining capabilities. All was going well until four years ago when the software company was taken over. Immediately, the technical development ceased.

"In short term, we decided to try another package from the same supplier,” recalled Mr. Groothuis. "The promises of the supplier were impressive and so were the demonstrations. Only, the software didn’t work on our parts. In addition, the data translation didn’t work well. With our wide group of customers, we are very dependent on that.”

"At this stage, PowerMILL was a leading candidate but the decisive thing for us was the visit, together with Delcam’s Dutch reseller, Bemet International BV, to the site where the software is developed. Within Delcam’s Birmingham headquarters is a real toolroom that is used to test the software. By using the system on their own jobs, they soon know if it works successfully or not.”

PowerMILL is now used to program two simultaneous five-axis machines, a Fooke Endura 8 and a Zimmerman FZ30 and a three-axis Mecof DGT 1. "The cost of the software has already been recovered through the faster machining it has made possible,” reported Mr. Groothuis. "We have also been able to run simpler machining operations at night and so further increase our productivity.”