Delcam announces 25,000th customer


Delcam Chairman, Peter Miles, presented Jason Metzger of JR Automation with a plaque at the company’s recent North American Technical Summit held at Methods Machine Tools in Sudbury, Massachusetts

Delcam is pleased to announce that the company recently added its 25,000th customer, JR Automation Technologies, LLC, a special machine developer based in Holland, Michigan.  The order was for six seats of the FeatureCAM feature-based machining software.

JR Automation was founded in 1980 and has grown to become one of the leading special machine companies in the Mid-West USA, with an annual turnover of more than $40 million.  Today, more than 160 employees occupy a 120,000 square foot facility in Holland, Michigan.  JR designs and builds lean manufacturing systems, for metal welding, assembly, testing, fabric wrapping and material handling, including robotic welding and assembly solutions.  Its customers include some of the world’s leading automotive, consumer goods, and office furniture manufacturers.

The decision to use FeatureCAM in place of JR’s previous manufacturing software was prompted by the arrival at the company of Fabrication Manager, Jason Metzger.  He had first purchased FeatureCAM some three years previously while working for a smaller automation firm.  At that time, Mr. Metzger had undertaken a very extensive search of the CAM software that was available and affordable for his company.  He selected FeatureCAM because of its compatibility with the company’s design software, its ease of use and its robustness for both 2D and 3D machining applications.

In December 2007, Mr. Metzger moved to JR, where he was tasked with improving his new employer’s manufacturing processes.  One of his first discoveries was regular bottlenecks in converting the machine designs into manufactured parts because the NC programs were taking too long to create.  Furthermore, the toolpaths were not very efficient so machine tool productivity was suffering. 

With his previous experience of FeatureCAM, Mr. Metzger was convinced it could provide a more efficient solution so he arranged a demonstration for JR’s Purchasing Manager Joel Cooper and the company’s programming team.  This soon made it clear that FeatureCAM was a much more efficient product, not only compared with the program the team was currently using but with the supplier’s recently-acquired specialist machining software as well.  An obvious advantage was the ease of use of the FeatureCAM software.  This was in marked contrast to the existing software, which was complicated to learn and to use.

JR now has a seat of FeatureCAM next to each machine tool control in its manufacturing cell.  This provides easy monitoring of the machine, while the operator is programming the next part.  The expected time savings have quickly been realised.  "With the advanced feature recognition in FeatureCAM, programming time on the plate components for our machinery has been reduced from an hour to 20 minutes or less,” reported Mr. Metzger.

To find out more about how JR Automation uses Delcam software, go to http://www.delcam.tv/JR_automation