Delcam’s FeatureCAM gives faster programming and more efficient machining
Faster programming and more efficient machining with Delcam’s FeatureCAM feature-based CAM software has helped Jonathon Shults of SilencerCo to take on, and beat, larger, more established competitors with his company’s advanced silencer designs.
Mr. Shults, together with his partner Joshua Waldron, saw a very large potential market for top-grade silencers with few competitors. They anticipated a successful future against competitors that are typically large corporations which, by the very nature of their size, innovate slowly and take a long time to bring new products to the market.
SilencerCo, which is based in West Valley City, Utah, launched its first commercial product, the 22Sparrow silencer, less than two years ago. As well as having a unique easy-clean design, each component is made from aerospace-quality aluminium with hard-coat anodizing for maximum durability. Since its introduction, sales have grown dramatically.
The company followed this with a second design, the Osprey. This took just three months from conception to production. "SilencerCo can bring products to market so quickly because we do the engineering, the research, the testing and the manufacturing all in-house,” Mr. Shults said. "Our competitors have R&D staff but then they take their prototype products to outside shops for machining. This takes a substantial amount of time, as there are often several iterations of a product before it goes to market.”
The philosophy at SilencerCo is to use only best-in-class machinery and software. "In order to manufacture the highest-quality products and take them from concept to production in the shortest amount of time, we only purchase the best equipment to run our business,” claimed Mr. Shults. "One of our most important purchases was our FeatureCAM software.”
When the company started up, Mr. Shults was using competitive software. He found that "It was really buggy for our mill-turn requirements and, though we could simulate a part, if there were any errors, the post-processor wouldn’t run. When I saw the FeatureCAM demonstration, I knew it was the package we needed and I returned our existing software to the supplier for a refund.”
When asked "Why do you like FeatureCAM?” Mr Shults’ response was simple – "because
FeatureCAM will do what you tell it to!”
"FeatureCAM’s feature recognition has made it possible to program several prototypes in a day whereas before it could take a day to program one prototype,” he explained. "It has also enabled us to optimise the operations once we go into production to cut down on our machine time. FeatureCAM is easy to use – I can modify a post myself and I can do special coding for our products very easily. This was really appealing to me.”
"As a new company, good service and support is of key importance,” Mr. Shults added. "Delcam provides both and I don’t think that is just because we are close to Salt Lake City where the software is developed. Even more important, we want a supplier that does what it says it will do, with products that do what they say they will do. All SilencerCo’s products live up to this standard and we expect the same from our suppliers. We get it from Delcam.”