Delcam software gives tyre mould manufacturer faster modelling and machining
Since adding Delcam’s Power Solution CADCAM software, QUANTUM Engenharia e Montagens Industriais, a tyre mould manufacturer based in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, has seen three-dimensional modelling times cut from three weeks to a maximum of one week and average mould machining times reduced from five days to three days. QUANTUM uses both the PowerSHAPE CAD software and the PowerMILL CAM system to produce mould tools for a wide range tyre types and sizes – from motorbike to tractor tyres. It is one of the few Brazilian companies using CADCAM technology in the industry.
For most projects, QUANTUM receives a two-dimensional drawing from the tyre manufacturer and first uses PowerSHAPE to create a three-dimensional digital model. "We analyse the CAD model together with our customer’s designer, and discuss any possible alterations to improve it,” explained Sidnei M. Fraga, QUANTUM’s Operations Manager.
Once the three-dimensional model is approved, the next step is to convert it into machining data to produce the mould. Until recently, QUANTUM was using PowerMILL only for positional five-axis machining but now the company has installed a machine with continuous five-axis capabilities.
With this latest addition to its facilities, the times required to machine a typical tyre mould dropped by around 40%. The finish quality has also been improved dramatically and polishing operations eliminated. When machining with positional five-axis, marks on the mould were unavoidable, which was not acceptable in parts where dimensional accuracy is measured to the hundredth of the millimetre. "With the productivity gains generated by both PowerSHAPE and PowerMILL, on average the delivery time for a mould tool has been reduced to 15 days,” claimed Mr. Fraga.
Eduardo Martins, QUANTUM’s Operations Director emphasises that the investment in high technology tools is essential to ensure QUANTUM’s competitiveness and product quality. "Our tools are compared to the highest quality moulds produced in Europe and, at the same time, our prices must compete with suppliers from Asia,” he commented.
QUANTUM was founded in 1986 and now employs around 200 staff. The Delcam software is used in the Specialised Machining Services division, where the shop floor has recently been extended to 2,500 sq.m. Following the investment in five-axis machines, new high-speed equipment is being added. This will also be programmed with Delcam’s PowerMILL.