International manufacturing technology company, Jaivel, has used Delcam’s PowerMILL CAM software to generate programs for the machining of more than fifty parts for the Bloodhound SuperSonic Car project. Bloodhound SSC, which is powered by a combination of a Rolls Royce jet engine and a rocket, aims to set a new world land speed record of 1,000 mph in South Africa next year.
Staff at Jaivel, which has grown over almost twenty years into an international supplier of technology solutions for advanced manufacturing, are more used to working in the aerospace industry. The company has played a key role in the manufacture of parts for some of the world’s largest commercial aircraft.
However, the company has also a strong background in other sectors including medical, Formula 1 and energy. Managing Director, Vipul Vachhani, explained, “I had worked in the Indian aerospace industry since leaving university so, when I started my own company in 1998, I wanted to continue in that sector. I soon realised that it was much too early to build a business in aerospace in India so diversified into providing design and manufacturing services for other engineering sectors. Equally, I found that using manual programming was limiting the projects we could undertake so, in 2001, I decided to invest in a CAM system. The system that I had used in my previous job was no longer available and PowerMILL seemed to be the only software that offered the same level of flexibility.”
The optimal balance of automation and flexibility still remains the main benefit of using PowerMILL. “PowerMILL incorporates a lot of automation which makes programming faster and the software usually gives the toolpaths we need,” claimed Mr. Vachhani.
PowerMILL has also allowed Jaivel staff to customise the software for common applications. One example uses a combination of Excel and PowerMILL to generate plunge milling routines for complex blisks with limited space between the blades.
By 2004, the business in India was growing well but Mr. Vachhani still had ambitions to expand within the aerospace industry. “The Indian industry remained very small so I decided to open an office in the UK to be closer to aerospace customers there. I choose Mansfield because it was a central location near to Derby, the home of Rolls Royce,” he said.
Jaivel now uses PowerMILL in both the UK and India. More recently, the company has added FeatureCAM to provide programs for turn-mill equipment. Jaivel became involved in the Bloodhound SSC project after being asked to develop programs for one of its customers that was making some parts for the car. Over time, its role expanded to more than fifty components, the most complex being parts for the car’s gear box.
The work on Bloodhound SSC has highlighted another strength of PowerMILL – the quality and flexibility of its post-processors. Involvement with Bloodhound SSC helped Jaivel to raise its profile, initially in the UK but now in India as well. The country’s media is starting to make enquiries since Jaivel is the only Indian company involved with the car. A growing track record of other successful projects is also helping to bring in more business.
As well as producing toolpaths for new components, Jaivel is also being asked to revisit the programs it developed for some of its earlier projects. The demand for year-on-year cost reductions is prompting requests for more efficient tooling or newer strategies to be used. While it is more unusual for the machine tool to be changed, this is now happening in some cases where the original equipment purchased for the project is getting older.