Birmingham, UK - Delcam plc's software has been used by Californian motorcycle accessories group Corbin-Pacific Inc. to slash development time for products.
The benefits for Hollister-based Corbin-Pacific of new reverse engineering and five-axis machining equipment, together with Delcam's CADCAM software, were seen right across the company's range of customised, hand-made designs for saddlebags, fairings, back-rests and other accessories, said a Delcam statement.
Previously, completing the models and making moulds after the initial design work took four weeks, but this has been cut to one week using the new approach, in which design data is captured as a cloud of points within Delcam's PowerINSPECT software. The process uses a Perceptron laser scanner fitted to a 7-axis Romer portable co-ordinate measuring machine.
Delcam's CopyCAD reverse engineering program is then used to convert the points into surfaces that are passed into the CAD system, PowerSHAPE, for the addition of any extra details and to generate parting lines for the master models.
Finally, the completed designs are imported into Delcam's PowerMILL CAM system to generate programs for Corbin's new Diversified Machine Systems five-axis router. Completing the models and making the moulds takes only one week.
Tom Corbin, chief operating officer used a simple test. "We gave a left-hand saddlebag from one of our shapers to Jerry Saunders from our local Delcam reseller, Vizion, and told him to duplicate it for us," he said. "His team did it right in front of us, almost in real time.
"Scanning is 75 percent faster than the hand methods we had been using," said Corbin. "Those methods, plus the time needed to find and train designers, had sharply limited our growth. The new tools have really empowered the company to become more imaginative, to create more exquisite, more finely-detailed new products," he added.
Corbin-Pacific can also make more new products for smaller markets. "We can now do much shorter runs and still make money," Tom Corbin explained. "Not long ago we needed thousands of pieces for a good market. Now even 300 to 500 pieces is very attractive to us."