Boeing 777 sealing success for Delcam

Delcam customer Tower Tools, a specialist in moulds for rubber products, has recently completed its largest project using PowerSHAPE design software and PowerMILL CAM system.

The project was tooling for the cargo-door seal of the freight version of the Boeing 777. The seal measures three by three metres square, and has a small and variable cross-section. Myles Ball, managing director at Tower Tools first invested in the software in 1998 after speaking to a company that had decided on a cheaper CADCAM package. "The owner told me that he had made a big mistake and that he wished he had paid the extra for the Delcam system," remembered Mr. Ball. "From that moment, I knew I had to have Delcam software. The demonstration convinced me; the software seemed to be far more intuitive than the other packages I'd seen." Comments from a Delcam user were important when new engineering manager, Andy Lowe, arrived at Tower Tools and began using the PowerSHAPE design software. "I found PowerSHAPE to be very different from the system I had used previously," he explained, "but a subcontract draughtsman that we used told me it was the best system for tooling design so I stuck with it. Ironically, I became so much more productive once I got used to the different way of working that we didn't need to subcontract as much of our design work." "The flexibility of the software is important to us," added Mr. Ball. "For some projects, we are supplied with a fully-detailed CAD design of the seal so we use PowerSHAPE just to create the mould. At the other extreme, we can be sent drawings of two adjacent parts and are told to create something to fill the gap between them so we need to design the seal from scratch. PowerSHAPE also makes it very easy to make checking fixtures from the tool designs."