The Welding Place
Location: Puyallup, Washington
GibbsCAM User Since: 2014
The Welding Place opened in 1999 to build simple and custom ornamental indoor and outdoor railings, gates, and fences. Since then, they expanded their capabilities to include repair services, custom fabrication, and now, CNC machining. To expand their modest machining division, which was used to assist in the manufacturing of our custom "hidden bolt" bracket system for railings and the custom countertop supports used for granite countertops, in 2012 they purchased a CNC milling machine. In addition to small "one off" jobs, they support the camera accessory product line offered by www.robpleasphotography.com.
The tripod head weighs 1.5 lbs. and uses solid aluminum for two L-brackets, instead of tubing with good bearings and nice features. When Pleas had a working prototype, he approached a Seattle photographic store, which suggested changes that Pleas incorporated. The store liked the result, took a few tripod heads on consignment, and soon began carrying them. Later, at an exposition where photographic vendors, buyers and users congregated to view new products, the Seattle store introduced a customer who needed a way to quickly flip his camera between horizontal and vertical positions. Pleas agreed to build an attachment, launching a second product, a folding 5” L-bracket with locking pin, which he has since built in a larger version to accommodate larger cameras. Pleas quickly realized that working with manual machines was not productive. It took nine hours to machine parts for a complete prototype head, and revisions took nearly as long. For production, he would need a CNC, and with no desire to learn and use G-code programming, he would need CAM software. “The GibbsCAM representative was all about helping me, on my schedule, and knew I did not want to waste weeks programming or traveling to a presentation that may not answer my questions,” Pleas said. “He valued my time, drove two and a half hours to my shop and never pressured me for a sale. Very knowledgeable in machining, he determined my needs and even suggested some improvements. He was there to help. For demonstration, he used one of my parts. The software was like their tag line—‘Powerfully Simple. Simply Powerful.’“ Pleas purchased the software in June, choosing to learn it on his own with GibbsCAM manuals and on-line tutorials and relying on his representative for back-up. “The support from him and from Gibbs was fantastic,” he added. According to Pleas, the software changed everything. GibbsCAM opened SolidWorks files directly, and programming was fast and easy. Time-saving features were readily available. He came to rely on the Profiler feature, which allows taking a cross section of a model, anywhere and in any orientation, and moving it to define a toolpath. “For the tripod head, I machine two Ls at a time,” said Pleas. “When I move a cross section of the bracket down a little, I have my toolpath with the click of a mouse. To get the profile around one L, the previous system would take 20 minutes; with GibbsCAM, it takes a minute.”
Mathews Manufacturing Inc.
Location: Sparta, Wisconsin
GibbsCAM User Since: 1995
Mathews Manufacturing Inc., is the largest bow manufacturer on the planet, with product lines for the full range of archery experience, from the young novice, to the competitive shooter and the expert hunter. At its 200,000 ft2 facilities, Mathews manufactures and assembles nearly everything for their products, relying on local shops to provide the few services its 325 employees don’t perform. Competition demands constant innovation and annual product introductions, which translate into demand from Mathews’ manufacturing groups. Key among them is the production shop, now in a new 56,000 ft2 facility built last year and operating with 45 CNC machines.
In planning, they discuss new parts, determine how they are best made, how to hold them, how many sides should be accessible by cutting tools, and whether windows (cutting-tool access holes) should be machined into the fixture, with a goal of minimizing the number of times a part needs to be clamped for machining. Another consideration is ensuring that no tombstone cycles in less than 20 minutes, to provide time for machine operators to load and move pallets and tombstones into place. Timing is important, because one of the benefits of tombstone machining is the ability to have one operator run three or four machines.
Company: Quelch Engineering Ltd.
Location: Uxbridge, UK
GibbsCAM User Since: 1999
For 50 years Quelch Engineering has been based in Uxbridge Middlesex, maintaining a reputation for innovative CNC machining and manufacturing skills across a high technology client base encompassing the Aerospace, Telecommunications, Motor Sport, Medical, Marine, Instrumentation and Petrochemical Industries.
Quelch’s machines are fully loaded most of the time, so not only does VoluMill for GibbsCAM increase their available production capacity, but it helps to reduce lead times and give considerably longer tool life. VoluMill for GibbsCAM allows Quelch Engineering to keep the chip thickness constant and enables them to push feeds and speeds up dramatically. Through a process of machining trials they have found the ‘sweet spot’ for combining tools, holders, fixtures and machining centers, giving them a reduction in roughing cycle times of 400 percent in some cases. Furthermore, the intuitive interface reduces CNC programming times, making it just as easy to program 4-axis parts as 3-axis parts and complete more of the component in one setting. This adds efficiency and reduces costs even more.
Company: Cerritos College
Location: Norwalk, California
GibbsCAM User Since: December, 2009
Cerritos College’s Machine Tool Technology (MTT) program aims to provide students with the practical, working knowledge required for careers in manufacturing.
Students were guided through the modeling, NC programming, and machining of a guitar body, and then instructed on finishing and assembling the guitar. The GibbsCAM educational version is identical to the industrial, so that students employed by industry see no difference from their learning platform, with the same functions, capabilities and features, such as Cut Part Rendering, the GibbsCAM toolpath verification feature, which enabled students to test the toolpath programmed for a K2CNC 3-axis router.
Company: Altech Machining, Inc.
Location: Santee, California
GibbsCAM User Since: 1998
Altech Machining, Inc. is operated with the goal of achieving and maintaining customer satisfaction, as proven by our quality and performance records of our current customers. We comply fully to our Quality Control Manual, which is written in conformance to ISO 9002; 1994.
GibbsCAM’s solid modeler was used to create machinable models, such as the component on the right, for an Airbus A-320 spherical bearing support. The shop’s Mori Seiki MV Jr. completes the final operations on the Airbus A-320 spherical bearing component.
Company: Taylor Forge Engineered Systems
Location: Paola, Kansas
GibbsCAM User Since: December, 2009
Taylor Forge Engineered Systems is a unique design and manufacturing organization that serves the petroleum, natural gas, and nuclear power industries with three manufacturing facilities, all located in Kansas.
Boring, beveling and finishing the dozens of precisely located holes on this Inconel header for a solar power plant was accomplished on a Haas VF11 4-axis mill. GibbsCAM Feature Recognition and Hole Manager facilitated speedy programming of all hole-making operations, in 20 minutes, and a 4-axis machine was required for single set-up machining, repeatability and holding true position tolerances from three datums over the 8-foot length of the header.
Company: Akkerman Inc.
Location: Brownsdale, MN
GibbsCAM User Since: July, 2007
In 1973, Akkerman Inc. began providing tunnel boring machines to meet the needs of the trenchless market. Today Akkerman Inc. sells and leases new and used microtunneling, pipejacking, guided boring andearth pressure balance equipment. Akkerman not only manufactures quality trenchless equipment, they have built a reputation for superior reliability and responsive service.
The screenshot from GibbsCAM’s Flash CPR (Cut Part Rendering) toolpath verification feature depicts the machining of two bearing cage sections.
Company: Weatherford Oil Country Manufacturing
Location: Ventura, CA
GibbsCAM User Since: January, 1995
Weatherford International Ltd. is one of the largest global providers of products and services that span the drilling, evaluation, completion, production and intervention cycles of oil and natural gas wells. Weatherford is a new breed of service company—one that can provide the industry with extended products and services, more efficient operations, more powerful research and development capabilities and greater geographic diversity.
GibbsCAM can create or import accurate representations of all machine tool components, tooling and fixtures, and combine them with models of castings for programming and machine simulation.
Company: Center Rock Inc.
Location: Berlin, Pennsylvania
GibbsCAM User Since: January, 2005
Drill Faster. Run Harder. Work Smarter. That’s Center Rock Inc.’s motto. Their customers all have the same goal - get the job done as safely and as efficiently as possible. More and more are choosing Center Rock products to help get the job done right.
Center Rock manufactures and distributes a complete line of air drilling tools and products. At their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania, they build stock and made-to-order products that are used by leading drilling, oil and gas, foundation and construction, roadway, and mining contractors across North America, Europe, Asia, Russia, and Australia.
Center Rock’s Plan B for the Chilean Miner Rescue was to manufacture a Low Profile (LP) Hole Opener drills – which were produced with machine tools programmed with GibbsCAM – shortening the rescue effort by two and a half months.
Company: TraTek, Inc.
Location: Noblesville, IN
GibbsCAM User Since: January, 2011
TRATEK specializes in providing the surgical community with diverse implantable systems engineered to exceed standards of performance and simplicity of use. Their highly experienced team of professionals enable them to minimize turnaround time by performing all manufacturing processes onsite. This centralized concept allows them to deliver high quality craftsmanship and cost competitive products.
GibbsCAM generating 5-axis toolpath for finishing fillets and radii of orthopedic plate.
Company: KDM Oilfield Manufacturing Ltd.
Location: Nisku, AB Canada
GibbsCAM User Since: March, 2010
The mark of a successful job shop is the ability to meet and exceed client needs, whatever the project on the floor. KDM Oilfield Manufacturing of Nisku, Alberta, went a step above and beyond that when it invested in a new 5-axis machine to help a client get out of a bind. To speed the success of that contract, the company invested in GibbsCAM software, which helped them get up and running on the new machine in short order.
KDM has been serving oil and gas drilling contractors for a little more than four years. The company’s 15 employees, four CNC lathes and 10,000 square foot facility has primarily serviced equipment and built subcomponents for those drilling contractors, working in 4145 alloy steel.
This drill bit was created using the application of a 5-axis toolpath in GibbsCAM. GibbsCAM helped speed the process up when KDM was approached with the opportunity to find a new source for drill bits, as long as they were able to respond quickly to their supply requests.
Company: Sunnen Products
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
GibbsCAM User Since: January, 1997
Well-honed CNC programming skills and automated programming of multi-task machines (MTM) have enabled Sunnen Products Company (St. Louis) to increase production for two of its complex tool families. Sunnen is a manufacturer and distributor of bore-sizing and finishing equipment, engine-rebuilding equipment, and tooling and abrasives for global markets. Its equipment is used in precision industry applications as diverse as hydraulics, cylinder liners, small engines, gears, and oil-and-gas industry components.
GibbsCAM Cut Part Rendering verifies toolpath automatically generated by the custom plug-in. Different colors can be used for each operation, especially when the toolpath wraps around cylindrical parts.
Company: Norfolk Specialties
Location: Norfolk, NB
GibbsCAM User Since: May, 2003
Based in Norfolk, Nebraska, Norfolk Specialties makes emergency-replacement parts for foreign-made, outdated or unsupported equipment in various industries, including medical, food, rubber and steel. For this 14-man shop, a typical job involves reverse engineering a broken component to produce one or two parts with fast turnaround.
Over 50 pounds of material was removed by plunge roughing this 31.5” x 7” x 3” shear cone, in preparation for six subsequent operations. The roughing stage often became a bottleneck, particularly on parts with irregular shapes. With GibbsCAM’s plunge roughing, however, they were able to overcome that challenge. They have cut on-machine time in half and quadrupled tool life.
Company: EMC Precision Machining
Location: Elyria, Ohio
GibbsCAM User Since: April, 2009
As a family-operated precision machining company since 1925, EMC honors the principles behind three generations of success pursued with a steady eye on the future. This fusion of stability and foresight means EMC is a small precision machining company with a huge capacity for turn-on-a dime response. And a healthy appetite for the next challenge.
Programmers at EMC Precision Machining needed only about 3.5 hours to program this part – a braking system component for the heavy duty off-road trucking industry – for its Citizen Swiss machines.
Company: Performance Tool & Die
Location: Detroit Lakes, MN / Lakeville, MN
GibbsCAM User Since: May, 2010
Performance Tool & Die is a leading tooling provider for the automotive, agriculture and recreation industries. They provide blank, form and progressive stamping dies; press brake tooling; tube bend tooling; and weld and machining fixturing.
This pedestal punch is used in Performance Tool & Die’s metal stamping dies and is just one example of where GibbsCAM, with the integrated VoluMill option, has increased tool life, run time and workholding capabilities. Performance Tool & Die uses the VoluMill option for GibbsCAM on 40 percent of the components that they run through their CNC mills. On this particular part, they were able to reduce their run time for the milling operations by 72 percent and the number of tools used by 60 percent and to obtain a better overall tool life for the completed part.
Company: Precise Products Corporation
Location: Minneapolis, MN
GibbsCAM User Since: October, 2009
Precise Products Corporation, owned through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) with almost 100 employees, has been machining parts since its founding in 1956, while retaining several original customers throughout its history, including Rosemount Aerospace and several divisions of Rockwell Collins. Today, almost 100 percent of its work is for multiple aerospace manufacturers.
This featured part is called a shaft, connector extension, and is used in the aerospace industry. Precise Products produces about 50 shaft, connector extensions per year. This part is 11.5 inches long with most of it having a small diameter of .125 machined out of stainless steel. Productivity cycle-time gains were immediately realized using GibbsCAM MTM to drive the Citizen Swiss.
Company: Nash Community College
Location: Rocky Mount, NC
GibbsCAM User Since: November, 2002
Founded in 1967, Nash Community College is a public two-year post secondary educational institution. The Machining Technology program, established in 1989, has but one mission: to provide students with the highest quality of manual and CNC machining in Eastern North Carolina. Currently the machining program enrolls 55 students throughout the curriculum. Students can obtain a degree, diploma or certificate in Machining Technology, as well as a certificate in CNC Machining. From manual to 5-Axis simultaneous machining, NCC provides students with an educational opportunity that is second to none.
Although this brass air nozzle has no industrial use, instructors use it to teach the advantages of 5-Axis machining in the MEC 232 (Computer Aided Manufacturing II) course. Each year, students make ten of these nozzles, which incorporate both 5-Axis positioning and 5-Axis simultaneous machining in a single part.
Company: Bucyrus International, Inc.
Location: South Milwaukee, MI
GibbsCAM User Since: March, 2000
Bucyrus is a world leader in the design and manufacture of high productivity mining equipment for the surface and underground mining industries. Bucyrus’ surface mining equipment is used for mining coal, copper, iron ore, oil sands and other minerals. Bucyrus’ underground mining equipment is used primarily for mining coal and also used in mining minerals such as Potash and Trona. In addition to machine manufacturing, Bucyrus manufactures high quality OE parts and provides world-class support services for their machines. Bucyrus’ corporate headquarters is located in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.
This featured part is called a shovel truck frame. It weighs 200,000 pounds and sits atop the machine’s crawlers (tracks) to support the revolving frame on a 495 Shovel assembly. Bucyrus Shovels are used in the surface mining industry; Bucyrus will manufacture 24 Shovels in 2008. The old process of machining this part took a total of 5 operations and 5 days to complete. The current process using right angle heads with GibbsCAM requires only 3 operations and three days to complete.
Company: Big Dog Garage
Location: Burbank, CA
GibbsCAM User Since: December, 2005
Big Dog Garage, is The Tonight Show host Jay Leno’s passion and playground where his crew keeps vehicles roadworthy. The 77,000 square foot facility houses 200 machines, including vintage and modern cars and motorcycles, two stationary steam engines, and a 17,000 square foot shop that includes a full kitchen where the owner occasionally cooks for the staff. The garage also serves as experimental proving ground for environmentally friendly products and practices, testing biodiesel, generating electricity from solar cells and wind turbines, and selling excess power to the grid.
This part is the lower sleeve of a steam governor on an 1831 stationary steam engine, the oldest machine in the garage. In operation, two 15-pound steel ball flyweights hang, diametrically opposed, off the lower sleeve. The original sleeve had been repaired several times, but it kept breaking. GibbsCAM Solid Modeling allowed Big Dog Garage to create a replacement part and make modifications to improve aesthetics.
Company: Cobalt Enterprises, Inc.
Location: Granite Falls, WA
GibbsCAM User Since: March, 2006
Cobalt’s way of doing business leverages standardization – everyone uses the same equipment, software and process. All machines are equipped with the same controls, technology is kept current and maintained, and good people are trained in-house. This approach allows Cobalt to do short-run work and avoid turning away work for lack of ability or capacity.
Cobalt uses two halves of the heat jacket for a transfer press that applies approximately 1,000 graphics to coffee mugs/year. After turning and milling work on the Mori Seiki NV5000 lathe, the cylindrical part is transferred to a machining center for parting into halves and edge finishing.
Company: Star Metal Products
Location: Westlake, OH
GibbsCAM User Since: December, 1996
Star Metal Products is an ISO 9001:2000 Certified manufacturer of complex machined components and products for diverse industrial market sectors. Highly recognized as a leader in the cold-forming industry, Star Metal has expanded its machining capabilities to include products for aerospace, medical, electrical, automotive and other precision machining industries.
This part is a Cold Nutformer Transfer Finger, used for high speed transfers in the fastener industry in thousands of different configurations; all of which are short run lots. Using GibbsCAM allows Star Metal Products to easily program all of the different angles for the transfer finger all in one setup. Last year, the 50 employee shop output more than 39,000 different products. GibbsCAM’s edit-free G-code output made this possible.
Company: Ed Pink Racing Engines
Location: Van Nuys, CA
GibbsCAM User Since: June, 2001
Ed Pink Racing Engines (EPRE) is one of America’s premier racing companies. They have been building, testing, designing and developing racing and high per¬formance engines for over 45 years. EPRE currently is doing development work for Nissan and Toyota along with its normal customer base race engine business. EPRE has always been on the cutting edge of technology in the design of race engines.
This part is an oil pump pressure housing for a dry sump oil pump which supplies the oil to the engine. It’s made in various sizes depending on oil flow and pressure requirements. Approximately 300 are made annually and they are used in all forms of racing that use a dry sump oil system. With the use of GibbsCAM, it’s possible to machine a very close tolerance lightweight part out of aluminum and make it operate at high RPM without failure.
Company: Prime Components LLC
Location: Spring Green, WI
GibbsCAM User Since: October, 2006
Prime Components emerged in 2005, having partnered up with many customers varying from custom car builders to large corporations with a worldwide presence. Using GibbsCAM in unison with the latest solid modeling software and some of the best machining equipment available, has given them the ability to create product’s that meet and exceed our customer’s requirements.
This hood pin plate is a unique design that was created to help customers in the show car industry stand out from the crowd. It is machined from 6061-T65 aluminum, using high speed machining techniques. This part is made in limited quantities of approximately 20 to 25 sets annually. It is part of a hood pin kit available from the Ringbrothers used recently on a ‘67 Mustang named “Reactor” which was awarded the Goodguys 2007 Street Machine of the Year, one of the most coveted prizes in the hot-rod industry.
Company: Blue Chip Engineering
Location: Ramsey, MN
GibbsCAM User Since: June, 2000
Blue Chip Engineering, established in 1994, is a high precision machine shop that covers the full spectrum of machining. Their services include: Engineering, Tooling, 4 to 5-axis Machining, Rapid Prototyping and Production. They manufacture components for industries including medical, aerospace, computer and automotive.
The machining of such a large, thin-walled surface was a great challenge to overcome and this non-functional part has been produced purely for its aesthetic beauty and symbolic meaning behind its design. The three overlapping ripples represent the effects of the recipient’s good deeds. Produced for the arts industry, the prize is awarded by the Ted Community annually at the TED Conference. Each winner is awarded the commemorative sculpture designed by artist, Tom Shannon, featuring a sphere which hovers magnetically in mid-air above a wooden base. The TED prize winners selected are individuals who have used their specific talents to influence society for the better and included in 2007 President Bill Clinton, among others.
Company: APEX CNC
Location: Morgan City, LA
GibbsCAM User Since: December, 2004
Apex CNC, established in 2003, develops highly specialized complex parts produced in single or limited quantities. Combining the latest in CAD software, solid modeling, GibbsCAM, and high precision 5-axis machining, Apex CNC serves a wide variety of industries including undersea exploration and salvage equipment, offshore oil drilling, specialized and custom motorcycle parts, and more.
Machined from Durbar, this cylinder for a Harley Davidson Knucklehead engine was reverse engineered from anoriginal cylinder which was more than 60 years old. Utilizing GibbsCAM, it was possible to modify the design for greater power and performance, while preserving the look and feel of the original. The cylinder is retrofitted to modified high performance Knucklehead motorcycles and is produced in limited volumes averaging less than 100 units per year.
Company: Hickman Racing
Location: Des Moines, IA
GibbsCAM User Since: July, 1998
Hickman Racing is an off-road motorcycle repair, manufacturing, and prototype machine shop. Hickman took a step up and purchased their first line of production equipment in 1997, and has been in business today for 25 years. To keep up with the changing needs of motorcycle racing, they recently added 4-stroke specialty equipment to their collection.
Hickman’s Reed Manifold is used for older CZ motorcycles. The Reed Manifold converts the bike’s Piston Port Engine to a Reed Valve Engine. Used in the industry of Vintage Motocross racing, Hickman uses GibbsCAM software to produce over 50 parts a year. Hickman has programmed GibbsCAM to perform a relief cut, which reduces the number of CS planes used, while producing a taper wall inside the shape of the part.