As a result of immediate customer response, the company
decided to acquire its own CNC manufacturing equipment to incorporate CNC machining of foam tooling board, aluminum, and cured composites into its fabricating processes. In February 2012, it took delivery of a CMS Ares 4818 five-axis machining center from CMS North America Inc. (Caledonia, MI) with a large 15.8 × 5.9 × 3.9' (4.8 × 1.8 × 1.2 m) work envelope. The mid- sized moving bridge machining center is designed for machining small to midsized workpieces made from light alloys, composite materials, reinforced plastics, tooling board and wood. Like everything else in this fast-paced industry, Blue Force needed to get up to speed with its CNC manufactur- ing capability as quickly as possible. It selected Mastercam X6 Mill Level 3 and Multi-Axis software from Mastercam/CNC Software Inc. (Tolland, CT) to enable it to substantially reduce tool manufacturing leadtimes and project delivery cycles. The conventional approach would have been to hire an experi- enced Mastercam programmer and train him or her in the in-
Blue Force Technologies’ Plant Manager, Robert Spencer, an experienced Mastercam user himself, was instrumental in helping company’s structural engineer, Blain Echols become a proficient Mastercam programmer in a little over two months.
In aerospace. Part — aircraft engine component Tool— MTSH HARDCUT Mini Mill-Thread Material— Inconel Result— Went from three holes per part to 122 without breakage or rework.
In energy. Part— oil field pump component Material— 4140 steel Tool— H63-9 Spiral Mill-Thread nine flute shell mill
Result— 75% savings in cycle time.
In medical. Part— dental implant Material— Ti6AL4V ELI Tool— SRW Thread Whirling tools