Leading carbon spar designer Southern Spars has invested in Delcam software for its manufacturing operations in New Zealand.
Industry pioneer Southern Spars built its first carbon fibre-reinforced composite spar in 1990. Since then, the company has delivered world-class cruising and racing spars as well as rigging and related components made from composites.
Southern Spars has over 75% market share in Grand Prix race boats and super-yachts with an impressive customer base consisting of world sailing record holders as well as luxury yacht owners.
Southern Spars operates centres in the USA, Europe, Asia and South Africa, in addition to its headquarters in Auckland, New Zealand.
Ease of programming was a key factor in the selection of Delcam’s PowerMILL software by Stephen Young, a design engineer at Southern Spars with responsibility for the company’s CAD/CAM operations in New Zealand.
Having learnt about the possibility of using robots to machine larger components, he decided to replace the manual methods being used for finishing of the company’s composite parts with robotic technology.
Delcam was the only company that could show Southern Spars some genuine applications with the technology.
Mr Young explains that it was important for the CAM software to be instinctive and user-friendly. Additionally, the programming time had to be kept to a minimum since every part being manufactured needed to be custom-designed.
PowerMILL was able to meet the requirements for ease of use as well as for programming speed.
Key benefits for Southern Spars from the PowerMILL implementation:
- Savings from using robot machining in place of traditional manual processes are in the range of 70-80%
- Further savings can be achieved by reducing the programming times
- Substantial improvement in quality and consistency
The next stage in the development is to place the robot onto rails so that some of the bigger components including a 78-metre mast for a super-yacht can be machined in a maximum of two sections.
Camplex is a leading supplier of technology solutions for the design, manufacture, inspection, reverse engineering and rapid prototyping of complex shapes and tooling.
Camplex is an Australasian distributor of Delcam’s range of manufacturing software.