Aerospace subcontractor off to flying start with OPEN MIND
Already fully accredited, Tml Precision Engineering Ltd has since landed a number of high profile, long term contracts for leading aerospace customers, including becoming an approved Tier 1 machinist to one of the world’s fastest growing aircraft manufacturers. Central to the company’s early success and pivotal to its ongoing growth and investment plans, is the award winning hyperMILL® CAM package.
Providing the all-important link between the CAD models and optimised toolpaths for machining, the company set about sourcing a suitable CAM package. “We were running a ‘budget’ CAM system but in all honesty by 2011 we had reached the limit of what it could achieve and made the decision to change,” explains Mr Dyer. “A few years ago we undertook a two-month trial of both hyperMILL® and one other high profile CAM package.”
“We preferred hyperMILL® particularly for its ease-of-use and superior support, but at the time had to concentrate our investment efforts on machine tools.“
Nell Dyer, Managing Director
An interesting aerospace project at Tml arrived via Kennett Aviation, the heritage aviation experts based at North Weald Airfield near Epping, Essex. The unfortunate wheels-up landing of a Spitfire in France had destroyed the supercharger impeller of this legendary aircraft. After all, the blades on the original impeller were machined straight before being shaped by hand using rudimentary blacksmith style methods and heat. However, Tml stepped up to the plate.
“We were offered the original Rolls-Royce drawings from the 1940s, but to be honest very little was legible,” says Mr Dyer. “As a result we had to reverse engineer an old, rusty impeller and with the co-operation of Hethel design consultancy Active Techno-logies Ltd, who helped generate a CAD model which we were able to import into hyperCAD®. From here, optimised hyperMILL® toolpaths were produced before machining on the Matsuura. Within no time we supplied the Spitfire rebuild team at Kennett Aviation with two replacement impellers made from heat resistant stainless steel S154 to help get the Seafire Spitfire in the air once more.”