Calling MACH 2008, held in Birmingham in April, the “best MACH ever” for his company, Delcam plc, UK Sales Manager Mark Corrigan reports that this year’s event generated more inquiries, from a higher-quality audience, than any previous exhibition in the biannual series. “We had people queuing up for demonstrations on Wednesday morning,” says Corrigan. “I can’t remember the last time that happened at a UK exhibition.”
Delcam attributes a large part of its success at the show to the broader range of machining software it offers following a series of acquisitions over the past three years. The full range of its CAM systems now comprises PowerMill for high-speed and 5-axis machining, FeatureCAM for feature-based production machining, PartMaker for turn-mill equipment and Swiss-type lathes, and ArtCAM for routing and engraving.
“We could offer software to boost the machining productivity of all the visitors to our stand,” explains Corrigan. “In previous years, we often had to refer people to other exhibitors because we couldn’t cover some applications.”
The highest degree of interest at MACH was attracted by FeatureCAM, according to Delcam. The 2008 version of the software includes increased support for 5-axis machining, more-efficient turning, and an improved tool database with more options for linking predefined feeds and speeds to individual tools. The latest FeatureCAM also features numerous smaller enhancements and speed-ups, plus new and updated postprocessors.
The company’s flagship PowerMill CAM system was a focus of attention as well, particularly because of its recently added options for 5-axis machining.
The PartMaker range of software was shown at MACH for the first time. This package pioneered the use of CAM for complex multiaxis, multispindle machines with its patented Visual Programming Approach, and its latest release features a wide range of improved functionality.
Delcam’s ArtCAM family of software proved popular with visitors whose machining needs are more artistic. The complete range is aimed at skilled artisans rather than engineers, and requires little knowledge of engineering or computing.