Portsmouth-based manufacturing group Formaplex, a specialist in high-end automotive injection moulding, machining and composite technologies, has added Delcam’s PowerMILL CAM software for five-axis machining and FeatureCAM feature-based programming system, as part of a continuing expansion of the company’s capabilities. Formaplex has used Delcam’s PowerSHAPE CAD software for many years for the design of patterns, jigs, fixtures, composite lay-up tools and moulds of all types, including injection, RTM and RIM tooling.
PowerMILL will be used to program a new five-axis CMS Poseidon machining centre in Formaplex’s Foxhound Facility. The Facility was set up in early 2010 at a dedicated 14,000 sq.foot premises in Horndean and was an important stage in the diversification of Formaplex’s customer base. The company’s key role in the development of Force Protection Europe’s Foxhound, a light-protected patrol vehicle that provides unprecedented levels of survivability for troops facing IEDs and other threats, has been a fantastic addition to its capabilities. Formaplex was subsequently awarded a contract to supply 200 of the blast-proof pods that protect the crew and passengers of the vehicle with further orders to follow. The focus on machining of composite components for military vehicles at the facility will now diversify into other market sectors within the defence arena.
FeatureCAM has been added to support two Doosan mill-turn machines, one Puma and one Lynx, within the same division, also manufacturing component parts for the Foxhound vehicle. These operate around the clock to produce all types of components in various materials, including steels, aluminium, composites and plastics.
The order was confirmed earlier this month by Ian Wilson, one of the original co-founders of Formaplex and now the company’s Projects Director.