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Success Stories
Many of our customers have experienced dramatic gains in productivity and significant cost savings. Take a look for yourself and experience what GibbsCAM can do for you!
Harmonic Machine Inc. - Chilliwack, BC

In 1997, Gerald Neels purchased an older 356 x 1,016 mm (14 x 40 in.) manual lathe as a teaching tool for his sons to learn about machining. It was the first piece of his future shop, Harmonic Machine Inc., in Chilliwack, BC. The lathe was set up to run effectively for repetitive work, and the boys went into production. Gerald’s eldest, Nathan Neels, then in grade 10, continued working in the shop and is now general manager and CNC programmer.

The lathe led to the addition of a turret mill, and in 2000, the shop acquired a CNC lathe, launching Nathan Neels’ CNC programming career. In 2001, Harmonic acquired its first CNC mill, which Neels learned to program with G and M codes. As machines were added, Neels continued to program them manually, until 2005, when the shop purchased GibbsCAM Production Milling from 3D Systems-GibbsCAM (formerly Gibbs and Associates), to speed up and simplify the work. It was chosen for its ease of use and extensibility through addition of modules that integrate into a single interface so users need to learn only new functions, not a new system.

Two years later, the shop added GibbsCAM Production Lathe, which Neels says cut programming time on a family-of-parts roll- forming dies by 80 per cent and cut production time in half. In the past, it took a machinist 10 minutes to program a part with a conversational control, tying up the machine for the duration, and 10 minutes to run it. Using GibbsCAM to do the programming himself, Neels reduced programming time to 1.5 minutes, leaving machine and machinist producing parts. “It’s error proof,” he says. “The customer’s solid CAD model comes into GibbsCAM, and the toolpath snaps to it. I run the program with left and right-hand tools to rough and finish both sides in one program, post-process it, and it’s done.”

Precimax Manufacturing Ltd. - Edmonton, AB

Edmonton, AB-based Precimax (precimax.com) is a shop known for doing the work others don’t want to do – awkward precision-machined parts in tough materials. Owners Pete and Dave Kool maintain this reputation for quality complex parts by hiring good talent and allowing that talent to grow by giving their team the independence to program their own parts. They are equipped to do standard milling, turning, and 5-axis machining.

Pete and Dave’s dad, Morris, opened the shop in 1976 to do this sort of challenging work, and his sons carry on that tradition. “Our success is due to the fact that we built our business on the firm foundation our father created, and the striving to be the best that he instilled in us,” says General Manager Pete Kool.

“We generally work with very difficult materials, and parts that have challenges not only with tolerance but geometries as well,” explains Kool. “The parts are often for the oil and gas industry, but they aren’t parts that are round with a hole in them. Probably ten percent of our work is in 4140 steel. The rest is in stainless steel, high nickel alloys and high temp alloys. The parts tend to be conveyance parts that are used in tough environments.”

WestCoast Cylinders Inc. - New Westminister, BC

Customer service and efficiency should go hand-in-hand. If you are able to turn quality product around in a hurry, it's almost guaranteed your client is going to seek you out for more.

Brad Remillard is well aware of the positive effects this can have on your bottom line. As Automation Team Leader at Westcoast Cylinders, New Westminster, B.C., he has been involved in changing its processes to better manage production demands.

"Basically, I work as liaison between the shop floor and the production group, giving them ideas about where certain products should be produced on the shop floor, and I help them work on process improvements," he notes.

BRC Engineering - Calgary, AB

Every shop wants to stand out from the crowd, differentiate itself in a tight marketplace with a fresh approach to the metalworking industry. Sometimes it works, and sometimes you have to revisit your original ideas.

BRC Engineering is a great example of this. The Calgary, Alberta-based shop keeps busy today doing complex precision parts primarily for the oil and gas industry. But that wasn't always the case.

BRC was founded by Brian Will and his sons Riley and Carter in 1997. Brian had a history of working as a problem-solver for the oil & gas industry, so he'd witnessed the ups and downs characteristic of the industry. BRC was started because the three family members wanted to work together. With the engineering and technical skills the three had, a precision machine shop was the ideal venture. But BRC didn't want to be just another oil and gas supplier because of the volatile nature of the sector.

Redline Machining Inc. - Surry, BC

REDLINE CNC, a precision machine shop in Surrey, BC, has a reputation in the Canadian manufacturing community for delivering quality parts, on time and at competitive prices. At least some of that success can be attributed to its CAM software. Founded in 1998, Redline was soon facing new sales opportunities, tight deliveries, and increased part complexity. With the purchase of a twin-pallet Matsuura RA-3F, it needed a CAM package to program it. Owners Lyle Hystad and Paul Mowat boarded a plane to Chicago and attended the IMTS show. They saw many good CAM systems, but chose GibbsCAM. "Our first machine was an old Hurco BMC-20 with an Ultimax control, so we were already used to conversational programming. We wanted a CAM product similar in function," says Hystad.

KDM Oilfield Manufacturing Ltd. - Nisku, AB

he mark of a successful job shop is the ability to meet and exceed client needs, whatever the project on the floor. KDM Oilfield Manufacturing of Nisku, Alberta, went a step above and beyond that when it invested in a new 5-axis machine to help a client get out of a bind. To speed the success of that contract, the company invested in GibbsCAM software (GibbsCAM. com), which helped them get up and running on the new machine in short order.

KDM has been serving oil and gas drilling contractors for a little more than four years. The company's 15 employees, four CNC lathes and 10,000 square foot facility has primarily serviced equipment and built subcomponents for those drilling contractors, working in 4145 alloy steel.

Rolls-Royce Canada Ltd. - Coquitlam, BC

When a client has a tight delivery timeline, the best companies deliver no matter what the obstacles. Obstacles are exactly what Rolls-Royce Canada's Marine division in Vancouver (Vancouver Facility) faced when it needed to machine, assemble and deliver two controllable pitch propeller hubs for a ferry that was to be in drydock for only two weeks. To make the deadline, the team invested in 3D programming software that allowed them to reduce machining and assembly time by several weeks.

The Vancouver facility manufactures the UML steerable azimuth thrusters, which replace a conventional propeller, rudder and reduction gearbox with an integrated unit that performs both steering and propulsion functions. At the company's facility in Coquitlam, the team also services a wide variety of Rolls-Royce Portfolio equipment – fixed pitch propellers, controllable pitch propellers, deck machinery, steering systems, control systems, engines and other marine equipment.

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