Until recently, Interform Manufacturing had no CAD/CAM capabilities in place. By introducing Tebis to its shopfloor, the company is now achieving the accuracy it had been striving for and is eager to learn more about how the software can benefit other areas of the business.
Based in High Wycombe, Interform offers a complete range of vacuum forming and manufacturing solutions. Established 32 years ago, the company was originally set up to make lawn mower parts, but today it has diversified to offer its services to a variety of industries including aerospace, automotive, marine, retail and TV and film. The company’s services include prototyping, toolmaking, fabrication and assembly and CNC machining. The company has even made props for the Harry Potter, Star Wars and James Bond movies.
With 19 employees and an array of items to produce for a variety of industries the time was right to invest and automate new CAD/CAM processes. There are now three employees working with Tebis on Maka MK7 and Maka KPF machine tools.
The company initially looked at four CAD/CAM systems but Tebis was ultimately the one that was chosen. Tim Spalton, managing director, at Interform explains that Tebis was the most user-friendly and most suited to what he thought he wanted out of a system.
Talking about the improvements Tebis has brought to for the company Mr Spalton says: “It’s mainly the accuracy we’ve managed to achieve more easily. The software allows us to produce our parts more efficiently and to more accurate tolerances. Before we were teaching the parts by hand on to the machines and this meant we couldn’t hold the tolerance of the drawings.”
Mr Spalton’s experience of the support and service given by Tebis so far is positive: “We are really happy with the service we have received. We have had some training which has been useful as none of us had any experience of CAD/CAM. In terms of support, whenever we have had a problem we have contacted the Tebis engineers and it has been sorted for us efficiently and quickly.”
One of the current projects Interform is working on is ‘Bo’, described as a social robot with state-of-the-art human/robot interaction capabilities. Working with its developer, Bots and Us, Interform is making components for the robot using Tebis software. Prototypes and parts for the project are being machined with accuracy thanks to Tebis 5-axis trimming capabilities.
Mr Spalton continues: “As our first foray into CAD/CAM, we have found the system very easy to use. As first-time users, it was a daunting prospect but we are surprised at how quickly we have picked it up.”
One of the Tebis users at Interform is CNC programmer Yussef Kelly who uses Tebis on a daily basis: “It’s made my life 100% easier compared to doing the job manually,” he explains. “I used to be at the machine manually saving the reference points but the last six months have been far more productive. We have made all our own jigs and fixtures and we can collision check the program, the machine, the fixture and the part. The surface finishes on the trimming cycles are also much better.”