Turbocam’s 5-Axis Machining Soars to the Next Level with Synergistic Partner Wenzel America
Innovative engineering requires innovative solutions. TURBOCAM International produces over a million precision turbo machinery flowpath components every year and has been on the cutting edge of 5-axis machining for almost three decades.
Bold solutions, core values & synergistic partnerships
The key components of their story have always been threefold – Bold and innovative engineering solutions for their customers, dedication to their primary mission and core values of helping others, and strategic partnerships with companies sharing similar values and the same dedication to precision and innovation for customers.
Off-the-Shelf CMMs could not keep up with growth
TURBOCAM were early adopters of 5-axis machining which they had used to produce high performance turbomachinery parts in diverse industries since 1992. In 2004 they built a new, fully automated plant in Barrington, New Hampshire. Operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (unmanned on Sundays), the plant could produce over 400,000 impellers a year and the next stage of growth required a new innovative 5-axis inspection system.
“We were looking for a partner that could offer us a full engineering solution, not just off-the-shelf CMMs and canned software,” said Dave Romaine, TURBOCAM’s Quality Manager.
At that time we working with one of the largest metrology companies in the world, but their measuring systems are all closed, black-box systems, with no way for us to innovate.”
Their search soon brought them to Wenzel America in Wixom, Michigan. TURBOCAM’s team knew WENZEL was the world’s largest family-owned metrology company and that they were also familiar with 5-axis pioneers, Renishaw, since Wenzel used their probes exclusively on their CMMs.
Wenzel provides complete engineering solutions
“Coupling our customized milling directly with the inspection process was vital to increasing throughput and quality,” Romaine continued.
“Our engineers needed to be able to code the inspection software. When we talked to them about OpenDMIS and its capabilities we saw a solution that would work for us in all locations and work for our customers, since it was based on the DMIS standard.”
When the TURBOCAM team arrived, they were shown a WENZEL LH87 that happened to be running a Renishaw REVO scanning probe. As 5-axis early adopters they were familiar with Renishaw’s newest developments, but this was only the second REVO head produced, and their first in-person look at its capabilities.
“After the demo and meeting their people, we knew Wenzel America was a company we could partner with,” Romaine explained.
We wanted a measuring machine integratornot just another CMM supplier, and that’s what they were.”
5-axis inspection with LH CMM & 3rd REVO head ever
Partnering with Wenzel America allowed TURBOCAM to use their engineering resources to develop the custom inspection processes they needed as a 5-axis machining company. Their first Wenzel machine was an LH 8-10-7 CMM with the third REVO probe head ever produced. Today, they have more than half a dozen Wenzel/REVO systems in operation.
Family-owned service with global metrology presence
Another key to TURBOCAM’s choice of Wenzel was that along with the personalized customer service of a family-owned company, they were also global. This enabled the Wenzel America team to liaise with Wenzel Group offices in Europe and Asia on Turbocam’s behalf. Allowing them to work closely with the Wenzel America team who knew their business best, and ensure their inspection system and CMM needs were fully met with standardized measuring processes in all of TURBOCAM’s plants.
Today TURBOCAM has manufacturing plants in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and India, with divisions in the Netherlands, Japan, Romania, and the UAE. Only WENZEL machines are used in all their inspection processes of over a million turbomachinery parts per year, creating satisfied customers and over $100 million in revenue for the company.
CMM training at a level no other supplier can match
Another area Wenzel America has outshone any other CMM supplier, according to TURBOCAM, is their CMM training. They helped the Quality Assurance team train and certify their own in-house technician to do ISO 10360 calibration and maintenance of their CMMs.
“What other supplier does that?” Romaine remarked.
It allows us to maintain our uptime and fix most things ourselves with very little lost production.”
Without this relationship we could not do what we do
With parts that fly on the Space Station and in the Delta 4 rocket engine and others that provide boosts for the cleanest and most efficient diesel engines in the world, TURBOCAM has grown from 25 employees in 1992 to over 600 employees across the world today. While the majority of their output is for automotive sector, they excel in various aerospace-related applications and supply some of the biggest names in the industry.
In particular, they’ve recently increased production for one aerospace client exponentially, requiring the highest performance, highest throughput inspection to maintain needed output.
“Without our relationship with WENZEL and the 5-axis inspection processes we’ve worked on with them over the years, there is no way we could meet demand and quality for our customer,” Romaine stated unequivocally.
We’ve worked with them very closely on the software and systems to create blade inspection processes we would not otherwise have.”
More people touched by Turbocam’s Primary Mission
For TURBOCAM, this has meant a level of growth that has allowed them to further their primary mission of freeing people from modern slavery in Nepal and providing education, clean water, and opportunity for over 1,000 children in India, Nepal, and South and West Africa.
TURBOCAM and Wenzel America’s synergistic partnership has helped both companies expand their markets and create products that serve their customers better for more than decade. More than that, it has also helped create far-reaching effects greater than any bottom line. It is a partnership that, for both companies, looks to be only just beginning.
About TURBOCAM International
TURBOCAM International is a global engineering solutions company and world leader in the development and manufacture of turbomachinery flowpath components with over 150 multi-axis milling centers at 11 locations in 9 countries producing well over one million parts per year. TURBOCAM specializes in 5-axis milling, ECM, and DMLS of integrally bladed parts up to 1,100mm, such as: blisks machined from solid forging, axial and centrifugal impellers, turbines, compressors, expanders, turbochargers, pumps, stators, diffusers, nozzles, and airfoil blades for industrial, automotive, and aerospace applications.
For more information about TURBOCAM visit their website at www.turbocam.com. For information about TURBOCAM’s products contact Ollie Sexton, VP of Business Development. For information about Turbocam’s Quality Assurance contact David Romaine, Corporate Quality Manager.