Italian Tier 1 supplier benefits from automated cutting technology

Italian aerospace supplier CAM uses an automated cutting system from Gerber Technology for cutting fiberglass, aramid, carbon prepreg, aramid cores and other materials.
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Based on his confidence in the aerospace market, Michele Miccariello, an engineer with significant expertise in composite materials, founded his own company, CAM (Paolisi, Italy), in 2001. After completing a high level of technology investments in July 2004, CAM began operations in September of that same year. The company continued to expand its technological capabilities, and in 2005, it acquired a DCS 2500 cutting system from Gerber Technology (Tolland, Conn.), which it utilizes for cutting fiberglass, aramid, carbon prepreg, aramid cores and other materials.
   The DCS 2500 is a single/low-ply cutting system featuring high cut speeds (up to 66m/214 ft per minute) and quick acceleration (1.5G). The system is engineered for cutting a broad variety of materials at ±0.1 mm (±0.004 inch) accuracy. The cutter can be configured in two work zones to optimize throughput by allowing cutting to occur at one end while preparation of the next set of materials to be processed occurs at the other end. The DCS 2500 head carries three cutting tools and a marking pen for maximum operating flexibility. The system is controlled by Gerber’s CutWorks software, known for its intuitive and easy-to-use Windows interface.
   Today, CAM is one of only three Italian companies to have received NADCAP certification for composite manufacturing. The company supplies composite parts to The Boeing Co. (Seattle, Wash.) and to Alenia Aermacchi SpA (Venegono Superiore, Italy) for the Airbus A380 and A321 programs, and work orders are expected to increase. The company also supplies fairings and covers to AgustaWestland (Cascina Costa di Samarate, Italy) for the AB412 helicopter program, and it is involved in the redesign of the AB319 body. It also supplies specialized composite tooling to Alenia Aermacchi.
   Miccariello credits the highly versatile cutting system with significantly increasing CAM’s production capacity and saving considerable labor costs during its expansion. “We never thought we could realize a return on our investment so quickly,” he notes. “The Gerber cutting system has optimized our production process by shortening the time previously required for cutting. It also saves a considerable amount of material thanks to its highly efficient software nesting process.” The accelerated R.O.I. has enabled the company to plan additional capital investments, he adds.

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