The aircraft conversion market has been pretty hot in the past few years. Applied CAx recently had the great opportunity to meet with Altech, one of our FEMAP support customers focusing on aircraft conversions and aviation MROs (maintenance, repair, and overhauls).

Helping to convert commercial passenger planes into cargo planes, Altech refines the specs for removing all the seats and making sure cargo doesn’t go careening into cockpits, potentially injuring and incapacitating the crew. The industry has undergone rapid growth and shifts in the last few years, with the major players converting previously overlooked plane types such as Boeing 737-700s and Airbus A320s and A321s.

Applied CAx is excited to announce we are now an approved provider of Simcenter STAR-CCM+. Much more than just a CFD code, STAR-CCM+ is a complete multidisciplinary platform for the simulation of products and designs operating under real-world conditions.

Our CAE team is very familiar with STAR-CCM+ and CD-Adapco from our consulting work through Predictive Engineering. The team is excited at this opportunity to help your company see potential design & workflow enhancements from STAR-CCM+. Potential solutions cover a wide range of physics and engineering disciplines, including:

  • Fluid dynamics
  • Solid mechanics
  • Multiphase and particle flow
  • Acoustics
  • Heat transfer
  • Reacting flow
  • Electrochemistry
  • Rheology

With this acquisition in 2016, Siemens PLM Software showed their strong investment in high-quality CAE tools. Interested in learning more? Please contact our CAE sales team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How Applied CAx Boosted Efficiencies for a Top Aerospace Supplier

Crunching the numbers on CNC programming time

chart v02“Don’t turn off the machines.” That’s a sign that could be posted across the Pacific NW. When a shop is making aerospace parts in a multi-state operation, the manufacturing team doesn’t get to stop and analyze their methods. But recently Applied CAx helped a great team do just that with a focused site review.

We didn’t just guess in the dark. We crunched the numbers on potential labor and programming hours they could save along the way. Our review team spent the day capturing their processes and set up a high-level overview of their issues.

Over half a dozen CNC programmers and manufacturing engineers led us on a tour of their customized 5-axis machines. With an operation split across the west, there were some overarching processes, but each operation had its own programmers with their own culture.

Since then our 3-phase plan has identified the areas where automation development, training, and mentorship can get them to a better place.


PHASE ONE: Process Audit

In phase 1, we audited internal programming, setup and data integrity. We found large swaths of areas where NX is being used inefficiently and found the following numbers:

Discover a great opportunity to get hands-on with NX CAM. Learn how the complete CAM solution for machine tool programming, post-processing and machining simulation can maximize your performance.

NX CAM provides a wide range of functionality, from high-speed machining, 5-axis milling, robotics to additive manufacturing. Learn how you can address many tasks with one system. The trial version of the software provides:

  • Advanced capabilities to create NC programs for 2.5-axis and 3-axis milling applications
  • Access to step-by-step workflow tutorials within NX CAM
  • Latest CAD technology to create, prepare and import part models for NC programming
  • Integrated NC program verification
  • Postprocessor to customize the output for your CNC machine tools
  • Access to the NX Manufacturing community to join the conversation and learn from experts


JK Machining has been cranking away out of Kalamazoo, Michigan since 1980. The company makes high-production molds designed for 1 million+ cycles, churning out AC outlets, trim bezels, cup holders and other automotive interior components as well as molds for the medical device industry.

These customers expect high quality, better mold-parting lines, better finishes, tighter tolerances, and reasonable costs. Most of all, they want it fast. President of JK Machining, Henry Kalkman, told Modern Machine Shop magazine that his company used to have a 18-22 week window to make a mold.

“Now that’s down to 10 to 12 weeks,” he says. “All of our customers want to get to market faster. Offshore moldmakers have an advantage in cost, and are bringing up their level of quality. They are our main competitors.”