Thursday, March 10, 2011

Belite Makes Significant Investment in CNC and Shop Automation Equipment

We've recently received several new pieces of equipment which we are using to improve our product and enhance our ability to build state of the art ultralight aircraft, such as our FAR Part 103 Belite 254.

We recently installed our new Roland DGA MDA 540 4-axis prototype milling machine.  This incredible machine can take a chunk of just about anything that's solid and convert it into a part.  It loves lexan, plastic, wood, and aluminum.

I happen to be working on many new avionics designs (to be introduced at Sun N Fun) and, as part of that project, I needed to turn a new bezel concept from idea to reality in less than 24 hours.

The new machine performed wonderfully, turning a solid block of Lexan into a bezel.  Here's a photo of the machined Lexan block:

After cutting the part out and painting it, the new bezel design looks like this:

The conversation with the SolidWorks designer started at 9:00am, the new part was out of the machine by 7:00pm.  (The joys of being in a small, nimble company with good design tools and equipment available!)

We've also purchased a ShopBot CNC router for large flat pieces.  New computer equipment and software (EG SolidWorks) complete the company upgrades.  The ShopBot isn't running yet, but will be in the near future.

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