Delcam announced that Russia's Rostvertol company, formally the Rostov Helicopter Plant, has become the 15,000th customer for its range of CADCAM software. The sale was also significant as it was one of the largest orders won by Delcam's strong network of offices in the country and is another example of the company's growing reputation in the aerospace industry.
The Rostov Helicopter Plant was founded in 1939 and has subsequently become one of the world's leading helicopter manufacturers. For the first forty years, the company only produced military helicopters but, more recently, it has also manufactured aircraft for civilian use. A further significant change came in 1992, when the Plant was reorganised from a state enterprise into a public limited company and renamed Rostvertol. Since then, it has diversified into a variety of consumer goods including cargo trailers for cars, vans and foldable beds.
Even so, helicopter manufacture remains the company's main activity. Among its current range are the Mi-26T, one of the world's most powerful helicopters, with a payload of up to 20 tonnes, the Mi-28N combat helicopter, the Mi-60MIA light trainer and the recently-upgraded Mi-2A craft for use by police, fire and other civil services.
As with many Russian contracts, especially for large orders, the process of winning the sale was both complex and time-consuming. The initial enquiry came more than two years ago, when the Chief Technologist at the plant approached a representative of Delcam's St. Petersburg office during a seminar in Rostov organised by local sub-dealer Southern Software and asked for a demonstration of the PowerMILL CAM system for his staff.
At the presentation, the Delcam team took the opportunity to demonstrate the company's full range of software. The focus then switched to discussions about inspection with PowerINSPECT and how the software could solve some specific problems with inspection at the plant.
A further series of evaluations and benchmarks by staff from Delcam St. Petersburg and Southern Software followed, each presented to a higher level of Rostvertol's management. Towards the end of 2005, specifications were finalised on a contract for the PowerSHAPE CAD software and the PS-Moldmaker mould design system, as well as PowerMILL and PowerINSPECT, and a schedule of payments proposed. The final stage was a period of training and further evaluations to ensure that Rostvertol staff could duplicate the excellent results obtained with the software by Delcam's experts.
Having made the initial sale, Delcam St. Petersburg is following up further opportunities in the plant. Further orders for PowerINSPECT, both for co-ordinate measuring machines and for on-machine verification, are expected, with additional opportunities for PowerSHAPE and PowerMILL predicted in the longer term.
SOURCE: Delcam plc