Jaguar Land Rover's Model Operations department was first introduced to Tebis in 1999. Today Jaguar Land Rover is Tebis UK's oldest and largest customer. CAD/CAM technology has completely changed work methods in this department over the past 15 years – and its processes will definitely be further optimised using Tebis in the future as well.
Paul Kelly, Head of Design Model Operations at Jaguar Land Rover, has experienced first-hand how design in the automotive industry has been completely revolutionised with the introduction of CAD/CAM software over the past 30 years.
In September 1984, Paul joined what was then Austin Rover as an Apprentice Maintenance Fitter. He was entrusted with maintenance of the NC machine in the new Design Milling department. Design Milling was Austin Rover’s first department to introduce CAD/CAM software and it expanded quickly. The team also began to grow –which increased Kelly's chances for promotion: He became an engineer, then an NC programmer, a shift leader and finally department leader. He´s been in his current role since 2008 and is responsible for all Jaguar Land Rover´s design model operations.
The Design Model Operations department is the manufacturing arm at Jaguar Land Rover Design. The team produces physical representations of design data to facilitate its evaluation using a variety of methods including CAD/CAM, hard modelling, composites, paint and trimming. The team´s role in the design process continues through all subsequent design iterations until a complete drivable model car is approved by the Chairman for production. There's no lack of work. Jaguar Land Rover is enjoying an upswing: Revenues have tripled since the official founding of the company with the merger of Jaguar and Land Rover in 2008 during the takeover by Tata Motors. A record of 425,000 vehicles sold was achieved in 2013. Jaguar Land Rover is the UK´s largest automotive manufacturing business. All of its cars are developed and designed in the UK.
CAD/CAM software is an integral and important part of the process of Jaguar Land Rover Design Model Operations. Tebis has been the CAD/CAM solution of choice since Paul Kelly and his team first learned about the system in the late 1990s, whilst Rover Group was owned by BMW. Paul still remembers the first time he saw Tebis on a visit to BMW in Munich. It was state-of-the-art in comparison to the CAD/CAM software he was using in the UK at the time and he could see the functionality would bring a lot of benefits to his Midlands-based team.
15 years on, Tebis is about to support another new chapter in the evolution of the Design Model Operations department. In 2015, the department´s NC machining capacity is targeted to hit 1200 hrs per week, a significant increase on current levels. Reliable template-based programming with Tebis Automill® technology and the use of the Tebis Simulator will help Jaguar Land Rover to achieve these new levels of productivity.
Tebis Simulator was first used by Jaguar Land Rover in 2010 and, until recently, was only being used as a verification product for collision detection. Even though this brought significant advantages, Kelly quickly realised that the Simulator held far more potential. He wants to exploit this potential for Jaguar Land Rover. Paul and his team are currently working with Tebis Application Engineers to begin simulating multiple-setup jobs with which multiple parts can be simultaneously manufactured in unattended operation. This would truly maximize machining capacity. The department is also working closely with the Tebis consultants to ensure that everyone involved in the process has the necessary skills to make optimal use of this state-of-the-art technology.
The Design Model Operations team rarely produces the same workpiece twice. Paul Kelly considers the wide range of Tebis functionality and its user-friendly format to be important to the success of his department. Its flexibility and reliability enables the team to maximize its in-house machines and produce a quality toolpath for each unique model it is asked to build. Tebis's template technology also enables the quick recalculation of NC programs to accommodate any changes.
Since its introduction 15 years ago, Tebis has maintained an active relationship with the Design Model Operations department. Not only has the Tebis CAD/CAM software become an integral part of the department: according to Kelly, the knowledge that Tebis has acquired over time from Jaguar Land Rover is extremely valuable for his team. Tebis regularly visits the Jaguar Land Rover site and works collaboratively with Kelly and his management team to continuously optimise their CAD/CAM processes. All of the participants work together with dedication to achieve the next level of success.