Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - 84

CalRAM Inc.
www.calraminc.com / HQ: Camarillo, Calif. / Employees: 25 / Specialty: Additive manufacturing
using metal powder bed fusion / Duane Pekar, CEO: "We have transformed the company."

calram's process yields
highly consistent parts
that can be produced in a
repeatable fashion.

New Dimensions

calram is proud to be a pioneer in electron beam
powder bed fusion technology. by jim harris
Many manufacturers likely look
at additive manufacturing - commonly known as 3-D printing - as a way to
create plastic prototypes for concept
models and form-checking parts. For
CalRAM, the method is more than a
way to prove out a concept for eventual tooling and manufacturing - it's a
fully fledged production process.
"It's easy to buy a machine and
print parts, but it's hard to make them
consistent every time conforming to
stringent aerospace production requirements," says CEO Duane Pekar.
Transitioning the world of 3-D
84

manufacturing-today.com JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016

printing from prototyping to a full
production model is exactly what
Victor Vescovo, co-founder of Insight
Equity, had in mind when his firm
purchased the company in 2014. "We
have transformed the company from a
research and development-based prototyping operation into a full-blown
manufacturing facility," Pekar says.
CalRAM was founded in 2005.
Within the past year, the company
has more than doubled its production
capacity by adding four powder bed
fusion (PBF) machines and moving
into a new, 25,000-square-foot state-

West

of-the-art facility in Camarillo, Calif.
CalRAM also added metrology and
machining production capabilities as
well as laser PBF technology.
The improvements and expansions
to CalRAM's operations have enabled
the company to provide high-quality,
critical components for the aerospace
market. Most notably, the company
produces structural components for
orbiting satellites as well as prototype
parts and samples for the defense and
commercial aircraft industries.
CalRAM is AS-9100 and ISO 9001
certified, and International Traffic in
Arms Regulations (ITAR) registered.
CalRAM's customers include Boeing,
Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Space Systems Loral.
"It's incredible to know that our
parts are orbiting Earth on satellites
today and at some point will be flying
on commercial aircraft," Pekar says.
"It's equally important to me, however, to know that thanks to a great team
and technology, we've taken an operation that had four men and three machines and transformed it into a factory supporting major customers in just
12 months."

A Precise Process
CalRAM's machines utilize a high-energy electron beam to melt metallic
powders to create a 3-D part one layer at a time based on computer-aided
design (CAD) files. The electron beam
powder bed fusion (ePBF) process
uses CAD files to generate beam position, spot diameter and power instructions for each layer, which is then
produced by scanning the electron
beam rapidly across the surface of the
powder bed. With each layer, the part is
lowered and a fresh layer of high-quality metal powder is applied.
The ePBF process requires a hard
vacuum chamber that also creates a


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016

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