You often here companies claim that their products are CAD CAM or CNC - what does this mean? Is it good? Are all Lambos made this way? Well lets start at the beginning:-
CAD stands for Computer Aided Design. This basically means that all the parts are designed on a computer using CAD (Computer Aided Design) software. Such software normally costs about £3500, but can be anything from a few thousand to tens of thousands of pounds. The best product on the market is AutoCAD which really sets the standard. Its the only design software we use.
CAM stands for Computer Aided Manufacture. This means that all the parts used to make up the kit are made on computer controlled equipment. Machines vary in price from £10,000 to about £500,000, and include Laser cutters, machine centres, mills, drilling, taping, sawing. We use mid range equipment which includes our own in house LaserDeck3000 which can cut steel up to 38mm thick, and sheets up to 3metres x 1.5metres. It can actually cut at up to 315 inches per minute!. That's pretty damn big, pretty damn clever, and pretty damn impressive!!! Machining is carried out on the Cincin 2400 on up to 6 axis, at speeds up to 300 inches per minute. This again is a very powerful piece of kit.
CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. This means that the equipment making the individual items that comprise the kit are directly controlled by a computer. Our machines use high speed Pentium 4 computers and make around 25000 calculations per second on up to 6 individual axis.
JIG Assembly. All Lambo kits need to be assembled, which involves welding/bolting the various components together. This needs to be done in a JIG to ensure accuracy, and on a Lambo door kit probably the most important thing is accuracy of angles between components. Simply laying items into a JIG is not enough - they must be clamped into place as welding distorts the items and makes the angles wrong. This is where even well designed parts can go wrong.
That's the technical stuff but the question remains - what does it mean. To the customer it means that kits are consistent, and accurate. It means that once we have designed the kit and programmed it, all the kits will be the same. The bottom line it that it will fit. Simple really.
But surely everyone makes things this way?
Err No actually. Many of the cheap Chinese kits are made by hand as labour overseas is often very very cheap (can be 10p or 20p per day in some places). They are also made using very soft materials but that's a whole different story. With such hand made items inaccuracy creeps in at every stage and the kits get less and less accurate. Often copies of poor designs are made even worse by the lack of modern equipment. With CAD CAM items they are all the same - the computer makes tens of millions of calculations to make each kit. Even the best machinists do not make components with this sort of accuracy. A production run of the same component will see every one different. Not good for you when you come to fit it?
Designed by installers. We have on staff the most experienced Lambo door installers in the Country and amongst the best anywhere in the world. The staff installing the kits also design the new ones. Logical really as they know what works don't they! With many foreign kits they simply take the old Decah/VDI/VDC/VDA/VDK kits designed for the Civic and re-drill the holes. These kits never worked very well on the Civic and certainly won't work on your Mini, MINI, Golf or Mercedes or Audi.
Each car that we design a kit for has a totally new kit. We always start with our universal kit, which is nothing like the VD* kits found elsewhere. Our kits are designed and not copied. Everyone knows that a copy is never as good as an original.
I hope this all makes sense to you and that you consider these facts when making your buying decision.