Cad Cut

LOCATION:Perth, Western Australia

COMPANY PROFILE: CAD CUT proprietor Peter Sobczyk saw a need for a metal profile cutting service in the Northern Suburbs of Perth. Conventional machinery for doing this type of work was prohibitively expensive, and hard to program.

Peter installed a Tekcel plasma cutting machine as the heart of his plasma cutting service. The type of jobbing work that was to be done on this machine was easily converted to computer files with the use of Cadlink's ProfileLAB. Customers files can be recieved on floppy disk, through the email, or on paper. They are imported into the ProfileLAB program and toolpaths are applied. Offsets to accommodate the cutting path of the plasma arc, sequencing, start points, lead ins dwell for material penetration are added before the jobs are sent to the machine. †The Tekcel Profile Cutting machine, with a metal cutting table handles the heavy material and heat and sparks of the plasma.

Freedom Furniture

LOCATION: Sydney, NSW Australia

COMPANY PROFILE: The manufacturing process at Freedom Furniture required that parts for the frames of chairs and lounge suites be cut on band saws, using templates to mark the shape. This required that the sheets of chipboard had to be cut into small squares, stacked, marked and fed into the bandsaw by hand. This process consumed a lot of time, and with the high throughput of product, was considered to be a potential safety time bomb.

A large format TEKCEL profile cutting machine was installed, with enough length to enable cutting one sheet while the other sheet was being on and off loaded by operators. This enabled the machine to keep up with the high throughput requirements. In this application, the machine is cutting for 12 hours during a 14 hour day. The machine has just logged 5,000 hours of operation, and undergone itís first scheduled maintenance. We are pleased to report that the only part that wears out on a regular basis ( besides the toolbit) is the vacuum dust extraction hose, which wears through due to abrasive action of the swarf.

Jet Cut

LOCATION: Caninng Vale, Western Australia

COMPANY PROFILE: JET CUT are providing a highly specialized profile cutting service using high pressure water as the cutting tool.† Conventional cutting techniques simply can't be used when processing certain types of material.† This includes materials such as Stainless steel, hardened steel, concrete, glass, teflon and other exotic plastics.†† The waterjet can cut through these materials, leaving a smooth edge, unaffected by heat.†

The files used to run the waterjet cutter can be generated on Engineering CAD programs such as Autocad, Graphics oriented programs such as Corel Draw.†† The tool path required to cut the shapes is created using Signlab, which sets lead ins, cutting speed, and kerf compensation. After the toolpaths are made, the software sets sequencing, start points, dwell for material penetration and other cutting considerations.

High Pressure Waterjet can cut such difficult materials as 100mm thick Stainless Steel, 50mm thick Bulletproof Glass, and Ceramic Tiles

Bluestar Products

LOCATION: Perth, Western Australia

COMPANY PROFILE: Bluestar Products manufactures gift ware for Australias leading retail distributors. Their product range includes a series of 21st Birthday Keys, Coasters, Birthday Keys, Seat components, Surf Mats, Street Light Covers, and Coin Presentation Boxes.

Over the years, volume of sales of this product outstripped the ability of the single overhead pin router to keep up. Quality demands from the customers was making it difficult to produce acdeptable product on the old machine. Pricing pressure was also forcing a reduction in manufacturing costs, which prompted a study of the manufacturing process.
Tommotek was called in to look at the possibility of automating the process, to increase quality, reduce manufacturing costs, and to increase manufacturing capacity. After time and motion studies, tests to determine the maximum cutting speeds, studies of space limitations and a variety of other concerns, a dual spindle Tekcel Profile Cutter was was recommended as the best answer for Blue Starís manufacturing problems. This machine would be able to produce the keys with consistent quality, in half the time it presently took, and be loaed with material by an employee who was performing a secondary operation. This would answer the quality, cost and throughput problems facing Blue Star Products.

A special variant of the Tekcel Profile cutting machine was made, and installed at Blue Star. It has been running for over 2 years now, and has been producing all the giftware products during this time. In addition to this, Blue Star has taken on other profile cutting contracts, such as Directional Covers for street lights, Anti Slip Surf Mats, Trays and Seat Bases for invalid care, etc. This contracting is done at the end of the day after the giftware products have been produced.

This diversity has enhanced Blue Starís bottom line, and offering a broader business base to operate from.

The gantry is fitted with dual spindles. Because the maximum cutting speed was limited to assure a high quality edge, two spindles were necessary to supply the required throughput. The dust and chips from the cutting precess are removed by a cyclonic style dust extraction system, located just outside the factory. from the The table was specially sized to accept the material used to make the product. The machine can accept 3 standard blanks. As the machine cuts one of these three, the operator removes the products from the previously cut bed, and puts in a new blank. The 30 different standard products have been digitized, plotted as jobs, and are stored on the PC acting as a server to this machine.

The Operator loads the material to be cut, selects the name of the job to be cut, and presses the start button. When not loading the machine, the operator is free to do a secondary operation on the products. In this way, the loading and unloading of the machine doesnít require a dedicated operator. By careful consideration of the workflow, this operating system was chosen, and over the years has saved a great deal of money.
The material is held down with a vacuum, and a special product bed is used for each style of product being made. About 5 similar products can be cut on the same product bed. This style of vacuum bed ensures that the product is held firmly even with high cutting feed rates, as well as providing for quick product loading and unloading. Other styles of vacuum bed can be fitted to the Tekcel profile cutter to suit the job at hand.
When cutting large jobs, the second head is parked off the side of the table, permitting the first head to cut over the entire surface of the table. In this way, the entire cutting width of the table can be used.

Wilsons Sign Solutions

LOCATION: Perth, Western Australia


Svelty Furniture

LOCATION: Perth, Western Australia

COMPANY PROFILE: Barry McCarthy, proprietor of Svelty Furniture, would describe himself as a designer and builder specialty furniture. He has won several awards for his work, most of which is made on his Tekcel router. Designing and making this furniture is the "Gravy" in his business. The "Bread and Butter" is his making custom designed doors.

The doors are made to the customerís orders, and having the Tekcel router enables him to do this very economically. Designs are done using the CADlink Signlab software, and within minutes can be cut out on the router. Compared to contracting the door making out to a large production plant, having his own router reduces inventory requirements, shortens lead times, cuts costs, and communications. An added bonus is that his designs are only known to himself and his customers, which is important to maintaining his competitive edge.
The cutouts and ledges for the glass must be very accurate, to ensure that the trim fits flush with the door. The TEKCELís precisely milled bed, powerful and accurate drivetrain, and planed bearing mounting surfaces ensure that true cutting dimensions are maintained to a very high tolerance.High precision on side to side dimensions is maintained, even when the jobs call for cutting on both sides.