Dec 21, 2010

Falcontec produces rotary dies in as little as one day With ArtCAM

Falcontec, a UK-based manufacturer of rotary foiling and embossing tools, is using Delcam’s ArtCAM engraving software to provide its customers with dies within deadlines as short as one working day. With over fifty years in the industry and a strong dedication to in-house research and development, the company understands that this fast service gives it a strong competitive edge in today’s challenging economic climate.

"Most of the files that we receive from our customers are Adobe Illustrator files. These often contain a number of levels, which highlight the areas of the design that they want embossed or foiled, for instance,” explained Mike Brown, Programming Supervisor at Falcontec. "When a customer checks the quality of the design, they are usually looking at the visually-pleasing elements of the work, but this doesn’t mean it is suitable for machining. This is where ArtCAM’s Vector Doctor becomes extremely useful. It not only allows you to see vectors that could cause machining issues but it automatically fixes them. This saves so much heartache, especially when some jobs we receive have up to 30,000 vectors.”

Another effective and time-saving feature within ArtCAM is the Offset Vectors tool. This allows Mr. Brown to quickly select a vector and create a copy within a set distance around it or to the side of it. The new vector can then be used to add shape and dimension to the artwork.

Once the artwork is complete, Mr. Brown can choose from a range of machining strategies designed to improve accuracy whilst reducing the time taken on the machine. "With our previous software, calculating the toolpaths for machining took anything up to half a day,” he commented. "Now it can be done in seconds. We also had no indication on how long the calculation would take. With ArtCAM this can be monitored with the progress bar but you very rarely need to watch it because the software is that quick.”

Falcontec also provide customers with a choice of embossing dies. For example, an engraved female die can be used in conjunction with a hard rubber anvil or, for the finest detail, both male and female sets can be provided. If the customer later requires the production of a male counterpart, thanks to ArtCAM, an engraved rotary male die can be produced that fits perfectly.

Falcontec Director, Stan Vigurs added, "One of the reasons we bought ArtCAM was to do more 3D work and every day we are finding more scope to do so. Originally our organisation concentrated purely on the label converting industry, but now we are able to do more and more work for packaging, book binding and even saddlery.”

He continued, "As a company, we regularly review how we can reduce the time required to set-up a machine so that we can pass these savings onto our customers. ArtCAM continually helps us do that. Delcam is a very professional company and we enjoy working with them.”