Supplementing the earlier purchase of an AXYZ 4000 Series CNC router, Caerphilly, South Wales-based Craft Wales has now installed a larger AXYZ 4008 machine to further expand its production capabilities.

Established in 2006 by husband and wife co-directors Paul and Helen Hogg, Craft Wales specialises in the manufacture of bespoke timber products. These are designed primarily for the education market but also include products such as robust timber benches and traditional oak signs that are a popular choice with country parks and rural areas in view of their aesthetic appearance and environmental sensitivity.

Paul Hogg explains: “The original machine purchased from AXYZ International enabled us to increase and enhance the range of products we supply to the school environment that  now feature detailed logos and personalised designs.

The router was used initially to process plywood and MDF but with the addition of the larger 4008 machine fitted with an AXYZ ATC (automatic tool change) facility we are now using Playtech, a German plastic product that will enable us not only to add more detail and colour to the products manufactured for the school environment but also allow diversification into new markets such as tourism and craft skills.”

The AXYZ 4000 Series routers now installed at Craft Wales are the most popular in the AXYZ International portfolio for industrial woodworking, furniture production, joinery and panel processing applications. The latest 4008 machine has a processing area of 2440mm (length) by 1466mm (width).

It can be supplied with a host of both standard and optional performance-enhancing features, including a recently-expanded (up to 33-station) automatic tool-change facility that provides automatic and manual tool change options.

In addition to the expanded ATC facility, a number of new or recently-introduced machine upgrades now available to AXYZ router owners, the most notable of which is the AXYZ auto zone management facility. This ensures that the material being processed is always held securely throughout the routing/cutting process to provide optimum accuracy and a superior cut finish.

In addition to greatly improving material hold-down efficiency, the facility also helps minimise material wastage and machine downtime caused by incorrectly set vacuum valves.

Other machine enhancements introduced by AXYZ International include the latest A2MC machine control system that eliminates problems caused by sudden acceleration or deceleration often found with other control systems.

Integrated with the A2MC system, the latest AVS (AXYZ Vision System) enhances machining accuracy as well as offering compatibility with all of the cutting tools used on AXYZ routers. A further optional machine upgrade is the latest helical rack and pinion drive system that greatly reduces wear via the system’s multiple gear teeth configuration. This ensures a more even distribution of the workload, resulting in increased feed rates, greater accuracy of cut, quieter operation and ultimately a longer than normal machine life.

A project involving the use of an AXYZ router and one of which Craft Wales is especially proud is the Play Train produced for the school environment. As Paul Hogg explains: “The router has been invaluable in honing the design and customising the various sections that make up the engine and carriages.

“Schools are now able to choose between faces or school logos and badges. The train was originally manufactured from plywood and painted by hand which proved a time-consuming process. We can now use a combination of the self-coloured plastic material and the AXYZ router with its ATC facility to manufacture the product faster and without the need for a paint finish.”

On the service provided by AXYZ International, Paul Hogg was fulsome in his praise. He concludes: “Craft Wales found AXYZ International to be a highly professional company with which to deal.

“The engineer who supervised the installation of the second router was extremely knowledgeable and helpful, instilling complete confidence in our staff during the training period and providing ongoing technical support whenever this is required.”