To keep pace with the ever-complex and creative world of stage design, Belgrade Theatre’s head of workshop, Andy Hilton, looked to exploit the power of a Kimla CNC router at the company’s dedicated production site in Coventry
“I cannot begin to tell you what a difference the Kimla has made,” enthuses Andy. “Jobs that previously took two of our guys a week to complete by hand are now being machined in a couple of hours.”
The Belgrade Theatre was built in 1958 as part of the reconstruction of Coventry after World War II. Seating 858 in its two-tier main auditorium, and 250-300 in the flexible new second space, B2, it remains one of the largest regional producing theatres in Britain.
The Belgrade acquired its name in recognition of – and in thanks for – a gift of timber from the Serbian capital of Belgrade, which was used in the construction of the auditorium.
The impressive workshop space is housed at a separate site just a couple of miles from the main theatre in the centre of Coventry. Following detailed discussions regarding the workshop’s existing and future machining requirements, Alex Dalton of Daltons Wadkin had no hesitation in recommending a Kimla CNC router.
“The theatre uses a huge range of materials in its productions,” comments Alex. “The machine had to be versatile enough to handle continuous heavy machining of MDF, ply and solid wood – including nesting operations – while maintaining the ability to work with materials such as foam, rubber, aluminium and plastics.”
The machine was custom built with a large 2100 x 3100mm vacuum bed, 9kW router head, 10 position linear tool-changer and a separate oscillating knife head mounted on an independent Z axis. “The oscillating knife head is a useful addition for rubber and foam, etc,” says Alex. “With twin servos it can also be used as a static knife.”
As with all Kimla CNC routers, Belgrade Theatre’s machine was supplied with the Kimla PC-CAM software – a powerful but simple and intuitive CAD/CAM package that can be installed on as many PCs as is required without additional licences.
“We have been using AutoCAD for years,” comments Andy, “and the Kimla works seamlessly with our drawings, but we also find ourselves jumping on the PC-CAM software as it’s easier and quicker.”
“Our Kimla installations are going from strength to strength,” enthuses Alex. “It was always going to be difficult to establish a new brand of CNC routers into an already-saturated UK market. However, I knew we had something special with the Kimla range, and our increasing sales figures and exemplary customer satisfaction is proving the brand is fast becoming the one to have.”