Formica Group invests in CNC router from Daltons WadkinFormica Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of high pressure laminate (HPL), has invested in a Kimla CNC router as part the expansion of the group’s fabrication support unit (FSU) in North Shields.
Launched in 1955, the FSU is still expanding and recent investment with Daltons Wadkin has created a state-of-the-art facility for testing, trouble shooting and training on Formica’s extensive range of innovative surfacing products.
FSU manager, Paul Sisterson, has been at Formica Group Europe for almost 20 years and headed up the CNC project. Paul has helped countless customers around Europe with training and product support, continually pushing the boundaries with Formica laminate.
“The Kimla gives us the ability to be on the same level as our customers who purchase and use our products on similar CNC machines. We needed a versatile and reliable machine that would fit within our workshop space,” comments Paul.
“Daltons Wadkin took time to understand our requirements and carried out demonstrations at existing Kimla customers and in their showroom. We could buy with confidence knowing that it was the right machine for the job.”
Daltons Wadkin has seen considerable growth in Kimla CNC router sales. Company director, Alex Dalton, worked closely with Formica on the project. “Formica Group is typical of the type of customer we see investing in Kimla CNC machines, demanding well-engineered technology that is reliable and easy to use. Kimla delivers on every level. We have expanded our service team with dedicated CNC engineers and technical support staff to give customers immediate response when required.”
The Kimla BPF2131 CNC router supplied included a working area of 2100 x 3100mm to accommodate Formica’s largest standard panel size, a 9kW router head, automatic tool-changer and PC-CAM software suite including CAD, CAM and nesting functions. “This is a very popular specification for us,” comments Alex.
“Crucially the Kimla has a compact working footprint to deliver large working capacities without taking valuable workshop space. The software is powerful, but easy to use and can integrate into existing work flows if customers are already using third party CAD/CAM products such as Cabinet Vision, AutoCAD or Solid Works etc.”
Equipped with Dynamic Vector Analysis Control (DVA), the Kimla processes up to 15,000 lines of NC code per second for smooth regulation of the feed speed. This, in combination with Kimla’s exceptional build quality, delivers high performance results not only on wood-based products, but also on more unforgiving materials such as laminates, plastics, composites and non-ferrous metals.
FSU is now in a position to have end-user fabricators of all levels attend training courses. One-day beginner courses look at various Formica products including HPL, ColorCore, DecoMetal and Formica Ligna focusing on handling, storage, fabrication, substrates, adhesives and maintenance. Advanced two day courses are aimed at more experienced fabricators covering preconditioning, fire performance and troubleshooting.
The addition of the Kimla CNC enables Paul and his team to replicate customers’ workshop conditions. “We can now talk to fabricators on issues they may have when using our products,” says Paul. “It helps us with fault-finding and problem-solving. It also gives us the ability to produce repetitive works such as sample requirements which go out to customers on a daily basis. Using the Kimla we have been able to produce unique art work projects which are now on display in our new European HQ at North Shields. It has opened our eyes to how we can use our products for future projects.”
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