CNC routers from Advanced Robotic Technology (ART) are helping a Melbourne-based signage company deliver high quality custom-made signs to its customers.
Melbourne-based The Signcraft Group designs and manufactures its complete range of signage solutions in-house, employing the high-quality cutting capabilities of ART’s CNC routers.
The Signcraft Group has evolved from a traditional sign shop to a signage specialist encompassing different trades and services to become Australia's leading signage organisation.
The Signcraft Group operates through a team of dedicated resources, four totally self-sufficient plants and a complete service offering from design through to preventative maintenance.
According to National Operations Manager Guy Blackman, the company accomplishes most machining jobs in-house.
In-house machining is achieved using a wide range of fabrication machines, guillotines, presses, welders, vacuum forming machines for 3D moulds as well as two ART CNC routers.
The technologically advanced CNC routers excel at cutting composite prototyping boards, plastics, carbon fibre and even non-ferrous metals with the proper accessories.
Modern CNC routers go beyond cutting contours and 3D shapes in wood, plastic and foam for signs or plaques to machining parts that were once machined on CNC milling machines. The larger machine table sizes of today’s routers, coupled with the high-speed spindles makes them an ideal choice for machining thin and small parts from sheet or plate material.
Size was a determining factor for The Signcraft Group when they were exploring a second ART CNC router for their Melbourne factory, choosing the RT5000 heavy duty profile centre to cut the most common-sized sheets of 4m x 2m.
The first ART 5000SX router was installed at the company in 2007 and has been performing reliably since, says Mr Blackman.
ART’s RT series machining centre is specifically tailored to process many different types of material including acrylics, aluminium, aluminium composites, steel, stainless steel and wood in addition to supporting rigid tapping.
ART Director David White says that the gap between machining centres and routers has closed considerably, thanks to significant increase in the performance of CNC routers.
He explains that all ART CNC routers are capable of prismatic machining as well as full 3- and 4-axis free-form machining depending on the machine options.
Additionally, their large format CNC router machines are now capable of heavy duty machining in solid aluminium as well as plastics, composites and timbers. In fact, the RT model installed at The Signcraft Group in Melbourne is marketed as a machining centre rather than a router.
Key features of the RT series machining centres:
- Handles 3D machining tasks
- Supports rotary tool changers and high torque liquid and air cooled spindles featuring 4 jet misting lubrication injectors, ideal for 3D machining
- Lubrication injectors enable the coolant to get right to the cutter especially in deep pockets
- Huge standard clearance of 350mm under the gantry
- z-axis has a stroke of over 700mm, capable of handling many moulds and other 3D machining tasks
ART invests a lot of resources into developing new features and functionality into its products, unavailable on most other machines.
Their software developers work closely with their mechanical and electronics engineers, as well as their own in-house CNC operators, enabling an extremely short development cycle time as well as allowing ART to develop processes to suit customer needs.
The Signcraft Group’s Machine Shop Operator, Michael Bradley confirms that the ART CNC machines are easy to operate with simple programming and touch screen functions.