April 29, 2013 - Coffee has an image of style and sophistication which is reinforced by the cool design of coffee machines. Birmingham company Fracino has been making coffee machines since 1963 and, with the help of Lantek’s sheet metal CADCAM software, has implemented the latest laser cutting technology.
Fracino has a range of over 40 different machines and its success has been recognized at the EEF Future Manufacturing Awards where it won the Outstanding Exporter of the Year award and the National Winner of Winners award, while at the Essential Cafe Trade Awards it won the Manufacturer of the Year award. It even exports coffee machines to Italy!
The company decided it wanted to move its sheet metal manufacture in house and purchased an Amada Alpha III 3 kw laser. Paul Gurevitch-Beacock, Sheet Metal Manager, says, “Although this machine was pre-owned, it was a major investment for our company. I have had around nine years of experience with Lantek, working for a previous employer, and in my experience, Lantek Expert is both easy to use and efficient. Additionally, the company’s staff are very helpful, so it was the obvious choice for Fracino.”
The company uses Lantek Expert and Lantek Flex3d. Paul Gurevitch-Beacock adds, “We use SolidWorks and AutoCAD for our designs, which are continually evolving, and Lantek Flex3d works great with Solidworks, enabling us to get to a flat pattern with the touch of a button. For simple parts we can design directly in Lantek Expert which further increases our flexibility.”
With distributors in many countries around the world including Poland and Australia, Fracino manufactures around 3000 machines each year. Its customers demand innovative and stylish designs delivered on time and to a high quality, making the new sheet metal production facility a very important part of its business. Lantek has been able to enhance the performance of the Amada to help the company achieve its aims. Paul Gurevitch-Beacock says, “We cut a lot of plastic coated stainless and Lantek has provided us with a special routine, which was not available on the machine, to pre-pierce the sheet, which stops the plastic blowing up during cutting. Lantek also developed a capability which enables us to stop the machine between components for checking first offs and extra functions to allow us to skip over problem parts.”
As the company makes its own products it nests multiple parts of the same type on each sheet, achieving 80-90% material utilization rates. Furthermore, it uses offcuts for sampling and prototype applications, further reducing material wastage.
Paul Gurevitch-Beacock was pleased with the implementation of the Lantek software. “Once we had the laser installed, Lantek provided the postprocessor, connected the cables for communication to the machine, set the parameters and carried out test cuts. After we had been using the laser for a little while they returned to customise the postprocessor for us to provide the special functionality we needed. Their understanding of both the Amada and their own software made it a trouble free process.”
Lantek is a leading global multinational in the development and commercialisation of software solutions for the sheet metal and structural steel industry. Its capacity for innovation and its firm commitment to internationalisation and the development of emerging markets has led Lantek, founded in 1986 in the Basque Country and with head offices in Vitoria (Alava), to become a global reference in the industry with its CAD/CAM/MES/ERP solutions. Today, the company has over 12,000 clients in more than 100 countries, offices in 15 countries, and a wide network of distributors providing worldwide coverage. In 2012 its international operations provided 85% of its turnover.
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