Suffolk-based foil-blocking and embossing die manufacturer Dies Direct has cut turnaround times and boosted output with the addition of a new CNC device from Datron.
The circa-£70,000 Datron Neo compact milling machine, which was installed alongside the firm’s larger, existing Datron kit around three months ago, has increased productivity at the business by around 40%, according to general manager Vic Britton.
“It has really speeded up our processes and we’ve been able to extend our cut-off for getting orders in as well,” he added.
“Because the Neo has a small template, it is 25%-30% faster than the larger machines I’d say and the accuracy we are getting from it is incredible,” he explained. It can produce dies in 40 minutes, which would previously have taken more than an hour, Britton added.
Billed as an entry-level device, the Neo has a 40,000rpm spindle, 521x419mm (20.5x16.5in) X, Y travel, a 24-tool automatic tool-changing feature and operates at 28m/min.
Dies Direct produces specialist dies including flat and fluted foiling dies, multi-level embossing, micro-embossing, half-tone tint and textures and security dies, as well as plastic moulds. The 25-year-old company produces around 40,000 dies a year according to Britton and he said that business was strong.
“We are a niche market and adding foiling to your print or packaging really adds value to the brand so I can’t see a decline in the industry at all,” he said. “People are looking for more and more intricate and innovative designs and with a product like this we can offer that as well as the accuracy that’s required.
Britton added: “People moved away from this slightly at one point but now there is more and more interest and we are getting young people that want to get involved, which is great.”
The more than 25-year-old company turns over around £500,000 and employs 12 staff at its Ipswich base, having taken on its newest member to operate the new device, and Britton intends to add more.
“I took on a young person two months ago and we want to attract more. We do internal apprenticeships and then we keep them and keep training them as they move up. We hope they can train us to!”
“It’s all falling into place, which is great," he said.