https://cdn.mtdcnc.global/cnc/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/01164200/The-Valley-Group-Face-Guard-Manufactured-with-ITC-Cutting-Tools-640x360.jpg
    Medical

    ITC answers the Covid-19 ‘call to action’

    • By ITC LTD
    • June 1, 2020
    • 4 minute read

    Extraordinary times call for extraordinary suppliers and for manufacturers like Birmingham based CNC Routing Ltd and Welsh company The Valley Group, a long-standing relationship with Industrial Tooling Corporation (ITC) Ltd has benefitted hugely during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    CNC Routing Ltd serves the automotive, retail, healthcare and industrial sectors with its design, routing, finishing and fabrication services supported by its three AXYZ rotating machines, each having a twin-head facility. So, when one of its customers became overrun with production of critical ‘sneeze screens’ for supermarkets, the 26-employee business immediately and proudly stepped-up to help the cause.

    Discussing the ‘sneeze screen’ project, Mr Chris Noble from CNC Routing Ltd, says: “We were commissioned to manufacture 8000 acrylic, PETG and polycarbonate ‘sneeze screens’ for supermarket checkouts. Machined from 3050 x 2050mm sheets, the panel thicknesses range from 3 to 6mm. With the screens being supplied to more than a dozen supermarket chains, this has required more than 12 different screen variants.”

    The order arrived on Friday, the company placed a tooling order with ITC and tools were subsequently delivered on the Saturday morning. Discussing this, Chris continues: “The ability to supply 60 cutting tools on a Saturday morning as a next day delivery service during the Coronavirus pandemic speaks volumes for ITC.”

    “We can set up four parts at a time. For the ‘sneeze sheets’, we have spaced the cutting heads at a distance of 1230mm apart, so we can cut two sheets simultaneously. With three twin-spindle routers running 24 hours a day, the performance and reliability of the ITC solid carbide routing tools is essential.”

    Initially, CNC Routing Ltd placed an order for sixty 180-2362-10-E 6mm Clearcut Series single flute routers from ITC. Chris continues: “The tools have exceptional tool life and with the upward spiral flute geometry they are perfect for machining thin sheets without lifting from the vacuum bed. This confidence in the 180 Clearcut Series has been confirmed, as we have run the tools at 24,000rpm up to the full 6mm depth of cut at cutting speeds of 7m/min. These machining parameters are beyond the recommended cutting conditions, but extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Despite running at increased machining parameters, the tools can process more than 50 sheets before we change the tool. The only reason we change the tools is because the protective film over the ‘sneeze screen’ begins to fray slightly and ‘fluff up’.

    Facing Up To ITC Benefits

    Another business involved in the Covid response is sign-making, engraving and exhibition company, the Valley Group. The switch to face masks for the NHS arrived when Mr Richard Dawson, received a call from a lifelong friend and well-respected clinical lead at the Hywel Dda University Health Board that was desperate for help.

    Unfortunately for the West Wales health board, its existing supplier had exhausted capacity, leaving 10,000+ staff in desperate need of protection. The Swansea company developed a prototype, sourced materials and manufactured sample masks. Following expedited testing by the University Health Board’s infectious control department, production was rapidly underway.

    One critical factor was the cutting of the 0.5mm thick PETG face visors that had to be free from burrs. Luckily, the Valley Group has been a customer of ITC for over 10 years, so when it came to cutting thin plastic sheets, the Tamworth cutting tool manufacturer stepped in with advice.

    Commenting on this, Mr Dawson recalls: “With high production volumes and rapid turnaround times, we couldn’t afford to be hand finishing the masks. ITC recommended the Clearcut 180 Series of solid carbide single flute downcut routing tools. In little more than a weekend, we have produced over 1000 masks for Hywel Dda and we now have a firm order from Bridgend County Council for another 5000 masks. Additionally, we are currently awaiting testing and certificates required by NHS Wales to supply all Wales’ health boards. We are starting a second shift to produce 700 to 1400 masks per day.”

    Concerning the ITC tools, Mr Dawson says: “We initially ordered one 6mm 180 Clearcut routing tool and with a high number of facemask orders, we ordered an additional 6 tools. However, we have produced over 1000 visors and the first cutting tool hasn’t even started to wear. The edge finish on the visor is still of the utmost quality with no sign of the plastic burring or creating rough edges.”

    https://cdn.mtdcnc.global/cnc/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/01164200/The-Valley-Group-Face-Guard-Manufactured-with-ITC-Cutting-Tools-640x360.jpg

    ITC answers the Covid-19 ‘call to action’

    Extraordinary times call for extraordinary suppliers and for manufacturers like Birmingham based CNC Routing Ltd and Welsh company The Valley Group, a long-standing relationship with Industrial Tooling Corporation (ITC) Ltd has benefitted hugely during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    CNC Routing Ltd serves the automotive, retail, healthcare and industrial sectors with its design, routing, finishing and fabrication services supported by its three AXYZ rotating machines, each having a twin-head facility. So, when one of its customers became overrun with production of critical ‘sneeze screens’ for supermarkets, the 26-employee business immediately and proudly stepped-up to help the cause.

    Discussing the ‘sneeze screen’ project, Mr Chris Noble from CNC Routing Ltd, says: “We were commissioned to manufacture 8000 acrylic, PETG and polycarbonate ‘sneeze screens’ for supermarket checkouts. Machined from 3050 x 2050mm sheets, the panel thicknesses range from 3 to 6mm. With the screens being supplied to more than a dozen supermarket chains, this has required more than 12 different screen variants.”

    The order arrived on Friday, the company placed a tooling order with ITC and tools were subsequently delivered on the Saturday morning. Discussing this, Chris continues: “The ability to supply 60 cutting tools on a Saturday morning as a next day delivery service during the Coronavirus pandemic speaks volumes for ITC.”

    “We can set up four parts at a time. For the ‘sneeze sheets’, we have spaced the cutting heads at a distance of 1230mm apart, so we can cut two sheets simultaneously. With three twin-spindle routers running 24 hours a day, the performance and reliability of the ITC solid carbide routing tools is essential.”

    Initially, CNC Routing Ltd placed an order for sixty 180-2362-10-E 6mm Clearcut Series single flute routers from ITC. Chris continues: “The tools have exceptional tool life and with the upward spiral flute geometry they are perfect for machining thin sheets without lifting from the vacuum bed. This confidence in the 180 Clearcut Series has been confirmed, as we have run the tools at 24,000rpm up to the full 6mm depth of cut at cutting speeds of 7m/min. These machining parameters are beyond the recommended cutting conditions, but extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Despite running at increased machining parameters, the tools can process more than 50 sheets before we change the tool. The only reason we change the tools is because the protective film over the ‘sneeze screen’ begins to fray slightly and ‘fluff up’.

    Facing Up To ITC Benefits

    Another business involved in the Covid response is sign-making, engraving and exhibition company, the Valley Group. The switch to face masks for the NHS arrived when Mr Richard Dawson, received a call from a lifelong friend and well-respected clinical lead at the Hywel Dda University Health Board that was desperate for help.

    Unfortunately for the West Wales health board, its existing supplier had exhausted capacity, leaving 10,000+ staff in desperate need of protection. The Swansea company developed a prototype, sourced materials and manufactured sample masks. Following expedited testing by the University Health Board’s infectious control department, production was rapidly underway.

    One critical factor was the cutting of the 0.5mm thick PETG face visors that had to be free from burrs. Luckily, the Valley Group has been a customer of ITC for over 10 years, so when it came to cutting thin plastic sheets, the Tamworth cutting tool manufacturer stepped in with advice.

    Commenting on this, Mr Dawson recalls: “With high production volumes and rapid turnaround times, we couldn’t afford to be hand finishing the masks. ITC recommended the Clearcut 180 Series of solid carbide single flute downcut routing tools. In little more than a weekend, we have produced over 1000 masks for Hywel Dda and we now have a firm order from Bridgend County Council for another 5000 masks. Additionally, we are currently awaiting testing and certificates required by NHS Wales to supply all Wales’ health boards. We are starting a second shift to produce 700 to 1400 masks per day.”

    Concerning the ITC tools, Mr Dawson says: “We initially ordered one 6mm 180 Clearcut routing tool and with a high number of facemask orders, we ordered an additional 6 tools. However, we have produced over 1000 visors and the first cutting tool hasn’t even started to wear. The edge finish on the visor is still of the utmost quality with no sign of the plastic burring or creating rough edges.”