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Formaplex installs new automated Blackman and White Genesis cutter for increased productivity

The company specialises in the manufacture of lightweight components and tooling for the automotive, aerospace, defence, F1, and commercial industries.

6th July 2015

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Maldon, Essex

Transport/​Aerospace, Civil Engineering, Industrial

The Hampshire-based manufacturing group Formaplex has installed a new Blackman and White Genesis high speed automated CNC cutting machine. The company specialises in the manufacture of lightweight components and tooling for the automotive, aerospace, defence, F1, and commercial industries.

“As with many companies supplying high tech industries such as motorsport and aerospace, we have experienced a huge growth in the demand for composite materials to both reduce weight and increase strength” commented Joe Mason, Composites Production Manager, Formaplex.

“Cutting carbon fibre and glass pre-preg material was done manually using knives and rulers, but as this was very labour intensive and time consuming, it was essential that we automate the processes to cope with this increased demand.”

Improved productivity and quality

Accuracy and repeatability are critical when cutting composite fabrics as small differences in the pattern can change the properties of the finished product.

Blackman and White, a UK based manufacturer of CNC flatbed cutters and routers, has supplied the company with a cutting machine that was easy to use and had the precision and flexibility required to improve both productivity and quality of the finished kits, according to Formaplex.

The Genesis 2300 automated cutter has a 1.6 metre wide vacuum bed, which locks the material in place for fast and accurate cutting. Nominally 2.8 metres in length, the bed is conveyorised so it can also cope with larger lengths of materials. Intuitive software automatically nests intricate patterns and calculates the most efficient layout to minimise wastage while the computer controlled blade cuts the material at speeds of up to 1200mm/sec, the company reports.

High degree of accuracy

“The new automated cutter not only cuts considerably faster than by hand, but it also cuts intricate shapes with a very high degree of accuracy. Composite materials are expensive, and being able to nest patterns means we can now make the best use of materials, minimise wastage and cut costs,” added Joe Mason.

“It means we can increase productivity and ensure a high degree of consistency so that every component we manufacture will meet the very high standards of quality that is expected from a world-class manufacturer.”

Blackman & White

Blackman and White is the UK manufacturer of CNC flatbed cutters and routers and is a leader in the field of industrial flatbed cutting machines. The company’s cutting machines are used across a wide range of industries including marine, automotive, aeronautical, printing, construction and upholstery sectors.

Blackman & White’s innovative Mastercut Versa-Tech series provides laser, knife and routing capabilities cuts thin metal including aluminium, rigid board, Foamex, acrylic and wood up to one inch thick with accuracy greater than 0.1mm. Available with blade, laser cutters or routers, BW Cutters are exported to Europe, the Middle and Far East and throughout the USA.

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