A pattern manufacturing company wanted to expand their business but was facing a serious problem—a severe shortage in skilled labor. Was it time to automate?
Cambridge Patterns is a wood pattern manufacturer for the foundry industry. Established in 1978 and located in Cambridge, a small city in southern Ontario, Cambridge Patterns makes forms that are used to create machine parts. Their primary clients are in the energy and marine industries, including the United States Coast Guard and Hibernia, a Canadian oil exploration and drilling company.
Skilled Labor Shortage
The lack of available skilled labor was constricting Cambridge Patterns’ business. They had been doing most of their pattern making manually, but finding enough employees to do this work—and also help grow Cambridge Patterns’ business—was getting more and more difficult. In October of 2012, they approached AXYZ International, the leading supplier of CNC routers, for help. “Up until they started to use the router almost everything was done manually and the skilled labor required to do this type of work is very hard to find,” says Todd Hamilton, the AXYZ sales representative who helped Cambridge Patterns.
The Solution: AXYZ 5012 Series Router
Hamilton guided Cambridge Patterns through the process of choosing the right AXYZ router from the many available in AXYZ router portfolio. They selected the 5012 model, but had it customized with a larger work area and higher gantry for increased capacity. The 5012 Series machine was delivered and installed at Cambridge Patterns’ manufacturing facility in December of 2012.
Profits Increased by 10 Percent
Cambridge is more than happy with the results, says Ian Goodhand, the company’s owner and president. The router has helped the company improve both their production and reached new markets.
“We’ve increased our output in certain areas of our product line by 10 percent,” says Goodhand. “The AXYZ 5012 has also provided [Cambridge Patterns] with an increased customer base in certain markets which were not possible prior to the purchase of the machine.”
Additionally, the AXYZ 5012 decreased their lead times in their existing markets, which allowed for an increase in production, and the company has already seen their profits boosted by a healthy 10 percent.
Cambridge Patterns is now looking forward to further expansion and the ability to offer their products to even more industries along with their core clients. “As the energy and marine industries grow and require more sophisticated and adaptable products, Cambridge Patterns is now able to more adeptly respond to their needs,” says Goodhand.
About Cambridge Patterns Ltd:
Cambridge Patterns began in what was then Galt, Ontario in 1934 as Stephens Patterns Works, and was renamed in 1978. They currently operate in a 11,300 square foot facility and have 21 employees. Cambridge Patterns produces a wide range of quality pattern equipment and general machine parts, which consist of prototype models and patterns, wood, epoxy, aluminum and cast iron patterns and coreboxes, investment dies and moulds, vacuum, thermo-forming blow, rotational moulds and shell work.
About AXYZ International:
Beginning in 1990 as a machinery service company in Mississauga, Ontario, AXYZ International has since expanded into manufacturing their own CNC Routers. Now an international company with 11 offices in 5 countries, AXYZ is the leader in cutting systems for signage, aluminum composite, metalworking, and more, with the quickest fabrication and delivery times in the industry.