Cardinal Manufacturing offers CNC routing and laser cutting for metal fabrication and production, engraving, a large format print department and full visual solutions for interior/exterior signage, including signing planning and development. Located in Indianapolis, IN, the company has been in business for 29 years. In 2000, Cardinal Manufacturing purchased its first CNC router and a few years ago realized it wasn’t meeting their needs anymore. “Edge condition is very important to us,” said Jim Mulligan, Vice President and General Manager of Cardinal Manufacturing. “We were finding that the corners left a little bit to be desired because it [the router] wasn’t one of the new helical rack, servo motor machines. Our machine was losing steps and we were never happy with the way the corners looked and how the pieces fit together.”
After viewing the CNC routers displayed at the NBM Show in Indianapolis, Cardinal decided to visit two of the manufacturers to see specific machine demonstrations. Ultimately, Cardinal Manufacturing purchased a Pacer CNC router from AXYZ. A major factor in the decision was that the Pacer’s tool changer is a carousel affixed to the Y axis of the machine, reducing the amount of travel for each tool change. Additionally, any software program can be used with the AXYZ Pacer. Cardinal Manufacturing liked AXYZ’s turnkey approach. “AXYZ put together a reliable package of a machine with terrific features,” said Mulligan. “It’s a more open architecture piece of equipment. And the software they package with it, at a very affordable price, works very well for us and what we do.” Mulligan also appreciates the machine’s efficiency and that the controller is integrated into the actual structure of the table instead of having it as a separate piece. Cardinal Manufacturing uses AXYZ’s Gold Maintenance Program, which provides onsite router maintenance by qualified AXYZ technicians to extend the life of their Pacer.
Cardinal Manufacturing recently purchased a second Pacer to keep up with the demand as the business has grown. This allows Cardinal to service more than one customer at a time. “We were trying to do 12 hours of routing in a 10- or 8-hour day, and we had an uneven workflow. We have a lot of ideas and when you have 12 hours a day of routing, dreams are back burner things,” said Mulligan. “Now our work flow has improved and we’ve been able to rapid prototype displays for architects for their submittals. This has really helped build our business.” In fact, Cardinal Manufacturing was the only sign company invited to display its products at this year’s Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International Annual Conference and Expo. “We are now in the process of manufacturing an entire new array of samples for presentations. This router’s enabling us to do that. If you’re going to get a machine, get the Pacer,” said Mulligan.