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C&K Extrusions Ltd cuts tooling costs with Sodick machines
C&K Extrusions Ltd cuts tooling costs with Sodick machines
C&K Extrusions Ltd cuts tooling costs with Sodick machines

C&K Extrusions Ltd cuts tooling costs with Sodick machines

Added to MTDCNC by Sodi-Tech on 09 November 2015

With over 40 years of history, C&K Extrusions is a 25-employee, family owned manufacturer of extruded profiles from a wide range of materials which are utilised across industries that include construction, electrical/electronic, agriculture, automotive and packaging, with the latter also providing an important export market. The company has attained an enviable reputation for fast, innovative design solutions and high quality of service. Year-on-year the ISO9001 accredited business reinvests in state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment, and this year it has been the toolroom’s turn to see new machinery arrive.


‘We wanted to impart a wholesale modernisation of our tooling facility for two reasons: to create greater flexibility in tooling manufacture by introducing 24 hour operations, and to drive a substantial reduction in tooling system costs for our customers,’ explains managing director, Jack Ciupka.


Mr Ciupka says that the trio of machines was selected following a detailed benchmarking exercise, with Sodick topping the list for a number of reasons, including machine capabilities that allow greater tool design freedom; a user-friendly operating system; and excellent support and training from Sodi-Tech EDM.


‘The machines are incredibly versatile,’ he states. ‘The SLC600G, for example, offers 6-8-axis capability which creates any number of possibilities from a tool design perspective. This is important because we work with customers from start-ups to blue chip companies, to help design and develop solutions that meet their needs. Whether the challenge is form, fit, function, materials or colour – we can help.’


C&K Extrusion’s design team helps customers visualise concepts using the latest 3D CAD software, which in turn is networked to the company’s CNC facility. Along with tooling that is quickly and accurately engineered for testing using the Sodick EDM machines, C&K’s in-house capabilities ensure that the company can respond rapidly to customer requests and assist from initial concept to final production, implementing modification as required, to provide accurate, high quality extrusions.


Some extrusions are made from flexible or co-extruded materials, although the majority of parts are rigid. With very demanding control of tolerances and wall thickness that vary from 0.3 mm upward, products extend from complex window and roof line profiles, through to simple pipe/conduit and any number of single and twin wall profiles.


Although there is some small batch tooling work at C&K, most of the extrusion tools are 1-offs, typically with high tolerance (micron level) requirements. Materials are largely tool steels, although brass, aluminium and tungsten are also machined.


‘Acquiring the Sodick machines has been a major investment on our part, however, we felt the need for a combination of machines to generate competitive advantage across the range of tools we produce,’ says Mr Ciupka. ‘I’m pleased to report that, thanks to 24-hour operations and speeds some 50% faster than we were previously able to achieve, we have been able to reduce tooling costs considerably. In short, the benefits have been immense.’


Mr Ciupka is also impressed with the service offered by Sodi-Tech, stating that C&K Extrusions ‘receives world class training and sales/spares support’. Indeed, training is currently ongoing to ensure the company’s operator/programmers become even more adept at maximising the competitive gain on offer from these advanced machines.


‘As we progress along the learning curve, so will we further increase our capability and machine utilisation,’ says Mr Ciupka. ‘Sodi-Tech have been extraordinarily supportive throughout the process and delivered exactly what they promised.’

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