PDF iconCase study videoAlphacam Gets Postural Care Products To Market Faster

 

Keeping up with the latest releases of Alphacam software, ensures new postural care products for special needs children throughout the Western world, can be brought to market within three months.
   
Working in partnership with individuals, clinicians and carers to create products with a clinical and emotional focus, James Leckey Design have around 20 brands in their portfolio, including Mygo, Squiggles, Comfee Seat and Pal.

“Without Alphacam, one of the main challenges of manufacturing our components on the woodwork routers would be to machine both sides. But Alphacam easily handles reverse side machining, which is invaluable in helping us bring extra features to our products”

Wesley Henderson, Engineering Manager

“We’re constantly developing our range of products, and Alphacam gives us the ability to control our own designs and manufacture them in-house for prototyping and testing,” says Engineering Manager Wesley Henderson.

Operating out of 100,000 square foot premises with a total of 200 employees in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, the company have around 60,000 components on their MRP system for assembling 4,000 individual products in over 30 lines of mobility, standing, sitting and sleeping aids. “They’re designed to assist children and young adults in their daily lives to do things that most of us take for granted. Our users don’t have the physical tone to sit or stand unaided, and our products support them by maintaining good posture.”
 
The products are manufactured from a wide variety of materials, including plastic injection moldings, aluminum extrusions, die castings, formed steel and aluminum, wood and plastic. Alphacam is used specifically for cutting woods and plastics on their two SCM CNC routers. “In particular we have a range of seats where the wooden components are cut with Alphacam, but many of our metal products also have some wood or plastic components which are cut on the routers and programd in Alphacam.”
 
Wesley Henderson heads the manufacturing engineering facility’s team of six, which is part of the overall product development department. High precision of their wood and plastic components is paramount, as he says many products contain sliding parts which are adjustable to fit individual users, and need to work consistently.

They have five seats of Alphacam, and he says it is simple to import 3D geometry from their SolidWorks CAD system and apply the appropriate tools. “Once the piece part is created we nest it and feed it directly to the router where we start the production cuts.

“Without Alphacam, one of the main challenges of manufacturing our components on the woodwork routers would be to machine both sides. But Alphacam easily handles reverse side machining, which is invaluable in helping us bring extra features to our products.”

He says new employees also produce consistent results extremely quickly on Alphacam, as it is so easy to use. “And keeping up with the twice-yearly releases every time, is especially important, as there are new and enhanced functions in each update that save us more time and keep productivity high.”

In particular, the new Automation Manager in Alphacam 2016 R1 is proving especially useful. With a standard CAD/CAM system each file has to be processed individually by inserting the file, extracting the features, applying tool directions and toolpaths, saving the file and NC code, then generating the required reports. But Alphacam can now take a group, or batch, of files and automate the complete processing of the parts.

“This new function means our 2D and 3D CAD files, and solid models from SolidWorks, can be batch processed from file preparation right through to applying toolpaths and generating NC code.”
 
Since James Leckey Design was founded in 1983 the company has grown into a globally recognised pioneer in the research, design and development of clinically focused, posturally supportive products. Wesley Henderson concludes: “Our R&D process identifies the clinical needs and provides practical solutions while respecting the emotional needs of these youngsters, and with Alphacam we can readily design and produce products to meet those requirements.

“Our prototypes combine the clinical and the practical, and give us working examples to trial with clinicians and end users in order to refine and improve the final product.”
 


About the Company

Name: James Leckey Design

Business: Design and manufacturer of equipment for children with special needs

Website: www.leckey.com


Benefits Achieved

  • Gives the ability to control own designs and manufacture them in-house for prototyping and testing
  • Can now take a group, or batch, of files and automate the complete processing of the parts
  • Easy to use technology allows new employees to produce consistent results extremely quickly

Comments

“Without Alphacam, one of the main challenges of manufacturing our components on the woodwork routers would be to machine both sides. But Alphacam easily handles reverse side machining, which is invaluable in helping us bring extra features to our products”

Wesley Henderson, Engineering Manager


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