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Coasting along with a Kimla

Coasting along with a Kimla

Continued investment has seen Orchard Melamine steadily increase both its production and market share of high quality melamine promotional products, with the company’s latest acquisition, a high speed Kimla CNC router, helping to raise its bespoke coaster production beyond 2.5 million units per year.

The midlands based company was established in 1964 and bought by the current owners in 1999 when manufacturing was moved to its purpose built factory in Rutland. The family run business has since grown substantially and has a diverse customer base with companies operating in the promotional, catering, retail and educational markets.

Its customised melamine products include coasters, place mats and, since the beginning of the year, fridge magnets. Each item is hand finished with a choice of backing, including felt and cork, but a bottle neck in the physical routing o of the material was limiting any further increase in productivity, with Orchard Melamine’s four dedicated Wadkin UX CNC routers unable to keep pace with demand.

kimla-cnc-machineAfter extensive market research, Orchard Melamine’s Gary Chamberlain contacted Daltons Wadkin, the Nottingham-based supplier of a comprehensive range of composite and panel processing equipment, to discuss the issues.  He explained: ‘Processing time was, of course, key, but it was also imperative that the high standard of quality with which we are synonymous, was maintained. We use melamine for our coasters as it is an extremely durable product, but of course, this makes it all the tougher when machining.”

He continued: “Each of our four Wadkin UX CNC machines are loaded with a sheet of 10 coasters at a time and they take approximately six minutes to machine”.

Fortunately, at the time that Gary approached it, Daltons Wadkin had just taken on the agency for Kimla, a leading European manufacturer of CNC machines, including high speed routers, waterjets and laser cutters.

The company’s Managing Director, Alex Dalton felt that the  Kimla offered a number of advantages over other CNC options. He sad: ‘Orchard Melamine needed a high volume production machine that would run almost continually and, since each Kimla is custom built to extreme tolerances, features only the very best components and is also equipped with the unique Dynamic Vector Analysis (DVA) system for fast operation while maintaining an exceptional cutting finish, it was the ideal solution.”

A customised vacuum bed was developed to secure the coasters. Alex observed: “Under normal conditions securing a 100 x 100mm component would not be a problem, but in order to ramp up the processing time, we developed an individual vacuum pod system to sit behind each coaster to provide the maximum vacuum pressure to enable machining times to be further reduced’.

The Kimla now processes a full sheet of 40 coasters in under four  minutes, a speed that is six times faster than that previously attainable.

Gary Chamberlain concludes: ‘I am absolutely delighted with the Kimla. We have been operating it for two years now with no issues what so ever, and it produces more units than the other four machines put together! What’s more, the installation support, training and backup provides by Daltons Wadkin has been first class too.”

For further information on the range of products and services available from Daltons Wadkin, Tel: 0115 986 5201  e-mail or visit

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