CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Routing is a highly technical process of routing plastazote using a CAD (Computer Aided Design) programme. In simple terms, it’s a very technical piece of equipment technology that cuts through materials with automated precision.
This technique of foam cutting has numerous benefits, as it’s computerised programme allows for precise and complex shapes to be precision cut at speed and provide a consistent and exact fit every time.
Keep reading to discover how and why CNC foam cutting is so effective and efficient at reducing the costs of your industrial solutions.
Which Industries USE CNC Foam Cutting?
CNC foam cutting is a highly popular and effective solution used for the interior padding of various industry equipment. Due to the high quality precise finish this cutting solution offers, it carries a reputation for versatility and is commonly used for a wide array of equipment, including:
- Maintenance, service and repair equipment (e.g. tool control shadow foam inserts and boards
- Pharmaceutical, dental and medical cases
- Scientific Equipment
- Musical instruments, microphones and mixing boards
- Filming equipment
- Promotional sample presentation cases
- Electronic component packaging
- IT/Computer equipment
What Makes A CNC Router So Effective?
Instead of routing by hand, CNC Routers are controlled via a computer. A CAD (Computer Aided Design) System allows a path to be created that produces the products. Unmatchable precision and automation are the two main benefits of this tool, setting it apart from the competition.
The CNC router is one of many tools that have CNC variants, however this particular device is a computer-controlled cutting machine which can be used for a wide variety of materials – e.g. wood, aluminium, steels, plastics, foam, glass and materials.
How Is CNC Foam Cutting Cost Effective?
Perhaps the most pertinent benefit of CNC foam cutting and what makes it such a popular solution is its clear boosting of cost efficiency by producing high quality, reliable products every time. There are various other benefits that feed into this use of CNC routing solutions, including:
Producing precise and accurate results every time through being able to rely on the precise scale measurements of the technology. In the past, hand-held cutting solutions would have left the finished article far more susceptible to human error.
Low labour costs are ultimately achieved through the reduction of manpower or workers required for the cutting process – allowing the machinery to get the job done for far less cost. Usually, the minimum that is required is a small team to initially programme the device to suit your needs and initiate your projects and then to monitor the equipment in the (unlikely) case that any errors should occur.
A quick turn around of producing new products is achieved through this highly efficient technology minimising the time which it takes to produce the product and get it onto the market.
As mentioned above, the unmatchable levels of automation which CNC foam cutting achieves makes it a highly desirable solution for many industry needs. The cutting can be entirely automated on thousands upon thousands of different projects at a time and take care of this with efficiency and reliability.
One of the major benefits of the CNC router is that it can produce a one-off cutting solution just as effectively. This means that cost-efficiency isn’t only boosted through producing a batch of the same product, but you can also rely on high quality when looking for bespoke, one-off solutions as well.
CNC router hugely reduces the frequency of human error – ensuring the highest standard of finish on every item and also reducing waste. Thanks to the safety features installed in all CNC routing there less chance of both accidents or human mistakes occurring.
Digital, convenient training is another major benefit. The human element of this process being removed through the use of technology. Therefore, hands-on training is not a necessary part of using CNC foam cutting as the programming and control is taught online or by computers. This improves efficiency through minimising human resource and labour costs further.
How Does Computer Aided Design Help?
One of the reasons CAD is such a popular industry solution for designing and cutting foam inserts is that it has the ability to automate 3D imagery and integrate different components of the same product in tandem with each other.
At Potterton Pacs we use Computer Aided Design across many of our product ranges and bespoke creations. For example, we cut all our polystyrene, foam and plastics through the use of CNC cutting. Bespoke plastic cases with intricate foam inserts are cut with precision, using the exact dimensions of the equipment that needs protecting.
Both our band knife and polystyrene hot wire cutter enable us to provide cut to size, simple square cut pads of either polystyrene or foam to use as protective packing or for void filling and/or insulation purposes.
The more technical foam materials we convert are usually but not exclusively:
Polyurethane foam, also known as PU foam: Polyurathane/PU foam is usually medium density open cells foams. This kind of foam is ideal for foam inserts to go into cases with custom cut outs for providing organisation for sample products or for presentation purposes. This foam is well suited to items which are not too heavy or do not require the highest level of protection.
Polyethylene foam, also known as PE foam: Polethylene/PE foam is a closed-cell foam which is very firm (high density). It is also a very resilient foam which provides chemical and water-resistant properties, whilst also offering the highest protection against damage, vibration dampening and insulation. It is commonly used for heavier bulkier items that need protective packaging solutions such as tool kits and industrial or commercial items.
All of the foams detailed above can be converted or custom cut by utilising one of our custom cutting pieces of machinery which include a CNC Router, waterjet cutter, profiler and die cutting press. This specialist cutting machinery enables us to produce the more intricate shapes required for some custom foam projects and allows the foam or polystyrene to protect or present the items within precisely.
What Type Of Foam Is Used?
Plastazote foam is a highly versatile, polyethylene foam – produced as a by product of oil – which is the most commonly used material for CNC foam insert cutting. Compared to other foams, this is a highly durable and flexible material – making it very versatile for various different products and industries.
What Is The Result?
This technology is used to produce bespoke cut polyether foam inserts with cut outs or recesses providing plastazote drawer liners or custom case or padded bag inserts. The highly versatile nature of CNC routing means that bespoke interior designs can be customised to suit the specific needs of you and your products – providing a personalised, reliable finish every time.
Feeling convinced about the wide reaching benefits of CNC foam cutting for your industrial needs?
At PottertonPacs we use the latest technology to provide an unparalleled design and production service for all your customised packaging, display and transportation requirements. Curious to see our products for yourself? Make sure you pay a visit to our showroom to discover our various packaging and transport products including our custom sample bags.