Delcam plc has congratulated FSG Tool & Die, a producer of high-quality high-volume moulds, on being presented with both the Best Toolmaker Award and the overall Grand Prix Award at the MetalWorking Production Awards held during April’s MACH 2008 exhibition in Birmingham, UK. FSG has been a Delcam customer for six years.
A close relationship between the companies has been a significant factor in FSG’s continuing growth, according to its managing director Gareth Jenkins.
“All UK toolmakers will struggle to compete on price with competitors based in countries with lower labour costs,” admits Jenkins. “To achieve our goal of becoming the leading UK-based toolmaker, we need to provide our customers with better service and higher quality. The commitment and support of our suppliers is crucial.”
Jenkins reports that the introduction of 3D technology—particularly design modelling and programming—was a major change in FSG’s business, and also a major challenge requiring considerable application support. The change turned out to develop the company’s competitive edge, however.
Other reasons Jenkins gives for the continued progress of FSG are the company’s versatility in making a variety of tooling, supplemented by some precision machining and prototyping; its servicing of customers across a range of industries; and its focus on technically difficult projects requiring mould tools that can run reliably 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The use of Delcam software plays a role in all of these areas. However at the start of the development Delcam was not the first choice. After a disastrous first experience with a CAM system from another company, FSG tried PowerMill.
“We were aware of Delcam through the GTMA [Gauge and Tool Makers Association], and we approached the company for help with the development,” recalls Jenkins. “Delcam facilitated an excellent benchmarking exercise with assisted support to test PowerMill on our applications. We have never looked back.”
Jenkins says that the relationship with Delcam is all about people. “There is a high level of mutual respect between both teams,” he explains. “We both feel that we are good at what we do. Delcam staff regularly audit our progress to establish best practice, and we like to think that we can influence the software development process.”