Australia's largest bus manufacturer invests in locallv-built CNC routers
A high demand for its products and eager plans to drastically reduce lead-times led Australia’s largest bus manufacturer – Volgren – to invest in two Australian-built CNC router from Brisbane-based Advanced Robotic Technology (ART). The routers are being used to pre-drill the holes to further decrease lead-times and has proved to be cutting at four times the speed as the previous one. The company is so impressed they are thinking of purchasing a third. Bruce Hobbs, GM, comments that Volgren’s buses are unique. They have an aluminium body and bolted together rather than fabricated and welded, so therefore not as many jigs and fixtures are needed. Over 20,000 buses have been manufactured worldwide. “We had an older router here, which we needed to replace, ”Mr Hobbs says.
“When we started looking for it, the guys in the project team were going through identifying a couple of companies and they weren’t even looking at ART until I suggested we should evaluate their machine. It turned out that everything that ART supplied was superior, like the documentation or the service backup. The
end result was we chose an ART 16 metre long router.”
Mr Hobbs agrees and adds that “everyone was already impressed with the machine itself but when we started using it, we were really amazed with the ease of use.” It only took a few days to train an operator and within three weeks operators were up and running with the machine and the software. “With our old machine it would have taken about three months,” Mr Hobbs adds, “and there are more productivity gains. The new machine is cutting at probably four times the speed as the previous one, ”Mr Hobbs says. “That’s why we are thinking about getting a third one. The process we went through in evaluation identified some opportunities we hadn’t considered before. In the past, all the side panelling was all guillotine hand cut and folded. We are now cutting it all on the new ART router and eliminate the manual work.”
Since this story Volgren have purchased another CNC router from ART