Alpha Free-Flow Industries Limited has been committed to serving its customers with dedicated and loyal service for over 35 years. Alpha manufacturers spiral duct, rectangular duct, flat oval spiral duct, and other related products. As a founding member and past president of the Spiral Duct Manufacturers Association (SPIDA), Alpha continues to help set standards used today for spiral and flat oval ducting.
CNC cutting equipment is commonly used at Alpha Free-Flow for a variety of manufacturing processes. One addition to their production facility is a MultiCam Plasma System they purchased in early 2004 along with ShopData System’s ‘Quickduct CAM’ software. Prior to the investment, Alpha had a 10 foot long table. They purchased MultiCam’s Plasma System at twice the size resulting in 10-15% time savings per job. One key to purchasing a CNC machine is to consider the possibility of expanding your operation. Keep in mind there are occasions that require manufacturing outside of your typical material size upon the specification of certain jobs. As we spoke with Terry Pierce, the general manager at Alpha, he mentioned that their favourite feature on the machine is the convenient length of the table which enables them to cut longer material.
The first step to taking the lead in the HVAC industry is to modernize your production facility. Many manufacturers have found that updating to advanced technology consequently increases your production capacity. Purchasing quality capital equipment in CNC automation is a long-term investment that yields a favourable ROI. When combined with quality software, the overall package will essentially boost bottom-line earnings. CAD/CAM software is what drives the functionality of your CNC machine. What has proven to be a major benefit lies within the continuous updates of your machine by simply updating your software.
The ‘Quickduct CAM’ software Alpha uses on their machine is a more advanced version of the ‘Basic Parts’ software that MultiCam Canada typically offers to its HVAC customers. ‘Quickduct CAM’ includes several features that help manufacturers process accurate parts, minimize material usage, and speed up part processing time. For instance, you can easily input dimensions; quantity and material type, and see an actual 3D preview of the fitting and a 2D flat layout of the parts. With the auto-nest button, parts will be nested in the most optimal design to minimize material usage. The HVAC fittings library comes with rectangle, round and flat oval fitting shapes including cones, offsets, elbows, wyes, branch fittings, and square-to-rounds. ‘Quickduct CAM’ offers an endless line of capabilities such as mitering, reducing, concentric/eccentric dimensioning, seam placement, dual wall, inside/outside diameter material compensation, and the list goes on. In addition, for those who frequently cut similar parts with varying dimensions, ShopData’s macro programming utilities allows you to build your own dimensionable shape library eliminating the process of re-drawing every variation of a given part type. The largest job Alpha has recently taken on is for the RBC Data Center in Stratford with over 200,000 lbs of fittings. When asked how the software has been able to improve their overall production, Terry states that because the software updates itself each year, they gain better nesting capabilities, material savings and improved turnaround time as more and more fittings can be put in each time. “The better your software, the better your machine”.
MultiCam offers 1000 Series, 3000 Series, 6000 Series, and V-Series plasma machines with your choice of zoned downdraft or water filled table, high RPM scribes for part marking, fixed or oscillating knife options for liner cutting, and more. MultiCam is proud to be the top North American ShopData Software authorized reseller and combined with our industry-leading machines we guarantee an ideal package for all HVAC applications. If you have any inquiries regarding machines or available software please click here to contact our sales department.
Source: MultiCam Newsletter: “HVAC Edition” – Volume 1, Issue 5