Delcam Provides Golf Company with a Program for Growth


An investment in Delcam's ArtCAM software and CNC routers has driven a huge increase in business at Great Lakes Golf Course Products. "When I started here we had around 10 employees and our turnover was around $750,000 per year," said CNC manager, Kevin Keepers. "Now, we have 50 people and turn over that amount almost every month. About 80% of our products are made using ArtCAM. Without the software, the company would never have been able to grow at the pace that it has."

Great Lakes Golf Course Products started out just over a decade ago, manufacturing recycled plastic rope stakes, hazard markers and fairway signs for local courses. Since then, it has grown into a multi-million dollar enterprise providing the most prestigious golf courses around the world with highly stylised, custom-tailored furnishings and amenities.

For its first six years, Great Lakes outsourced much of its custom sign work to a local sign maker and other manufacturers. This was expensive and did not allow the company to control quality, design or scheduling. The management realised that they could save a great deal of money and gain more control over their process by buying a CNC router and software.

After investigating a number of options, Great Lakes decided to buy an Anderson router, ArtCAM Pro and ArtCAM Insignia. Although the company's initial needs were met by the 2D and 2½D capabilities of Insignia, an anticipated expansion into 3D, combined with a forecast for high demand, lead Great Lakes to conclude that investment in both versions was warranted. In the first year, the company saved US$250K on work that was previously outsourced. It has subsequently bought a second router.

"Mostly, we do 2D signs and products, such as tee markers and information signs for each hole," explained Mr. Keepers. "We also offer about 45 standard sign products which are already set up to run in ArtCAM Insignia."

"Recently, we have been exploring the 3D side of the software more, and looking at offering more sculpted products," he added. "We are just beginning to scratch the surface of what we can offer our customers and I am excited about this end of the business. Since most of our business is custom designed, the ease of use of ArtCAM Pro and its ability to go from customer logos and artwork is a real help."

"I really like the tracing ability, plus the ability to load the customer's artwork and fit clean vectors around it so that I can create toolpaths. I also like the drawing tools in ArtCAM and find I am able to do my entire design layout in the software," he said.

"By doing the layout and design in-house, we can get instant feedback from the customer, then make any changes needed and move onto the next version. All this prevents having to worry about sub-contractors."

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