Pratt Plastics was created by a dynamic husband and wife team. Richard studied Ocean Engineering at the Florida Institute of Technology, while his wife Danielle worked with CNC machines throughout her time in school, and both have since used their knowledge to step into the future.
Firstly, let us explain what a CNC machine is. CNC is an acronym, standing for : Computer Numerical Control. This basically means that a computer program calculates thousands of cross reference points using X,Y and Z axis. (Similar to pinpointing a location on a map using coordinates.) We then have to determine the speed of travel, and the intensity of cutting, to produce the desired effect on the material. Then the computer takes it from there and using very minute movements, directs the cutter to the specified destination and uses the other perimeters to perfectly cut the design, every single time.
According to a study by ARC Advisory Group, the CNC market is steadily on the rise. We will not lie and say that the recession did not effect our market, because it did. The Asian machine builders jumped the gun in 2008 and created a surplus of inventory. These CNC machines can be found and purchased on-line by anyone who has the capital and desire. However, we found that their software (that is only compatible with their machine and is usually in an Asian dialect) was not what we had hoped for, and turned out to be extremely limited. In addition, the machine itself, was made with the cheapest parts possible and was not capable of performing more than a hobbiest's level of engraving. Feeling the inadequacies of these machines, we felt our best alternative to fix the problem, was with our own design and American parts. This decision has turned out to be one of the best in business that we have made. Thanks to a handful of American companies, and our own ingenuity, we were able to produce a multi-function machine that adjusts to our needs. We also opted for an AMERICAN based software company: BobCAD. Their software system allows us to customize our cutting by programming which materials and cutting tools will be used. Giving us security in producing a product of perfection and allowing us to use the versatility we have designed into our machine.
The ARC Advisory Group claimed in their 2012 article at www.arcweb.com, that:
"Though multi-tasking machines have existed for a number of years, the technology has continued to gain traction as a growing application for CNC controls. Offering simultaneous operation of various applications (milling turning, grinding, etc.), multi-tasking machines is the natural extension of the machining center. Not only do these machines decrease the total number of machines necessary, but also the total production time. Like the machining center, it reduces set-up and transfer times and improves cycle time. Due to the need for fewer machines, it also reduces the factory's overall energy costs, as it saves on costly auxiliary equipment and coolants."
As we have grown, we have listened to our customers, and have found that we can be even MORE versatile! We have had many requests for small detailed projects, accompanied by multiplicity, strictly using acrylic. We have done our research and found an outstanding laser cutter that will fulfill our customer's desires. Our class IV, CO2, pulse laser cutter has a cutting area of 8.5 feet by 4 feet! Giving us ample room to cut an entire sheet at once, giving our customers the absolute best opportunity to save time, which saves money. This upgrade to our business has given us the ability to beat CHINA's prices! That's right, we are giving jobs to local Americans, at American wages, and STILL competing with CHINA! Our philosophy of "working smarter, not harder" has definitely proven itself time and time again.
What Pratt Plastics is hoping to accomplish in our first year of business is to reach out to our community and let them see the potential possibilities! We are not the single-tasking monotonous CNC manufacturer. We are able to adjust to our customers, both big and small. We believe that we have touched a virgin market for CNC machining business and we are already taking off! We grab people's attention by conceptualizing their dreams into a reality. We combine our capability to work in all types of materials, and our knowledgable ingenuity to create a beautiful finished product.
We have taken this piece of supportive light and are finding that our customers love it! They can't wait to come back to us with their next big idea! They love that we can work with so many different kinds of media, and have the knowledge base to back it up.