CR Clarke

CR Clarke & Company was founded by Chris Clarke in 1974. With industrial experience at Rolls Royce along with seven years as an engineering lecturer. Chris was approached by a former colleague to build a simple heating machine to use with plastics in school workshops.

CR Clarke General Information

Production started in the outbuildings of the family home, and by 1977 a small range of strip heaters and vacuum forming machines had been developed. In 1978 the company relocated to Ammanford, South Wales and moved to its current factory in 1982. Chris Clarke retired in 2004. At this time his son Maurice completed a Management Buyout to purchase the company and take it forward.

Today, we have a dedicated team of around 25 people, many of who have worked in our company for over 20 years. This depth of experience helps us both when working in new projects, and also with any support questions that arise even for older products.

We are experienced and enthusiastic engineers. Our philosophy has always been to be self-sufficient, to maximises flexibility and control over quality and priorities. We have continually evolved and embraced new technologies, and create our range from raw material all the way through to finished products, including:

Design

CR Clarke are continually developing our range of products. We use SolidWorks 3D CAD for this work, enabling us to model and develop new products and modifications quickly and efficiently. We have add-ons to the SolidWorks package for sheet metal (Radan), CNC milling and turning (CAMWorks), documentation (SolidWorks Composer) and schematic generation (SolidWorks Electrical). We believe that this powerful suite of software, coupled with our skilled design engineers, enables us to respond to any customers requests and also continue to develop our product range.

Sheet Metal and Fabrication

Most of the cabinets for our machines are manufactured from sheet metal, stainless and aluminium. This is profiled using a state-of-the-art Amada CNC punchpress driven by CADCAM software linked directly to our design software, and then folded using an Amada CNC Pressbrake. Our technicians also use spot, MiG and TiG welding to create our machine parts.

Machining

Our Machine Shop is equipped with two CNC Vertical Machining Centres, 3 Axis CNC lathe, 2 Axis CNC lathe, and an array of manual and semi-automatic equipment. Our CAMWorks software allows us to programme our machines directly from the 3D model of the component, minimising setup times and enabling us to produce small batches to close tolerances very efficiently.

Assembly

CR Clarke skilled technicians complete the mechanical and electrical assembly of our products. As all of our products tend to be manufactured in relatively low volumes our technicians are multi-skilled enabling them to turn their hand to building any of our machines.

Delivery

We have a wealth of experience with shipping items from our factory across the world and work with some of the leading freight forwarders. We also have our own fleet of delivery vehicles which regularly travel across the UK and Europe.

PLC Programming

We have used PLC control in our products since 2003 and have two core PLC systems that we use in our products. One is a bare-board system and the other is a full-colour touchscreen. We have developed all of the PLC programmes that are used in our equipment, and over the years have provided additional features for customers including barcode scanning to control machine parameters, auto-emailing from the PLC to integrate with production control systems, and in-cycle label printing of ID tags. Should you have any specific requirements for any of our PLC controlled machines we would be happy to discuss this with you.

Customer Support

We firmly believe that this is a critical element to customer satisfaction and try to ensure that all customers, whether needing a spare part for their machine or just some advice and guidance on setup and operation, receive friendly and knowledgable support. We deal in many industries, including:

  • Education
  • Industrial Plastic Fabrication
  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Motor Sport
  • Consumer IT products and accessories
  • Medical

A large proportion of our output goes into UK education, primarily to Design and Technology in Secondary Schools, where plastics have been part of the National Curriculum for many years.

Exports account for around 20% of our output, with a mixture of commercial and educational customers. We have developed close relationships with distributors in many parts of the world, and these are always on hand to provide you with highly knowledgeable local support.

CR Clarke Product

Strip Heaters

Our range of Strip Heaters will suit most applications from simple folds in thin materials through to multiple bends in materials up to 25mm thick. All of our machines have been painstakingly developed for performance, accuracy and ease of use.

Vacuum Formers

Our vacuum forming equipment is used in many applications including education, industrial fabrication, medical and automotive. All of our vacuum formers are engineered for ease of use, longevity and output quality.

Thermoforming Centre

Seven thermoforming processes within one easy-to-use combined machine.

Hot Wire Sculptors

Our Hot Wire Sculptors are simple to use and ideal for accurate and clean cuts on expanded polystyrene foams.

Schred Plastic Recycling System

Our innovative plastic recycling system. Suitable materials (including PP, HIPS, LDPE, but excluding acrylics), are initially granulated, and then re-pressed with heat and pressure to create new sheet materials or completed items.

Edge Polishers

Edge Polishing is used to regenerate the edges of plastic sheets after cutting to size, providing the high gloss finish expected by customers. We provide two solutions, flame polishers and diamond polishers.

Injection Moulding Machine

Our injection moulding machine produces high-quality mouldings from aluminium or steel tools. All working parts of the machine are visible, making this machine ideal in an educational environment.

Ovens

Temperature controlled fan circulated ovens, ideal for warming materials for drying, annealing and thermoforming. Our ovens can also reach the higher temperatures required for plastic dip coating.

Dip Coating Equipment

We produce a range of fluidised baths and a Variable Speed Blower Unit, allowing users to dip coat metal items to create a durable and attractive finish.

Dome Blowing Units

Our Dome Blowing Units consist of aluminium or steel rings with heavy-duty toggle clamps. The lack of a mould ensures that the resulting hemisphere is optically clear and blemish free.

Laser Cutting Systems

We supply large-format laser cutting systems from EuroLaser, and also cost-effective fully integrated machines with glass tube lasers. We have a team of specialists to specify, install and support this range of products.

3D Vacuum Dye Transfer Printing

We have over 12 years of experience in developing, manufacturing and optimising 3D dye transfer systems. With over 500 systems worldwide, we have amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding the process, workflow and optimisation.

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