Delcam software transforms orthotics business Sub-4
Clifton Bradeley, Managing Director of orthotics manufacturer Sub-4 has hailed the effects of adding Delcam's OrthoModel and OrthoMill orthotics design and manufacturing software to his business. "This technology has transformed my company,” he claimed. "It has dramatically reduced our delivery times and has enabled a huge increase in our productivity. It has also allowed us to cut costs by becoming more efficient and so offer better value to our customers.”
Sub-4 was founded by Mr. Bradeley in 2004 following his qualification as a podiatrist while competing as an elite athlete. He established a new UK indoor record for the mile in 1985, with his time of under four minutes the inspiration for the Sub-4 name.
"With our traditional methods, we were always under pressure from our patients and the podiatrists we served,” explained Mr. Bradeley. "People used to have to wait up to six weeks for their orthotics, which was a long delay for patients that were in pain or sportsmen at risk of injury. Now our standard delivery time for new prescriptions is just one week, with faster delivery available in emergency cases. Any repeat prescriptions are even quicker, plus we can be confident that they will duplicate the original orthotic exactly.”
The increase in productivity has been just as important at Sub-4. "Previously, we would have struggled to make 50 pairs of orthotics in a month,” remembered Mr. Bradeley. "Now, we can easily make 100 pairs and could probably manage 150.” This extra capacity is becoming important because podiatrists are placing more orders as they gain increased trust in the new computer-based methods.
"The time saved in manufacturing has allowed me to put more effort into promoting the business, with more seminars, training courses and exhibitions,” added Mr. Bradeley. "It has also given me the confidence to chase larger orders, including a possible contract with the Ministry of Defence. I am already planning to expand our manufacturing with a second CNC machine.”
Mr. Bradeley admitted that the adoption of the software had not always gone smoothly. "The first version of the software that I tried, around two years ago, was in the very early stages of development and didn’t work too well,” he said. "However, even then, I believed Delcam was a company that I could trust and one that would work with me to deliver what I required. I had high confidence in the people there then and have even more now. They have put a lot of effort into making sure our system produces the results my customers need and have gone beyond what I think any other company would have done.”
The limitations of conventional manufacturing had proved especially frustrating for Mr. Bradeley since he had invested heavily in diagnostic equipment, including foot-scanning systems allowing in-depth measurement of pressure and force distribution, and video-based software for motion analysis. This high-technology approach, coupled with the experience gathered from working with more than 15,000 patients over twenty years, had established Sub-4 as a leader in bio-mechanical assessment and rectification. The company’s reputation was sealed when it was revealed that Sub-4 was a consultant to many of the leading players in the English Premier League.