Delcam's ArtCAM Team Interview Michael Buckley
The jewellery company Michael's Designs has gained a terrific reputation for quality, and their president, Michael Buckley, a second generation jeweller, believes a large part of that success is down to ArtCAM.
So Michael just how long have you been using ArtCAM Pro to produce your jewellery?
We have been using ArtCAM successfully for three and a half years.
What production methods did you use previous to incorporating software?
Everything we did was made the old fashioned way. Carving waxes by hand which we thought were pretty good, that is until we saw what ArtCAM could achieve. The old methods were very time consuming and took a lot of time to get them right.
Why did you decide to look at software packages, what was bad about the previous methods?
I was at a jewellery show when I saw the software package and it knocked my socks off, I had never seen anything like it and was very impressed with the waxes it cut .I had always dreamed of having a machine that could do this sort of thing but I never thought it would be in my life time.
The problem with the previous methods, as I said above is the type of jewellery we produce. It is the best you can get out there and we are very strict on quality, so producing first class models is very time consuming and human hands can only do so much. If any changes had to be made to the model, some times a very slight change, in most cases we would have to redo the whole model again, pushing up the costs and adding to the time factor. Time is a big problem in the jewellery business as most sales depend on how fast a piece of jewellery can be produced.
What made you finally choose ArtCAM above the rest?
I choose ArtCAM for all the above reasons and mostly because it produces precision pieces. The quality cannot be matched by human hands and in a fraction of the time it used to take because any changes that have to be made to the model takes only a few minutes rather than a few hours or in most cases days previously. Also because it is the future and one day all jewellery will be produced this way.
You can take a person with no skills at all and in a few days of training they can produce a wax model that a 30 year master craftsman would only dream of doing. Had I not seen ArtCAM and bought it, I would not want to be in the manufacturing business anymore. I wouldn't be able to compete in today’s market place. The high cost of labour and the problem of finding good jewellers is a growing problem and getting worse each year. Some work we now do we would never have even tried of doing because it would have been impossible to do by hand.
Were there any problems of bringing ArtCAM into the business and any initial issues you had with personnel?
We never had any big issues introducing ArtCAM the only small issue we had is the staff would stand and watch it cut waxes for hours at a time and I could not get them to go back and finish their jobs
What is ArtCAM especially good at producing?
Importing different types of files, Pave jewellery, Eternity rings, Wedding bands, Fine filigree work, Bracelet\necklace links, Class rings, Pendants, Earrings, Custom jewellery, helping with calculating costs in different metals, saving time, has and still is increasing my profits. Producing all types of pieces in a third of the time.
What is ArtCAM not so good at, what did you think it could do that It has not been able to?
The drawing package of previous versions were not good at all, but they have been improved in the latest version. They could still improve more on the rendering side which I believe is coming in the new version.
What are the main benefits ArtCAM has brought?
I have 4 sons and in the past people have asked me if I would let my boys be Jewellers, I have always said no. But now Artcam has changed my outlook and there is now a big future for anybody who wants to be in the designing and manufacturing part of this business:
We can consistently produce quality work
We can produce it in half the time
We can do projects now we would never have done in the past
We have been able to triple our production without employing extra staff
We now do everything in house
ArtCam has helped us create our own style of jewelry
Because of the high Quality and fast turnaround time we have attracted more custom work from surrounding jewelers