Cap-Thin Mold Driving Down Lead Times
Cap-Thin Mold (Mississauga, Ontario) came into being in 2013 as the result of a merger between two highly regarded tool makers that wanted to grow infrastructure in order to satisfy customer requests for more tooling and shorter lead times. At the time of the merger, lead times for 32-cavity molds were 18-20 weeks.
Today, the manufacturing operations are consolidated within a new, larger facility and lead times for a 32-cavity mold have been driven down to 8-10 weeks. Carmen Goudey, Manager of CNC Operations, explained that much of lead time improvements could be credited to the company’s reliance on 4-axis high-speed machining centers and advanced computer manufacturing strategies employing Mastercam®.
In the CNC shop, there are typically 15 to 20 projects going on at any one time. Each machinist programs, sets-up, and operates his own machine. Each CNC machine has a computer with its own seat of Mastercam installed on it. The company has 13 seats of Mastercam. High-speed machining, along with reducing the number of setups, tool changes and secondary operations, have all played an important role in reducing lead times by almost 50% in many cases.
Cap-Thin is also increasingly relying on roughing toolpaths incorporating Mastercam’s Dynamic Motion technology to minimize cutting tool wear. This not only reduces tool costs but also improves manufacturing process accuracy and consistency. Tool life is about ten times better, evacuation is excellent, and there is less wear and tear on the machines.
Goudey said that Cap-Thin is continually updating equipment to improve precision and break bottlenecks. Securing a steady stream of qualified workers who can understand and use these technologies effectively is a concern that is being addressed via work-study programs that Cap-Thin is involved in with two local area colleges. “All these things involve a lot of work,” he said, “but it is something we owe our loyal customers who are rewarding us with more business.”