IQ Manufacturing’s Third MC Machinery Diamond Cut High-Speed Mill helped broaden its Mold Production Capability and Capacity with “Superior Results”!
In July, 2015, long time friends Kelly Vaught and Chris Braniecki started IQ Manufacturing. According to Chris, here’s how it happened: “Kelly’s mom and my mother-in-law went back 50 years so Kelly and I had been friends for about 12 years. The reason we started IQ was because we received a patent on a piece of sports equipment. We solicited quotes for the molds to make our device and the cost was very close to an investment in mold making equipment. I told Kelly, ‘Hell, for that much money, we could start our own shop!’ And the rest is history.”
Chris and Kelly are co-owners with complementary skills. Chris is a 20-year veteran of CNC manufacturing, specifically in the mold making industry while Kelly is an accomplished entrepreneur who has started, managed and grown businesses, one of which he sold successfully and profitably. Both gentlemen are Michigan natives with deep roots in our state. Chris runs the machinery and the shop and Kelly manages the business side of the operation.
IQ just purchased their third CNC Vertical Machining Center from Performance Machinery — a DV-1200 equipped with a powerful Mitsubishi control, 1000 PSI high pressure coolant, 15,000 RPM Spindle, a laser tool setter and a spindle probe for part pickup. This purchase was made at IMTS 2016 and along with the new machine configured above, they were able to add high pressure coolant systems and spindle probes to their two other existing machines, the DV-800 and DV-1000.
With three machines of varying size equipped with the ancillary technology, they have quickly increased both their capacity and their capability and are averaging a new machine every 6 months in their first 18 months of being in business. They are already expanding their shop floor space for more machinery, adding employees to increase output and thinking ahead to their next building as they begin to outgrow the existing facility.
Specializing in die/mold applications, but able and willing to machine virtually anything that fits on their machine, including production jobs, Chris and Kelly are poised for strong growth and are committed to doing so in a systematic fashion with the help and support of Performance Machinery.
Owner Tom Barr and operator Tyler Belloli, of TK Mold in Romeo
Michigan, in front of their New OPS Ingersoll Eagle 1200 Sinker EDM.
TK Mold & Engineering, Inc. established in 2003, is a global and domestic resource in the Plastic Injection Mold Industry. TK Mold is a full service company that can take the customer’s mold from initial design stage to full production. Their customer base ranges from Automotive to Consumer Goods
MD Hubbard Springs Company – manufacturing precision springs for the Automotive and Aerospace industries for over 100 years.
The MD Hubbard Spring Company, over 100 years old, invested in a Mitsubishi MV 1200R Wire EDM to replace two aging Wire EDM machines. Nevin Hubbard, a Great Grandson of the founder of the family business, is shown with his new Mitsubishi. Nevin and his dad, Charles, now run the business. They began making springs for Henry Ford, see the letter signed by Henry Ford in 1903. The Company manufactures springs and clips on four-slide presses, and the new Mitsubishi Wire EDM will be used to build precision dies and punches for the presses. Nevin is achieving remarkable unattended erosion hours with multiple workpieces fixtured in the work tank, and the reliable automatic wire threader on the MV1200R insures “lights out” machining. The tolerances and surface finishes they can obtain are superior. Nevin designed the new Wire EDM room with adequate floor space to accommodate a second Mitsubishi MV Wire EDM!
They also build springs for the aerospace industry, see the 1927 letter from Wright Aeronautical Corporation. Amazingly, they had companies in 1927 in Pontiac, Michigan supporting aerospace as well as automotive. Nevin’s grandfather knew the importance of diversification even in 1927, 2 years before Black Friday of 1929
Midwest Mold of Roseville Michigan purchases FIRST CHETO
7-Axis Deep Hole Drilling and Milling Machine sold in the USA!
MIDWEST MOLD in Roseville Michigan has invested in the very first CHETO CNC Deep Hole Drilling and Milling Machine in the USA. The IX2000 7-Axis CNC Gun Drilling Machine with Milling capability was ordered in August 2017. Midwest Mold President/CEO John Hill will be visiting the beautiful new Cheto Manufacturing facility in Portugal to see the machines’ completion in February. This revolutionary machine will be delivered March of 2018. Midwest Mold also invested in an Eagle 1200 CNC Sinker EDM from OPS Ingersoll, their third Eagle EDM! These investments are insuring the Competitiveness, Return-On-Investment and Longevity of Midwest Mold for many years to come.
Ownership of OPS Ingersoll EDM visits Roush Manufacturing
We were honored to have the ownership from OPS Ingersoll EDM here in town to visit with Roush Manufacturing in Farmington Hills, Michigan to discuss their many successes with their new OPS Ingersoll Eagle 800 and 1200 Sinker EDM Machines. The OPS Ingersoll Sinker EDM’s have produced quite a buzz in the local marketplace because of it’s very low electrode wear and extremely fast cycle times. Roush Manufacturing is realizing the benefits of this new technology on a daily basis!
Rainer and Matthias were also able to visit Twin Mold in Shelby Township, Michigan andCavalier Tool in Windsor, Ontario to discuss their successful OPS Ingersoll EDM installations as well.
From Left: Matthias Schmidt, Rainer Jung (Owners at OPS Ingersoll EDM), Dan Ryan (EDM Supervisor Roush Manufacturing), and Carl Ickes (EDM Operator Roush Manufacturing)
Proof in the numbers
Rainer Jung (Owner at OPS Ingersoll EDM) and Dan Ryan (EDM Leader at Roush Manufacturing)discuss some of Roush’s recent EDM jobs and how they have seen a 30% reduction in graphite usage through the use of the Ingersoll Eagle EDM Technology!
Ontario shop takes risks, invests in people, process and technology to improve productivity.
Walking into the Windsor, Ont., facility of Cavalier Tool & Manufacturing is like being in the eye of a moldmaking hurricane: Everything is calm in the walkways, but around you is plenty of motion, with every machine running, making chips, being productive. Really productive.
Established in 1975 the company has an early history that is similar to that of many shops in the area. When the automotive industry was booming, the shop was busy; when the market cooled, so did Cavalier’s business.
It was how the industry worked.
Windsor today is still home to the most tightly grouped number of moldmakers in the country. It’s ubiquitous, almost cliché. But the industry has changed, especially since the recession in 2009. Companies that had been operating in the traditional fashion started to fall by the wayside, closing their doors after decades in business.
Cavalier didn’t want to be another statistic, and that led to change.
Today Cavalier still is known for building medium-sized to large molds for, yes, automotive, but the company also has diversified its product offering to include mold creation for recreational, agricultural, and commercial customers.
Its customer base reads like a who’s who of brand names, and they come to Cavalier for a reason, says Cavalier Tool President Brian Bendig.
“It’s our goal as a company to be a model of moldmaking efficiency,” said Bendig, who is the second generation of his family to run the shop. It was Bendig’s father, Ray, and two partners who first opened the shop 40 years ago.
“Our customer base comes to us because they need what we provide in terms of production and care,” said Bendig. “We like to be challenged. We feel that with the people we have in place and the investments we’ve made in equipment that we can solve any mold problem for any customer.”
You hear that mantra a lot from Bendig. The company’s strategic plan for success mainly revolves around three things: people, process, and equipment. By striving for continual improvement in all three of these areas, he believes that Cavalier will be able to continue its current growth cycle and also push the boundaries of what a 21st century Canadian moldmaker can accomplish.
Brave New World of Manufacturing
The manufacturing world has changed dramatically in the 40 years since Cavalier first opened its doors and began making molds. Supply chains, competition (both domestic and foreign), and customers have all changed, forcing Cavalier to change as well.
In particular, the moldmaking industry has been hard-hit in this part of the country. Gone is the simple work, moved to China and other lower-cost locations. This shift in manufacturing, in combination with the recent recession, caused Cavalier to rethink its business … every part of its business.
“If we want to change the way people think about manufacturing, we need to start now,” said Bendig. “At Cavalier that means a process of continual improvement, innovation, and automation.”
It’s a plan that seems to be working.
In just five years the company has grown its revenue from $8 million per year to more than $30 million. The goal? Double its sales in the next few years.
That means more injection, structural foam, tools with gas assist, multishot, thermoset, compression, and prototype jobs. This work is currently all performed in the company’s 50,000-sq.-ft. shop, which runs 24/7. To reach its sales goals, Cavalier will need to expand the shop, and it’s already planned.
“It all comes down to having the right people and the right equipment at the right time,” said Bendig. “When you have the capability like we do to set up machines and run them constantly, whether it’s with a palletizing system or with parts loaded into a tombstone, it frees you up to perform other work. This reduces costs and increases productivity at the same time.”
Bendig recognized early in his tenure as president that to be at the top of every customer’s contact list the company had to invest in the newest and most complex technology that was available. This has led to a program that continually analyzes the current technology in the shop and replaces older equipment with newer, faster, automated machinery when it’s available. On average, three or four new pieces of equipment are brought into the shop every year.
This type of buying is a large financial outlay, but one that is necessary to both the present and future of the shop, according to Bendig.
“If having a piece of equipment means that we can do something our competition can’t, then it’s simply the cost of doing business,” he said. “Some shops might say they can’t afford to update machinery in this way, but for us, we feel we can’t afford not to.”
One example of Cavalier’s “spend money to make money” strategy is its electrical discharge machining (EDM) operation. In 2012 the company purchased an OPS-Ingersoll Eagle 1200, a gantry-style EDM sinker, becoming one of the first shops in North America to have one on its floor.
“Making an investment in this one EDM alone saved us more than $100,000 in consumable and operational costs in the first year of operation,” said Bendig.
Two more OPS-Ingersoll Eagles (the larger 1400 models) have since been added, sitting together in a line with the other EDMs, which enables all three to be monitored by the company’s EDM experts.
This year Cavalier added an OPS-Ingersoll Eagle V9 high-speed, simultaneous 5-axis milling machine that can create graphite electrodes in a single setup.
“This latest purchase is a big deal for us,” said Bending. “Not only can we create most of our electrodes in a single setup now, but we can also make them much faster. It’s a good example of how we research a tool that can help us, install it on the shop floor, and use it to improve the overall process and reduce costs.”
In the past few years the company also purchased complex multiaxis machining centers, large horizontal machining centers (HMC) designed to machine a large mold plate in one setup, horizontal boring mills, and gun drills.
Sometimes it was simply to improve a machining process, and sometimes these purchases, for example two IMSA gun drills added in 2013 and 2014, were brought in to bring work back into the shop that was being outsourced.
The continual improvement process doesn’t end once the equipment is installed on the shop floor, either. That’s when the true changes are just beginning.
When chips from the company’s Toshiba 4-axis boring mills were coming too close to other machines and walkways, the company decided it needed to build custom shrouds around the machines. These enclosures were designed and built in-house and added to the machines.
This is just one example of many around the shop of the company’s willingness to change the status quo and not be afraid of change.
“If you aren’t actively seeking out ways to improve, you already are falling behind,” said Bendig.
For Cavalier this means improving and empowering its employees, not just its equipment. Continual training that uses employee input as a basis helps new employees integrate faster and enables the company to put employees in the best position to succeed.
“If we hire someone with a great background in computers and technology, we should be thinking, in the long-term, about how that person will one day be working with our CAD/CAM team,” said Bendig. “Not everyone in a manufacturing company is going to be running a machine. I think that’s where the general public needs some educating. We definitely need machine operators, but we also need designers, engineers, and sales staff.”
The company’s cyclical program of machine replacement ensures that it will not fall behind other moldmaking shops, no matter where they are located in the world.
“Our competition today is not just down the street,” said Bendig. “If we want to reach our goals — and not just our sales goals but our strategic goals — then we need to keep on top of trends in machine tools, cutting tools, and software.”
The company spends a lot of time and energy examining and re-examining its processes. Spindle utilization and other metrics help the production staff refine processes, especially as new technology is integrated. Collaboration between the design staff and the manufacturing teams, and even the sales staff, also helps Cavalier develop better molds in less time.
And that’s what business really is all about at Cavalier. Moldmaking. The shop still sits in the heart of the country’s traditional moldmaking industry, but it is operating just a little differently than everybody else.
Additive Manufacturing Specialist and Injection Mold Manufacturer Adds Wire EDM Capabilities to Enhance Efficiencies
Linear Mold & Engineering, specializing in 3D metal printing and the manufacture of innovative, tight-tolerance injection molds, has added wire EDM to its capabilities
Linear Mold & Engineering, specializing in 3D metal printing and the manufacture of innovative, tighttolerance injection molds, has added wire EDM to its capabilities.
The new Mitsubishi Model MV2400-S wire EDM will serve both the 3D metal printing – Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) and Selected Laser Melting (SLM) – side of the business as well as the mold manufacturing division. Prior to obtaining this capability, Linear sub-contracted this work, or cut the parts from the base plate on which parts are built using a manual saw, said Mike Misener, General Manager for Linear.
“Performing the cutting manually means that the parts also required a manual post-finishing process to clean the part,” explained Misener. “The wire EDM cuts through the various metals we use regardless of the hardness of the material, leaving a clean, high-quality finish. And it reduces or in some cases eliminates post finishing.”
The 3D printing process is growing as demand for more end-use parts for the aerospace, automotive and medical markets increases. “The wire EDM will help us increase our efficiencies, reduce our build time and improve the overall quality of our sintered metal components,” said Misener. “It also allows us to grow 3D printed parts closer to the plate.”
Linear builds end-use parts as well as mold components such as conformal cooling channels, using the DMLS and SLM processes from a variety of metals including Inconel, Stainless Steel, Cobalt Chrome, Titanium, Aluminum and MS1, a maraging tool steel, having differing levels of hardness. Therefore, the wire EDM will provide efficient, accurate cutting for all types of materials.
Additionally, the wire EDM will allow Linear to cut up to six plates at one time virtually unmanned. And the Mitsubishi MV2400-S cuts within +/- 0.002 inch, and employs a range of high-tech features such as automatic wire feeding, user-friendly controls and internal software capable of accurately calculating machine hours needed to do specific jobs to improve job scheduling