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High-speed Machining Centers Make Molding Process Smooth

The story takes place in the mold city of China, Huangyan, Zhejiang. The protagonist of the story is an old customer of JINGDIAO, who manages a small mold factory and has been engaged in mold manufacturing for many years. Its processing business contains two parts, CNC machining and mold testing. In a recent visit, he mentioned his trouble.

He said:"In mold production, the contradiction often happens between CNC operator and molding staff. As a manager, I have no right to speak on this. What I can do is persuading these two groups of people to maintain the balanced situation. "

In fact, he knows the key to this problem is that there is no data standard between two sides. In order to clarify criterion of judgement, he purchased a CMM.

After inspection, it was found that the problem occurred in CNC process. But what happened next is even more embarrassing. They don't know how to solve the problem. And the operator began to complain: " The process, tools and equipment are the same, but the machining results are different, sometimes qualified, and sometimes unqualified. I don't know how to improve the unqualified. If there must be a correction, the only one solution is to process it one more time, but the result is still unknown."

This state lasted for a period of time, and the contradiction between the CNC operator and molding staff was not alleviated. The re-processing and repeated debugging still exist in the two production sections, and the cycle of mold manufacturing is still uncontrollable.

We found that his problem is similar to a client's problem who is in Dalian and is in export mold industry. On one hand, the client's upstream users require shorter delivery time and stable quality. On the other hand, their production organization was not smooth, and there were risks in terms of delivery and quality.

To solve these problems, he chose JINGDIAO high-speed machining centers. Due to the machine's high-precision surface processing capability, especially suitable for mold surface. Another reason was because the machine can quantify the result of each processing step which helps CNC operator locate problem and optimize the process. It turns out, this customer's choice was right. After purchasing JINGDIAO high-speed machining centers, the production became smooth, no repair was needed in molding.

Once listening to this story, he said:" This is indeed a new idea and has not been used in mold city. And I'm willing to try it in my workshop."

We were pleased to help him and set up a team for this project immediately. The team was responsible for analyzing risks, designing plans and scheduling progress. After which the machines entered the factory, and started program verification in cooperation with customer.

After about half a year, we visited his factory again. The first thing we found was that there was no loud noise in the workshop, and the molding staff was not as busy as before. The client was very excited to meet us and told us the changes happened in the workshop.

He said:"After using JINGDIAO high-speed machining centers, the quality of CNC is a lot more stable than before. In particular, the surface precision is very accurate. When it comes to the model matching stage, it can only be repaired without tools."

When we asked his feeling, he said: " I have been engaged in this industry for many years. There is a problem that's been bothering me, why the quality of the finished products is different when we use the same machine, tools and programs? After using JINGDIAO machine tools, I realized that actually many elements are changing during processing. Such as, residual material distribution, clamping position, tool clamping, tool wear and tool deformation are deyond our control. But JINGDIAO machine tools can not only detect the error amount of each step, but also provide specific improvement measures. Once the problem is located, the analysis of process can be controlled. "

The division of labor was changing too. The most obvious one is that there used to be 20 molding workers, but now there are only 17. But the mold production capacity has been greatly improved than before.

At last, he said:" Through this thing, I totally understand what I heard before, the advance of process can be told from the tool. "

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JINGDIAO 5-axis Machining Make Hard Work Easy

Since mold industry in Wenzhou area of Zhejiang province is relatively developed, there are a lot of enterprises spreading all over the region. One of JINGDIAO's customers locates there and is engaged in mold machining. Because it is not far from JINGDIAO Wenzhou Branch, the customer often visits us to see if there are new processes. Meanwhile, we also visit customer regularly to check equipment usage and discuss some solutions to the latest processing requirements.

During a daily visit, he talked about something bothering. "Inserts in die mold industry are becoming more and more difficult to machine due to the complex surfaces and steep areas.", he said. "These areas cannot be processed through CNC machining, and EDM is necessary for processing steep areas, which make it difficult to control the quality and delivery date. So, I'm facing a dilemma. On one hand, if my company undertake this kind of business, there'll be no money to make while taking great risks. On another hand, if we choose business, it will definitely affect the overall business, and may eventually lose potential customers."

We asked him if other factories are facing similar problems when processing these regular parts of mold. He said:" Some people say it's hard to do, others don't. Those factories who feel hard to machine these parts are basically the same as me, using 3-axis machining with EDM. For those who say it's easy to do all adopt 5-axis processing without using or hardly using EDM."

When we were confused about why he doesn't use 5-axis machining since knowing the advantages. He added:" Actually, I investigated 5-axis machine tools and observed its machining process of inserts. Though I felt very excited, there was a huge risk that made me hesitate. The risk is there is nobody can use 5-axis machine tools in my technical team. So paying for 5-axis machine tools is meaningless when lack of personnel and cannot solve my problems either."

After listening to his problem, we introduced our successful case based on JINGDIAO 5-axis high-speed machining center, JDGR400, and performed the function of "5-axis machining in software" on computer. He was not fully understood and was still a little suspicious. However, it could be told that he has some interest in it.

A few days later, he called us and asked if we could help him process a complex insert. After getting the model, we analyzed the structure and processing requirements, and finished the product in a few days by using 5-axis machining.

The customer was surprised to see such a beautiful mold insert. He called all the technicians in the factory and told them "this will be the new standard in our factory." The fitting result was also perfect and the injection products had no defect which made their upstream customer very satisfied.

Through this verification, the customer had a new understanding of the capability of JINGDIAO 5-axis high-speed machining centers. He said, "I know that your engineers are not specialized in mold making. But you can finish the processing in such a short time with this effect. The technicians in my factory are all experienced mold maker, so if they know how to use JINGDIAO 5-axis high-speed machining centers, my hesitation about not using 5-axis machine tools will be released."

According to their need, we arranged 5-axis technical training and practical training for customer's personnel. Through which they gradually realized that an important reason why JINGDIAO 5-axis machine tools are easy-to-use is because JINGDIAO 5-axis CAM software. As its unique feature is building virtual environment that is very similar to real production site, and completing path calculation and simulation processing on computer. The process analysis on computer greatly reduces the collision risk of actual machining. Furthermore, measurement program can also be written in the software to analyze cutting results of each process, thus reducing the risk of transmission errors.

After understanding JINGDIAO 5-axis machining, the customer said, "For the same mold insert, we are exhausted and not making money, while others make great advantages and wealth. To change this situation, first of all, we need to change our concepts. Those that seem need to be done by 3-axis machining will be easily and efficiently processed by 5-axis machining."

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