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The Tech Group implements an innovative process to meet customer needs
For more than 30 years, The Tech Group has established a reputation of building high-quality, complex injection molds. To remain competitive, maintain its reputation and meet the needs of today’s very demanding customers, The Tech Group knew it had to change the way its molds are made.
The marketplace essentially dictated what The Tech Group needed to do. Its competition began quoting less for tools and with a quicker time-to-market. Tech’s customers were demanding the same, especially since Tech had a history of building the highest quality complex injection molds. But Tech’s design times had begun taking longer than the competition. Tech needed to improve its time-to-market, yet make sure it didn’t sacrifice quality. The company realized that before it could start saving design time, the accuracy, completeness and consistency of the data shared among the various teams needed to be retained.
The Tech Group has used NX™ software from Siemens for more than 20 years. Tech was already designing molds using the master model concept, which provides complete associativity between the part model and the tooling. This allowed the company to change mold designs at will – changes made to the part model are automatically propagated to the core and cavity, and any downstream changes are automatically reflected in the mold design. Tech improved on this process even more by implementing NX Mold Wizard, also from Siemens. Mold Wizard technology provides a step-by-step structured workflow based on expert best practices, and enables automation of much of Tech’s mold design process, walking the users through a series of discrete steps. Tech now assigns multiple personnel on one job (detailing, programming, electrode design) at the same time, thereby compressing delivery time. In fact, on a recent project, a very complex part was designed, programmed, fully detailed and on the customer’s desk in three weeks. This represented cutting the total production time by more than half.
The Tech Group’s 20 to 25 percent gain in overall productivity, enabling a faster time-to-market, is worthless if quality is sacrificed. That’s why The Tech Group is not only maintaining its reputation of quality – having already achieved a 50 to 75 percent gain in quality using Mold Wizard – but is also improving on it through Six Sigma certification. The term Sigma is another word for variance. For every numerical increase in Sigma, there is an exponential decrease in the number of defects. Most American companies perform between Three and Four Sigma, whereas industry leaders perform between Five and Six Sigma. Six Sigma means if the same task is performed one million times, only 3.4 mistakes will be made. This would be a phenomenal accomplishment. Jim Wicklund, tooling engineering manager at The Tech Group is presently taking a course to become a certified Black Belt in Six-Sigma standards. Wicklund notes that with Mold Wizard’s contribution to automation, accuracy and consistency, this goal can be attained.
The Tech Group applies a series of standards to every aspect of mold construction. These standards are integrated with the latest advances in automation, robotics and computer integrated machining to create a new patented process that brings new benefits to its customers. The heart of this exclusive, patented automation process is called the “Super-Cell.” It is a multi-million dollar production area composed of state-of-the-art CNC machines that are robot-fed, fully integrated and fully automated. NX and its Mold Wizard technology have played a significant role in this major accomplishment.
Keys To Success:
Client's Primary Business:
The Tech Group is a global leader in injection molding offering contract manufacturing solutions for the medical and consumer industries.
"By using Mold Wizard with the NX concept, we are able to assign multiple personnel on one job (detailing, programming, electrode design) at the same time, thereby compressing delivery time."
Director Tooling Engineering
The Tech Group
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