Seeking a comprehensive mold technology solution
Talleres Fiestas needed integrated 3D CAD and CAM to ensure fast delivery of small, highly complex molds
Customers’ parts were getting smaller and more complex while quality standards were becoming increasingly stringent, yet that didn’t stop customers from requesting shorter lead times.
Design small, machine fast, maintain quality
Talleres Fiestas specializes in high-precision plastic injection molds, focusing on products for the health, electric, cosmetic and packaging industries. For about 12 years, 2D CAD was sufficient for documenting the shape of the company’s molds. But when customers’ parts began to get smaller and more complicated, the limits of 2D became apparent. As a design tool, its major limitation was that it was not able to handle the escalating complexity of the newer molds. Another key drawback was that the CAD system was not integrated with manufacturing. This meant there was no associativity between part designs and mold designs, so much of the work done to design the part could not be leveraged to design the mold. Not being integrated also meant that the CAD system did not support advanced manufacturing processes, such as high-speed machining, which Talleres Fiestas needed to adopt to meet customers’ expectations of increasingly fast turnaround and ever more stringent quality standards.
To address these issues, Talleres Fiestas looked for a tightly integrated 3D CAD/CAM system that supported advanced manufacturing processes. The company also wanted specialized mold design tools that would allow them to automate portions of the mold design process. As they evaluated CAD/CAM software, they learned that among many 3D alternatives, few offered the combination of specialized mold design tools with tightly integrated, advanced CAM functionality.
The solution turned out to be NX™ software, an advanced digital product development system highly suited to the needs of manufacturers seeking to automate processes. Talleres Fiestas’ system includes NX 3D solid modeling as well as NX MoldWizard, which provides specialized, highly automated mold design capabilities. NX MoldWizard captures mold industry best practices and presents them in a step-by-step manner that frees the designer to take a more creative role. “NX MoldWizard is a tool that lets the designer finish the product far more quickly than is possible using traditional mold design technologies,” says D. Miquel Fiestas, director. Fiestas cites many benefits in using NX MoldWizard, among them availability of parts libraries and standard mold elements, ease of use in splitting core and cavity parts and assembly features.
Talleres Fiestas’ system also includes NX Machining. This software gives the company the ability to capture expert manufacturing process knowledge in templates that can be automatically executed as stored processes. It also delivers advanced NC programming functionality, including support for high-speed machining.