Modern Machine Shop

SEP 2018

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BETTER PRODUCTION MMS SEPTEMBER 2018 106 mmsonline.com CAD/CAM CAD/CAM Software Brings Process Automation for Mold Design, Machining With a focus on increased quality and compressed build times, companies like JK Machining, which specializes in designing and manufacturing plastic-injection molds, must strive to meet customer demands. The com- pany invested in advanced machining capabilities; but by upgrading its CAD/CAM system to a mold-specific software suite from Siemens PLM (Plano, Texas), the company was able to deliver quality molds at a rea- sonable cost. Founded in 1980 and located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, JK Machining's 15-employee company focuses on class-101 molds—high-production molds with fast cycle times made from high-quality materials and designed for 1 million or more cycles. Its automotive customers are Tier- One and Tier-Two suppliers producing mostly air conditioning outlets, trim bezels, cup holders and other interior components. The company also makes molds for the medical device industry. Both sectors demand high quality, better mold-parting lines, better finishes, tighter tolerances, timely delivery and reasonable costs. Such demands have only grown. According to Henry Kalkman, president of JK Machining, the company used to have 18 to 22 weeks to build a mold for the automotive industry. "Now that's down to 10 to 12 weeks," he says. "All of our customers want to get to market faster. Offshore moldmakers have an advantage in cost, and are bringing up their level of quality. They are our main competitors." COMPANY JK Machining PROBLEM Separate software for design and production made it difficult to meet quality and lead-time demands SOLUTION NX software suite from Siemens PLM Software RESULTS Process automation integrated CAD and CAM, resulting in improved quality, speed and capabilities EDITED BY ELI PLASKETT | ASSISTANT EDITOR To reduce lead time, JK Machining uses NX Mold Wizard to add automation to the mold-design process. In addition to using specialized tools for mold design and analysis, the designers can capture the company's best practices and store machining cycles in a digital library.

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