Out Front with Andre Ey
Special Edition: Looking Across the Northern Border
In each issue of Competitive Mold Maker, we like to share several compelling stories from mold manufacturers all across North America. To recognize the achievements of our neighbors to the north, specifically the mold makers of Windsor, Ontario, we decided to take a closer look across the border for this special Canadian issue. With decades of experience working with many of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers, the mold makers of Windsor have created one of the largest mold manufacturing centers in North America.
In this special issue of Competitive Mold Maker are five unique stories of Canadian mold manufacturers that took the market decline as an opportunity to invest in new machines, processes, tooling, automation systems and software to build for a brighter future.
Redoe Mold made profitable investing a science with a lean cost-justification model that ensures highly accurate ROI calculations. Using a team of leaders from various positions across the shop floor, the company analyzes the true value a potential investment can have by its impact on secondary machining operations, handwork, spotting and other post-processing labor.
Omega Tool Corp. and Cavalier Tool and Manufacturing have transferred many of their vertical machining center processes to high-performance horizontal machining centers, resulting in dynamic improvements to speed and quality. In addition, both manufacturers are reporting incredible levels of machine utilization, oftentimes in the 90 percent range.
For Lens Tool and Mould, opportunity has come in the form of specialty EDM applications. The company’s years of experience with Makino’s HQSF sinker EDM technology have given it a widespread reputation across North America for high-quality surface finishes in complex speaker-grille molds. This specialty work now represents over 50 percent of its business.
Little Lakes Machine and Tool attributes much of its success to staying on top of the latest trends in machining technology. With approximately 80 percent of its powdered metal tooling falling between the 55 HRc and 65 HRc range, recent investments in automated high-speed hardmilling capabilities have enabled the company to reliably produce accuracy and finish qualities that require little to no secondary operations before going in the press.
With the economic recovery under way and rising production demands in the automotive industry, these mold makers are reaping the benefits of their savvy business investments. Their commitment to improving capabilities and performance is proof that manufacturing is sure to remain a cornerstone of the Ontario economy just as it always has been.
Makino Die Mold & EDM Technologies