Though it rarely makes the news, some North American moldmakers are investing now to ensure they will be among those left standing, and profiting, when the economic smoke clears. Count Industrial Molds Group (Rockford, IL) and its 65 employees among them.
The company, best known as a manufacturer of injection molds for fluid management systems, fuel and engine components, and consumer products, recently invested more than $1 million in three new high-speed machining centers. According to Tim Peterson, vice president of Industrial Molds Group, “Given the type of molds we build—the mechanically complex tooling that requires innovative, accurate solutions for our customers—these additions to our high-speed operations will provide improved capabilities for faster delivery times. Industrial Molds believe that this technology investment in our future is also an investment in our customers’ futures as well, and in the success of manufacturing.”
Makino supplied two of the new high-speed machines. One, a V99 (50 Taper) vertical machining center with a table size of 70.87" x 39.37" (X-axis 59", Y-axis 39.37", and Z-axis 91.49") and spindle speed of 13,000 rpm, offers rapid traverse and a cutting feed rate of 787 inches per minute. The V99 can rough and finish hardened steel cavities/cores more efficiently than general-purpose machines, according to Industrial Molds.
Also from Makino is an S56 machining center. The S56 uses HSK 63 tooling and its 18,000-rpm spindle for hard-cutting applications. The table size is 39.4" x 19.7" (X-axis: 35.4", Y-axis 19.7", Z-axis 17.7"), with rapid traverse and cutting feed rate of 1574 inches per minute. The moldmaker also installed a Hurco VMX64, true 64x34 (X/Y travels) machine, purposefully designed to handle large-capacity vertical machining. The 40-taper VMX64 provides a 24-station automatic tool changer, and comes with a 50-taper spindle. It has cutting feed rates of up to 600 inches per minute, and a work cube of 64" x 34" x 30". —[email protected]