Mold-Tech Inc., a manufacturer of precision injection molds based in Albertville, MN, received the Leadtime Leader award from Moldmaking Technology magazine at the recent Amerimold trade show in the Small Shop category. Over the years, the company has developed a niche in close tolerance, precision injection molds that include multi-cavity, hot runner, auto unscrewing, insert, in-mold decorating, micro, metal injection, silicone, and multi-shot, with an average leadtime of six weeks.
In an interview with PlasticsToday during Amerimold, Mold-Tech president Jon Lee said the key to the company's success lies in "our highly trained employees who are constantly looking for new technologies and process improvements to aid in the development of high quality molds...the commitment of Mold-Tech's employees provides our customers with exceptional value."
Lee noted that the company is always seeking new talent and works with local technical schools to find promising talent. As a result of this pursuit of talent, Mold-Tech has the "ability to implement and take advantage of new technology that allows us to work smarter and more efficiently," Lee added. "This has allowed Mold-Tech to trim lead times from 12 weeks to six weeks and from 14 weeks to 8 weeks for hot runner tools. We've added hard milling capabilities and are installing a new Makino V-22 graphite mill."
Last summer, Mold-Tech announced that it added mold sampling equipment to its manufacturing plant with the purchase of a new Toshiba 110 all-electric molding machine. This allows molds to be fully tested and validated before shipment. The implementation of this new press, coupled with RJG eDART process monitoring systems, strengthens Mold-Tech's strategy of being a full-service provider and not "just" a mold builder.
In addition to providing more control in manufacturing, the press shortens mold qualification times and decreases transportation costs. "We continually seek out ways to improve our lead-times by adding equipment and automation, or changing existing processes to incorporate lean manufacturing," Lee said.
Lee said that another key to the company's success is focusing on what the customer needs, not what they think they need. "We listen to what they're saying, then offer them alternative solutions in part and mold design to optimize their manufacturing process." Mold-Tech also surveys its customers periodically as a part of the company's quality program. "Customer service is key to being successful," Lee stated. "After the mold completion we follow up with our customers to learn what makes them happy and to understand how to maintain strong customer relationships."