Quality Made Us Global
Tool Management in Manufacturing
A place for everything and everything in its place is a well-known proverb for keeping things organized. With an experienced staff of professionals, over 100,000+ square feet of manufacturing space, 70+ different injection molding machines, and production runs in the millions of parts; tool management is a critical business process at Global Plastics. Knowing where a mold is located in storage, recording when it’s removed for use on the shop floor, and recording when (or if) it is returned to storage is essential. Each time a mold is used, it is carefully inspected and its status updated to: 1) Reusable as is and return to storage; 2) In need of reconditioning before being returned to storage, or 3) Not cost effective to be repaired and proposal prepared to make a new mold. We use custom advanced systems for tool management and always know where every mold is located and its current condition.
Types of Tooling at Global Plastics
The in-house, full-service tooling department at Global Plastics offers various tooling options to meet each client’s needs. Among the options are the following:
low volume prototype and bridge molds – Aluminum & Soft Steel
Medium volume production molds – P20 Prehard Steel
Long life precision stainless steel molds – H13 & Stainless Steel
- CNC Machining: The “CNC” stands for “computer numerical control” of this subtractive mold tooling process. It means computer-controlled machine tools remove layers from a piece of raw material (called a stock piece, blank, or workpiece) until what’s left is the desired size and shape.
- Programmable EDM: The “EDM” stands for “electrical discharge machine” because it uses highly controlled electrical discharges to remove metal. EDMs allow for extreme precisions in machine tooling molds used for injection molding. The wire delivering the electrical discharge never touches the workpiece, and because there are no grinding wheels or cutting tools making contact, subsequent finishing operations are largely nonexistent.
- Wire EDM: This can also be called CNC wire EDM, meaning the execution of the tooling is computer-controlled. Automation of wire EDM machines allow longer processes to run on their own, often overnight in a “lights out” environment.
Global Plastics employs a variety of factory automation and manufacturing techniques to help control costs while putting the experience of our staff to work wherever it’s needed most. We tirelessly pursue an optimal mix of machines, process automation, and human expertise in every tooling project or production run to achieve superior results.
Rapid Tooling When There is a Need for Speed
When time is tight on an initial low volume production run, rapid tooling is a good option. We can make rapid tooling molds out of aluminum or P20 Steel because it’s much faster than using hardened steel. While these rapid tooling molds are less durable than hardened steel molds, they can be created quickly for low-volume production runs of less than 100,000 parts. Soft molds are also a preferred option for rapid prototyping of molds that will eventually be tooled in hardened steel for standard high-volume production runs.
Standard Production Tooling for High Volume
When mold design is finalized for plastic parts needed in high volumes or tight tolerances, standard production tooling is the best option. Tooling molds in hardened steel greatly increases the life of the mold. We select the type of steel for tooling that best matches the plastic part you need. Three of the most common steels for tooling high-volume production molds include the following:
- P20 Steel: A pre-hardened, low-alloy steel with good toughness at moderate strength levels commonly used in plastic injection molds.
- S7/H13 Steel: Both easy-to-tool shock resisting steel with high strength and toughness, medium wear resistance, and good deformation resistance.
- Stainless Steel: When mold corrosion is a risk from aggressive polymers such as PVC or the by-products of resin degradation during production, stainless steel is the material of choice.
Our tooling department’s expert staff and state-of-the-art tooling facility can implement multi-cavitation, advanced gating systems, and efficient cooling to optimize the cycle time and provide shot-to-shot consistency for your plastic parts and components.
Global Plastics: Tooling Done Right to Match the Customer’s Strategy and Need
Tooling a mold, whether for prototyping, low-volume production, or high-volume production, is ultimately about quality and repeatability. At Global Plastics we take the first step in the process very seriously: Taking the time to fully understand your needs and goals for the product, part, or component you want to produce. This collaboration is essential in order for us to design the best possible mold and tooling package to meet those needs. By investing time into establishing a true partnership based on trust, each Global Plastics customer experiences better quality, fewer defects, higher throughput, and a better return on tooling investment than they’ve experienced with other vendors. We look forward to meeting you and exceeding your tooling and injection molding expectations! For more information and pricing, get the conversation started by filling out our form.