The modern injection mold making shop operates under very tight deadlines, with ever-increasing complexity in the tooling requirements. More and more features are being designed into the finished plastic part that is produced by the injection mold, and these features often involve precision grinding.
Companies that offer precision grinding services play a critical role in the manufacture of these complicated die moulds. This represents an excellent opportunity for the motivated individual who has the skills and equipment.
From the basic mold base grinding, to the intricate core and cavity details, grinding steel is here to stay, and always will be. Even with the increased use of high speed milling, hard machining, wire EDM and laser machining, the reliable surface grinder is at the core of tool making.
Contract shops, or job shops, that have CNC grinding machines are at a great advantage over those that only have manual machines. Obviously, the unattended machining of mold components is preferable over laborious manual machining.
One of the problems facing a job shop is the unsteady flow of work because it makes it difficult to justify the enormous expense involved with CNC machines. Besides the machine, there are all of the grinding accessories, diamond grinding wheels, CBN wheels, aluminum oxide wheels, and much more.
An fully equipped inspection area is also required in order to assure the quality. This includes a large granite surface plate, surface gage, dial test indicator, drop indicator, gage blocks, height master and so on. Each of these tools is necessary to inspect the individual components; without them, there is no way to ensure the tight tolerances are being met.
Then there is the industrial dust collector that must be installed and maintained. The filters and removal of the dust and grit are also an expense to be reckoned with. Without a dust collector, the grit and debris will get everywhere and damage the machinery. The coolant mist will also cover everything with a greasy slime and is actually dangerous.
One grinding machine that many shops do not own is the jig grinder. Jig grinding is somewhat of a specialty, plus the machine is quite expensive to buy. Contract shop can find a niche market in jig grinding, though it is rather small. Though the demand is small, it is still very important and necessary.
The 5S maxim of “get rid of it if you do not use it every 30 days, or 60 days, or whatever time frame you decide” does not apply to machines such as the jig grinder. If you have one, keep it! It is not a dinosaur or a relic of the past!
Post time: 02-15-2017