Innovation Mold & Design in Germantown, Wis., wanted to transform from a supplier of tooling and die/mold components for 10 regional customers to a fully capable mold shop serving dozens of customers in a variety of industries with demanding requirements for tolerances and surface finish. After experiencing frustration with a commodity wire machine not performing up to par, Innovation partnered with a trusted expert—SST, which locally distributes Makino CNC machining centers and sells tooling and consumables.
SST engineers worked alongside Innovation to build a holistic expansion plan based on the customer’s precise needs and define the purchase decision based on the total cost of ownership. The company invested in six Makino precision CNC machining centers to complete a whirlwind expansion cycle. The purchase included two U6 wire EDMs, an a81nx horizontal machining center, an F5 vertical machining center and two PS95 vertical machining centers.
As a result of Innovation’s increased throughput and new capabilities, the company has been able to expand its market reach to serve customers in the automotive, aerospace and medical markets. Company sales have increased from $2 million in 2012 to a projected $6.5 million for 2016.
The dependability and predictability of the CNC machining centers allowed for lights-out machining on weeknights and weekends. Machine uptime has also improved by as much as 20 percent compared to the company’s commodity VMC machines.
Nearly all secondary machining, benchwork and fitting processes have been brought in-house, reducing outsourcing by 60 percent, cutting lead-times by 50 percent and dramatically increasing profits. Due to the rigidity of the machines, Innovation’s tooling costs have dropped from 5 percent of sales to 2.5 percent in the past year. Additionally, the machines produce perfectly even tool blends across multiple cutters, eliminating nearly all hand polishing.