Custom Mold & Design Creates Complex Medical Injection Molding with High-Performance VMCs

THE CHALLENGE
Custom Mold & Design (CMD) prides itself in overcoming the challenges created by complex geometric parts and achieving tight tolerances in medical injection-molding applications. The Minneapolis, Minn., company works primarily with medical-device manufacturers, but it also partners with a variety of other industries on fully integrated molding solutions, from the design phase to part production. CMD has a reputation for its expertise in producing molds that are fully interchangeable and that support many molding processes, types and sizes. In other words, these are not your everyday molds.  

As customers increasingly demanded micro and nano capabilities, the company sought to shorten its lead-times and to produce tighter tolerances with higher-quality surface finishes.


THE SOLUTION
To help it achieve the highest-level finishes for medical injection molding, CMD purchased the following high-performance equipment from Makino:
   •  V33i vertical machining center
   •  V22 vertical machining center with graphite package
   •  PS95 vertical machining center  
 
These vertical machining centers were acquired to bring high-performance capabilities to CMD’s mold production, making the company more precise, productive and profitable.
 
 
THE RESULTS
The V33i’s 30,000-rpm core-cooled spindle helps bring additional accuracy to the company’s medical injection-molding applications, producing the tight tolerances and finishes that CMD requires. In hard milling applications that use 60-HRC materials, it is maintaining accuracies of plus or minus 0.0001 inch or less. The machine also has the rigidity and repeatability to maintain a process capability of 1.33 or better in critical dimensions.
 
The company pushes as much graphite work as possible through the V22 machine and is enjoying additional accuracy while completing its jobs 20 to 30 percent faster. A robotic system also keeps the machine fed after-hours, which is another way to help lower costs.
 
The PS95 has given CMD the speed, power and torque to improve the productivity and quality of its preheat-treated mold preparation, which used to be completed on a horizontal machining center. The company uses it to rough various steels, including P20, and has found that this machine brings the benefits of a high-performance horizontal machining center at the value of a standard vertical. Lead-times have been improved, and the company also appreciates the machine’s standard features that would be an additional cost with other manufacturers