ANAHEIM, Calif.—M.R. Mold & Engineering Corp. of Brea, Calif., is acquiring its sixth injection molding machine, has ordered an automated pallet changer and is leasing more space.
The new 120-ton hybrid press from Engel Holding GmbH—M.R. Mold's largest—is expected to be operational in October, Rick Finnie, M.R. Mold president, said in an Aug. 11 interview during the Society of Plastics Engineers' Western Plastics Trade Fair in Anaheim.
The System 3R WorkPal servo robotic pallet changer from Georg Fisher Group will feed palletized tools to a five-axis YBM Vi40 precision computer-numerical-control machining center that M.R. Mold received in August 2015. The mold maker linked the CNC machine with version 2015.1 of the hyperMill computer-aided-manufacturing software.
Yasda Precision Tools KK manufactured the Vi40, and Open Mind Technologies AG produced the CAM software.
Requiring a steep learning curve, the hyperMill software eliminated about 90 percent of the electric discharge machining time for complex projects on the Yasda YBM Vi40, said Brian Geisel, operations manager for M.R. Mold. “We did a six-mold package, and there was no EDM on that at all. We eliminated a more costly process.”
In May, an original equipment manufacturer ordered the package for production of an updated component for a specialized medical product. Three of the tools mold polycarbonate housings, and the other three are used for overmolding liquid silicone rubber onto the housings.
M.R. Mold has another order from the longtime customer for an additional similar six-mold package and is in discussions for three more tools.
Geisel praised the Vi40's machining efficiency on cutting and fixturing times. “It gives us a 300 percent improvement vs. EDM or a three-axis machine,” he said.
M.R. Mold retained the software analysis services of Fimmtech Inc. of Vista, Calif., to identify robust processing parameters at the molding machine.
Suhas Kulkarni, Fimmtech president, ran experiments using his data-driven Nautilus software, which showed that M.R. Mold had a wide processing window for the current project.
The firm's five other injection molding presses have clamping forces ranging from 55-110 tons.
M.R. Mold occupies 15,000 square feet, employs 30 persons and had 2015 sales of about $5.1 million.
Finnie expects in September to occupy an additional 1,500 square feet contiguous to M.R. Mold's technology center.