Engineering Customer Solutions Requires that the Right Software Tools and Trained Toolmakers Converge
Harbec’s August 2014 Solutions Newsletter is about achieving success by working with the right tools and talent for the job.
No matter how complex the task at hand is, the right tools and training make completion of the task possible. The right tools and training also make for a project that meets or exceeds one’s goals for quality, timeliness, and budget.
By exercising the skilled use of tools, toolmakers build confidence and expertise. But over time tools can become less efficient, dated, or worn. Engineering solutions are made possible when investments are made to continuously update and improve upon tools and the training/skills required to put tools to their most beneficial and optimal tasks.
For Harbec (the selection and use of) 3D CAD design software such as SolidWorks and CAM software such as Mastercam have proven to be essential software tools that support product development and CNC programming and milling. Harbec makes regular investments to update its software tools, and invests in the ongoing training of its toolmakers and engineers so that their knowhow and expertise continue to grow.
The integration of 3D CAD design tools with CNC machine programming toward quick mold and manufacturing solutions is where the skillset of our engineering and toolmaker teams have thrived. The net result of integrating expert software with expert toolmakers for Harbec has been the transition to a vertically integrated and semi-virtual manufacturing facility. Of course every CNC machine and injection molding machine requires set-up and maintenance but increasingly these machines are being used at their most optimal performance and efficiencies because the software tools and toolmakers that enable their operation have converged to provide a solution.
By cross training our toolmakers to be expert users of CAM software, and our design engineers to be expert users of 3D CAD, Harbec has been able to realize significant benefits including: productivity improvements, cycle time reductions, improved product quality, predictability in molding operations, waste reductions, molding process energy savings, and reduced manufacturing costs. Customers have benefitted from Harbec’s ability to solve complex engineering challenges and ability to provide a disciplined approach to design for manufacturing, mold design and production, and injection molding operations.