I am second generation in the moldmaking industry. My father was a moldmaker and I became a mold designer. I started as a design apprentice in the early 70s.
Sitting at dinner one night sharing what I had been learning, my father wanting to help keep me focused said, “I don’t need a designer to help me build a mold. Tell me what you want and give me the part print and leave me alone.” Such a profound statement.
That was more than 30 years ago. We all know so much has changed since then. With this in mind let’s look at what we are doing to be competitive, but deliver quality and a just price to our customer.
- Whether we are using a 2-D or 3-D CAD software, creating a standardized library is a must. Like the library in your local town, it needs to be clearly organized and complete. Now when you go after information, it is easy to find at your finger tips.
- Verify geometry (part files) when received not at the end of the job.
- Setting up sub-directories is a good thing. Leave a good trail for whomever might follow behind you.
- Good documentation and communication. Yes the nasty “C” word. We still have the ability to write, so write it down. Send e-mails and note on our CAD files where we’ve been and where we’re trying to go. Also keep in mind we are always learning.
- Keep the use of software’s “bells and whistles” to what’s needed rather than showing what you know. Remember, the next person coming behind you or the customer you send the files to might not have your superior skill level. Use the advanced tools where needed.
- Presentation. This is what I miss most about the days on the board. Speed should not mean being sloppy. Our layouts should be clear, showing the critical geometry and features. This is where the power of CAD needs to be used. Use it well. The main thing here is to provide our shops with complete and useable information.
My father has passed along now. The Gershner tool box he bought back in '49 now sits in my office. Thanks for the legacy dad!
For more information from Robert Vaughan of Dauntless Molds visit www.dauntlessmolds.com.