Moldmaker Making Machines
Grand Rapids-based Paragon D&E has collaborated with Fidia and Delcam to bring to market the Fidia GTFM, a large bridge-style five axis milling machine.
This Grand Rapids based provider of highly complex tooling systems rolled out an extended product line at IMTS--the Fidia GTFM, a large bridge-style five axis milling machine. Paragon D&E President David Muir was on hand to discuss how collaboration between Paragon, Fidia and Delcam brought to market this machine tool and how it all began.
Earlier this year Paragon ordered new equipment from Fidia, the twelve month lead time was simply too long, so Muir saw this as an opportunity. The two companies began working together in 2004, and then in 2008 they designed and installed the largest multi-axis milling machine in North America.
This forced discussions on how to best manage the project that was growing on two continents. Paragon assembled a roster of domestic suppliers to help with machine structure fabrication and coordinatied a supply of milling technology with Fidia’s engineering and manufacturing team in Italy.
The machine is made in Michigan with U.S. and Italian components. This has enabled them to stick to the timeline. Commissioning of the new machine began in late August, and full production is to start next month.
“We built this first machine for ourselves,” said Muir, “but it quickly became clear that the shorter lead times and a strong local installation team would benefit the entire industry. The integration with Delcam’s PowerMill simply increases the machine’s output and capabilities.”
If the market responds well to this new machine technology offering, manufacturing for Fidia will be completed at the existing Paragon facility in Grand Rapids. The company is prepared to hire additional skilled machinists to keep pace with customer demand in this new product line.