The Advantages of Getting Out of the Shop

This mold manufacturer makes a point to give shopfloor-level employees a chance to explore new technology.

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An event at Mastercam reseller Optipro exposed Accede programmers to the true potential of their software. Here, OptiPro’s Vince Cannarozzo (right) consults with Accede staffer Abdur Stephens.

This case study focuses mostly on how Mastercam’s Dynamic Motion tool paths improve roughing efficiency at Accede Mold & Tool. However, there’s another lesson to be had, too. For Accede, encouraging employees to get out of the shop and explore new technology at supplier open houses and other industry events is well-worth the cost of time away from their workstations. Without that encouragement, the company never would have learned about Dynamic Motion in the first place.

This technology came onto the shop’s radar after several programmers were encouraged to take a half-day from their crowded work schedule to attend a demo at OptiPro, the company’s Mastercam reseller. Although they had noticed Dynamic Motion in their existing software, they didn’t fully appreciate its capabilities until they saw the technology roughing pockets twice as fast as they would ever have thought possible. As detailed in the story, applying it back at the shop has reduced strain on machines and cutters, improved programming productivity, and more.

Granted, such events don’t always lead to such immediate gains, or any gains at all for that matter. At the least, however, they could serve to keep those closest to the work educated about the latest developments, not to mention looking ahead rather than getting too comfortable with established technology and processes. Getting out of the shop can also enhance enthusiasm for the job and excitement about technology. Consider the fact that, once they had seen Dynamic Motion in action at OptiPro, the Accede programmers literally rushed back to the shop to try it out, even though it was already late afternoon on a Friday.

Accede Mold & Tool isn’t the only shop I’m aware of that espouses this philosophy. Last December, I blogged about how Summit Tooling sent its entire toolroom (16 people) to attend IMTS 2014. 

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