Leadtime Leaders Honored at Awards Ceremony

Once again, this year's award winners raise the bar for modern mold manufacturing. Despite serving very different subsets of the industry, many of the winners’ success strategies are quite similar, particularly their focus on people.

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Cavalier Tool and Manufacturing accepts the 2015 Leadtime Leader Award.

There's a reason all the folks in the picture above are standing in front of the podium rather than on it. Brian Bendig, president of Cavalier Tool & Manufacturing, physically accepted the 2015 Leadtime Leader award plaque at Amerimold 2015, as shown in the picture. However, he also insisted on having his team stand up there with him (at least, those who attended the show). Whatever the importance of his own role in laying out an overall strategic vision, Bendig recognizes that the Windsor, Ontario operation would have been unlikely to come so far without sufficient commitment and engagement from the broader staff (all of whom posed for the cover of our June issue).

As detailed in this article and video, the shop has come far indeed. Far enough, in fact, for a panel of industry experts (as well as yours truly and MMT Editorial Director Christina Fuges) to single out Cavalier Tool & Manufacturing as a Leadtime Leader—that is, an example of what modern mold manufacturing should look like, a model for other shops to follow.   

A people-centric approach is also part of what set Dynamic Tool & Design apart from the rest of the nominees. Taking the podium immediately after Cavalier to receive the 2015 Leadtime Leader: Honorable Mention award, company president Dave Miller and crew have implemented a structure in which employees actually own the shop. Like Cavalier, Dynamic has also invested heavily in the latest technology and refining its manufacturing process.

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Christina Fuges, Editorial Director of MoldMaking Technology, Dave Miller, President of Dynamic Tool & Design ,and Glenn Starkey, President of Progressive Components, sponsor of this Annual Award.
 

However, that technology and process are far removed from what’s in place at Cavalier. These two shops pursue a very different subsets of work and employ very different strategies on the shop floor. Cavalier's molds trend large; Dynamic's are far smaller. Cavalier specializes in multi-axis cutting of complex molds for automotive, recreational vehicle and other industries; Dynamic relies heavily on robot-tended machines to churn out multiple, interchangeable inserts for high-cavitation tooling. Dynamic takes molds all the way through scientific qualification; Cavalier prefers to stick to its core mold building expertise.

The list goes on, but whatever your niche, there's likely plenty to learn from one of these shops. Moreover, the differences between them make what they have in common all the more compelling. Read the articles and watch the video to learn more.