2017 Leadtime Leader Winner Accepts Award at Amerimold

Graphic Tool demonstrates that size does not matter when it comes to bringing home MMT's annual Leadtime Leader Award.


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Approaching business deliberately, championing the process, optimizing customers’ outcomes and training future leaders, are the actions that helped Graphic Tool claim the 2017 Leadtime Leader title.
Leadership changes set this shop on a path of renewed purpose, fueled by data-driven, lean methodologies and deliberate, quality-controlled production.  Graphic Tool changed ownership, created a new management team and has been transforming its operations using lead methodologies, automation, a streamlined quoting system. collaborative planning and teamwork. 

“A lot of companies build molds. We like to say that we build the Formula One race car type of molds," says Graphic GM Don Smith.  He says it's the processes that drive the people, not the people who drive the processes.  "We set objectives, together with each employee, so that that they are agreed on and ultimately measured.”

I notified Don of their win a few months ago, but the team just recently heard the news. He told me he made the announcement during the company's Memorial Day lunchtime BBQ. They passed out all of the MoldMaking Technology gear we sent out to the company, and then proceeded to litter the shop with MMT/Leadtime Leader-themed magnets and t-shirts.  Then last week they held a "banner raising" to hang up the 2017 Leadtime Leader sign we sent, creating a visible symbol of their win.

"Everyone is very proud of their achievement’s with building a 'new' foundation, but they also know that this is just the beginning. Continuous improvement is just that: continuous," Don told me.  

And then this past Wednesday it was all made official, as more than 30 Graphic Tool employees headed to Amerimold in Rosemont, Illinois, to be a part of the Awards ceremony and networking party (and take in the exhibits, demos and presentations during the day). 
This annual award is sponsored by Progressive Components.

Graphic Tool Corp.


Donald J. Smith, President/General Manager

Tim Bandurski, Plant Manager

Jerrie Delaney, Finance Manager

John Gallo, Planning and Scheduling Manager


• Annual sales: Less than $10 million
• No. of employees: 32

• Facility: 17,500 square feet
• Average on-time delivery: 85.19 percent, with 7.41 percent delivered early
• Lead time: four to six weeks on one- and two-cavity molds; six to 10 weeks on four- and eight-cavity molds; 10 to 14 weeks on 16- to 24-cavity molds; 12 to 16 weeks on 32- to 64-cavity molds; and 16 to 20 weeks on 64-cavity and larger molds 
• No. of molds/year: Capable of building 25-35, depending on complexity

• Associations: American Mold Builders Association (AMBA),

Technology and Manufacturing Association (TMA)

End Markets:

Medication Packaging

Cosmetics/Beauty Packaging


Personal Care Dispensing

Capabilities, Products and Services:

Design and build state-of-the-art, high-cavitation, hot runner molds for parts with complex geometries and tight tolerances.

Value added services include in-house mold flow analysis and design for manufacturability and assembly (DFM).

Equipment (highlights):

CNC Mills:

DMG MORI DMC 75V-Linear five-axis machining center with 60-toolholder capability and FANUC R-2000 robot with multi-pallet system

Makino: V33iGr graphite machining center with Nikken CNC 202 fourth axis, SN64 graphite machining center. Both linked with toolholders, pallet systems and Erowa robots

Mazak: Nexus 530c VMC, Nexus 6800-II HMC, Nexus 4000-II HMC, VQC 30/50B VMC, QTN 30 turning center, QTN Smart 350 turning center with Mazatrol smart control

Hurco: (2) VM10 machining centers, (2) KM-3P VMCs


Makino: EDNC43S ram sinker HQSF with 100-position carousel and Erowa robot, (2) EDNC43S ram sinker HQSF, EDNC43 ram sinker, EDNC64 ram sinker

(2) FANUC 1IC, four-axis Robocut CNC wire

Current EdmDrill ST300 small-hole drill

Surface Grinding:

Okamoto: Grind-X ACC 24-40 CA1 and Grind-X ACC 20-40 DX 6 × 12-inch machines with Dedtru and Optidress

Chevalier 12 × 24-inch machines

Mitsui: 6 × 18 with Optidress, (7) Mitsui 6 × 12-inch hand-feed grinders

Gallmeyer and Livingston ID/OD grinder

Related Equipment:

Giddings and Lewis 3-inch horizontal boring mill

(2) Brown and Sharp Micro Excel coordinate measuring machine

Special Equipment:

Engel 300-ton injection molding machine with 10-ounce barrel