Leveraging Supplier Partners (Includes Video)

Simply purchasing electrode software wasn’t enough for this mold manufacturer. The shop worked closely with both the EDM and software developers to influence the development of a system that would meet its needs.


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Cavalier President Brian Bendig, shown here holding an automotive grill mold electrode  in front of the shop’s OPS-Ingersoll Eagle 122 gantry sinker EDM. 

Cavalier Tool & Manufacturing could have just purchased off-the-shelf software when it needed a system for the design, manufacture and inspection of electrodes a few years back. After extensive conversations with Brian Bendig, company president, I’m not surprised at all that the company instead chose a different route.

After all, the purpose of those conversations was gathering information for an article about what led Cavalier to win this year’s Leadtime Leader Award, and Bendig’s philosophy on finding new technology was one of many factors that stood out. This is a man who regularly travels the globe for the sole purpose of discovering technology that might be unbeknownst to others—technology that might provide his Windsor, Ontario shop with a competitive edge. Bendig says the shop also works closely with its supplier partners on the development of new technology.

Notable examples of both can be found in the EDM technology on the floor. In 2011, Cavalier installed one of the first Eagle-brand sinker EDMs in North America following Bendig’s visit to German supplier OPS-Ingersol (here, the machines are available from MC Machinery Systems). These machines will constitute the heart of a new EDM cell, detailed extensively in the Leadtime Leader article, that promises to pay big gains once installed. Yet, not all the gains are from the machines themselves. The Delcam electrode software they run was customized for Cavalier’s needs through close collaboration with both the EDM and software developers.