Software keeps mold shop competitive

Software keeps mold shop competitive

CimatronE software covers all aspects of moldmaking at Marland Mold.

U.S. mold shops constantly must produce high-quality molds while keeping their production costs low to compete against overseas manufacturers, and Marland Mold ( in Pittsfield, Mass., is doing that. However, in addition to challenges posed by global competitors, the shop routinely must machine complex surfaces with models that frequently require manipulation and modifications. Marland uses CimatronE software from Cimatron Technologies Inc. ( to deal with such models throughout its moldmanufacturing process, and the company says it maintains a leadership position in its markets by providing customers high-quality molds that improve their manufacturing productivity rates while reducing costs and increasing product life.

The software covers every aspect of moldmaking and provides flexibility, ease of use and the ability to handle complex surfaces, say John Nykorchuk and Robert Shook of the engineering/programming department at Marland. Their shop works with customers from around the world, and CimatronE lets it communicate effectively, transfering files back and forth and integrating data from several sources.

Because a majority of its customers work in solids, Marland often needs to make alterations and regenerate machined surfaces in the same format. "Some software packages don't have the tools to fix the geometries we get from our customers, and we rarely work with normal shapes anymore. Instead, we see a lot of webbed surfaces, blended surfaces, mixtures of round to square and everything in between," Nykorchuk says.

The shop often works with surfaces that have holes and glitches or are bad models altogether. Nykorchuk says CimatronE can recognize any model and allows the company to make changes to problematic surfaces so that it can machine them to specifications.

Marland knows that when it sends a job to the shop floor it will be machined correctly because of the software. Other software the shop used did not allow data manipulation, and the company often struggled with complex surfaces, such as when it needed to develop EDM electrodes. "CimatronE's strong electrode functionality handles any type of blend, and using one software package lets us go back and forth between different applications without translation, which streamlines the entire process," Shook says.

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