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Photo courtesy GF Machining Solutions MOLD MACHINING


G.H. Tool & Mold was able to transition many of its smaller intricate parts, such as this valve body mold component at 46 Rc


hardness, from


older fi ve-axis machines to its Mikron HPM 800U-HD that not only improves surface fi nish quality, but also slashes average machining cycle times by half.


Speeding Up Moldmaking Processes


With more reshoring of moldmaking, manufacturers turn to faster processes to boost moldmaking productivity


Patrick Waurzyniak Senior Editor


M


oldmaking is making a comeback, with more reshoring to North America of mold-and-die manufacturing that left for the Far East and other low-cost manufacturing centers. With faster met-


alcutting through high-speed machining (HSM) and improved EDM techniques, mold-and-die shops are fi nding innovative ways to compete with manufacturing operations in traditionally low-cost labor markets. More HSM on newer fi ve-axis machines has changed the equa- tion for moldmakers, who increasingly see greater savings through better mold turnaround times and cutting shipping costs by bringing moldmaking back to North America. With high-speed milling of molds on fast fi ve-axis machines running between 42,000–60,000- rpm spindle speeds, today’s moldmakers can achieve very high tolerances, enabling machinists to achieve nearly mirror-like fi nishes on molds and dies, noted Gisbert Ledvon, director of business development, GF Machining Solutions (Lincolnshire, IL), a builder of both high-speed milling machine tools and EDM machinery.


May 2016 | AdvancedManufacturing.org 79


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