| || |
CACO Pacific : Moldflow
CACO Pacific (Covino, CA), founded more than 50 years ago, is a leader in mold engineering and manufacturing. It services high volume manufacturing companies in 27 countries worldwide. The company's future plans call for even greater advances in its product technologies. When high speed molding of precision plastic parts for the global market is required, industry giants select CACO Pacific. They know they'll receive reliability, component interchangeability, low maintenance, longevity and the highest possible productivity from their CACO Pacific molds.
CACO Pacific customers need molds that produce parts at the lowest cost/highest quality and arrive totally de-bugged and production ready. Its highly skilled people backed by a prolific patent producing R&D team deliver the latest mold technologies.
Bruce Jetseck, CACO Pacific mold designer, is responsible for mold designs and performing Moldflow analyses on customers' products and mold designs. CACO Pacific's customers range from telecommunications to medical to consumer goods, to packaging. "Customers bring their products to us and we design the molds for them. We use Moldflow software to determine if there will be any manufacturing or quality issues early in the design process," says Jetseck.
He says that most customers want to save manufacturing costs so they try to design products with extremely thin walls. "We work with the customer and provide solutions for their product design which allows us to provide the best mold design at a fair price." notes Jetseck. "We try to find the fine line where we can get thin enough walls but still maintain the structural stability of the part when exposed to the elements after production."
CACO Pacific customers expect outstanding mold quality and performance. "We first consider what the customer wants versus what they really need. There is a difference," notes Jetseck. "The customer typically sends us an cad data file (STL format) that contains a mold design. We then download the model onto our system so we can access it for use in Moldflow. We then perform a preliminary analysis to check for possible product design issues. These issues could cause problems in the mold design and product quality issues with the product design. We believe in taking proactive steps before cutting steel rather than reactive later on in the manufacturing process. Moldflow is part of our front end engineering toolkit that we use on every project."
Upfront analysis benefits
Jetseck says that using Moldflow's Part Adviser and Mold Adviser software help save on materials. "The technology helps us provide a better quality product. We can find the best gate locations, even though they may not be the same ones the customer initially intended," adds Jetseck. "Many times we run preliminary analyses and show the customers the results. Most of the time, the customer will agree with us after seeing the simulation results. And, many times, they are pleased with our design suggestions from the original design in terms of an end product."
Without products such as Moldflow, most mold designers regress to making every mold steel-safe. Many small shops that are relying on best guesses and experience can easily afford Moldflow's Part Adviser and Mold Adviser software packages. Jetseck adds, "Using Moldflow's technology helps us constantly improve our designs. We would not be in the business position we are now if we based our designs on what worked in the past. For small and medium shops that need to make sure that the gates are located correctly to having the material flow optimized, Part Adviser and Mold Adviser are the best products on the market for the price."
Jetseck and his team were recently approached by a telecommunications customer to design a mold for a cell phone. "The customer provided us with a design that had pre-determined gate locations," says Jetseck. "We took the design through the Moldflow rigors and positioned the gates so the product filled toward the ends at the same time (within 4% time and volume). We justified why we wanted to position the gates at these locations and how it would affect their product if they were not. We convinced them using the results from the analysis and the mold has produced quality product from the very start of production, with minimal time for start up mold processing."
Jetseck has been using Moldflow products since 1989. When he arrived at CACO Pacific several years ago, he was pleased to find that Moldflow was already installed. "Moldflow technology has the edge over competitive products," notes Jetseck. "The company is more focused on developing quality software than its competitors." Jetseck says Moldflow's part Adviser and Mold Adviser product are easy to learn to use. The software helps Jetseck reduce waste in terms of sizing and balancing hot runner systems. "Using Moldflow's products, we save at least 10% on materials," notes Jetseck. "Even though every project is different, the technology helps save CACO Pacific and our customers money. Any company that has anything to do with designing or building molds should take a look at the Moldflow software packages to enhance their capability. Manufacturers that don't embrace new and continually improving technology are those that will not be able to supply their customers with solutions prior to starting the manufacturing phase of any project. Moldflow analysis software and the correct usage of it should not be considered "black box" technology as it was referred to in the past. Companies like CACO Pacific have to be able to offer the customer the most extensive skillset and toolkit. That means performing analyses on products and determining where problems will likely arise so that the customer can evaluate other design options and have time to make design changes before the cost of redesign is too exorbitant to attempt. Companies are forced to respond faster and faster in a global marketplace and you need tools like Moldflow software to help stay ahead of the competition.
Author: Laura Carrabine