Tuesday, March 7, 2017

How custom tooling quickens a device’s time to market and unlocks machining potential

CNC machines are the backbone of the precision machining environment, thanks to their precision and ability to manufacture intricate forms and features. Custom tooling is essential to fully unlock the potential of these machines and their technology.

A longtime expert in manufacturing complex medical devices, Lowell develops its own custom tooling to further enhance the CNC machines’ capabilities. This also ensures our production process can meet customers’ design intent and quickens time to market for their devices. Here are three key findings from this proven process.

1.       The quality of the tools affects the quality of the devices. Custom tooling improves both.

Often behind the scenes, tools touch every part of a product’s fabrication. They directly affect the quality of a device we manufacture for customers. By bringing the design and creation of custom tooling in house, we avoid the breakage and inconsistency problems we had with outsourced tools. We put our custom tools through the same rigorous design process and programming as our customers’ device components. This creates better and more reliable tools, which lead to better parts for our customers.

2.       By creating your own tools in-house, customers can get their parts to market faster.

By fabricating tooling in-house, we can build custom tools for specific applications and make any needed adjustments in a matter of hours. Before developing our in-house process, timelines were impacted by how quickly we could get a custom tool delivered. If internal testing showed the tool was wrong or needed modifications, it could take an extra week or longer to fix. Expanding our in-house capabilities is more efficient. This helps improve turnaround time for our customers, which ultimately impacts time to market.

3.       When tools are designed for a specific purpose, they lead to better results.

Not all projects require custom tooling solutions, but especially complex projects typically do. By creating tools for specific device needs, we can ensure that each piece meets the design specifications to deliver results for our customers. It also gives us flexibility to create tools from different materials – for example, carbide, tungsten or steel – based on the manufacturing process.

With custom tooling created in house, Lowell accelerates the product development process. To download our White Paper click here.







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