Xcentric Mold & Engineering Inc. already has learned how to work quickly, delivering completed molds within 20 days to customers, like those in the medical field that need to launch extensive trials on new products.
Now the Chesterfield, Mich.-based toolmaker is moving at even faster speeds, offering an Xpress Parts service that creates molds in one to five days. And, said co-owner Brendan Weaver, those molds include highly engineered complex tools.
This is not just prototyping, Weaver said at PDx/Amerimold in Cincinnati, May 11-13. We're taking complicated parts and getting the whole package done with a very quick turnaround.
Xcentric also has seven electric presses in-house for low-volume molding needed by customers that must begin tests and trials quickly.
The company occupies a 14,000-square-foot facility in a northern Detroit suburb. Its seven mold makers turn out about 300 molds per year.
The company diversified from the automotive business typically seen in the region eight years ago into the medical, defense, consumer products and aerospace industries. At the same time, it worked on steadily improving its delivery time as those industries increased the demand for fast mold production, Weaver said.
Using a combination of standardized mold bases and components, along with proprietary streamlined production, Xcentric found it could respond faster and faster, he said.
This is where we're competing, especially against China, Weaver said.
In 2008, the firm marked its best year ever. In 2009, while much of the tooling industry suffered through extensive shutdowns, Xcentric saw only a 15 percent dip in business.
The even-faster promise with Express Parts with delivery time within five days, depending on the complexity of the mold looks to keep the company even further ahead of its competition. When someone needs something in one day, we're the ones they're going to come to, he said.
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