Delcam’s Power Solution raises standard of Brazilian toys
Standardisation on Delcam’s Power Solution CADCAM software has allowed Brazilian mould maker Fagmol to maximise the quality of the tooling it produces and so help improve the standard of many of the toys produced in Brazil. The significant improvement in the quality of toys manufactured locally has meant that the Brazilian toy industry should turn over US$ 336 million during 2003, a 75% increase compared to 1996. In addition, toy exports should reach the US$ 20 million during the year.
Fagmol, which is based in the city of Americana in Sao Paulo state, is one of the country’s leading mould tool manufacturers specialising in the toy industry. The company was started in 1991, when the founders rented part of a friend’s shop floor, equipped with a milling machine, a grinder and a drilling/milling machine, all manually operated.
Subsequent acquisition of advanced CNC machinery and state-of-the-art software, together with intensive staff training, has given the company both the experience and the technology to offer a complete product development service, from the conceptual design of a new toy through to moulding trials. "We can develop new designs, either by manual modelling or by computer-aided design with our seats of Delcam’s PowerSHAPE hybrid modeller. We can then design and manufacture moulds using PowerSHAPE and the PowerMILL CAM system, and, finally, we can undertake mould trials for injection moulding machines with a clamp force of up to 150 tonnes,” claimed Antonio Carlos Fagionato, Fagmol’s Managing Director. "This allows us to meet 90% of the local toy industry’s requirements.”
"The toy industry accounts for around 85% of our production. This includes supplying the five most prestigious toy manufacturers in Brazil. The remaining 15% is related to maternity products, such as baby baths, baby walkers, etc.,” added Mr. Fagionato. During 2003, the company produced around 40 moulds, including examples up to six tonnes.
According to Production Manager, Alexandre Tadeu Fagionato, Fagmol "was the first mould maker in Brazil to use the PC-based version of Delcam’s software in 1996.” The initial period of adaptation with the software technologies was not exactly easy. "When we installed our first CNC milling machine, back in 1994, we were told our productivity would drop at first – that was precisely what happened,” recalled Mr. Fagionato. "When we implemented our first CADCAM seat, we also had a drop in productivity. The cultural impact was enormous and it changed our way of thinking.” However, he added; "Had we not made those investments, we would probably not be here today.”
A strong commitment to staff training was essential in gaining real benefits from its investments. Fagmol still believes that having the most advanced technologies available is of little use unless its staff is properly and regularly trained.
"We have made great progresses as a company but so has the Delcam software,” said Mr. Fagionato, emphasising that some current projects, with rigorous technical requirements and very short lead times, would have been impossible without Delcam’s modelling and manufacturing software. Fagmol is still committed to further growth and investment. The next stage is a move to brand new, larger facilities that will allow the production of mould tools up to 15 tonnes.