Triangle Tool Corp. (Milwaukee, WI)—specializing in injection, SMC (sheet molded compound) and BMC (bulk molded compound) compression, structural foam, and blow molds for large plastic parts in addition to specialty large part machining—has realized that the best way to survive the current economic climate is to constantly reinvent itself by continuing to invest in technology and equipment while penetrating new markets.
Mold Manufacturing at its Best
Triangle Tool is best known for its large part, highly engineered molds. The company defines its “sweet spot” as 1000 tons to unlimited size. “Large molds are not for every shop,” Baez notes. “There are challenges at every stage of large mold development and size greatly multiplies cost if these challenges aren’t addressed upfront. We have the experience to navigate past these challenges. Our customers know this and recognize the value of a Triangle Tool mold.” Baez is quick to point out the true value of a mold is not the price of the mold. “For savvy decision-makers and purchasers, a mold’s price is not measured strictly by the price paid,” he states. “It is measured by mold price, troubleshooting, repair, maintenance and all other ‘buckets’ throughout the life of the mold. Those purchasers that use one metric (price) represent companies that are likely to struggle in the long-term. It raises a red flag when they view the tool as a one-time cost because incidentals drain resources and add cost over the long run.”
Baez notes the company’s average build leadtime on a project is 11 weeks, maintained through “concise scheduling utilizing both computer and visual boards. They are reviewed twice per shift by our shop managers. The board gives us a fish bowl view of our machines, our people, and the status of each job. We know where each core and cavity is for a particular job, we know who is going to be working on them next and we can adjust accordingly.” As owner Roy Luther states, “My wife should be able to come in here and determine exactly where a customer’s job is at any given time.” This strategy has helped Triangle Tool meet its on-time delivery “without failure or excuse,” Baez adds. “When delivery is critical, knowing your customer’s drop dead date is paramount. We will hit the drop dead date, but in addition, our flexible scheduling will allow us to take advantage of any holes and expedite the delivery