Technology Div., Manager Mr. Koji Uehara
Total Productive Manufacturing of Plastic Products
TOHO INDUSTRIAL co., ltd. manufactures various types of products by using a streamlined production method enabling a continuum of plastics production consisting of designing, forming, painting, printing, and assembling and finishing. Furthermore, the company has enhanced the plastic business capabilities in the areas of product plan and design, development of automation technologies, research and development of processing technologies of new materials, and proposal of new products complying with characteristics of new materials.
The company has made perfect arrangements for customers that shift production bases from Japan to overseas. It established a factory dedicated to making molds in Vietnam, and created a manufacturing mechanism that benefits from production networks in China in order to enable manufacturing arrangements capable of meeting individual customers’ requirements. Mr. Koji Uehara, section manager of Mold Creation, Technology Division, shared his thoughts during our interview.
Solid Modelling is enabled and eases mold designing through utilization of standard parts.
“CADCEUS has been with us for about 11 years since it came as a rare system capable of totally 3D mold designing. We used to use another manufacturer’s CAD system that had mold capabilities before CADCEUS introduction. Our engineers found it difficult and not user friendly for smooth operations.
On the other hand, CADCEUS enables solid modelling quickly. Its splendid operability is appreciated by our engineers designing molds through the use of invoked molds’ standard parts data that has already been embedded in CADCEUS.
We had anxieties about how our engineers can be trained in order to use CADCEUS in the field. According to a briefing, the training curriculum schedule was less tight than expected and it sounded user-friendly. We think that we could have a smooth transition into actual operation after receiving the CADCEUS training. CADCEUS and CADmeiser have no major differences in command operability, although they have differences in viewing method and shading color. Thus, we could migrate from CADCEUS to CADmeister without a sense of discomfort. CADmeister does not accommodate the concept of CADCEUS Workspace (WS) and thus enables data to be handled through the use of Explorer. It enables further easy operation. We are pleased with CADmeister pretty much.”
CAD/CAM team members of Mold Creation Section
“CADmeister enabled a process of total 3D design, and thus reduced workload of product designing. We create drawings for molds that have been 3D designed through the use of CADmeister’s mold capabilities. The figures show plates that are used for fixed parts and mobile parts of a mold. They are used for hole machining. Infallible hole positions of individual mold plates are indicated, which is different from when they used to be given in manually prepared drawings. They allow no human errors.
This concept of designing and drawing has been used at our factory in Vietnam where the English version of CADmeister enables a process of total 3D designing.
Furthermore, we design molds through the use of standard part data that are included in CADmeister, and we have reduced workload by approx. 50% compared with when we created mold parts from scratch.”
“We would like to have a more powerful CADmeister function to remove fillet effects. The function is useful as it is. However, we have some obstinate fillets resisting angle adherence. We have to delete the filleted surfaces and create pin angles by extending their ambient surfaces. We hope that a more powerful CADmeister removal function could spare this work. Furthermore, we would like to have the mold base specification function improved. It would be appreciated if the system could compute based on the measured sizes of outer shapes of product in order to know the size of cavity/core section inside, and automatically compute a mold base size and plate thicknesses.”
Aiming to Become the World No.1 Precision Plastic Mold Manufacturer through Japan-Vietnam Cooperation
“We have accelerated ourselves to transfer the mold technologies that we have accumulated in Japan to our factory in Vietnam. We aim to inexpensively and quickly create products of the same quality as in Japan through the use of tools such as CADmeister. Our Vietnamese employees operate in the same environment as in Japan where they use a CADmeister system of English version and plastic injection molding machines manufactured in Japan.
However, it is virtually impossible to create finished products of the same precision as expected in Japan. This is due to differences of culture and sensitivity. Thus, we would like to fill the gap in quality between Japanese products and Vietnamese products by creating impeccably complete data through CADmeister.
Furthermore, we would like to aim to become the world No. 1 precision plastic mold manufacturer capable of providing our mold technologies mainly in the Asian region including Thailand and Indonesia, far beyond Vietnam.”
<Interviewed in November 2011>
* The company names and product names described herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
* The names of local autonomous bodies, companies and individuals were given in the interview.