Mold Maker Relies on Stability, Repeatability of OKK Machines for 20+ YearsRequest
In the late 1990s, General Tool Specialties needed a machine for a new contract. The shop's existing setup wasn't up to par. They were missing deadlines and quality was beginning to slip. Later, he needed machines with better feedrates and accuracies.
The company partnered with their machine tool supplier to install an OKK VM 5 II. Later, they purchased an OKK VP 600 and VP 9000.
- Better surface finishes
- Improved tool life
- Greater levels of accuracy, plus or minus 0.0002″
One missed delivery. That’s all it takes to put a job at risk. One missed delivery could impact other jobs down the line. And if you can’t get a customer what they want when they want it, they’ll find someone else who can.
That’s why a machine’s uptime and reliability matter. When a spindle stops running, it doesn’t just affect one job – it can have a cascading snowball effect that puts an entire operation at risk.
John D. Domici, Chief Operating Officer of General Tool Specialties, Inc., didn’t want to put the fate of his shop in an inferior CNC machine.
“Before 1998, I didn’t have very good equipment, I was using more inexpensive, economical-type machine tools,” he said.
He had just received a contract for four similar molds – a “dream job” for a state-of-the-art plastic and custom injection mold manufacturer like General Tool Specialties.
His shop was at full capacity, and because his existing setup wasn’t up to par, he was missing deadlines.
He opened up a copy of Modern Machine Shop and connected with an OKK dealer. Domici relayed what he needed – a 40 x 20 x 20 machine within a week – and the supplier delivered.
In just two weeks, Domici had his first OKK VM5 II up and running.
Compared to his previous machine, the difference was “night and day.”
“My surface finishes were incredible, my tool life was great, and the machine was so much stronger,” he said. “I had the ability to run larger cutters and take larger cuts. It was much more reliable and accurate.”
One OKK machine led to another. And another. And another. Soon, Domici began replacing inferior machines with different OKK models.
Domici had another VM5 II installed within a year.
In 2007, he was looking for a machine with better accuracy and feed rate than the “brand X” machine on his shop floor. Once again, the current setup wasn’t reliable. While he never lost a contract, he was missing due dates.
One weak link could have massive ramifications, Domici said. You could, for example, have to run the parts on a different machine and put other jobs on the back-burner. That creates one logistical problem after another.
Shifting jobs from one machine to another could result in additional overhead costs, such as overtime or paying a technician to fix the machine. It could also complicate shipping, logistics, and work schedules. If you do miss a job, it could harm your shop’s reputation, and therefore your ability to take on new contracts.
In addition to reliability, Domici needed a machine with incredible precision and accuracy. Naturally, the choice was an OKK VP600.
“The VP600, I could actually do work plus or minus 0.0002″ all day long without trying,” he said. “Those aren’t machine accuracies, those are accuracies I can produce in the work.”
The results paired well with the price tag.
“In my opinion, the OKK machines are the best machines for the price, they’re not expensive machines,” he said.
Later, in 2010, Domici was looking to replace an aging bridge mill. He grew accustomed to the reliability and performance of the OKK and soon had a VP 9000 on the shop floor.
Performing religious preventative maintenance has kept the machines, and his shop, in top form.
“It’s just a very good quality machine at a great price that does not break down, and does not let me down,” he said.