Case Study Poland: Efficiency at maximum precision

Editor: Barbara Schulz

Kowary-based mould maker C-Form is relying on Meusburger’s expertise in standard parts as well as the company’s H-1000 clamping system, which helped C-Form to significantly minimise clamping times and increase machining precision.

C-Form relies on Meusburger’s highly precise and innovative H-1000 clamping system, which gives the Polish company a competitive edge.
C-Form relies on Meusburger’s highly precise and innovative H-1000 clamping system, which gives the Polish company a competitive edge.
(Source: Schulz)

Behind the inconspicuous walls of the former carpet factory lies the workshop of the young mould-making company C-Form, located just 100 km southwest of the city of Wroclaw in Poland. The firm, which was originally founded by Martin Cyganik, his brother Paul and father Jan Cyganik to provide moulds to the Swedish manufacturing industry, has grown into a successful business with customers in Sweden, Poland and other European countries.

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In 2006, the two brothers took a risk and left Sweden – their home for more than 20 years – and ventured out on their own to provide the company their father was working for at the time, Ericsson, with superior injection moulds made in Poland. In the early years, the company’s products were manufactured on one milling machine, two EDMs and a grinding machine. Meanwhile, the company has grown to 25 staff and complements the mould-making business with its own injection moulding company called C-Tech. Together, the two firms have 55 employees under one roof, yet while the owners constantly fold their money back into the company, space is running out.

Paying a premium for advanced equipment pays off

Good marketing, quality products and the fastest lead times – that’s been C-Form’s mantra from the get-go. Its owners realised that the key to succeeding in the mould-making game was not only taking on the jobs they were offered, but also figuring out the processes and practices to make this a profitable business. Cyganik and his brother have no qualms about paying a premium for advanced equipment because they know the payoff comes in the long run in the form of shorter lead times and increased productivity. The strategy is working, as the company’s customer list continues to grow.

Over the years, the brothers have purchased machines with the capacity to accommodate mould sizes of up to one ton. But good CNC equipment is only one piece of the puzzle. “From the beginning we have been working with Meusburger to make bigger moulds,” Cyganik explains. “They make the clamping and cavity plates while we manufacture the inserts and assemble the final moulds. It’s been a very good relationship right from the beginning.”

Clamping system ensures competitive edge

To remain competitive, effective fixturing and quick job change-overs are equally vital, because an idle machine doesn't make money. Reducing set-up time is a common goal regardless of the machining process – whether milling or EDM. As a consequence, C-Form relies on Meusburger’s highly precise and innovative H-1000 clamping system, which gives the Polish company a competitive edge. According to Meusburger, the H-1000 guarantees short set-up times and precise repeat clamping without collision contours – a system designed to save customers time and money.

Cyganik confirms the system’s ability to facilitate set-up. “The H-1000 covers a variety of clamping situations on our milling machines as well as EDM die sinkers,” he says. “Since we introduced the system last year, we managed to reduce our set-up times by as much as 50% and as a result reduce our lead times, making us even more competitive.”

His machine operator, Mr Stachowiak, demonstrates the set-up and clamping procedure for an F-plate on the company’s new milling machine; a procedure that has been reduced from 25 to only 5 minutes.

First, he removes the threaded plugs for the respective mould size and diagonally inserts four centring bodies. The F-plate is placed above and clamped with expansion rings without any collision contours. Within minutes, the mould plate is positioned, clamped and ready for machining.

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“Since the only protruding edges are the contours of the workpiece itself, machine programming is simplified and the risk of collisions minimised,” Gregor Dytko, Meusburger Area Sales Manager Poland, explains.

“The split-line faces of the plates can be machined across the entire surface without meeting any obstacles. The system also makes it possible to repeatedly position plates within micron tolerances. The Meusburger solution is simple and efficient.” The H-1000 Wizard supports customers like C-Form with the system configuration. There is a choice of six different plate sizes. “All accessories required are calculated automatically and the various clamping options can be defined with just a few clicks of the mouse,” Dytko adds.

Additionally, the system can be quickly converted, and pallets turn the H-1000 into a multifunctional clamping system. “Meanwhile, we use the clamping system on all of our machines where possible,” Cyganik says. “It definitely pays for itself after producing only a few moulds.”