Designing and manufacturing custom tooling is by far the most rewarding of efforts here at KV Tooling. We are privileged to offer services to our customers that help them create parts faster and more accurately than their competition. Whether it’s a tool designed by your in-house engineering department, or it’s something we here at KV have designed from your part print and process plan, we are driven to provide the right solutions for your company.
What is custom tooling?
The word “custom” conjures up some sort of craftsman-like person, wearing a leather apron and a head-visor magnifying lens and sitting at a bench with a hand file laboring away at a finely crafted one-off instrument. Ok, maybe your vision of custom is different than mine, but the point is “custom” can mean different things to different people.
A custom tool basically is any tool that cannot be readily purchased in a catalog to perform a required task.
Our vision of custom here at KV is simple. Give the customer what they need to achieve their desired end result.
Sometimes the picture is pretty clear. Some shops employ programmers and process engineers or even professionally certified manufacturing engineers that can draw tool designs that will work for their purposes. A well thought out and drawn tool is drafted and sent to us for quote.
Sometimes, it’s not such a clear picture. The customer will often know what they want as an end result, but the actual tool doesn’t actually have any “flesh”. A napkin sketch may convey a good part of the idea, but alas, it’s only a napkin sketch. Sometimes not without a coffee stain on it.
Other times the customer will not have an idea of what the tool needs to look like. But they will have a part print and a process in mind. Most often we get this type of request: “Please build us a tool that will do this.”
Our design team will meet and discuss the tool(s) functions and geometry and we will design a tool that will achieve the necessary results.
Often, a customer will ask if we can make a specific type of tool but with special features like multiple or helical flutes, radii or chamfers or any number of tweaks. (Hint: We usually say yes!!)
Once we finalize design and make a .CAD print we send off the design for approval by the customer. We can design the tool, program it on our cam workstation and view it in real time 3D. We can then send over a .jpeg image of the tool for final review before we manufacture.
These design skills enable us to offer a valuable service to our customers. This service enables small and large shops alike to focus on manufacturing quality parts and frees up engineers, owners, buyers and tool crib personnel to do other tasks that speed along the overall manufacturing process. Ultimately getting product out the door on time and getting that big fat paycheck faster is what we are all striving for!