Case Study: Establishing Production Consistency and Minimizing Downtimes

Ultra's Solution


Global Foods Manufacturer

Tooling Die

A die block with dowel holes and dowel pins on their production line tooling.

Manufacturing Issues

Time-consuming and challenging assembly and disassembly of this die block.

Damages occurring to the dowel holes and dowel pins.

Customer’s Goals

Improve the time and process to assemble and disassemble this die block on the production line.

Minimize costly damages to the dowel pins and dowel holes.

Redesign Process

Our Toolmakers and Die Designers performed a detailed assessment of the die block. They immediately recognized a weakness with the dowel pins and holes. Dowel pins, a type of industrial fastener, and dowel holes align the tooling in its proper location so that it can operate correctly on the production line. The customer's current dowel components were lacking in strength and quality. This was causing the issues the customer had continuously been experiencing on the production floor.

The current threaded dowel pins weren’t made to withstand constant wear and tear. They were built with a tapped hole going through the center of the pin which made them inherently weak. Also, the flat end surface of the dowel pins limited their ability to adjust in the hole; and this increased the scraping and washing out of the dowel holes. This dowel system established no lead-in or angle for placing and removing the tooling on and off the risers.

The image below displays the condition and design of the customer's die block with the dowel holes before Ultra got involved.

Ultra's Solution

Machine open the dowel block and install replaceable inserts with dowel holes. These hardened inserts will establish a more solid base for the dowel holes and pins to align. Also, the newly designed center hole on this insert will improve line up with the location pin on the tooling. Ultra's customized solution included redesigned dowel pins composed of a hardened liner. Also, the end surface of the dowel pins is now curved allowing for better lead-in and fit into the dowel hole.

Experienced CNC Machinists utilized their technical skills, 3D design software and our CNC equipment to precisely build this replaceable metal insert with its drilled holes. This image below shows inside the CNC where the insert is placed in an established location to ensure accurate and consistent drilling operations.

Customer Outcome

Introduced an easier process for assembly and disassembly of this tooling on the production line. Extended the life of the die block with an innovative design that utilizes quality, machined components. And these factors help minimize damages to the tooling.

On-site repairs can be more easily completed by the customer because of the replaceable insert.

Ultra has now improved the dowel features on five different production tooling operations for this Global Food Manufacturer.

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