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Committed to quality

SF Moldes, a mold manufacturer in Oliveira de Azeméis in northwestern Portugal, uses Tebis end-to-end, from job planning to actual manufacturing. When asked how they came to choose Tebis, António Rocha, Managing Director of the company, explains: "The overall package from Tebis is simply the right choice. In addition to powerful individual functions and process tools, Tebis stands out in particular with its comprehensive customer support that does not end with the sale and installation of the software. That convinced us."

"High-quality, all-around services aren’t a matter of course today," says Rocha, a man who knows what he's talking about, especially when it comes to detailed knowledge of market requirements. As a subsidiary of Schneider Form Dettingen, SF Moldes SA continues to run the business of CRMoldes, a company that Rocha himself founded in 1980. It’s primarily thanks to Rocha and his team that CRMoldes was able to rise to an excellent position in the upper ranks of Portuguese mold manufacturers, even before the takeover by Schneider Form in 2006.

The success of the company, which currently has 200 employees, is impressive. SF Moldes SA manufactures products including plastic and die casting molds for the electrical equipment and electronics industries. However, the largest portion of the company's revenues – 97% – comes from the automotive sector. There is hardly a major automobile manufacturer that does not order products from SF Moldes. Customers include Audi, Jaguar and Volkswagen as well as Ford and BMW. Rocha views this broad customer support as one of the main reasons that SF Moldes was able to establish itself as a manufacturer of top technology: "I really believe that this distinguishes us from the other mold manufacturers: Our goal is to consistently deliver the best to our customers. But even that's not good enough for us. Customers should be satisfied not only with the products themselves, but also with the service we offer afterward. This is how a company earns credibility. If a company values quality, good service, reliability and an after-sale warranty, they invariably turn to us. Why did we choose Tebis? Tebis pursues a customer strategy similar to our own.”

António Rocha in the company's modern machine shop. In the last few years alone, the company has acquired five high-speed machining centers, including a 5-axis milling machine. SF Moldes SA manufactures molds to meet any need.

  • Always well-supplied

    When making its decision, the Portuguese subsidiary was able to draw on the positive experiences of its parent company, which decided in the summer of 2011 to implement Tebis group-wide. An initial analysis revealed a six-figure savings potential per year. The analysis was performed jointly with Tebis based on data provided by Schneider Form employees on time and effort as well as costs. It was also reassuring that the results of a benchmark test conducted with other CAD/CAM systems for additional confirmation pointed in the same direction on a functional level: In terms of calculation time and surface quality, Tebis far outscores its competitors.

    "Tebis has a large portfolio and covers the necessary CAM spectrum for tool and mold making," explains Rocha. "We have found a reliable partner in Tebis who helps us analyze the company's structures. Assessments to determine the modules that we really need are well-founded and honest, and statements on the amortization of our investments are realistic and understandable. We now have six workstations for 3+2-axis milling and one for 5-axis milling, an electrode module, two Simulator licenses and a measuring point generator. This is exactly what we need at the present moment. Even better: All the modules are part of a higher-level process. The software effectively thinks along with us."

    António Rocha in front of a new DEPO Dynamic and a Tebis workstation. Thanks to the floating environment, the machine operators can also access any module they need at any time. This allows NC programs to be simulated directly in the shop, checked for collisions and adjusted if necessary.

  • Intelligent process tools

    "For example, take the Job Manager, the central organization and manufacturing tool in Tebis that can be accessed from every workstation," Rocha continues. "NC templates ensure safe, standardized workflows. For us, this means specifically that communication between the employees involved in the process is better than ever before. And changes are immediately fed back into the information chain. Tebis has really managed to virtually map all of our processes – from job planning through NC programming all the way to manufacturing – and make them accessible to everyone. Of course this also motivates our personnel." Other Portuguese mold manufacturers have also recognized that good software is much more than the sum of its parts. Investments are currently being made in software at a very high level. Rocha's take on this: "These companies are wise to always use the latest programs. Ultimately, the software must support the company's development in order to pay off over the long term. For us, the decision to go with Tebis was exactly right. Production has increased by 20% to 40%, depending on the application. Overall, our machining has become more reliable and more routine."

    A typical component for an injection mold tool from SF Moldes' product range.

  • Collaboration based on partnership

    Rocha emphasizes once more: "Collaboration based on partnership and support before and especially after the sale have been especially important to us. These factors instill a sense of security and trust, which keeps our minds free so that we can concentrate entirely on our core tasks. We know that Tebis closely observes the market, flexibly responds to new trends and continuously evolves. Tebis also never loses sight of our existing processes, and always stands by us with help and advice. We work together to solve our problems."

Overview

Quote

"The overall package from Tebis is simply the right choice. Our production has increased by 20% to 40%, depending on the application. Overall, our machining has become more reliable and more routine.”

Features

Focus:

Process optimization with end-to-end software

Benefits:

  • Virtually modeling and rendering processes transparent
  • Standardizing processes
  • Significantly increasing productivity

Sector:

Mold manufacturing

Company:

SF Moldes

Location:

Oliviera de Azeméis, Portugal

Interviewee:

António Rocha

Position:

Managing director

Published:

2014

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