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One tool 3 Destinations

Mar 22 2013

  • Tired of delays in time to market from prototyping to having parts approved for production? 
  • Spending too many engineering hours having to re-qualify parts upon completion of your production tools?
  • Have you ever been challenged to close the gap (cost & time to market) between prototyping and production? 

Prototyping Phase

A prototype is an early sample or model built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from (  During this initial phase many objectives can be accomplished:

  • Prove out design for form and fit
  • Run environmental testing
  • Assist in determining assembly/production fixturing
  • Make modifications as required, fast turn around and cost effective

By building our tooling from P20 or NAK 80 we are able to run parts that will be more consistent with production tooling as compared to those who build aluminum tools. Based on geometry our tooling is capable of running from 10,000 to 100,000 parts prior to maintenance. 

For the majority of our customers the prototyping phase is only the beginning of the journey towards production.  A word of caution if you are using aluminum tooling (soft tooling) for your prototypes then the journey starts anew once you head into the development of “hard tooling”.  However, if you had used SICAM’s Bridge Tooling the move towards production is a smooth transition. 

Pre-Production/Start Up Phase

With our bridge tooling this phase is truly a continuation of your prototyping phase with your production goals in sight.  During this process we work along with our customers to determine the critical needs of their product. This includes:

  • Setting up the quality instructions (QI) that will be used from incoming material inspection, in-process inspection and final Inspection prior to shipments. We call this our qualification stage
  • Texturing, if required, will be added to the tool (at this point in your product's development we have settled dimensional and design issues)
  • Final color matching again, if required
  • Final packaging/labeling requirements to be determined

Two engineering phases have been completed all with one tool; now comes the production phase.

Production Phase

Many companies at this point will need to build new tooling for production, especially if their prototype tooling was the “soft tooling” as I mentioned earlier. New tooling requires repeating the steps described throughout this blog.  If this is your direction then you have lost valuable time to market, or simply put, product revenue.

Our “Bridge Tool” may take a week to10 days longer than other company’s “soft tooling,” however with SICAM you only pay the toll for this Bridge Tool once. Only EZ Pass could be easier.