The year 2000 has been a busy one at Basic Tool Inc. The manufacturer of medium- to large-size injection molds (from one to 20 tons) launched its own version of a millennium celebration by announcing ...
The year 2000 has been a busy one at Basic Tool Inc. The manufacturer of medium- to large-size injection molds (from one to 20 tons) launched its own version of a millennium celebration by announcing the purchase of two Italian-made, Fagima high-speed machining centres at this year’s NPE. The machines, equipped with 30,000-rpm electric spindles, provide improved output, enhanced surface accuracy and reduced handwork, says president Dario Cargnelli.
“We’re one of first, if not the first, shops in Windsor to do high-speed milling,” Cargnelli says. He reports that the low value of the Italian lira against the Canadian dollar made the purchase more economical. The acquisition now gives the company a total of four high-speed machines and 25 CNC milling machines.
In addition to the high-speed machines, the company has also recently purchased two new wire EDMs manufactured by Ona, and upgraded a third. The EDM machines are interfaced to an Internet-based control permitting remote troubleshooting with the manufacturer.
In order to accommodate the new equipment and the growth of business in general, Cargnelli has purchased the building immediately adjacent to his 26,000 sq. ft. facility. The expansion, once renovations are completed, will increase the total floor space to 52,000 sq. ft.
Cargnelli, a moldmaker by trade, founded the company in 1985. He says the expansion has been motivated by growth in sales and other factors.
“Chinese moldmakers are getting better, so now we’re not just competing against a lower cost.” He says concerns over delivery and late changes to a mold still give North American moldmakers an advantage over Asian moldmakers in some North American markets, but that he expects this concern to dissolve over time.
“When the Japanese entered the machine market there was some concern about the manufacturers being so far away, but nobody worries about that today.”
Cargnelli also sees a trend to larger shops in order to capture economies of scale. His plan is to manage his growth in order to stay competitive, not overextend himself, and still make a profit.
“One large moldmaker in the area said they would have $100 million in sales this year. Yet if it cost you $100 million to make $100 million, why do it?”
Basic’s main business is steel injection molds for automotive, household, toys and consumer markets, for customers in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Europe. The company uses CADkey, MasterCAM and CIMLINC software for CAD/CAM on four hardware stations. It makes prototype molds from aluminum and contracts for tool tryouts with local shops. The shop doesn’t do any mold texturing, which Cargnelli calls a trade in itself.
Cargnelli says the business has changed over the last three years. “Customers want to spend less, get better and more features and get it faster.” Nonetheless he’s not complaining. “This year will be our best in sales.”