Author Topic: Someone was having an off day at festool recon  (Read 5191 times)

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Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 587
Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2019, 12:26 PM »
Clever engineering can replace a lot of mass but but I know how affection can develop for a big lump of cast iron that has helped you be productive for many years.

True Michael, I do get sentimental about the old stuff, even some of the old plastic stuff.
I was clearing out a storage container the other day, and found my first ever cordless drill/driver, not in great shape but, there were two batteries and a charger in the case with it. When I get time I’ll see if it still works. It’s 40+ years old, and I saved for a few months to buy it. A plastic antique almost, I could never part with it though.

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Offline Cheese

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Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2019, 01:42 PM »
@Cheese   It’s hard to imagine how something so small could cost so much to produce. I guess there has to be many iterations of mold before the cooled plastic that results conforms to specs?

There's only one iteration of a mold that's needed. When designing the cavity and force (the steel parts in which the item is molded), you always go "steel safe". Just like woodworking, it's always better to sneak up on the dimension if it's critical. There will however be multiple iterations of part design to get the molded part into specs. Some of the specs can be achieved through tweaking the molding process, while others can only be achieved in tweaking/machining the cavity & force, thus the need to be "steel safe".

Costs are the largest reason a lot of mold building is done off-shore because of all the hand work involved. In the case of the VHS windows the cavity and force have to be polished by hand to a mirror finish to achieve the clarity necessary for the window. They also have to be perfectly smooth across the entire surface. Any undulations in the steel will be visible and magnified which then negates the function of the window in the first place. In some respects, mold making is similar to fine watch making from tolerance and labor perspectives.

I only brought up this subject to shed light on the fact that quality molded parts are expensive to produce and there's a lot more additional costs to "squirting" quality molded parts than the cost of the resin.

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #32 on: March 12, 2019, 07:26 PM »
In making such a mold, how big would it be? How many of those little plastic “windows” would be injected at once? How many people could be involved in producing the mold to run up such a high cost?

Just curious. In my ignorance I’m imagining one highly skilled person working full time on the thing. Even if it takes all year how could that effort become a bill for 1/4 million$?

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 530
Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #33 on: March 12, 2019, 10:03 PM »
In making such a mold, how big would it be? How many of those little plastic “windows” would be injected at once? How many people could be involved in producing the mold to run up such a high cost?

Just curious. In my ignorance I’m imagining one highly skilled person working full time on the thing. Even if it takes all year how could that effort become a bill for 1/4 million$?

Even molds for small parts get big.  I've installed molds that were literally just to try wearing them out, just keep making the same thing all day, to test wear, parts come out, get grind up, and go thru machine again.  Just made a small part,  the model weighs 100s of lbs.  Keep in mind it's not just the cavity, which as mentioned are polished and controlled to extreme tolerances, but the steel they are in needs cooling ports as they are liquid cooled.

Go more extreme look up die casting. Companies like honda die-cast engine blocks, those tools cost a fortune and need regular replacement (they wear out). There have even been efforts to die cast steel, which then requires dies made of tungsten (this process hasn't been utilized much beyond test).  Automotive industry has to plan in the swap of the dies as they wear out. This is in part of why models get discontinued, die was end of life with just enough life to support service part requirements. But if they go an make another die, then they will crank them out for a good while longer as they have sunk the cost in the die. Not so long ago a company that does parts for the F-150 burned down.  Ford had to get a die rushed from the other side of world and hired an entire aircraft to get it fast.

All of this also goes to why companies like Festool don't change the designs often, they have to pay off the dies for those parts, and then decide to do a re-design or continue with another run. So unless they make a major mistake, they will live with it (possibly relevant to the Kapex).  Look at the tilt on the TS55, that change required them change the basil platten for the -F,  doubtful they made a new die, they probably did a re-work on the one they had, which would not have been cheap either.   Look at any die cast or plastic part on a Festool product and start thinking that tool might cost 50-100,000 USD, then think about how many of that model tool they sell,  the price starts to present itself.

Part of the cost is you have a large block of high quality tool steel, maybe each half cost 4000 USD for the blank.  Basic machining to mount it in a machine, maybe a few days, along with gun drilling and putting ports in it for the cooling.  lets say that step takes 4 days, 8hr shift, 32hrs,  machine time runs 150 bucks and hour, 4800 dollars there.  So now you can start to carve the actual shape.  Now you are using small mills to carve slow and accurate, and steel machines much slower than aluminum. Even a simple shape if it's on a mill for 2 weeks, 80hrs, x 150 hr, there is 12grand.  so now each half is up to 20k each. Then you need to get a skilled craftsman to get in there with hand tools detailing parts, then polishing it, etc. Mo money, it just goes on.  Before you know if you are 30-40k per half.   Even when you go off shore you still have to pay the CNC machine and those cost the same in all countries, got to pay for that machine, and when you got a 1million dollar mill tied up for a month making your tool, you are going to pay a lot of money to pay for that machine.  It's not unlike folks here. The clients are paying for your tools, you buy the tools to do the job and if you need a tool for a job, you price it into the job.  When you start cutting steel in complex shapes, it's all expensive.  Even having simple parts carved of steel if they are large, they get expensive fast and take weeks to make.  I had a part that couldn't be cast rapidly at the time, it was machined, just happened to start with a block that weighed in the 1000s and got cut down to into the 100s when done,  End part cost about $100/lb in the end, nothing special, it just took a few weeks to carve.

Look at things like systainers, it's obvious why they cost so much, it's the dies to make them, straight sides means hard to make and complex die designs.

It cost a lot of money to make parts cheaply.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6130
Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #34 on: March 12, 2019, 10:48 PM »
In making such a mold, how big would it be? How many of those little plastic “windows” would be injected at once? How many people could be involved in producing the mold to run up such a high cost?

Just curious. In my ignorance I’m imagining one highly skilled person working full time on the thing. Even if it takes all year how could that effort become a bill for 1/4 million$?

Well if it's a 32 cavity mold then 32 windows would be produced at the same time. So one shot...pretty impressive, the mold opens and 32 windows are ejected at the same time into a bucket. 

While I can't address the costs to produce the mold as i only designed the things, in the case of the 32 window mold, there are 32 forces and 32 cavities that need to be machined. So that's 64 items that all need to be held within .0005" of each other because once these windows are ejected from the molding press they need to be interchanged with each other on a production basis. There is no savings in sorting parts. Squirt them all and produce them within a narrow tolerance window and you're golden.

Having the need to sort them for size and your business is toast.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6130
Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #35 on: March 13, 2019, 10:51 AM »
Well as @DeformedTree just eloquently stated, Mo Money...You just need Mo Money. [big grin]

Also thanks for the great explanation as far as some of the subtleties of mold making and die-casting. I tried to keep my answers short because I'm just lazy and didn't feel like typing, however you hit the nail on the head.  [smile]

With the 32 cavity tool I mentioned, it was determined early in the design stage, that the completed mold would physically fit in an existing Cincinnati molding press and the press also had enough tonnage to clamp the mold shut when the plastic was being injected.

Unfortunately, theory sometimes collides with reality and while the new mold fit in the Cincinnati press, when fired up, it continually "blew clamp" which means that the press was unable to clamp the mold shut when the plastic was being injected. So a new larger tonnage Cincinnati molding press was then purchased. Mo Money...

http://www.pmplastic.com/true-cost-plastic-injection-mold/

Here's a photo of a med-large sized Cincinnati. It has a clamp force of 2250 tons, is capable of holding a mold that's approx 4' x 5' and weighing up to 60 tons.


Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4014
Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #36 on: March 13, 2019, 12:34 PM »
Thanks guys!

Decades ago I read about pattern making for making molds for cast iron (and ended up buying an Emmett Pattermaker’s Vise that was cast the year I was born) so I thought I knew a little about mold making.

It now seems like patterns for cast iron are about as similar to injection molds as carriages are to contemporary automobiles.

Online Peter Halle

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Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #37 on: March 13, 2019, 05:25 PM »
I have to admit that I have enjoyed reading the diversions in his thread about making plastic parts.  If you aren't involved in that part of manufacturing you just wouldn't know.

Thanks!

Peter

Offline Scorpion

  • Posts: 586
Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #38 on: March 13, 2019, 11:17 PM »
harry_ said,  “Ordered  an OF 2200 via recon, which arrived the other day. It will go back on monday when I can get to UPS.”

Hope this doesn’t mean there’s a perfectly good OF 2200 sitting in a landfill...

OR...... they meant to shi this one back to its owner and he got the recon one instead.

Or, this systainer just got put on the wrong shelf where someone thought they were pulling a recon to ship out (I doubt they open them and verify the contents before sending).  They’re may have only been one mistake and it could have happened long before you bought a recon.


Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6130
Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #39 on: March 14, 2019, 12:43 PM »
In making such a mold, how big would it be?  How many people could be involved in producing the mold to run up such a high cost?

A couple of things I forgot to mention that add to the price tag. First off is that every feature on the piece part needs to have some draft on it so that it will eject easily from the mold. All structural ribs, all vertical walls, any screw bosses, everything needs to be drafted at 1º-2º, preferably more. Even if the window is only 1/8" thick, the sides cannot be straight there has to be draft. All the draft just adds to the time necessary for machine setup and machining.

Secondly, the mold base that holds the cavity & force isn't cheap. A medium sized mold base will run $5000-$10,000 and it's basically just several very thick chunks of precision machined metal plate. The flatness tolerance is .0005" per foot while the leader pin/bushings (the equivalent of posts on a plunge router) are held to .0003"-.0005". Just Mo Money.  [big grin]

Here's an interesting photo of a very simple 2 cavity mold used to make those styrene cups that I mix epoxy in. One mold base split into a cavity and a force with 4 leader pins and minimal cooling. It does't get much simpler than this. Yet look at the amount of steel that's needed to get the job done for a high production mold. That tool is probably close to 500#.  [eek]



A typical DME mold base before any machining.



« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 09:57 AM by Cheese »

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 587
Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #40 on: March 14, 2019, 12:55 PM »
It’s nice to see plenty of metal still being used, even if it is for the molds to make the plastic parts!  [big grin] [thumbs up]

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4014
Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #41 on: March 14, 2019, 08:32 PM »
Thanks again, it’s very interesting to me.

Do you have any problem with epoxy melting the styrene cup?

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 530
Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #42 on: March 14, 2019, 11:13 PM »
As cheese mentions,  draft is what drive a lot of the design. I don't make stuff for injection molding (experience with them was long ago), but I do design for castings. Drafts are part of the deal, but make stuff complicated fast for the person designing it. Plus you have to think in reverse for everything.  A fillet is actually a radius, a radius is a fillet, since you may be modeling your end part, but what you are really designing is the mold/tool, so it all gets machined the other way around. I have nice 3D solid modeling to spin around and see it, section it, how the old timers did it, I really don't know, of course I also have to re-create stuff that goes back into the 1940s and the basic answer is they made plenty of mistakes on the drawings that the foundry person fixed. (side note, if you want to know a reason why I hate inches and fractions, it is in part because I'm forced to deal with old  drawings and bring to the computer age and you see constantly why fractions and inches in fact do not work, .38+.25=.62 according to old timers). Files and sandpaper on wood can fudge a lot of things to work when math says it doesn't. Injection mold die people don't get to work with wood for their tooling.

When it comes to injection molded stuff with straight walls, I can really only imagine the very complex tools to make them, as you can't just pull in one direction, they will have to look like some sort of transformer exploding to get everything together and back again.  On a simple level, it explains why things like totes and containers with straight walls cost so much more than their taper walled cousins.

Offline harry_

  • Posts: 1279
Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #43 on: March 14, 2019, 11:44 PM »
Festool service has again proven to be top notch.

Received my replacement router today.

Life is good.

 [thanks]
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Offline Cheese

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Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #44 on: March 15, 2019, 12:53 AM »
Thanks again, it’s very interesting to me.

Do you have any problem with epoxy melting the styrene cup?

None at all, look at the Simpson door refinishing review and you’ll see several of those cups in use. For me it’s the most inexpensive method to accurately measure the mixing of epoxy because I don’t use the stuff that often. However when you need to use it, it’s best that you’re proportions are accurate.

If you need a 3:1 mixture, I’ll take a shot glass and pour in 3 units of water into the styrene cup, mark it with a magic marker and then pour in 1 unit of water and mark it. Pour out the water, dry the cup and add the real deal.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6130
Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #45 on: March 15, 2019, 01:25 AM »
Thanks for that @DeformedTree... I tried to keep my synopsis about the project and not about me but you’re description of the design process is telling.  [big grin]

You do have to literally think inside out in order to design an injection mold, especially if it was before the advent of CAD. I did everything on “the board” so the design had to be within your head or you’d be toast.

Just curious if Starrett shrink rules are still used in die casting? I know it sounds stupid...but I always wanted to use one but the shrink rates of metal are obviously different than the shrink rates of plastic.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6130
Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #46 on: March 15, 2019, 01:40 AM »
It’s nice to see plenty of metal still being used, even if it is for the molds to make the plastic parts!  [big grin] [thumbs up]

Jiggy...you’re funny.  [big grin]   From a denier to a believer in just 3 days... there is a God.  [smile]

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4014
Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #47 on: March 15, 2019, 08:35 AM »
Thanks for that @DeformedTree... I tried to keep my synopsis about the project and not about me but you’re description of the design process is telling.  [big grin]

You do have to literally think inside out in order to design an injection mold, especially if it was before the advent of CAD. I did everything on “the board” so the design had to be within your head or you’d be toast.

Just curious if Starrett shrink rules are still used in die casting? I know it sounds stupid...but I always wanted to use one but the shrink rates of metal are obviously different than the shrink rates of plastic.

Now that you don’t need them (for a couple of reasons) you could easily make one-off custom shrink scales. Temporary with an inkjet printer or permanent with laser engraving.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 530
Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #48 on: March 15, 2019, 09:58 AM »

Just curious if Starrett shrink rules are still used in die casting? I know it sounds stupid...but I always wanted to use one but the shrink rates of metal are obviously different than the shrink rates of plastic.

I think I know what you are referring to. So I think most folks have moved on from the old ideas of shrink, now with computers, you can just take the model, enlarge it the correct percentage for shrink and have the mill carve based on that bigger model.  I think when they make the part it's like anything else, soon as it's solid enough to get out of tool, die, mold, get it out so it can keep shrinking.

Offline Bob Marino

  • Posts: 3184
Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #49 on: March 15, 2019, 01:59 PM »
Yes stuff happens.  And getting out on the internet can be embarrassing.

But then there is the non-embarrassing :  a company representative replying on a Sunday morning within 10 minutes of a post on a forum. 

 [thumbs up] [thumbs up] @Festool USA

Peter

  Agree 100% Pete. Well done  Tyler@festool.
Former Festool  Dealer since 2002; user well before that!

Offline Bob Marino

  • Posts: 3184
Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #50 on: March 15, 2019, 02:11 PM »
  I  get that plastic doesn't necessarily mean cheap and as stated in many instances can be the prefereed material of choice.
 But there is plastic and there is plastic.  Case in point on the CT vac hose garage area. The other day I dropped a tool on it  and a chunk of the hose garage cracked - the tool was not that heavy. Yesterday as a customer (who bought my CT 36) was taking off the Work Center, the small "prongs" that you place the WC on snapped/cracked. Great vacs for sure and I bet over the years I don't think I had more than 1 or 2 returns  and that speaks volumes, but I do wish they  made that plastic less fragile.
 And this is just me but I have a Milwaukee corded drill I bought 20 or so years ago, and there's a lot of metal in that drill and has enough power to snap your wrist off if not careful, came in a metal box too. I am no drill expert or engineer, but I would bet that drill would outperform and outlast any "similar" drill made today. Yep, it's heavy, but an example of "they don't/can't/won't  make 'em like this anymore."
Former Festool  Dealer since 2002; user well before that!

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 587
Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #51 on: March 15, 2019, 02:38 PM »
It’s nice to see plenty of metal still being used, even if it is for the molds to make the plastic parts!  [big grin] [thumbs up]

Jiggy...you’re funny.  [big grin]   From a denier to a believer in just 3 days... there is a God.  [smile]

Haha! Thanks Cheese, as old as I am, I’m still open to persuasion. I must be learning, as yesterday and today, two CTM 26’s arrived, and that’s a lot of plastic but, I still found myself gazing in amazement at them!  [eek] [big grin]

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4014
Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #52 on: March 15, 2019, 03:18 PM »
I like some features of the Festool vacs a lot but not the large number of parts made of relatively brittle ABS plastic. They rattle, make noise, and are much more prone to breaking than the thick polyethylene that some manufacturers use.

I hope the good features serve you well and nothing breaks.

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 587
Re: Someone was having an off day at festool recon
« Reply #53 on: March 15, 2019, 04:04 PM »
I like some features of the Festool vacs a lot but not the large number of parts made of relatively brittle ABS plastic. They rattle, make noise, and are much more prone to breaking than the thick polyethylene that some manufacturers use.

I hope the good features serve you well and nothing breaks.

I can only agree Michael, mine obviously have the new type garage/tops, and they certainly don’t look like they’d take much more than a glancing blow from a knee when bumping into them? Maybe a thin alloy top might have been a better albeit more expensive solution? I must resist the urge to think metal can take the place of plastic on a modern machine though.  [tongue]

Joking aside, I put one of the CTM AC’s to task today, and I am honestly very pleased and impressed with them. I’m even getting used to the noise of the AC doing it’s thing!
vorsprung durch plastik! So to speak  [wink]