Bringing Ideas to reality
Few manufacturers have been able to withstand the drastically evolving global economic and technological changes for a period of over half a century, while sustaining a solid reputation as a reliable, efficient, and innovative supplier. Nonetheless, with a combination of state-of-the-art technology, dedicated and knowledgeable employees, and a philosophy that emphasizes quality and collaboration with customers, PTA Corporation has been able to maintain its leadership in the highly-competitive plastic injection molding industry since 1953.
PTA has gained a reputation for bringing ideas to reality, collaborating with world-leading companies such as Apple, GE, Philips, Siemens, and Zoll Medical, to address all areas of design, quality, cost, and manufacturability. Each client works with a specific team at PTA that takes the product idea through a step-by-step process from CAD design to production and assembly.
“We get involved with projects far before they are ready to be released to manufacturing,” says Rich Dorans, Vice President of Operations at PTA. “Files coming in are often no more than a basic concept. We give our clients suggestions to optimize manufacturability with better part design and material selection, assisting in the selection of different plastic resins, surface finishes, and finish treatments, as well as defining proper draft and other details needed for applying solid tooling concepts.” Adds Don Miller, Senior Mold Designer at PTA: “We emphasize extensive design review and analysis so by the time a project is ready to go it greatly streamlines the rest of the manufacturing process.”
To maintain its competitive edge, PTA has had to adapt to changes in the demands of its customers, including lead time reduction. “PTA has always been known for speed-to-market; CimatronE allows us to design and build molds more efficiently so we can maintain our industry leadership,” says Dorans.
Using CimatronE as an all-inclusive solution
Prior to standardizing with CimatronE, PTA was using different applications for each department. Dormer notes that “this forced us to do a lot of translating of geometry back and forth between different platforms, which made the process very time-consuming and non-cohesive.” PTA has now adopted CimatronE as its all-inclusive solution. “CimatronE has all the different applications that are geared towards our industry, and therefore are a perfect fit for us. Now we are designing in CimatronE, the moldmakers and programmers are doing everything in CimatronE, our electrodes are being designed in CimatronE, and we are now working towards downloading information directly to our EDM machines through CimatronE,” says Dormer. “The fact that we’re all on the same platform has really helped streamline and speed up our operations.”
Dormer adds: “I believe the area where we saw the biggest advantage from operating under the same platform was in electrode design. Even though they had been using CimatronE for five years, their work was really hindered by different departments functioning on separate platforms.”
Using CimatronE, PTA is also able to provide customers with better feedback. Says Miller, “The fact that we can take parts, run sections through it, see the interferences, and put parts into an assembly to see how they interact with one another are key features that enable us to quickly let customers know whether they should modify some of the geometry. CimatronE has built-in tools that our project managers use to simulate a split of how the part will fit into the tool to analyze drafts before it goes to the designers. Moving forward, I can see this being a big help to our quoting department.”
Dorans is happy to say that the transition process exceeded his expectations. “The training and learning process has been quick and the benefits were clearly worth the effort. In addition, CimatronE’s technical support resources have been extremely helpful in smoothing out any issues that came up during the transition.”
“We are now strictly using CimatronE for any new projects coming in,” says Dorans. “We have completely turned off any other software we were using.”