Craftsman adds capacity, cuts lead times


Mold base manufacturer Craftsman Tool & Mold Co. in Aurora, IL, has invested more than $1 million in new machinery and equipment over the past year. The equipment was purchased to expand capabilities and to replace older machines as well as personnel who are retiring.

Craftsman is currently bringing the last two machines on line, including a new vertical bridge-type machining center with an X axis of 160 inches and a Y axis of 80 inches. “This is much larger than our current equipment can handle,” said Tim Roth, shop supervisor for Craftsman. With a 30-x-60-ft footprint, the Mitsubishi MV15-20 pallet system has two tables, which allows Craftsman to perform a set-up on one table while the other is cutting.

Craftsman also added two Kuraki boring mills, one a KBT-13 with 118 inches of travel on the X axis and 78 inches of travel on the Y axis, and a 63-x-73-inch full rotational turntable. The second boring mill is a KBM-11 with a 39-inch square table, each with 60-tool tool changers. “We bought these to replace a guy that was retiring because we couldn’t find anyone who could do the manual work he’d been doing,” explained Roth. “He was nice enough to give us a year’s notice.”
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