Establishing a high-precision engineering company supplying mould bases to the international plastics injection moulding market requires skilled and experienced workers. But what do you do if none are available?
There can be little argument that ice hockey is one of the toughest team sports, so when three players decided to establish a business together, they were ready to battle hard to be successful. Based in Vysocina, around 75 miles to the southeast of Prague, Tirad was initially established in 1993 as an international logistics company before purchasing a Unix workstation with Euclid CAD/CAM software in 1994 to produce NC programs for external engineering companies. As the logistics business declined, the transport equipment was sold to purchase its current workshop and the company’s first CNC milling machine in 1996.
Wanted: equipment operators
However, at that time no one could operate it and experience with CNC machine tools was very limited. Managing Partner Stanislav Vesely recalled the situation: “We could program the milling machine, but we had no experience of setting it up. Experience was not available locally, so we employed tradesmen with other skills and a strong desire to learn. So everything had to be prepared for operators that had very little experience.”
Tirad’s focus on how to keep the methods simple for the operator is still the main philosophy of the company. “We have precise machine tools and we focus on how to use them effectively without skilled people,” Vesely explained. “Now the operators are more skilled, but we still keep it simple and let the machines do what they can. Many of the original tradesmen are still with the company and are an important part of the team.”
The company provided subcontract engineering services to various industries until 2000, when it decided to focus on precision parts for injection mould bases. The goal was to be the best supplier of the bespoke mould bases, which are extremely demanding on accuracy and to build long-term relationships with international customers.
In 2005, the company installed Vericut software from CG Tech to improve productivity by identifying any problems with NC code before it was passed to the machines in the shop. With technical support from a local agent, the company began modelling every element involved with the production of mould bases in 2010.
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