Craft Pattern & Mold adds 3 large machining centers

Holding to its mantra of continuous reinvestment in the business despite the uncertainties of 2020, AFS Corporate Member Craft Pattern & Mold (Montrose, Minnesota) took delivery of three new Haas machines that will expand its ability to handle large tooling and secondary machining of castings. The company manufactures prototypes for plastic and metal parts as well as production tooling for a wide range of commercial and industrial applications. 

The machines include: (1) a GR 712 with a 7- by 12-foot travel, used for cutting wood, fiberglass and plastic master patterns––it’s the third machine of its kind at Craft Pattern & Tool; (2) a VF 11 vertical machining center with travel of 40- by 120-in., enabling more efficient machining of metal/steel parts as well as pattern tools––it’s the largest among the company’s 16 vertical machining units; (3) a UMC 1000 five-axis machining center which, in a single holding, enables a part to be machined from five sides or a combination of angles––the company says the UMC has improved its efficiency and ability to hold tighter tolerances for machining complex castings. The UMC is the company’s third and largest Haas five-axis unit.

Craft’s machine acquisitions are driven by customer demand, and over the last 10–15 years those demands have consistently been for larger equipment, said Steve Shade, the company’s general manager.

“With larger machines, it opens the door to other opportunities within industries we’re already playing in that previously we weren’t able to service due to size limitations,” Shade said. “That’s definitely the case with the VF 11 and the UMC 1000, where, for example, in the aerospace industry, we’re able to handle a larger part that’s got some tight tolerancing requirements we couldn’t supply to our customer with our previous equipment.”