Mantz Automation Maximizes Manpower with MC Machinery EDMs and Precision Milling Equipment

“Our biggest supply chain issue is labor, but we have been able to achieve lights-out operation by adding the MC Machinery equipment. We have kept costs down while improving accuracy and doing more with the same number of employees.”

Mantz Automation Operation Manager Todd Doerfert

The Challenge

Mantz Automation excels in the highly competitive plastics industry with a combination of cost-efficient equipment and a team of dedicated, customer-focused employees.

That equipment includes Mitsubishi EDMs, MC Machinery fully automated Ingersoll graphite machining centers and a Roku Roku high-speed VMC.

Founded by Bob and Denise Mantz in 1989, Mantz Automation is known for custom plastic injection mold making for a wide range of industries including automotive, packaging, medical and cosmetic. It has 80 employees at its main location in Hartford, Wis. and 10 employees at its Fond du Lac, Wis. location.

Mantz Automation Operation Manager Todd Doerfert said that as molds get larger, lead times shorten and the workforce shortage continues, having an arsenal of machines that can do more and last longer plays a key role in the company’s continued success.

“Our customers are competing with the entire world, which means we are competing with the entire world,” he said. “We need machines that allow us to compete at a high level for speed and precision.”

The Solution

When Mantz Automation decided to upgrade its EDM capabilities to reduce outsourcing and have more control over the EDM process, it started with the addition of an MC Machinery Roku Roku high-speed VMC. The company then purchased MC Machinery’s Ingersoll Eagle V550 graphite machining center and recently added an Ingersoll Gantry 1400 sinker EDM.

Graphite machining can be a shop floor bottleneck, particularly with simultaneous complicated projects.

“A big shop can become very small,” Doerfert said. “That’s when the Ingersoll five-axis graphite machining centers come in–it can build more electrodes faster and more efficiently. The Ingersoll Gantry sinker EDM can do both very large and smaller molds while reducing the amount of carbon used. We can set up more projects on one table and run multiple projects unattended.”

Adding machines with automated functionalities became the path to achieving lights-out operation.

One area where the manufacturing worker shortage has not been an issue is finding skilled operators for its multiple Mitsubishi EDMs, Doerfert said.

“The Mitsubishi EDMs are built stronger and are very accurate,” he said. “And there is a deep well of manpower because they are so ubiquitous within the tool-and-die community.”

In the high-capital tool-and-die business, having high-quality, durable equipment that is fully supported by the Mitsubishi subsidiary’s regionalized service team is important, Doerfert said.

MC Machinery’s service is “spot on,” allowing Mantz Automation to meet challenging turnaround times and avoid downtime, he said.

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