In the 80's, the professions of mould-makers, modelers and model-makers were subject to an overhaul as a result of new CAD and CADCAM technologies.
Under pressure from French and foreign industrialists with partners needing increased precision, quality,reliability and speed, the trade undertook significant investments.
Requirements have become increasingly unequivocally detailed:
- There must be a sufficient level of technical quality and control of this quality to ensure the conformity of each mould to the batch produced
- A tracking of "quality assurance steps" must be in place
- Manufacturing lead times must be reduced
- Announced manufacturing lead times must be closely observed
- Test moulds should be made available within a few days
- Flexible production tools and equipment are required to allow for smaller batch sizes
- There should be an efficient transition between the "study" and "production" phases in order to account for the increased demand in complex products (moulds for bottles with new shapes, engravings, etc…)
- The production process should seamlessly combine highly sophisticated machinery with the manual craftsmanship and expertise that are always required during the completion stage.
Today mould-makers receive a digitized definition of the final product. They must conceive, in accordance with their customers' needs, a model or a mold using CAD industrial data-processing techniques. They must also oversee the production of these moulds using numerically controlled machinery - perhaps even high speed manufacturing machinery - and supervise the dimensional control of their production tools.
The sector's most important large and medium-sized companies are either certified ISO 9002 (or 9001 for design) or in the process of receiving certification. The smallest companies are also committed to quality assurance processes and have policies that closely follow ISO 9000 standards.
Precision of measurements and rigorous standards of quality cannot, however, do without the informed eye of master mould-makers who ensure the optimization of the most modern means of production.