Beginning the tour in the programming department, participants met the design professionals responsible for bringing customers' ideas to life. Atlas' design team demonstrated how their software works and discussed how tool design differs from package design.
Next on the tour was the cutting room, where participants viewed state-of-the-art lasers and water jets cut phenolic plastics, steel, wood, rubber, and other materials. The group was then led to the die shop, "where the rubber meets the road," noted plant manager Eric Hale. Here, diemakers use the materials produced in the cutting room-in conjunction with drawings, CAD programs, and other raw materials-to build precision diecutting tools.
The tour then moved on to the finishing room, where high-efficiency stripping and blanking tools are built. This area is also the final stop prior to shipping, and the last of several quality checkpoints. Finally, attendees had the opportunity to meet Atlas Die's customer service representatives, who are responsible for understanding a customer's press equipment and finding creative solutions to client problems.
"Atlas Die is a pioneer in laser-cut steel rule die technology," remarked Ben Markens, PPC President. "A tour of their plant was a great opportunity for our group of technical, operations, design, and management personnel to watch a crucial part of the converting process."