Proudly Made in America
Guaranteed for Life*
THE CATALYST DIFFERENCE: The main difference between the Catalyst Rapid Tooling System and those used by our competitors, is the wide variety of plastic part sizes and complexities we can offer. We also do not limit our client’s plastic choices to common in-stock resins only.
While many tooling vendors have tried to make tooling a commodity by using CNC machining, limiting plastic part design and resin choices, Catalyst takes a different approach. We believe project requirements and/or part designs should not be compromised to fit an inflexible tooling process.
The Catalyst system is designed to fit our client’s needs, not the other way around.
LIFETIME GUARANTEE ON TOOLING*: We are so confident in our tooling process we are willing to back it up. Any new tool purchased and built at Catalyst will include a limited lifetime guarantee. As long as molded plastic parts are being produced at the Catalyst facility, we will maintain and repair the tool(s) as needed to keep them in operating condition. *Certain restrictions apply. Contact us for additional details.
PROUDLY AMERICAN MADE : Catalyst has complete in-house tooling, manufacturing, and production facilities. We develop and manufacture all tooling domestically and do not outsource overseas as many tooling vendors do. This allows full control over quality and protects our client’s valuable intellectual property.
Every project is different and the flexibility of our tooling process supports that diversity. We strive for customer success and our tooling processes have been developed with that goal in mind.
UNI-Base TOOLING INSERT SYSTEM: For applications that require quick-turn alternatives to long-lead time production molds, Catalyst developed its own proprietary rapid tooling process.
Catalyst’s UNI-Base Insert Tooling is based on a system of standard sized insert molds which are then fit into common bases. Since the ejection, cooling, etc. is built into the base, customers do not have to pay for a complete mold every time–just the insert and the part geometry. This not only allows us to move incredibly fast, but also keeps our client’s costs down. Catalyst was one of the first companies to use insert tool systems.
The Catalyst UNI-Base tooling process was designed so that speed was maximized, cost was minimized, and molded plastic parts were of production quality.
STAND-ALONE & MUD TOOLING: Catalyst also produces stand-alone molds and MUD Inserts for client’s that require more traditional plastic injection tooling. Our toolmakers have the expertise to produce everything from simple tooling inserts utilized for prototyping and pre-production activities to fully automatic standalone production molds for producing high volumes of parts.
ENGINEERING CHANGES: As a company started by designers, engineers, and tool makers, we know that not every plastic part is small, simple, open & shut, or only molded from commodity grade resins. We know that sometimes you need a sharp corner or feature, that some dimensions are critical-to-function, and that not every undercut is on the parting line. Most importantly, we know that you may need engineering changes and Catalyst does not automatically require you to re-build your mold for every little change or tweak.
PART & MOLDING PRESS SIZES
- Largest standard part size is 18” x 20” x 10” or 14’’ x 24’’ x 10’’. (Exceptions do apply based on part geometry.)
- Catalyst utilizes JSW electric Molding Presses exclusively. Press sizes range from 50 to 500 tons.
- Catalyst has planned for redundancy on all critical equipment so that downtime is minimized and on-time delivery is maintained.
- Back-up systems are in place for all computer hardware, CNC equipment, molding presses, chillers, compressors, and support resources.
- Presses are equipped with gravimetric feeders and hot oil capability.
- Tool metals are dependent on application and required production quantities. QC-10 aerospace grade aluminum is used for the majority of the tools we build. These alloys are tough enough to last for thousands of mold cycles, but are soft enough to allow for quick tool building and multiple engineering changes.
- Often, we will insert the aluminum with P20 steel in areas with fine detail or complex shut-offs.
- For higher volume applications or aggressive resin grades, P-20 Steel will be used for the entire mold construction. H-13 and S-7 tool steels are also used when needed.
- Our standard tolerances are +/-.005” in the tool geometry.
- Since dimensional tolerances on plastic parts are highly dependent on material specification and part design, dimensional requirements will be addressed during project review and kick-off.
- For dimensions that are critical-to-function (C-T-F), molds can be made “steel safe” or with interchangeable inserts that allow for flexible tool tuning to bring C-T-F’s into spec.
- Catalyst processes only thermoplastic resins and does not mold thermosets.
- Unlike many competitors, Catalyst does not limit plastic resin grades or colors to only in-stock commodity grade choices. If the material is available, can be processed, and will not damage our equipment, we will mold it.
- Catalyst can mold part quantities from just a few parts up to many thousands, depending on production requirements.
- Average annual production quantities of 100,000 pieces or less is typical. However, this is dependent on part size and complexity.