Steel blocks enter the workshop and spaces emerge in which objects take their shape. A precise form, repeatable almost infinitely. Denis De Donà has been creating those spaces in steel for over twenty years, machining and assembling moulds for plastic materials. Today he is responsible for Stamplast’s workshop.
Talking about his work, he expresses all the artisan passion that makes the moulds he produces with his team of six people special, starting out in the footsteps of founder Elio Pierobon and following the technological developments that have enabled continuous improvement. Here is the interview.
How has the way of making moulds changed over time?
“Thanks to the advancement of technology, construction has improved, it is more precise than it used to be, we are able to make increasingly complex moulds. The change has been dictated by computer systems and machines. When I started out, we started with a two-dimensional drawing, from which we made mould holders, all the parts and electrodes for machining. Everything was managed by the operators.
Today, there are advanced CAD-CAM systems that allow unmanned automatic machining with the aim of being able to run the machines 24 hours a day and reduce the time needed to make the mould. I have been at Stamplast since the year 2000 and have experienced the whole evolution of the sector over these years.
Technology has had a big impact, but we always say that experience in mould making makes the difference, why?
“Experience is that thing that allows you to minimise imperfections and wear over time. Having built hundreds of moulds we know the concepts and the degree of wear and tear over time, which is very useful information for defining the choices and arrangements for new projects. We have learnt from experience everything that can relate to the core printer tool. We know how to choose the right materials, the right processes.
The customer knows where he wants to go, but figuring out how to get there is our job. Here, experience in the details makes the difference in building a high-quality mould and end product. In addition, the mould must be durable and mechanically efficient. In this way, imperfections, breaks and wear can be prevented. Experience in this area is crucial’.
How difficult is it to find new recruits in the workshop?
“A lot, and that’s a shame because it’s an interesting and exciting job, where you put your hands and head into building something new. In our workshop you have to be multi-skilled, moving from IT to machines, in a team game where we are not numbers on an assembly line.
Can you tell us about a project that has given the workshop particular satisfaction?
“Each mould brings with it satisfaction because you start from a block of steel and at the end of the game you go and see the plastic part coming out of the moulding machine and it is just as it was meant to be and corresponding to the customer’s requirements. We have a lot of demand for moulds and subsequent products for the medical sector, so we contribute to something important for people’s health. I have to say that we have been working on more and more interesting projects, thanks to our customers and our company’s investment and experience, which allows us to be ready for new challenges.