A Day in the Life

At ShapeMaster we take pride in our “Midwestern Work Ethic”. As we mentioned in our last newsletter, this means we are up early, ready to work hard, and have a full and productive day in our shops in Ogden, IL.

Work begins early with safety and production meetings. This is where we learn and discuss each new project that comes through our doors. We launch 3 or more new projects per week plus run full production on thousands of other parts for our current projects. We are very busy.

It all pretty much starts with a phone call or an email from a potential client asking us if we can work on their idea or project. Our response is “Yes, we can!” because more than likely can do what is requested, and if we need help we have many local companies and connections who augment our work here to help us bring solutions to the table.

Once we have the details and discussed the project it goes to our design engineers who are trained in the latest CAD software. After that, the engineers ask the front office to obtain pricing for the material that will be used in the project. This not only includes the material that the end product will be constructed from, but includes any tooling, fixtures, and any packaging for delivery of the project. Our production manager adds input by calculating the number of hours and the number of personnel it will take to complete the project.

After we have calculated the time, cost, and resources needed to complete a project, we draw up a quote document that we then present to our client. Things really come to life when our client agrees to the quote and places an order. Our front office staff advises the whole organization of the new project, puts the project in queue on the production schedule, and then begins to order the materials and supplies for the project.
As materials and supplies are delivered, our warehouse staff checks in the items to make sure they are in good delivery then direct the material to where it’s needed. This could mean directly to the production floor for processing or short term storage in the warehouse.

These materials when needed could be directed to our CNC mills or routers where our trained professionals can mill or route metal, plastic, wood, or just about any known material. Plastics can not only be milled or routed, they can be delivered to one of our 4 thermoformers, or if in pellet form, to our injection molding machine for processing.

Our production manager determines where and when materials and human resources are directed. He also is constantly checking and providing “Quality Control” to parts that come off our machines. If a part is bad, he does not pass it onward, it is scrapped, and we take the loss. This is another “Midwestern Work Ethic” in action. Every part we send out has our name and reputation attached to it, and we stand by it.  We can have several different projects going on at once.  In one shop we may be creating a highly secret research device for a university department and at the same time assembling unique items that are used to promote a service like our potty house banks.

Because of our diverse project portfolio, we consider ourselves the most creative company in East Central Illinois. Why? Because we use all types of materials, from wood to plastic to aluminum and steel to fabricate items that dovetail and complete the many research and development projects we create for our customers.

Fabrication and design are at every stage from initial product to completing fixtures that hold the items we are creating so that we can deliver high precision parts.

From outfitting a box truck customized to haul pigs to and from a laboratory for MRI studies including building a winch and hoist to making gurneys for the animals and pens for the truck so they are handled with utmost care to 3D printing highly precise electrical enclosures to be used in a medical MRI machine for hospitals for humans. Yes, we are truly a unique company.

This is what happens in a day at ShapeMaster.

What can we make for you today?

Contact us for your machining/molding needs—plastic, metal, wood, foam, resin—we do it all!