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Feature Articles


Simplifying Mold Design

Self-locking cylinders enable movement of sliding cores without the need for heel blocks or additional cylinders. This allows for a smaller mold base, less complex mold design and reduced material costs.

Reducing Risk in Lights-Out Machining

Surface-based CAM software can increase accuracy and make unattended machining a possibility for shops that have avoided it in the past.

Getting Started with Hot Runner Maintenance

Developing basic cleaning and repair skills among in-house technicians should be the goal of every shop that runs hot runner systems.

Watching for Wear

Considering how coatings wear over time extends the options for mold surface finishes beyond hard chrome and electroless nickel.

Enhanced Decision-Making

Collaborative manufacturing, combined with systematic injection molding training, can help reduce the costs and time associated with design for manufacturing.

The Bottom Line: Deducting Meals and Entertainment Expenditures

Is your shop in compliance?

Reshaping Moldmaking

Metal-printed components like conformal cooling inserts can improve existing production processes.

Under the Scope: Shielding the Weld

It is important for every welding novice to understand both the dangers of oxygen contamination in the welding process and the use of a shielding gas to protect the weld (either TIG or laser) from oxygen contamination.

Keeping Up with ISO: Meeting Objectives

The updated standard defines new objectives to ensure ongoing quality.

2016 Leadtime Leader Awards Honorable Mention: MSI Mold Builders - Optimizing Lead Times

This mold manufacturer combines continuous improvement strategies with machining power to maximize growth and opportunity.

2016 Leadtime Leader Awards Winner: Krieger Craftsmen - The Relentless Pursuit of Success

This mold manufacturer was rebuilt with an emphasis on core values and a “productionized” moldmaking strategy designed to reduce lead times.

From The Editor


Our 2016 LLA Winners are ...

Krieger Craftsmen of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and MSI Mold Builders of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

MoldMaking Business Index


GBI: Moldmaking for April 2016 - 48.1

Despite contraction, future spending plans indicate industry is entering its next up cycle.

Case Study


CAM Software/Machine Matchup Saves Time, Boosts Efficiency

A five-axis machining center and better CAM software helped this mold shop dramatically improve throughput and profitability.

End Market Report


Packaging and Electronics

Stong food/beverage industry means more packaging; electronics seeing weak growth.

Product Focus


Brass Manifolds Suited for Caustic Conditions

On display in the DMS and PCS booths will be Kool Flow Manifold’s FB2 Series brass manifolds, which feature 1" NPT inlets and 3/8" NPT outlets, and are said to be well-suited for caustic, high-pH environments.

Test System Ensures Proper Function of Cooling Circuits

AST Technology, a sister company of Progressive Components, will showcase a system that enables moldmakers to test mold cooling circuits to ensure they are working properly and efficiently.

Modular Tooling System Offers Clamping to 20,000 N

Erowa has updated its MTS zero-point modular tooling system with total monitoring feedback, a maximum clamping power of 20,000 N and enhanced precision to fulfill even the most exacting machining demands.

Fiber Laser Welders Available in Range of Strengths

Phoenix Laser Solutions will demonstrate an ALFlak 9000 F fiber laser welding system, the strongest in Alpha Laser’s line of systems, which range in power from 300 to 900 W.

Coupling Systems Available in Range of Configurations

In addition to its Quick Mold Clamping system, Stäubli will showcase a range of automatic and manual coupling systems.

Wide Coupler Selection Available

RTC North America manufactures a large variety of couplers, including pneumatic, water, hydraulic and electrical.

Shop to Run Demonstrations on Five-Axis Machine

Merrifield Machinery Solutions will highlight its CNC machinery and services, and will run demonstrations on its Grob G350 five-axis universal machining center.

Moldmaker Serves Variety of Industries

PE Mould manufactures plastic injection molds and molding, primarily for the automotive, electronic, home application, medical and consumer markets.

Magnetic Chucks Cut Setup, Change-over Time

Techniks will showcase a variety of workholding products, including magnetic chucks designed to reduce mold setup and change-over time, and allow machining on five sides.

Mills and Lathes with CNC Technology Increase Productivity

Southwestern Industries will exhibit its Trak line of mills and lathes featuring its ProtoTrak conversational CNC language, designed to reduce time-consuming machine setups and enable less-skilled machinists to do higher level work.

Valve Sequence Controller Handles as Many as 8 Gates

Well-suited for valve-gated applications that do not require sensors or linear transducer control, Incoe’s GSCmini valve sequence controller can identify and control the sequential status of as many as eight gates.

SLA Printer Boosts Prototyping, Tool-Building Capacity

Ideal Technology has added a 3D Systems ProX 800 stereolithography (SLA) printer featuring a large 25.6" × 29.5" × 21.6" build envelope to increase its rapid prototyping and tooling/fixture business.

Stainless Steel Can Be Heat-Treated to 50-53 HRC

International Mold Steel will introduce S-Star-A, a 420 stainless steel in the annealed condition that can be heat-treated to hardness of 50-53 HRC and will be stocked in plate form to 6" thick.

Molding and Tooling Shop Adds Capacity

Maloney Tool & Plastics has added new equipment to its plastics injection molding and tooling operations to improve capacity, lower energy costs, increase capabilities and improve quality.

Pre-Assembled Manifold System Saves Installation Time

The Unify hot runner manifold system from Husky Injection Molding Systems is designed to be installed into a mold in one-step, without the need for preheating.

Mold Software Revisions Designed to Cut Costs, Lead Times

TopSolid'Mold 7.10 from Missler Software is designed to help builders of injection molds for thermoplastics reduce tool-development costs and lead times.

Carbide End Mills Offer Longer Tool Life, Reduced Wear

RobbJack’s DM/MDM die/mold series carbide end mills feature a carbide material and coating combination designed to last longer than comparable combinations for hard metal applications and to reduce wear.

LLA Winner Moves Beyond Mold Manufacturing

Krieger Craftsmen, winner of the 2016 Leadtime Leader award, says it takes mold manufacturing one step further to mold “productionizing,” assuming tight tolerances and part/insert interchangeability, and speeding the process of consistent, accurate manufacturing.

End Mills Provide Stability for Lower Speed Machining

Designed for stainless and general steels, Haimer’s Power Mill F1304NN series end mill combines a variable-helix flute geometry with a roughing cord profile for more stable milling in machines with limited horsepower.

Shop to Showcase Micro-Mold Capability

Mold Craft will showcase its expertise in designing and building micro molds.

Shop Makes Tooling for Production of Precision Components

Industrial Molds Group produces tooling capable of producing precision, high-quality components.

Hot Runners Designed to be User-Friendly, Reliable

Polyshot Corp. manufactures hot runner systems that are designed to be user-friendly and reliable.

Surface Finishing Solutions Include Texturing, Polishing

Complete Surface Technologies (CST) provides comprehensive surface finishing solutions for the plastics industry, including texturing, texture repair and polishing.

Molding Simulation Program Includes Mesh-Building Technology

Version 2.0 of the Boundary Layer Mesh (BLM) technology in Moldex3D plastic injection molding simulation software is designed to enable users to easily build high-resolution meshes for complex geometries and cut meshing time, resulting in faster and more accurate simulation.

Laser Scanning Option Available for 3D Inspection, Reverse Engineering

Verisurf Software will demonstrate a new scanner option designed to complement its Master3DGage, a portable, rapid, 3D-inspection and reverse-engineering solution that enables shops to increase production and improve part quality.

Group Offers Mold Manufacturing, Molding Services

The Minco Group consists of Minco Tool and Mold, a plastic injection mold manufacturing facility, and All Service Plastic Molding Inc., a plastic injection molding operation.

Cutting Tools Feature Hybrid Geometries

EDM Sales & Supplies offers Millstar’s Quad Force line of hybrid cutting tools, which offer a combination of high-feed, variable-flute, variable-helix and offset geometries.

Mold and Die Steels Stocked in Range of Sizes

Ellwood Specialty Steel supplies of a full line of mold and die steels, including P20, HH, LQ, H13, S7 and stainless grades stocked in a range of sizes.

Mold Shop Adds Five-Axis Machining

Creative Blow Mold’s services include product design, engineering, prototyping, fabrication, precision machining, assembly and inspection.

Dry Ice Blaster Cleans Molds without Need for Compressor

Cryo Pure Corp. will present the PureBlast Mini dry ice blaster, well-suited for cleaning mold cavities and vents without the need for a high-air-flow compressor.

Supplier Offers Aluminum Molds for Both Prototyping and Production

DRS Industries is a supplier of aluminum injection molds for prototype and production, and provides injection molded parts and part assembly.

Dry Ice System Designed for Non-Abrasive Mold Cleaning

Cold Jet will showcase its i³ MicroClean system, which uses dry ice instead of abrasive means like harsh chemicals, wire brushes or abrasive pads to clean molds, extending mold life.

Portable Unit Tests Molds for Leaks

Die-Sep’s portable Mold Water Leak Tester features heavy-duty casters for ease of movement around the toolroom and a fork pocket for longer moves using a fork truck.

Pulse-Arc Welder Suited for Mold Repair

Sunstone Welding will feature its Orion 250i² pulse-arc welder, well-suited for repairing issues caused by high thermal shock and wear, mechanical strain, and corrosion resulting in heat checking.

Copper Mold Alloys Offer Thermal Conductivity, Strength

Materion Corp.’s MoldMax copper mold alloys offer a combination of thermal conductivity and strength, and are well-suited for full cores and cavities, core pins and hot runner components.

Moldmaker Adds Versatile EDM Cell

Cavalier Tool offers an OPS Ingersoll EDM cell consisting of two 1400 Eagle sinker machines and one compact 1200 Eagle EDM.

High-Speed Machine Spindles Reduce Cycle Times

Designed to reduce cycle times in a variety of operations, NSK America’s HES series of machine spindles includes two models: the HES510, programmable from 5,000 to 50,000 rpm, and the HES810, programmable from 20,000 to 80,000 rpm.

CNC Simulation Software Can Run Independently or with CAM

CGTech will feature version 7.4.2 of its Vericut CNC machine simulation, verification and optimization software, which can run independently or be integrated with a separate CAM system.

Mold Base Builder Also Offers Other Capabilities

Vincent Tool specializes in building custom injection mold bases for industries including medical, energy, aerospace, automotive, transportation, food service, engineering, consumer products and agriculture.

Ultrasonic Polisher Suited for Mold Polishing, Deburring

Boride Engineered Abrasives will demonstrate its ultrasonic Eco Polisher, which is well-suited for precision polishing and deburring of molds.

Tool Steel Offers High Hardness, Polishability

Bohler-Uddeholm’s Buderus Thruhard Supreme tool steel is designed for increased wear resistance, higher thermal conductivity for reduced cycle times, and greater texturing reliability and polishability over conventional P20 steel.

Components Ease Stack Mold Installation

Hasco’s booth will reflect the increasing use of prototype and stack molds.

Melt Flow Control Leads to Variety of Benefits

Synventive Molding Solutions will present its latest products and introduce a broadened line of Thermoplay hot runners, as well as showcase activeGate tool-based molding technologies such as valve-pin-position sensing, which monitors and controls melt flow within the mold.

Plastics Certificate Program Graduates First Class

Last year, Beaumont Technologies launched an education initiative through its subsidiary, the American Injection Molding (AIM) Institute, and it will feature the first graduating class from this Plastics Technology & Engineering (PTE) certificate program in its booth at Amerimold.

Sinker EDM Features Easy-Access Drip Tank

MC Machinery Systems will showcase several machines suited for mold and die applications, including its newest sinker EDM, the medium-sized EA12PS, which features a fixed-table traveling-column design with a three-sided drip tank for easy operator access.

Internal Latch Locks Control Two-Stage Tool Opening

MX and SX internal latch locks from CUMSA are designed to control the two-stage opening of a tool, often in three-plate tools.

Moldmaker Adds Second Illinois Facility

National Tool & Manufacturing has opened a new facility in Elgin, Illinois, to meet demand for increased capacity and expanded offerings of tight-tolerance mold bases.

Consulting Firm to Showcase Services, Data Tool

Harbour Results will showcase its consulting services and Harbour IQ business intelligence tool in its booth at Amerimold.

Fluidized Ovens Clean Manifolds and Hot Runners

Alliance Laser Sales offers high-temperature cleaning in large fluidized bed ovens for mold manifolds and hot runner systems.

Mold Care Line Eliminates Chlorinated Solvents

Slide Products has completely eliminated chlorinated solvents, including trichloroethylene (TCE), from its entire line of mold cleaners, rust preventives, lubricants, mold releases and purging compounds, offering companies safer products and helping them reduce costs.

Modular Clamping System Cuts Setup Time, Boosts Machine Utilization

Single Source Technologies FCS modular clamping system (Breyl) is designed to provide quick, custom setup options for unrestricted access to five workpiece surfaces, enabling moldmakers to spend less time on setups and more time on machining.

Miniature End Mills Handle Hard, Hard-to-Cut Materials

Micro 100 Tool’s miniature BEF ball mill and MEF square mill are manufactured from an extra-fine grade of carbide designed for toughness in both hard and difficult-to-cut materials ranging to 68 HRC.

Valve Gate System Controls Pressure and Flow Rate

INglass’ HRSFlow brand offers the FlexFlow servo-driven valve gate, designed for accurate and repeatable control of pressures and flow rates for sequential molding applications.

Status Tags, Light Bars Help Streamline Plant Efficiencies

ToolingDocs has expanded its product line to include items that help streamline plant efficiencies, including “status tags” and a mold light bar.

Tooling Company Joins Injection Molding Collaboration

In addition to showcasing its conformal cooling and other molding technologies, Baker Aerospace Tooling & Machining will highlight its involvement as a co-located sponsor of the SA Engineering Injection Molding Technology Collaboration Center, in Livonia, Michigan.

Double-sided Milling Cutter Achieves Long-Term Accuracy, High Efficiency

Sumitomo Electric Carbide’s DFC double-sided 90-degree milling cutter features a six-edge insert designed to ensure long-term, stable cutting and high-efficiency machining with high feed rates.

Firm Specializes in Machining Graphite Electrodes

Specializing in precision-machining of graphite electrodes, Advanced Mold/EDM Supplies offers a variety of brands and grades of graphite, graphite cutting tools and EDM supplies, including spare and wear parts.

Partners to Highlight Mold Temperature Control

Moldmaker Crest Mold Technology, with partners Contura MTC, which makes conformal cooling inserts, and Regoplas, maker of high-temperature control units, will showcase the advantages of hot/cold molding for producing high-quality, stable dimensional parts.

Evaluation Available for Part, Mold and Process Designs

CAE Services provides expert evaluation of part designs (simple to complex), mold designs and molding processes.

Product Array Includes Large Mold Bases, MUD Inserts and Insulator Sheets

Milacron product brand DME will showcase a variety of products, including large mold bases, master unit die (MUD) aluminum insert molds and pre-machined insulator sheets.

Cast Aluminum Suited for Molds and Tooling

PCP Canada produces and supplies high-quality cast aluminum blocks and tooling plate for the mold and tooling industry, specializing in AA5083 cast plate and block; AA2000 series blocks and plates; and aa1370 bus plate, block and bar products.

Job Costing Software Simplifies Quoting Process

ToolQuote job costing software from JDL Technical Services is designed to automate and organize quoting systems so moldmakers can obtain fast, accurate quotes quicker and more reliably than spreadsheet or database systems.

Aluminum Mold Plate Offers High Strength, High Hardness

Vista Metals’ Duramax-10 is a forged, heat-treated and stress-relieved aluminum mold plate of high strength and high hardness in thickness ranging from 10" to 16".

Software Used for Making Molds, Other Applications

TST Tooling Software Technology is the Master North American distributor of Visi CAD/CAM/CAE and Visi-PEPS laser/wire software, used in the design and manufacture of plastic injection molds, 2D through five-axis milling, electrode production and other applications.

Multiple-Gate Nozzles Feature as Many as 18 Probes

Osco will display its MGN multiple-gate nozzles with as many as 18 probes, as well as samples of large parts molded with its large SCV single-cavity valve gate.

New Prehardened Steels Introduced

Edro Specialty Steels has introduced two sister products to RoyAlloy, its low-carbon stainless holder steel.

Automated Solutions Tailored for Tool, Die and Mold Applications

Makino offers a variety of automation and engineering solutions that can be used to design and create complex material-handling cells for a variety of applications and processes, including hard milling, graphite milling, five-axis machining, and sinker and wire EDM.

7-Axis Machines Provide Deep-Hole Drilling in a Single Setup

Unisig will showcase its USC-M series of seven-axis deep-hole drilling and machining centers, which enable manufacturers to process large and small parts with four-sided machining capability in a single setup.

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