MMT Blog

U.S. Dept. of Labor statistics on registered apprenticeships


If you don’t register your apprentices, why not? There has been discussion about this among members of the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) Chicago Chapter. Several of the members feel strongly that having apprentices accounted for in the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) records would help boost visibility and lend credibility to the moldmaking profession for those looking to pursue a career in a skilled trade. “We need to register our companies and our apprentices so that we have an authentic showing of apprentice interest on the DOL’s website,” Francine Petrucci of B A Die Mold Inc. in Aurora, Illinois, says. “Right now, for Illinois, there are only nine apprentices registered under ‘moldmaker,’ and only about 250 active moldmaking apprentices registered nationally. This is grossly understated.” Petrucci says if young students or their parents were to do some research on viable manufacturing apprenticeships and found what is currently on the DOL site, they would find that statistic very discouraging. “They probably would encourage their children to go into the building trades, for example, where hundreds of apprentices are registered and accounted for,” she says.

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Runner sizing is a very important decision for a moldmaker, according to VISI by Vero Software. In hot runners, the moldmaker may seek to minimize the runner diameters in order to reduce melt residence time, reduce color change cycles or allow tighter pitch for drops. In cold runner molds, smaller runners mean lower material wastage. However, smaller runners in hot and cold runner molds may lead to excessive pressure drop. Very thick cold runners also may lead to an undesirable increase in cooling time.

Pressure drop of a tool depends on many factors such as runner geometry, plastic material, melt temperature, injection velocity, part geometry, etc. Once the runners are machined, it may prove to be very expensive and sometimes impossible to change these factors to reduce the pressure drop. In hot runner molds it is often required to select the product line. If the wrong product line is selected, the consequences could be catastrophic and may require manufacturing a brand-new expensive hot runner system.

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By: Christina M. Fuges 20. September 2017

Learn Additive

The Additive Manufacturing Conference (AMC) 2017, presented by Additive Manufacturing Magazine, is a three-day event in Knoxville, Tennessee, October 10-12, offering attendees unique ways to connect with leading suppliers, end-users and researchers of industrial applications of additive manufacturing technologies. 

The AMC program includes technical sessions examining design, material, machinery and applications technology used in metal additive manufacturing. Specific topics include robotic 3D printing, process control, hybrid CNC machines, laser deposition technology, large format printing, and much more.

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By: Karen Cornelissen 19. September 2017

Technology Tuesday: Products Featured at Fakuma 2017

What: Fakuma 2017

Where: Friedrichshafen Exhibition Centre, Neue Messe 1, 88046 Friedrichshafen, Germany

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There is always an opportunity to learn and see and share when attending events like the Makino Die/Mold Expo in Auburn Hills, Michigan. I asked a few moldmakers I met there to share their personal takeaways from the event and here’s what they told me:

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