By: Randy Kerkstra 27. May 2016

The Designer's Edge: Slide Lock Angles

This photo shows rust on the exterior of a mold that was a result of improper tool shutdown, which left water in the lines.

Slide lock angles are other components prone to wear if they are not maintained properly. This is because their surface experiences a lot of mechanical friction during mold close. Many people will focus on greasing the slide's horn/guide pin, and although this does need to be greased it is the lock angle surface that really needs to be the focus. Once the lock angle surface wears, it can contribute to flash with loss of preload.

Many moldmakers apply more grease than necessaryWhenever cleaning the parting lines or cavity surface, mold cleaner should never be sprayed directly on the components or the cavity surface that has lifters or ejector pins. This can create bigger issues with bleeding on the plastic part and loss of lubricant on the component. If you need to remove excessive grease from a component, clean with a rag sprayed with mold cleaner. Proper PM methods and applications using the proper grease will reduce startup issues with scrap parts.

A few years ago I had bleeding issues with some molds I was running for a customer. They wanted to come in and show us how to apply the grease properly. I thought to myself, "Right, I’ve been doing this for years." However, I kept an open mind and actually learned something about proper grease application, which then had a huge impact on startup scrap.

Another area that varies from molder to molder is the maintenance of the mold's exterior. This does not take much effort and will protect your press platens. The outside side of the tool, specifically the clamping surfaces, should be cleaned after pulling and a rust preventative should be applied.  This should also be performed on the platen surfaces. The other exterior surfaces of the mold should also be examined for water leaks or rust, and cleaned up or sent to the toolroom for investigation of the water leak. The mold-mounting surfaces should also be examined for burrs or dings during PM and when setting or pulling the tool.

Next month I will begin a series on repairs in the press.


By: John Demakis 26. May 2016

New Q&A Series: The Finish Line

Close to 40 years in the molding business has blessed me with a strong network of knowledgeable industry peers, a solid team of professionals within my company and a wealth of experience with moldmaking and finishing challenges. Over the years, our team has been a part of solving countless problems and learning a lot along the way. So much so, that we believe it is time to share what we’ve learned with others, so they too can reach new levels of success and efficiency without the dreaded trial and error. 

Today we begin a monthly Q&A series on the MMT daily blog called: The Finish Line. We will contribute content that provides answers to some of the industry’s most discussed questions when it comes to moldmaking and finishing. And, if we don’t have the answer, we’ll search our resources to get one for you. 

Let’s get to our first question for which I reached out to my friend, Mike Donlin, vice president of Comet Die & Engraving :

Q: When it comes to texturing a mold, what steps should be taken to ensure a successful job?

A: The first thing you need to do is determine the material used. This seems obvious, but we are going for success, not good enough, and every step counts. Once you know the material you need to prep your job. Make sure that all chrome is removed from your part. Once the job is prepped, it’s time to polish your cavity.

Ensure that any and all imperfections and EDM scale is completely removed from the cavity, or mold, in the area to be textured. This step is so important because EDM is essentially the enemy of any successful texturing job, as it can act as a barrier between the steel and the acid used, resulting in an inconsistent finish. When it comes to cutter marks and scratches, most textures will not be able to cover or hide these issues and will result in flaws in the job, which is precisely what we are trying to avoid.

So how do we do this? For a standard texture, you will want to achieve a polishing finish of at least a 400 stone or the equivalent of a 240 Emery finish. For more precise detailed textures, the polish may need to be improved to an even finer finish. Once you think the polishing is complete, you can apply a glass bead that will make any missed areas stand out, which allows you to concentrate on those specific areas. We are going for success, so this is no time for shortcuts. After you have completed these steps, you are ready to start texturing. 

Here are a few more tips for you:

  • Any necessary heat treating should be done after the texturing process.
  • Always weld with the parent steel.
  • Preheat your job to 900 degrees and weld while the part is hot. 
  • Do not bench on texture, as it will change the depth to where the new texture depth will not be able to match.
  • Always have enough draft (1 to 1 1/2 per .001)
  • Run the grain in the direction of the pull, if possible.

We hope you find this information helpful and we look forward to reading your thoughts and comments below. If you have a question that you would like answered, please email, and you could be the next question answered in The Finish Line.

By: Cynthia Kustush 25. May 2016

SPE Mold Technologies Division Seeks Nominees

SPE Mold Technologies Chair Glenn Starkey from Progressive Components (left) pauses for a photo during ANTEC in Indianapolis with the division's Technical Progranm Chair Brenda Clark from HASCO, Chair Elect Cyndi Kustush and Brenda's son Paul, a budding chemical engineer.


Today is the last day of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Annual Technical Conference (ANTEC), which was held in Indianapolis. I attended part of the event and enjoyed seeing many friends and colleagues as well as meeting new people. Hundreds of attendees from all over the world gathered there to share knowledge and research, to network, and to learn. Many were members serving on boards of the various sections and divisions of SPE that held meetings to welcome new board members and thank those who served. The Mold Technologies Division was among them.

During our meeting, MTD members discussed the upcoming Amerimold Expo (where we will be exhibiting in booth #333, by the way) and we have only three weeks until we announce this year’s Mold Maker and Mold Designer of the year award winners at Amerimold.

There is still time to submit nominations!

If anyone reading this knows a great moldmaker or mold designer who deserves to be recognized, please email me and tell me about them. I will forward all nominations to our MTD board. Here’s what we would like to know about them:

  • How has this person contributed to the industry or to the SPE overall? (Note that the nominee does not have to be an SPE member)
  • This person must have strong technical experience, so give us some details about their career accomplishments in mold manufacturing and/or mold design
  • Finally, the nominee must have a strong reputation for conducting business in a fair and honest manner.

Not only will the winners be recognized during Amerimold on June 15, but each honoree will receive a $500 check that will be donated to the industry-related school or program of their choosing.

So help the SPE Mold Technologies Division recognize the shining stars of our industry. Please let me hear from you no later than June 3. 

By: Christina M. Fuges 24. May 2016

Molding a "Real" Partnership

JMMS Inc.--MMT's 2011 Leadtime Leader Award small shop honorable mention winner--has once again expanded its reach, capabilities and expertise with a truly global partner. 

Portuguese-based Moldetipo Group and Easley, South Carolina-based JMMS are now partners in the molding industry.  Check out this slideshow and video.

Both companies signed an agreement to expand their presence globally to manage projects in the automotive sector. With a combined 50 years of experience between both companies, they are now truly global players, handling operations in China, India, Mexico and Germany, in addition to Portugal and the U.S.  JMMS will be Moldetipo Group’s only official partner in the U.S. The agreement is set to start on June 1st. Moldetipo Group CEO Mr. Rui Silva and JMMS CEO Mr. David Bowers II will head this partnership, which will allow both companies to provide stronger support to OEM, Tier 1 and Tier 2 demands. 

"Moldetipo Group is now a global company with footprints in all continents. We’ve been in the business since 1996 and have since focused on giving the best engineering expertise to our clients. We’re one of the leading companies in the well-renowned Portuguese molding industry, exporting 100 percent of production as well as being one of only two European companies to master and develop what is known as water injection technology, which allows you to sculpt and inject plastic parts with water. Teaming up with JMMS will allow us to widen our post-sale warranty and rely on an experienced and certified company," says Silva.

“Having a European partner means JMMS is reinforcing a global sourcing network. This deal with Moldetipo Group allows us to expand our market by servicing their clients in the U.S. as well as widen our cross-source on larger programs. At the same time, teaming up with a new company provides us with the possibility to learn new technologies, such as water injection. This means an additional diversity for our product/market mix, thanks to synergies of like-minded leadership and business strategies. In other words, this is a real partnership,”Bowers II.

By: Cynthia Kustush 23. May 2016

Engineer Better, More Profitable Molds



Where moldmaking is concerned, we have the best conference tracks for learning solid strategies that can take your business from where it is to where it ought to be—and you know I’m talking about Amerimold!

Today I’m giving MMT readers a peak into the Engineer track’s conference topics that we have lined up for this year’s event, which will be held in Novi, Michigan, from June 15-16. Leading experts in the areas of conformal cooling, optimizing aluminum tooling, smarter investments in additive manufacturing, effective data management and more. I expect these sessions will be very popular!

More specifically, here are the actual titles, with links for more information, of each of the eight sessions being offered at Amerimold:

I hope everyone will take a few minutes to read up on all of these great conference sessions because there is no better opportunity to gain new knowledge and better strategies for profitability.

See you in Novi!

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