MMT Blog

 

The Eastern Advanced Manufacturing Alliance (EAMA) is engaging students and promoting manufacturing with a twist. The non-profit organization includes a network of manufacturing companies from Connecticut to Massachusetts joining local schools and manufacturers to evolve tomorrow’s workforce.  

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Well, MMT readers, it’s officially spring in North America, heralding a time of renewal, hope and more sun-filled days than not (we can dream). Playing off of this theme, I’m bringing another installment of the Technology Showcase focusing on case study articles MMT published during the latter half of 2016. (My first blog on products and companies using them can be accessed here.) It is my hope that you, dear readers, will gain renewed inspiration from fellow mold shops that have shared their challenges and the solutions that were found via their experiences with various products and services.

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Word spreads fast in this industry, and when I learned from a colleague that Joe Batz, owner of Innovated Machining Solutions LLC in Port Huron, Michigan, just purchased his fourth Kitamura machining center, I contacted him to find out more. After all, I’d just written a case study article that appeared in MMT’s January issue about how Kitamura’s products were helping Joe add capacity to, and grow, his new CNC machining business.

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Whether you use vacuum brazing, diffusion bonding, laser sintering or laser direct metal laser melting to build your conformal-cooled molds, conformal cooling has become a very effective method for reducing cycle times. Robert (Bob) Beard, P.E., is president of Robert A. Beard & Associates and has more than 40 years of experience in the plastics industry. His latest mission is to bring new information on conformal cooling for injection molding to the North American marketplace. This includes its applications, benefits and limitations. According to Bob, conformal-cooled molds can provide a 20- to 40-percent reduction in cycle times and lower molded-in stress, which results in stronger parts, less warpage, reduced rejects and less risk of recalls. However, there are disadvantages as well, namely, a 20-percent increase in cavity and core costs and a break-even point for volume applications that can take months to achieve.

This year’s Conformal Cooling Conference, to be held May 16-17 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is truly international in scope, presenting two speakers from Germany and two from Poland willing to share their expertise. Topics will include: conformal cooling for injection molds based on bonding technologies; vacuum brazing for conformal-cooled molds; potential applications and benefits of diffusion bonding; metal additive manufacturing strengths, weaknesses and opportunities; maintenance of conformal cooling channels; combining simulation and thermovision to create more efficient cooling; and more. Visit plastic-solvers.com for more conference details.

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Posted by: Cynthia Kustush 16. March 2017

Think Global: Go Metric

 

The other day I was working on an article about a mold designer who works for a mold components supplier. Her company is well known and global, so she has to think in both inch and metric sizes when she’s providing guidance on mold designs and hot runner systems. It’s all dependent on whether the customer is based in the U.S. or somewhere else in the world. Why doesn’t the U.S. adapt to metric standards?

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