By: Christina M. Fuges 22. August 2014

Why Not Me?

"Every day is about making something great. Something that improves the quality of life. It is a chance to make a positive diffference in this world," says Carlos Cardoso, Chairman, President and CEO of Kennametal. And what he is referring to is manufacturing.  

This six-minute video from Creative Technology and sponsored by Widia, lets you hear firsthand from students, teachers and current manufacturing employees and leaders how important and rewarding a manufacturing education and career is to them ... and could be for others if we just spread the word. 

Take a look, and be inspired to ask yourself or someone you know, "Why not you?" 



By: Christina M. Fuges 21. August 2014

Looking for Moldmaking Opportunities Overseas?

On August 26th at 2pm Michael Taylor of SPI will hold a webinar, sponsored by DME, on market opportunities for U.S. moldmakers in the BRIC Countries. This is the third in a four-part educational series to help you develop a strategic vision of what foreign markets you should explore to grow your sales beyond the domestic U.S. market.

Michael reviews trade policy updates, top export growth markets, exporting basics and developing an exporting strategy and costs associated with exporting.

In terms of the BRIC region, in 2012 China and Brazil were among the top ten export markets for the U.S, plastics industry. While China has remained the third largest export market destination for some time, Brazil took over the fifth place spot from Japan during 2011. After 18 years, Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization is predicted to result in a doubling of U.S. total exports there. In India the plastics industry is poised to benefit from increasing per capita income, rising consumerism and modernization. Attend this webinar to learn about opportunities in these markets.estimates are the demand for polymers will jump to 16.5 million tons by 2016-17 from 11 million tons during 2012-13, resulting in consumption rising by 10.8% compound annual growth rate. In addition, India is expected to be among top 10 packaging consumers in the world by 2016 with demand set to reach $20.8 billion. 

Register Today!

By: Matthew Danford 20. August 2014

A Handy Reference

I’ve learned a great deal about moldmaking during my time with this magazine—at least enough to be confident in my ability to write about it effectively. Yet, my practical experience is limited. I’ve never set up a job, plotted a tool path, spotted a mold or done any of the other tasks that constitute the day-to-day experience of working in a modern mold-building facility. Barring a lot of patience on the part of any hypothetical mold-shop employer, I’m pretty sure I’d fail miserably.

These days, of course, managers might have no choice but to be patient with fresh new hires who might very well have even less practical experience than I do. Beyond that, few people can call themselves experts in an exceedingly complex industry that changes quickly, and constantly. Whether the goal is to learn or to refresh existing knowledge, everybody can benefit from a handy educational reference, and I recently found one in “plastics university,” a free online offering from mold component supplier DME.

If you’re not aware of this, it’s worth a look. Developed in partnership with Ferris State University, this educational tool offers eight different courses, ranging from the basics of mold print reading to runner and gate design. In my view, the best part about it is the visuals. Each course is rife with pictures and diagrams, and even more notably, animations, which are a great help when seeking to understand the complex interactions of all the moving parts in a typical mold. Few know better than I do how difficult this technology can be to describe—in this industry, a picture may well be worth more than 1,000 words—and I often find myself turning to these helpful aids. Perhaps you (or your employees or coworkers) might benefit as well. Check it out here.

Do you know of any similar resources, free or otherwise, that have been essential to your mold education, or that of your employees or peers? If so, I’d love to hear about it—just send me an email.

By: Christina M. Fuges 19. August 2014

Designed by Firefighters and Molded in the USA

The CY Plastics motto is "Molding your ideas into shape," which is evident with its venture into designing, manufacturing and selling a line of fire, rescue and safety products, which includes flare containers, hydrant markers, door wedges, and standard and custom-stamped door markers. 

Andy Molodetz, president of CY Plastics explained to me how this product line came about, "The company acquired a small moldmaker whose owner was also a third-generation firefighter. He had created molds for several useful firefighting products, and had a loyal fan base among fellow firefighters as well as first responders, police departments and institutional administrators. After having acquired the molds, we continued to make and sell those products directly to the end users and also through distributors. It’s a good fit for us."

Andy points out three specific reasons:

1. Since CY can do both blow molding and injection molding, they can create the entire product. For example, blow-molded flare containers with matching injection-molded caps and mounting brackets.

2. CY's in-house mold maintenance department can keep the molds in prime condition through welding, sand blasting, creating new ejector pins, etc. 

3.  They can offer customized products by creating inserts to add text or features to the molded part, or through secondary operations such as custom text stamping or machined cut-outs. 

CY Plastics designs and manufactures these products near Rochester, NY. They are available for sale on the CY Safety Products webstore and through a network of wholesalers. 


By: Matthew Danford 18. August 2014

CAD/CAM Streamlines Electrode Production

This electrode was used in the mold for a children's toy, the Playmobil 5320 Vulkan.

It’s not often that we run stories about foreign shops, but the fact is many of them deal with the same challenges and competitive pressures as their American counterparts. Consider Technologie Vertriebs und Beratungs (TVB), a German manufacturer of graphite electrodes. Florian Rauchenberger, project manager, says the company has noted a significant trend toward customization in the moldmaking industry—a trend that’s driving customers from that sector to increasingly turn to specialists like TVB for electrode production.

Of course, capitalizing on that demand requires the ability to turn on a dime. For that, the company depends in large part on the use of the Visi CAD/CAM system from Vero software. Learn more here.

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