By: Christina M. Fuges 18. April 2014

Why Die and Moldmakers Should Join National Associations

The ISTMA (International Special Tooling & Machining Association) World Conference recently took place in Cape Town, South Africa. This event brings together business owners and senior management from around globe who work within the special tooling and machining industry. During the General Assembly Dave Tilstone, NTMA’s representative at ISTMA, was elected President for the next three years.

European Tool and Mould Making magazine (ETMM) spoke with Tilstone about his upcoming term and why he believes it is important to join industry associations. You can read his comments here.

And speaking of the value of trade associations, this year's amerimold will feature a panel discussion of its own on that exact topic!

3:15 pm - 4:00 pm | SESSION: Advancing Your Company: Where Trade Associations Fit In

Chances are you belong to at least one trade association, but are you taking advantage of programs offered that could benefit your company beyond networking dinners and golf outings? Hear from active members how trade associations can help companies build better workforces; develop a marketing plan, prepare for the coming storms and help fight to change the storms’ direction; and even how to build profits via association programs and events.  Attendees will learn how to access and use the programs and resources that associations offer to help build a stronger company.  Q&A session follows from 4pm-4:30pm with Leadtime Leader Awards Ceremony at 5pm.

Roger Klouda - MSI Mold Builders
Mike Walters - MET Plastics
Tim Peterson - Industrial Molds Group
Vice President

Register Today!

Photo courtesy of ETMM./Culp.

By: Christina M. Fuges 17. April 2014

Are You Aware of Conflict Mineral Compliance?

If you manufacture molds for publicly traded companies, you may be asked to assist your customer with necessary documentation to submit in a new SEC required report on Conflict Minerals. Here is what you need to know:

The conflict minerals reporting rule finalized by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in September 2012, requires SEC-reporting companies to conduct supply chain due diligence and to disclose the presence in their products of any minerals sourced from mines that may finance conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

The first conflict minerals reports are due May 31, 2014.

SPI has been supporting the efforts of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), a strategic partner on this issue, which has developed compliance tools for manufacturers across various sectors. SPI has also been directing members to the following resources for guidance on due diligence, lists of certified conflict-free smelters and refiners, and templates for supply chain communication on sourcing conflict-free minerals and meeting SEC requirements:

NAM’s Conflict Minerals Resource Center (nominal cost of $65 to subscribe)

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

EICC-GeSI Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative

Automotive Industry Action Group – Conflict Minerals


By: Matthew Danford 16. April 2014

Behind the Scenes at Autodesk

Learn more about my colleague's recent trip to Autodesk.

The design phase of any project is just that: a phase. Even the best concept is for naught if it can’t be effectively translated to reality. Software developer Autodesk not only understands that concept, but is actively seeking new opportunities in streamlining the transition from CAD model to finished product. For evidence of that, look no further than the company’s recent purchase of Delcam, a major player in the CAM industry, as well as the recent commercial availability of Inventor HSM, which generates toolpaths directly within the company’s Inventor design software.

This focus was also on full display during a visit to the software developer’s San Francisco facilities a few weeks ago. For example, one new building (opened in fall of 2013) featured a hands-on workshop dedicated to furthering the understanding of the interface between software and hardware. Beyond that, the visit demonstrated that going from concept to reality is a concern that transcends manufacturing. Displays of the company’s products being employed in industries ranging from architecture to entertainment revealed just how ubiquitous advanced design software has become in our daily lives.

Of course, it’s important to mention that this is all based on second-hand information—yours truly sat this one out. Rather, my colleague Chris Felix attended the tour as a representative of Gardner Business Media’s entire metalworking group (which includes this publication as well as Modern Machine Shop and Production Machining, where Chris is senior editor). For more information, see his full report.

By: Christina M. Fuges 15. April 2014

Transitioning from Standard Moldmaking to a Mold Manufacturing Process

The three drivers, according to Rexam Mold Manufacturing, to making the move from traditional moldmaking to mold manufacturing are speed, consistency and cost. This video highlights some of the automation and robotics to be featured and discussed during an upcoming TMA Supplier Network event. 

The Supplier Network Committee of the TMA is presenting a panel of experts on automation and robotics at the Mazak Technology Center in Schaumburg on May 15, 2014. At the "Business After Hours" event, refreshments will be served and guests will have the opportunity to see the latest machines operating at Mazak. The event is from 5:30 - 8:30 and includes Len Graham - Rexam Mold Manufacturing; Brian Pelke - Kay Manufacturing; Michael Hahn - RR Floody; Bill Angsten - Compass Automation; Jeff Angsten - Shopware; Steve Kase - ASK Products. A short presentation will be given by Scott Miller, Interim Director of the new Digital Lab in Chicago. 

See the short video here.

By: Matthew Danford 14. April 2014

Thinking Like a Customer

The company’s recent $2.5 million investment in a new molding technologies division included an Engel duo 1650 combi press and a 24,000-square-foot facility addition to house it.

Just as I'd suspected, bringing comissioning of multi-shot plastic injection molds in-house is expected to help streamline the overall manufacturing process at Prospect Mold & Die Co. But when I interviewed company President Brandon Wenzlik about Prospect's new molding technologies division, that almost seemed like a side issue.

Granted, Wenzlik was open—and happy—about the potential of eliminating delays and back-and-forth shipments during the mold commissioning phase. His emphasis, however, wasn't on the benefit to Prospect. Rather, he focused on the benefits that the new service would provide to customers.

Of course, I did my best to cover both sets of benefits in this brief article. Still, this anecdote about how Wenzlik approached our conversation struck me as worth repeating. As is the case for any business, Prospect's own success begins with its customers’ success. That's worth keeping in mind for any shop considering the addition of new services and equipment.

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