By: Christina M. Fuges 12. December 2014

"Mold Your Career" Apprentice Award

At this month's AMBA Chicago Chapter meeting, the group awarded Carlos Santillan of Aurora-based Craftsman Tool & Mold the 2014 Mold Your Career Apprentice Award for his outstanding performance as a finishing machinist.
Carlos began his career at Craftsman in 2011 with no skills or knowledge of the mold
building trade. The training program at Craftsman allowed him to quickly grasp the skills necesaary to do his job. Today he continues to improve his knowledge and skills by participating in the apprenticeship program at the Technology and Manufacturing Association (TMA), which he will finish next spring.
Carlos received a $1,000 gift certificate to DGI Supply, courtesy of DGI and Schmolz+Bickenbach.
Other companies nominated their outstanding apprentices, each of whom was recognized with a $40 Starbucks gift card donated by Synventive Molding Solutions.
These honorees included Justin Carlson of Industrial Molds Group, Rich Clark of PM Mold,
Mickey Givens of Do-Rite Die & Engineering, Zach Hillers of Industrial Molds Group and John Roberts of PM Mold.
Let's give Carlos and the others a warm moldmaking hand!

By: Christina M. Fuges 11. December 2014

Want to Know What We Are Celebrating in 2015?

I believe every shop has a story to tell, and some are worthy not only of coverage, but of Leadtime Leader Award consideration.
Here are some of the areas we examine:
  • History of company
  • Competitive profile for your company 
  • Average leadtime on a project
  • Leadtime history
  • On time percentage for mold delivery 
  • Positive changes in leadtimes over the last 24-36 months
  • Strategies to help your shop compete
  • • Value-added services offered
  • New market penetration
  • New customer base
  • Details on newest technology innovation/implementation
  • Details on current and future business strategies
  • Sales and marketing strategy
  • Method for keeping on top of technology and business strategy innovations
  • Extent of automation in your operations
  • Strategies for beating the labor crunch
  • Strategies for employee retention, recruitment and skills training?
  • Existing and future plans for organizational development?
Check out our Leadtime Leader alumni. Your shop could be added to this list, but you have to enter to win
Advance Tool
M&M Tool and Mold
Wentworth Mold Group
M&M Tool and Mold
Minco Tool and Mold
M&M Tool and Mold, Inc. 
Extreme Tool and Engineering 
A.J. Tool Co. Inc.
Chicago Mold
Tech Tool & Mold
Commercial Tool & Die
Extreme Tool & Engineering
Commercial Tool & Die
Byrne Tool & Die
Triangle Tool
Mold Craft
United Mold & Tool
Mold Tech
Industrial Molds Group
M&M Tool and Mold
Tech Molded Plastics, Inc.
Micro Mold Company, Inc.
Westminster Tool
Aabers Tool and Mold


By: Matthew Danford 10. December 2014

Your Eyes and Ears at Euromold

DMG MORI showcased the accuracy and surface finish capabilities of its HSC 70 Linear with the machining of this model Porsche. Click through this picture gallery for more examples of displays and technology that caught my eye.

Given that Euromold occurred during the week of Thanksgiving, I wasn’t surprised that there didn’t seem to be very many Americans attending this year's iteration of the Frankfurt, Germany trade show. Still, given the annual event’s long-standing importance to our corner of the industry, somebody had to serve as your eyes and ears at the show. MoldMaking Technology has always aimed to fill that role. As for yours truly … well, let’s just say I rarely pass up an opportunity for a trip to Europe, and to Germany in particular. After all, I’ve always been partial to sausages, sauerkraut, potato pancakes and a nice, frothy beer (it turns out that the Germans don’t cook a bad turkey dinner, either).

Notably, Americans won’t have to worry about any holiday overlap with Euromold next year. The show hadn’t even closed when organizers announced big news: Euromold is moving to Dusseldorf next year and is scheduled for September 22-25. Meanwhile, Messe Frankfurt, the exhibit hall that has historically hosted the show, announced an entirely new event, "formnext," which is scheduled for November 24-27, 2015. Farther south, Moulding Expo Stuttgart, another new biennial event serving the tool and die sector, is gearing up for its debut May 5-8, 2015.

Suffice to say it will be interesting to see what happens with these German exhibitions in the future. As for this year’s Euromold, the tooling, design and application development event attracted more than 1,000 exhibitors and some 55,000 visitors from across the globe. As in recent years, additive manufacturing proved a particularly big draw, with an entire hall dedicated to that technology drawing plenty of traffic day-in and day-out. Yet, the show also offered plenty of innovations from more traditional players in the die and mold industry.

For a sampling of what caught my eye, click through this picture gallery. Technology on display included laser welders integrated with laser powder cladding, an innovative quick-change mold system, an unusual lifter design, and an additive machine that uses the same material as a plastic-injection press.

By: Christina M. Fuges 9. December 2014

VIDEO: You Can't Afford Not to Do It

Check out this video segment on CNN that spotlights Apprenticeship 2000, a program funded by North Carolina manufacturing companies that provides qualified students with techincal education and a job! This is a huge investment that Ameritech's Steve Rotman says they can't afford not to invest in, and it has proven to be a very successful model.



By: Matthew Danford 8. December 2014

Where Do You Get Your Information?


It’s been at least a few years since MoldMaking Technology’s publisher changed its name from Gardner Publications to Gardner Business Media, a moniker that not only better represents the company’s mission, but also reflects seismic shifts in how people communicate. Consider that you are reading this on a blog, which is in turn hosted on a Web site that offers videos, webinars, and other content types beyond the articles that appear in print. Perhaps you also follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Maybe you subscribe to the MMT Insider e-newsletter, or you enjoy the convenience of reading the magazine in a digital format. Or maybe you know someone who reads only the print magazine—and there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s definitely something to be said for flipping through physical pages and discovering something that you otherwise never would have encountered, as opposed to typing specific terms into a search box.

The point is, different people have different preferences for how they access and share information, and insight into those preferences can help us all communicate better. For that reason, I encourage you to take part in Gardner’s 2015 Media Use in Manufacturing Survey. This important, annual study aims to define how manufacturing professionals like you prefer to learn about new technologies and industry events and developments.

For a media company like Gardner, the benefits of this survey are obvious. But there’s potentially much to gain for you as well. Knowledge of how colleagues, customers and competitors get their information can help determine how best to communicate your own company’s message to the broader market. If you choose to participate, you’ll be among the first to receive the results of this years’ survey—and as far as I know, information about how manufacturers in particular use media isn’t available anywhere else.

Click here to take this years’ survey (rest assured your responses will remain anonymous, and we will only use your contact information to deliver the survey results to you). The results of past years’ surveys can be found here.

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