By: Christina M. Fuges 16. September 2016

Cardinal Manufacturing Continues to Inspire

Cardinal Manufacturing is sharing booth space with us this week in the West Hall at IMTS to promote the continuing growth of its innovative high school manufacturing program. They also opened their doors last month to some molders and mold builders, and two MMT editorial advisory board members were in the room, Andy Baker of Byrne Tool & Design and Mike Walter of MET2Plastics

MAPP (Manufacturers Association of Plastic Processors) held the plant tour event at Eleva Strum High School to show members how the program works and inspire them to help develop their own in their local areas.

Principal Corey Kulig and Cardinal Mfg Director Craig Cegielski helped give guests a tour of the facility and then lead discussions on education support, and student and parent perspectives.

Roger Williams of Royer Corporation was then video conferenced in to show how his company helped the Madison Indiana school district set up a similar program to Cardinal, called Cub Manufacturing.

Click here to see images of the event.


By: Cynthia Kustush 15. September 2016

Throwback Thursday: Preventive Maintenance Makes Good Dollars and Sense



In the recent past I’ve blogged about the importance of systemized mold maintenance and the many benefits it brings to those who practice it. Today I’m blogging about preventive maintenance, but not for molds – for CNC machines.

Much like molds, your machines are expensive and are only making you money when they are running the way you need them to. By proactively monitoring the CNC machines in your shop you significantly reduce the risk of having a breakdown when you can least afford it. That is what my Throwback Thursday article addresses. Written by Robbie Williams from Okuma America Corporation, this informative piece was published in MMT’s September 2013 issue.

A key quote from the article: “…studies show that reactive maintenance programs on average cost 12 percent to 18 percent more that preventive maintenance programs.” Something to think about, and hopefully it provides a good reason to click here to read the rest of the article. Williams discusses additional benefits to be gained by setting up a CNC preventive maintenance program, and he supplies a ready-made checklist on how that program should be implemented.

By: Steve Kline, Jr. 14. September 2016

GBI: Moldmaking for August 2016 - 51.1

With a reading of 51.1, the Gardner Business Index showed that the moldmaking industry expanded in August for the first time since March 2016 and just the second time since March 2015. In fact, the August index was at its highest point since February 2015. Since January of this year, the index has shown significant improvement in the industry.

The new orders subindex jumped substantially in the month, also reaching its highest level since February 2015. While there have been ups and downs over this year, new orders have trended up since October 2015. The same could be said of the production subindex. Since late in 2015, new orders generally have been stronger than production, therefore the backlog subindex has trended up since January of this year.

While backlogs still showed contraction in August, the subindex was at its highest level since January 2015. Employment has grown since March, but it has grown at a slower rate every month since then. Exports continued to contract, but at the slowest rate since last August. Supplier deliveries lengthened for the second time in three months. 

Material prices have increased since February at a rate similar to the second quarter of 2015, but that rate of increase is still well below that of 2013 and 2014. Prices received decreased at a slightly faster rate in August than in the previous three months. Future business expectations improved notably from July and have steadily improved since January, reaching their highest level in August since March 2015.

Custom processors, or injection molders that in some cases make their own molds, grew for the fifth time in six months. Their August index of 56.9 was the highest since November 2014. Metalcutting job shops, which are likely strictly moldmakers and not plastic processors, contracted for the 13th month in a row. Activity in the medical industry and other manufacturing has been quite strong since May. 

Future capital spending plans have improved dramatically in recent months. Compared with one year earlier, those spending plans have increased in eight of the previous nine months. Since March, they have increased a minimum of 65 percent. As a result, the annual rate of change has grown at a rapidly accelerating rate in both July and August. This was a very positive sign for future capital spending plans.

By: Christina M. Fuges 13. September 2016

Putting in the Mileage

                                                Autodesk is showing enhancements to its PowerShape modelling and reverse engineering software that are designed to help users complete complex designs more quickly and more easily. " />                                                 Okamoto is well-suited for grinding large components in demanding mold and die production applications. " />                         Marposs Mida Diamond line of machine tool touch probes and tool setters controls the entire production process in all of its phases, from workpiece setup and inspection to tool presetting and control. " /> Omax is showing off its latest model of the MicroMax abrasive waterjet featuring accuracy-enhancing upgrades and expanded accessory compatibility. " />                         Schunk is demonstrating its Rota NCX, a power lathe chuck with quick jaw-change system. " /> DMG MORI is running its hybrid additive manufacturing machine, the Lasertec 65 3D. " /> Renishaw RenAM 500M additive manufacturing system builds metallic components directly from CAD using metal powder-bed fusion technology. " />                         Sodick 's first hybrid machining center combines DMLS technology with high-speed milling to produce finished components. " />                         Methods 3D booth." />                                                 Trumpf’s TruLaser Robot 5020 provides an easy, cost-effective entry into laser welding for applications ranging from sheet metal parts to bent profiles as well as 3D geometries commonly produced on milling centers. " />

IMTS 2016 is the 31st edition of the premier manufacturing technology show in North America. More than 2,000 exhibiting companies are occupying 1.3 million net square feet of exhibit space at the McCormick Place complex in Chicago. Cyndi and I are here this week for the six-day event to get the lowdown on the products, equipment and services that may have an impact on your current moldmaking operations. Here is a sampling of what we have seen so far.


By: Cynthia Kustush 12. September 2016

IMTS: From Imagination to Innovation


IMTS is here, and I had the opportunity to preview some pretty cool exhibits yesterday along with other members of the press. I’m talking about some truly remarkable innovations involving additive manufacturing and Industry 4.0.

Before I share a glimpse of these “jewels” of IMTS 2016, I’ll let readers know that, according to Peter R. Eelman, vice president of exhibitions and business development for show organizer AMT, this IMTS will be the largest one ever with regard to manufacturing. In fact, Eelman says the show has expanded so that exhibitor booths – a record-setting 2,407 of them – can be found throughout the more than 1.3 million square feet of show floor space within McCormick Place and this doesn’t count the miles of aisles attendees will be walking.

“These are the building blocks of manufacturing,” Eelman says. “Every manufacturing tool, machine, process and technology brings together the factory of the future.”

So come out to see what’s new, and take a few minutes to look at this slideshow so you won’t miss some worthwhile experiences. Have a great IMTS!


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