MMT Blog

Steve Johnson is president of MoldTrax Maintenance Solutions, which provides specialized course work, hands-on bench training, maintenance software, maintenance products, toolroom design and maintenance efficiency auditing. I have been working with Steve since we started MMT back in 1997. He always has a lot to say about mold maintenance, but more importantly he also has a ton of passion for the subject.

Steve's focus in his initial article for his 2017 Maintenance Matters column was on the toolroom manager's role in employee motivation when it comes to mold maintenance and repair. Basically, he believes toolroom managers and supervisors set the pace of the shop and overall efficiency of the toolroom, so knowing how to train and motivate skilled craftsmen is key.

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As I was touring a mold shop recently, I noticed among the many blocks of graphite and graphite electrodes that were already machined, that the company also made use of copper for its electrodes. I haven’t seen that very much (mainly because graphite is the material of choice in U.S. shops) and learned that copper, for less complex mold inserts, can be a more economical choice for EDM than graphite.

A few days later, I found this article from Poco Graphite that discusses in more detail the use of copper-impregnated graphite electrodes to EDM more exotic materials and decided to make this our Throwback Thursday feature article this week.

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Posted by: Steven Kline, Jr. 15. February 2017

GBI: Moldmaking for January 2017 - 54.5

With a reading of 54.5, the Gardner Business Index showed that the moldmaking industry grew in January for the fifth time in six months. It has grown at an accelerating rate for three straight months, reaching its fastest increase since May 2014.

New orders increased for the first time since last September and grew at their fastest rate since May 2014. Production increased at an accelerating rate of the third month in a row, growing at its second fastest rate since the survey began in December 2011, and the backlog subindex grew for the first time since November 2014. Employment increased at a fairly constant rate for the third month in a row, while the export subindex contracted after one month of growth. Supplier deliveries have lengthened at an accelerating rate since last July.

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Additive Manufacturing magazine is focused on covering industrial applications of 3D printing technology. The magazine explores ways manufacturers are using this technology to make tooling, molds, functional prototypes and end-use production parts. Some companies are succeeding with AM today, others expect it to be among the ways they make parts in the future and still others are just trying to figure it all out.

To decide where AM falls within your company's plans, it is important to stay on top of the current technologies, processes and services on the market today. Here is a quick slideshow highlighting a few of the latest product innovations in additive manufacturing.

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Extra! Extra! Read all about it: Amerimold ranks among the Fastest (growing) 50 trade shows of 2016 worldwide. The Fastest 50 is sponsored by Trade Show Executive (TSE) magazine, with winners selected based on the percentage of growth in each of the following categories: number of attendees, number of exhibiting companies and net square feet. Only shows that have shown growth of more than five percent in at least one of these categories is eligible to make the Fastest 50 list. Amerimold will be honored at the Fastest 50 Awards and Summit in Las Vegas in May

I scanned the Fastest 50 list looking for other shows that serve our industry, and I found only two: IMTS 2016, which is being honored for more than five percent growth in the number of exhibiting companies, and SkillsUSA TECHSPO, which is being honored with IMTS in the same category and also for exceeding five percent growth in net square feet of exhibit space.

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