By: Christina M. Fuges 26. August 2014

2014 Conformal Cooling Conference


Conformal cooling of injection molds is a game changer in the molding industry. Typical cycle reductions of 20 to 40 percent can be realized, lower reject rates are accomplished because of uniform cooling and stronger parts are achieved through lower molded-in stress.
Robert A. Beard & Associates, Inc. and Plastic Technologies, Inc. (PTI) are holding the inaugural 2014 Conformal Cooling Conference on injection molding technology for increased efficiency and profitability on Wednesday, September 17 at Automation Alley in Troy, Michigan. Fees apply. Session will begin 8:30am with Registration open at 8:00am.
The program will include:
  • Jeff Higgins, Moldflow Corporation, “The Design & Analysis of Conformal Cooling Channels”
  • Reiner Westoff, Contura MTC GmbH, “Vacuum Brazed Conformal Cooled Molds” & “Rapid Heat Rapid Cool Process”
  • Augustin Niavas, EOS GmbH, “Direct Metal Laser Sintering DMLS”
  • Doug Hepler, Polyshot, “Vacuum Brazed Hot Runner Manifolds” and “Design Guide For Conformal Cooled Molds”
  • Barry Sutherland, North Coast Industrial Imaging, “Technologies & Techniques For Troubleshooting Conformal Cooled Molds”
For additional information on the conference, contact:

By: Matthew Danford 25. August 2014

Expertise at the Touch of a Button

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This video on replacing welch plugs and O rings is just one of a three-part mold maintenance educational series available from Century Tool and Die.

Judging from what I hear in the field, succeeding in mold manufacturing requires a lot more than just manufacturing molds. Design assistance at the front end, validation at the back end, and acting as much like a customer service representative as a toolmaker all seem par for the course these days. Throughout all stages of the process, OEMs and molders increasingly rely on your expertise to produce quality parts in a cost-effective manner.

What if customers could access some of that expertise at the touch of a button, with no need for a phone call or even an email conversation? That’s the reality for Fremont, Ohio blow mold manufacturer Century Die Company, which offers free, online instructional videos that educate customers on proper mold maintenance. The example above, which covers replacing welch plugs and “O” rings, is just one of a three-part series. The other two, which offer instructions for sandblasting cavities and for replacing pins and bushings, respectively, are available through the company’s website. Simply follow the prompts to receive an email with a link and password.

Customers always appreciate longer-lasting tools, and the ability to perform repairs and maintenance in-house minimizes downtime. Century Die, of course, also saves time and money when customers can avoid shipping blow molds back to its facility. Yet, I’d argue that the creation of this video series also says something about this shop’s commitment to serving customers beyond just supplying quality tooling. I, for one, would be intrigued by any potential supplier with such an offering if my business involved blow-molding parts.

Suffice to say that in an era when the extent of your knowledge and effective customer service can mean the difference between success and failure, Century Die Company has its head in the right place with this video series. Perhaps your company can similarly differentiate itself.

By: Christina M. Fuges 22. August 2014

Why Not Me?

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"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.

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