By: Christina M. Fuges 10. October 2014

Digital Edition of MMT's October Mold Maintenance and Repair Supplement Now Available

The digital edition of MMT's October Mold Maintenance and Repair Supplement is available. This special issue includes features on tips to set up your hot runner system and keep it running smoothly, how increasing pressure for ever-faster turnaround has made outsourcing laser welding impractical for three providers of mold repair and maintenance services; how simply accessing monitoring data online, in real time, can help you address underperforming tools and build new ones when needed; and how using dry ice micro-particles can increase productivity, lower costs and extend mold life.

Click here for the digital edition.


By: Christina M. Fuges 9. October 2014

MMT's October Digital Edition is Available

MoldMaking Technology's October issue includes a cover story on how EDM designed with ease of use and ergonomics in mind can empower your operators. It also includes features on EDM electrode material test findings to help you identify the monetary impact graphite and copper electrode materials have on manufacturing; a rapid heating and cooling technique using pressurized water; and, a heat-treatment process that provides critical temperature and wear-resistance properties to certain mold steels.

This month's departments cover topics such as evaluating your training resources, a case study on auxiliary processing equipment, consumer and medical end market reports and a cutting tools tip of the month.

Click here for your digital edition.

By: Matthew Danford 8. October 2014

Testing the Waters With Multi-Material Molding

Capability to mount horizontally to the mold enables E-Multi users to mimic a wide variety of injection press configurations.

About three years ago, one of Accede Mold & Tool’s long-time customers asked for guidance on producing multi-material parts for an OEM further up the supply chain. The customer had only single-shot presses, and although it was interested in adding multi-material capability, it couldn’t justify the expense. After consulting with Accede, the customer realized it wouldn’t have to.

Thanks to an auxiliary plastic injection unit that fits vertically or horizontally onto any standard press, Accede was able to develop a process to produce the part using the customer’s existing equipment. In a scenario that’s since been repeated many times over, the customer is still using that process—and that unit, an E-Multi system from Mold-Masters—to this very day. Read this case study to learn more about the unit’s effect on Accede’s sampling and validation operation.

By: Christina M. Fuges 7. October 2014

"If You Can Do It with Toys, You Can Do It with Anything"

Manufacturing Day 2014 hosted more than 1,500 events across the country. That is more than double from last year! The theme of The Rodon Group event was “Manufacturing Tomorrow’s Future” with a focus on the role government plays in promoting and growing our manufacturing economy. Speakers included representatives from the National Institiute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Commerce Department's Select USA Program. Both of whom discussed data and resources aimed at helping manufacturers and consumers understand the importance of promoting U.S. investment and making the U.S. a net export nation.  

However, the highlight for me was not just walking the shop, but the unexpected one-on-one tour I received from K'nex inventor, Joel Glickman. What an amazing story! One that dates back to his father, who recently passed away at the young age of 100, and from whom Joel received the hardworking upbringing that exposed him to the value of manufacturing. Being an artist at heart, Joel eventually used that artist's vision to create the K'nex toys in 1992, which make up about 20 percent of The Rodon Group's business today.

And these toys are not only fascinating to play with, they are actual teaching toys. K'Nex has partnered with schools to inspire kids and promote STEM with its building sets. How common sense is that ...using toys to teach children the basics of how things work and having fun as they are doing it.  

By: Matthew Danford 6. October 2014

Adding Confidence in Five-axis Programming

In contrast with G.H. Tool & Mold’s first five-axis machines, the trunnion-type HPM 800U-HD moves he part around the spindle rather than moving the spindle around the part. Read this article to learn why this configuration was a major factor in the shop’s choice of machine.

“Five-axis can put a lot of pressure on your programmers,” says Danny Straatmann, programming manager at G.H. Tool & Mold.

Anyone who’s witnessed one of these machines in action can understand why. Although additional axes of motion open up new machining possibilities, they also create additional risk for scrapped parts, or worse, a spindle crash.

Granted, Straatmann and the rest of the team G.H. Tool & Mold have had plenty of time to build their expertise—the Washington, Mo.-based shop purchased its first five-axis machining center in 2002. Thus, the chances of something happening are likely slimmer compared to shops with less experience. Nonetheless, even the most seasoned veterans can make mistakes from time to time, and they benefit as much as anyone from additional peace of mind. That’s why the availability of robust simulation software played a role in the shop’s choice of machine when it moved to expand five-axis capability earlier this year.

That machine, an HPM 800U-HD from GF Machining Solutions, shipped with an optional seat of Truepath postprocessing, simulation and toolpath optimization software from Camplete Solutions. Running five-axis machines in a virtual environment prior to cutting any actual metal enables the shop to not only avoid collisions, but also to weed out cutting routine inefficiencies, Straatmann says.

However, the benefits of the software go beyond that. Thanks to a partnership between the machine tool builder and software developer, the the shop didn’t have to develop a post. Had it decided to add the software to its older machines, it likely would have had to do much of that legwork itself, and even enlist outside help, Straatmann says.

Visit Camplete’s website to learn more about the software’s benefits. In particular, the developer touts the aforementioned ability to generate postprocessors with support for all major CAM systems, and the provision of machine-specific 3D models for simulation and other purposes (which the developer can provide thanks to partnerships with builders like GF Machining Solutions).

Of course, the software wasn’t the only factor in the shop’s choice of machine. Read this article to learn more.

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