By: Randy Kerkstra 23. January 2015

The Designer's Edge: Newsflash on Flash

Typical flash.

Flash is impossible to have if three conditions are met--two of which fall directly on the mold.

All shut-offs or parting lines must be “true net,” meaning there are no gaps, damage or anything holding the mold open.

The tool must be robust enough to prevent deflection both in line with clamp force and perpendicular to clamp force.

Clamp pressure on the injection molding machine must exceed plastics pressure from the cavity surface area.

It is important to understand these three conditions. If you have two mating surfaces perfectly matched, the tool is robust enough to prevent deflection and clamp pressure exceeds cavity pressure, then absolutely nothing can penetrate the mating surfaces. Venting is often raised at this point. It is a valid point that I will discuss down the road.

In upcoming posts I will take an indepth look at each rule/condition, but today I want to define flash and how it can be misdiagnosed. I have observed many people misinterpreting mismatch or rolled cavity edges as flash.

On rolled cavity edges, the defect can be felt from both directions. Plus, on some critical parting lines a very small rolled edge can create the defect. I have seen parts with a rolled edge of .003 cause an issue. This can easily happen during the polishing process if the bench hand is not very careful.  

Rolled edge.


With parting line mismatch, the defect can only be felt from one direction.



Another defect is“feather flash, ” which is a result of a lack of clamp force on the molding machine. The tool is blown open allowing plastic to leak between the two parting lines. Then when plastic pressure resides, the clamp force pinches the flash causing feather flash.

Feather flash.


Critical mold areas that require support to prevent deflection are typically in the center or the runner and gate areas. The center being the weakest area of the mold and the gates and runner areas experience extreme plastic pressures.

My next post (on February 6th) will focus on tool and design to reduce tool deflection.

By: Christina M. Fuges 22. January 2015

Pumping Up Molding Plans

Over at Pyramid Plastics, the custom injection molding business of Industrial Molds Group, plans call for purchasing 10 new Toshiba injection molding machines at the rate of one machine per quarter over the next two years, and they have already added two new presses, a 55-ton and a 90-ton Toshiba press.

According to Tim Peterson, Vice President of Industrial Molds Group,  Pyramid Plastics currently has 42 presses including some large-tonnage machines. The new presses will replace some of the older equipment. They don't anticipate growing the number of presses, “just the technical capabilities” the new equipment has to offer to enable Pyramid Plastics to better serve its customers. 

“We’ll most likely reduce the number of presses at Pyramid and focus more on improving productivity, and technical precision processing capabilities with an emphasis on medical molding with presses under 500 tons,” he says. “We’re anticipating adding at least one two-shot injection molding machine as well.”

The facility upgrade also calls for the addition of a clean room or “white” room to enable Pyramid’s plans to focus on medical components. Those plans have not been finalized as yet.

As a part of Pyramid Plastics’ strategic planning, the company will be focusing more sharply on customers who fit the company’s business model and goals for growth.

Pyramid Plastics works closely with Industrial Molds to provide its customers with mold design and engineering services, including mold building. Pyramid also offers mold tryouts and qualification, and process validation services for Industrial Molds, and a variety of secondary operations.

You can visit Industrial Molds and Pyramid Plastics at NPE at Booth #S-22144.


By: Matthew Danford 21. January 2015

Three Keys to Success at Eifel Mold & Engineering

The profile article touches on importance of people buying into technology like this this Hermle C40U five-axis machining center, which helps facilitate the of zero-stock machining process that Eifel deems critical to its success.   

Eifel Mold & Engineering was an easy choice when it came to deciding which shop to profile for our first issue of 2015. Having visited the shop in August as part of an American Mold Builders’ Association (AMBA) event, I had seen its business philosophy in action first-hand. That philosophy—a three-part focus on process, technology and people—is something I think other mold manufacturers could do well to keep in mind. Read the article to learn more.  

You’ll also find a new feature we’re rolling out for this year’s shop profiles: a sidebar outlining the basics of the shop’s facilities and specialties. After all, part of the goal of these profiles is not just to educate, but to promote, and this is an easy way to provide an “at-a-glance” view of any operation. (As an aside, feel free to contact me if you’re interested in seeing your own operation profiled in MoldMaking Technology).

By: Christina M. Fuges 20. January 2015

2015 Equipment Acquisition Trends

Here are the top 10 equipment acquisition trends from the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association:

1.  Investment in equipment and software will reach an all-time high in 2015.

2.  Businesses will invest in equipment not just to replace aging assets, but also to aid in expansion. 

3.  While some equipment types will see strong growth, others will moderate. 

4.  Improving market conditions will continue to increase credit supply and demand for equipment acquisitions.

5.  Eyes will be on short-term interest rate increases. 

6.  Businesses will use financing for a majority of their plant, equipment and software expenditures.

7.  Advances in the use of technology will drive innovative financing options. 

8.  Several “wild cards” could impact equipment acquisition decisions. 

9.  Nontraditional financing will continue to grow and play a larger role in the equipment finance industry. 

10.  A final lease accounting standard will be released. 

Click here for a video and infographic highlighting the trends. 


By: Matthew Danford 19. January 2015

Laser Welder Integrates Additive Process


This pyramid-shaped part, which I saw at the Euromold show in November, was produced via laser powder cladding. What’s notable, however, is that the component wasn’t produced on a dedicated cladding machine, but on a laser welder—specifically, a new Diodeline machine from O.R. Laser. Featuring powder feeders aligned to deposit material directly into the diode-pumped laser’s path, these systems offer an additional option for mold repair and maintenance. According to the company, laser powder cladding suffers from none of the movement restrictions of the traditional process, in which operators must guide the weld in only one direction at a time to prevent the wire from doubling back on itself. Cladding operations are also fully programmable. Of course, the machine, shown below, can also be employed for traditional laser welding.

According to the company, one of the biggest advantages of incorporating laser powder cladding is additional material flexibility. For instance, the system can deposit high-carbon steels, aluminum, and other materials that can be difficult to draw into a wire. Lack of a wire, of course, also means precision isn’t restricted by diameter. The company adds that cladding can also be used to build mold inserts from the ground up from softer materials like beryllium copper, which can be coated for hardness later. Finally, even in traditional welding applications, the diode-pumped laser is said to provide higher energy efficiency, less maintenance and other advantages compared to nd:Yag offerings.

This machine is just one of many examples of technology that intrigued me at the Euromold show. 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. Click through this picture gallery for a sampling of what caught my eye. 

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