Trick or Treat?

By: Christina M. Fuges 31. October 2014

If you want to reward your best apprentice and provide the best training, why not sponsor them to win a $500 gift card for the purchase of tools and equipment necessary for their training? 
That's just want the West Michigan Chapter of the American Mold Builders Association has done this year with its TAP Program (Tooling for Apprentices Program).
This is its first year and there are 16 winners. Each winner will be receiving a $500 Production Tool Supply gift card they can spend on tooling for this trade.  Proceeds from the 2013 and 2014 AMBA Chapter of the Year Award was used to fund the program this year; however, they will continue the program regardless of another Chapter win.
Eligibility requirements include:
• Nominees must work for members in good standing of the WM AMBA Chapter.
• Be an employee at the member company for at least one year.
• Exhibit enthusiasm, hard work, ability and desire to learn the skills of a mold builder, mold designer, CNC machinist or die maker.
• Nominees should be a current apprentice.
This year's TAP winners will be announced at the November 5, 2014 Chapter meeting at the Boulder Creek Golf Course in Belmont, Michigan.
For information on the program or how to start your own, contact Andy Baker, WM Chapter President at 616-240-3770 or via email at:

Good Ol' Boy Making a Difference

By: Christina M. Fuges 30. October 2014

Cardinal Manufacturing is an in-school manufacturing program teaching students real life
skills and showcasing educational and career opportunities in manufacturing. The program has attracted national attention because of its accomplishments. MMT and our sister publications and events have featured Craig and his successful training model.
The school is holding open house for visitors to tour the facilities, meet the students and help support the operations of Cardinal Manufacturing. From 4:30-8:00pm the doors will be open to the public with prizes, food and demonstrations. Major raffle prizes will include a crossbow, Black Powder rifle, laptop, chicken grills, and much more.
A special guest during the event will be singer and actor Tom Wopat from the Dukes of Hazzard, along with the famous General Lee. Autographs and photo opportunties will be from 5:30 to 7:30pm followed by a concert at 8:15pm at Central Auditorium (tickets $5.00).
Lastly, Nexen, a leading manufacturer of precision motion control components, power transmission and web tension control products, is promoting its $37,500.00 Challenge to help earn a new CNC machine for Cardinal to expand its manufacturing capabilities.
Cardinal Manufacturing Open House
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014
4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
At Eleva-Strum Schools
W23597 US Highway 10, Strum, WI 54770

Going to Mexico

By: Christina M. Fuges 28. October 2014

Gardner Business Media President Rick Kline Sr. announced the launch of Modern Machine Shop MEXICO, a print magazine and integrated media platform. The intent is to connect buyers and sellers of metalworking technology in Mexico to help them maintain world-class competitiveness in the global marketplace. Rick Kline Sr. said of the launch, “Mexico is a natural area of interest to us. It is our next door neighbor. It is a member of NAFTA. Mexico is a gateway to key markets to the south and a vital supplier to those in the north. Mexico has a strong manufacturing base and is experiencing some of the fastest growth in the world. We are developing a brand that will give metalworking professionals in Mexico a new source of insights into mainstream and advanced manufacturing technology.” Kline added that the new publication will also report on successes of local shops and plants that can be emulated by others in the country. The new business represents an international extension of Modern Machine Shop, which has served the metalworking industry in North America since 1928.

The first issue of Modern Machine Shop MEXICO will appear as a January/February edition that will be distributed in January 2015. Its reach will include a dedicated audience of selected production managers, engineers and manufacturing technicians engaged in the major manufacturing sectors of Mexico such as automotive, aerospace and medical.

Modern Machine Shop MEXICO is led by Gardner Business Media Metalworking Group Publisher Travis Egan, who formed a team of experienced media professionals united by their passion for and expertise in the metalworking market to develop and launch the new venture. The team includes Claude Mas (of MoldMaking Technology), who has been appointed as Publisher, and Eduardo Tovar, (formerly of Metalmecanica) who has been named as Editor-In-Chief. This pair represents more than 30 years of experience in the metalworking marketplace. Commenting on the brand, Egan said, “At Gardner Business Media, we are constantly pushing ourselves to develop the best product and process related content in the most effective format. Modern Machine Shop MEXICO is born from these efforts and is squarely aimed at promoting the strength and competitiveness of the metalworking market in Mexico.”


Claude Mas, Publisher
Modern Machine Shop MEXICO 
(856) 854-1715

Eduardo Tovar, Editor-in-Chief
Modern Machine Shop MEXICO 
(772) 419-8922

Moldmakers Working for Funding to Support Manufacturing Training

By: Christina M. Fuges 24. October 2014

Raymond Coombs is not only president of Westminster Tool, Inc. of Plainfeld, Connecticut, he also serves as the president of the Eastern Advanced Manufacturing Alliance (EAMA), established to help beat the labor crunch by investing in the future manufacturing workforce.

EAMA is an aggregate of 34 manufacturers from three states (Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts) that work closely with two local community colleges: Three Rivers Community College and Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC) to provide direction for curriculums that will benefit the future of manufacturingFor example, QVCC offered its first Advanced Manufacturing certificate program in the fall of 2013, from which two Westminster Tool employees graduated, and in which two more employees are currently enrolled.

And now, QVCC and TRCC were awarded funds from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant.

Since first covering EAMA earlier this year, the organization has expanded into North and South Chapters to accommodate the growing membership and fulfill specific needs.
1. The South Chapter members had a specific need for sheet metal fabricators and a training program that would produce fabricators. This was not something that either community colleges that EAMA works with offers. 
2. TRCC and QVCC applied for the grant under the umbrella of Connecticut Advanced Manufacturing Initiative (CAMI), which comprises 12 community colleges in Connecticut and some of the technical high schools.
3. TRCC won grant funds to start a sheet metal fabrication training program.
4. QVCC won grant funds to support of its ongoing Advanced Manufacturing Certificate Program.
It's very motivating to hear about the various efforts across the country honing in on our workforce dilemna in such a successful way.  Please consider contacting me to share yours.

Industrial Size Investing

By: Christina M. Fuges 23. October 2014


It was no surprise to me after working with Industrial Molds on several editorial projects, including the 2012 Leadtime Leader Awards, amerimold and several case studies and features, that this mold manufacturer continues to grow. So much so that its current level of business prompted them to slow down and analyze how they can improve work flow to meet lead times.

According to Industrial Molds' Production Supervisor Andrew Peterson, a lot of planning went into their machinery purchases and building renovations. An investment of $1.7 million was made in new machinery as well as another $300,000 in a complete renovation of its 43,000-square-foot facility with the goal of making a more efficient shop layout, work flow and floor space for the new, larger machinery.

Some of the equipment includes a Mikron HSM 400 U LP five-axis electrode cutting machine that will double electrode production; an OKK HM1000S (a four-axis horizontal mill with a 40”x 40” dual table) installed in the mold base department to replace an older machine; three new Haas CNC milling machines (a V4 and two V2) in  the prepping departmen, which are forecasted to increase capacity in that department by 33 percent.

Industrial notes that the decision to create a specific department for preparing cavities and cores, which then get moved to the high-speed machining department, helps them keep a more efficient work flow. 

Industrial Molds also purchased two grinders for finishing after heat treat.

Industrial Molds Group will be exhibiting at NPE 2015, March 23-27, Orlando, FL, Booth #S-22144.

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