30-Second Survey: Interested in Updating Moldmaking Industry Guide?

By: Christina M. Fuges 27. March 2015

SPI Customs and Practices of the Moldmaking Industry" serves as a guide for mold buyers and mold manufacturers by outlining customary business practices when specifying or purchasing a mold. It also includes classifications for different mold types (and their approximate life spans) to minimize confusion when quoting or ordering a mold.

A previous SPI survey revealed that there is a clear desire to update this document. If you are interested in reviewing and updating this file, please share your contact information via this brief survey or by emailing David Palmer by April 1st. 

Click here to take the 30-second survey.

Is it Time to Add Molding Capabilities?

By: Christina M. Fuges 26. March 2015

When working with John Berg, marketing directory for MGS Mfg. Group on March's "A Modern Moldmaking Trend" feature, which examines what it actually takes to add molding capabilities (whether for sampling or production molding), he shared some questions you should ask first.

Mold shops that are considering sampling should answer the following questions:

  • Are you losing opportunities to shops that can sample in-house?
  • Do have existing floor space / easy access to additional space?
  • Is your project management team confident in adding this to itsplate?
  • Can you quickly find and develop the required talent?

If you keep saying yes, maybe you are ready to make the move.

For mold shops that are considering the transition to sampling capabilities with the longer range plan of production molding should assess their customer base now and what the next five to 10 years may bring. Will molding operations put you in direct competition with the very same companies that brought you to your current position?   

Then look closely at the range of injection molds your shop has completed during the last five years and categorize them by mold size, number of cavities, shot weight, resin, manifold, etc.  It would be cost prohibitive to purchase all the injection molding machines required for every application.

Checking in with a Leadtime Leader

By: Christina M. Fuges 24. March 2015

Ontario, Canada-based Aalbers Tool & Mold continues with the growth strategy that helped it nabbed the Leadtime Leader honorable mention title last year with $1 million in support from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund  to be used for equipment and training investment.

Here is a brief Q&A with Toni Hansen, President of Aablers Tool & Mold:

MMT: How did Aalbers obtain this grant?

Toni Hansen: "We take time to review all government programs that are available for our area of business. One being grants for capital equipment purchases, subsidies for employee training and research and development.  They are available to all. You simply need to apply, but most importantly, have a solid business plan to support your request."

MMT: You say Aalbers plans to create 33 new jobs, what positions?  

Toni Hansen: "We will be hiring experienced designers, CNC machinists, moldmakers, as well as trainees for these positions."

MMT:  What specific types of new state-of-the-art equipment do you plan to invest in and why?

Toni Hansen: "We will be purchasing  larger high-speed five-axis CNC machines as well larger CNC EDMs, horizontal machining centres and boring mills, in order to increase the capacity of our manufacturing base, both in size and capacity. Also, we will be investing heavily in automated processes, such as robotic loading of machines, in order to keep the machines operating longer, with less downtime."

MMT: How will your employee training change as a result of this grant?

Toni Hansen: "We currently train, and have trained, internally since we started the business, but we want to be able to set up a specific training area for all departments within Aalbers. This will help us train to our specific needs and processes."

MMT:  You mentioned that Aalbers is planning a $10-million investment in equipment and training over the next five years. Can you explain that plan?

Toni Hansen: "The plan is to spend approximately $2 million each year on new machinery, along with whatever is required for software, tooling and auxiliary equipment. This will give us the time to make sure each piece is set up properly, cutting efficiently and our operators are properly trained to keep the equipment cutting at optimum speed and efficiency."



ANTEC Mold Making and Mold Design Conference

By: Christina M. Fuges 19. March 2015

Next week at NPE2015 the annual ANTEC conference will take place with a solid moldmaking and mold design program, organized by the Society of Plastics Engineers Mold Making and Mold Design Division. It will take place from 8:30 am to noon on Tuesday, March 24 and Wednesday, March 25th.

Tuesday, March 25 from 8:30am to noon in Room S320G there will be a combined session with SPE's Mold Making and Mold Design and Injection Molding Divisions.

Topics include:

·         Design for Moldability and Profitability

·         Grain Development and Grain Repair on Aluminum 

·         Prototype Plastic Injection Molds Produced viat 3D Printing

·         Thermal Analysis Of Conventional and Rapid Tooling for Injection Molding 

·         Induction Heating Simulation for the Plastic Injection Molding Process 

·         Innovative Supply Chain Management: How Big Data Advances Molders’ Use of Resources and Promotes Competitiveness

·         tudy on the Heat Transfer Behavior and Warpage Result in Small Quantity of Diverse Molded Part Designs with Varying Thermal Property Mold Insert Control

·         Treatment of Mold Components: The Knowledge Advantage

·         Mold Design for Reduction of Offline Assembly and Secondary Operations

·         Fundamentals of Optimized Mold Cooling System Design for Injection Molds

·         Use of Pre-hardened Tool Steel Gives Faster Mold Manufacturing

·         Mold Undercut Solutions - Data Driven Advantages

·         3D Volume Shrinkage Compensation Method in Injection Mold Design Optimization

·         Process Planning of Mold Components with Feature Recognition and Group Technology

Click here for the full program.

Come Out and Support Education

By: Christina M. Fuges 17. March 2015

Mold manufacturers throughout the Midwest region of the country are invited to attend the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) Chicago Chapter's first annual Supplier Night Fundraiser & Dinner Meeting on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at Medinah Banquets in Addison, IL.

The purpose of this special event is to support Chicago AMBA Education Committee's continuing efforts to promote mold manufacturing as a viable career. Specifically, all proceeds raised from this event will be used to host a symposium in the fall of 2015 where teachers, counselors, parents and students can learn about mold manufacturing careers and opportunities. [On that note, take a peek at our MoldMaking Matters: Your Career Can Make a Difference video recruitment tool produced by Creative Technology of which the AMBA was a sponsor.]

Equally important is the opportunity to bring major supplier companies together with their customers to network and display the latest products and services for molding and mold building in an intimate setting. To date, 28 mold industry suppliers have been confirmed as exhibitors! The program will start at 4pm with supplier booths, networking, open bar and door prize raffle for mold manufacturers and their employees. At 6:30pm  the buffet dinner begins and then from 7:30-8:30pm Jim Nelson, VP of External Affairs for the Illinois Manufacturers' Association will speak.

While the Networking portion of the event is free to mold builders and their employees, the Early Bird cost for the full event is $50/person until April 1st. After April 1st the cost per person goes up to $60.00. For more information call 708-227-0373 or email and visit



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