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SLIDESHOW: Amerimold Conference Q&A


By: Christina M. Fuges 28. June 2016

 

 

The 2016 Amerimold technical conference expanded from its traditional ENGINEER, BUILD, MAINTAIN to include a new MOLD track focusing on process issues related to both molders and moldmakers. More than 40 industry experts presented on technologies ranging from mold design and data-driven manufacturing to automated machining and advanced mold maintenance strategies.

This year Amerimold was co-located with the Thermoplastic Composites Conference for Automotive (TCC Auto). Presented by CompositesWorld, Automotive Design and Production, andPlastics Technology, the conference featured presentations from materials and equipment suppliers, including new innovations in composites molding, such as injection overmolding and compression molding. 

Check out this slideshow for conference highlights.

SLIDESHOW: Leadtime Leaders Made Their Presence Known at Amerimold


By: Christina M. Fuges 23. June 2016

 

The moldmaking community is a family of sorts, and this becomes very evident every year at Amerimold when we celebrate our annual Leadtime Leader Awards Competition. Last week this was taken to another level when 2016 Winner Krieger Craftsmen registered a busload of people to attend Amerimold and make their presence known. For those unable to make it to Amerimold this year, I put together this slideshow to help you experience the highlights of this year's 14th Annual Leadtime Leader Awards ceremony. 
 
 

Collaboration and Education


By: Christina M. Fuges 21. June 2016

I visited with Baker Aerospace and S A Engineering at Amerimold last week in Novi, Michigan, after learning that they have both committed to technology development R&D and collaboration to move innovation forward.

SA Engineering Technology Center provides a setting where reputable companies with high-level expertise in services that support injection molding can co-locate under one roof to work together to develop new technologies on new 110- to 3500-ton presses. Such technologies include 3D-printed conformal-cooled inserts, which are a part of Baker’s expertise that has helped advanced the R&D of “new technology” tools developed at the Center. Baker also takes time to educate customers on the misconceptions about 3D-printed conformal-cooled inserts, including, for example, that a whole new tool must be created in order to use conformal cooling. In reality, only the internal areas of the insert that already exist must be altered. The Center’s Engel Duo 23050/3500 US 3,500-ton press is used to test and run “new technology” tools, such as a MuCell tool for Trexel, and an Engel Victory 1350/285 Tech 285-ton press is part of the center’s arsenal of state-of-the-art equipment that demonstrates the full potential of the new technologies being developed and tested here. 

Click here to read my piece that shares more about this initiative in sister publication Additive Manufacturing.

 

 

Amerimold: Learning and Laughs


By: Christina M. Fuges 17. June 2016

 

After two days of connecting buyers and sellers of products and services for designing, building, injecting and maintaining molds, Amerimold 2016 comes to a close on a very positive note. Not only did the event have a record-number of exhibitors, the quality level of attendee was also up. 
 
Attendees came to learn about everything from CAD/CAM to mold finishing, horizontal machining centers to 3D printers, cutting tools to mold materials, automation to processing techniques, and everything in between, while exhibitors across the floor showcased it all for them.
 
The learning didn't stop on the show floor, the annual technical conference rooms were also buzzing with networking and sharing case studies and best practices for both mold buyers and mold builders to make critical decisions when it comes to making that quoted cycle time and developing strategic plans for how their shops and staff will look in the year 2017 and beyond.

Topics included part/mold design and simulation, additive manufacturing, five-axis machining, reducing mold repair costs, integrating the mold, machine and automation, innovative tool design and molding process combinations and employing systematic molding for collaborative manufacturing.

To top it all off, the talk throughout the event was that business was booming for mold & die, and projected to continue that way for the remainder of the year. 
 
I can't end this brief review without a little taste of this industry's humor, which is showcased every year at Amerimold with our infamous Top 10 Reasons to Be a Moldmaker t-shirt. Here is our 2016 list, submitted by YOU our readers!

10        IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, YOU’RE NOT A MOLDMAKER.

Gabe Meldrum, International Mold Corp

9          OUR DNA—FROM BLOOD—IS IN EVERY TOOL.

Keith Bates, IPCC

8          SHUT-OFFS, STACKS AND SEAL-OFFS AREN'T JUST FOR PLUMBERS.

Ralph Neufarth, iMFLUX (P&G)

7          GOOD FORM IS JUST PART OF THE JOB!

Sam Sarakinis, Inoac Interior Systems 

6          HEAVY METAL IS NOT JUST FOR ROCK STARS.

Mark Borlik, Aucilla

5          TOLERANCE COMES NATURALLY TO A MOLDMAKER.

Annette Langhammer, Dynaplas 

4          WHAT ELSE ARE YOU GOING TO DO BETWEEN HUNTING SEASONS?

Ken Stringfield, Danaher 

3          CLOSE OUTS AND CLEARANCES AREN'T JUST FOR DEPARTMENT STORES.

Ralph Neufarth, iMFLUX (P&G)

2          WE MAY BE STRESSED, BUT OUR MOLD BLOCKS AREN'T.

Gabe Meldrum, International Mold Corp

#1        OUR RUNNERS WON'T FLASH YOU AT THE GATE.

Denny Scher, ICOMold

Keep checking back with us here on our daily blog as well as on Twitter (@MMT_ChristinaF) and Facebook for post-show reports. 

Finally, a big thank you to all of you who participated in this year's Amerimold--sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and attendees! We hope to see you and more in 2017! 

 

Amerimold: A Family Affair


By: Christina M. Fuges 16. June 2016

2016 Leadtime Leader team of family and friends take two-hour bus ride to Amerimold to celebrate their win!

Covering this industry for the past 19 years has shown me what a community--what a family--moldmaking is. This becomes very evident every year at Amerimold. But yesterday it was taken to another level, as a busload of employees, family and friends of this year's Leadtime Leader Winner Krieger Craftsmen unloaded in front of Surburban Collection Showplace to take in the Expo and take on the recognition they deserve for being part of a winning team.   

These awards, sponsored by MoldMaking Technology and Progressive Components, have been honoring outstanding moldmakers who best demonstrate overall innovation, efficiency, quality and commitment for the past 14 years. We presented winner Krieger Craftsmen and honorable mention MSI Mold Builders to the industry at the end of the day yesterday right before the annual Casino Night Networking Party.  And boy, were these winners ready to party after the build up and excitement of the Awards Ceremony.
 
With so many past Leadtime Leaders in attendance this year (flagged with red ribbons), I decided to get a little Oscar-esqe and asked Brian Bendig, president of last year's Leadtime Leader Cavalier Tool & Mfg. to come to the mic to say a few words about what the Award has meant to his company, encourage all shops to enter next year's competition, and then present the Award plaque to Tim Krieger, president of Krieger Craftsman, as I made the official announcement. It was a "passing of the torch" in a way, and it really added to that "family" feel of the industry. We later took a group shot of all the past Leadtime Leaders. It was quite the night! 
 
Leadtime Leader Hall of Fame
 
Leadtime Leaders 03
Large Winner: Advance Tool, Inc. (ATi): Thinking Lean Gets the Green
Small Winner: M&M Tool and Mold: Specialization and Short Leadtimes Yield Success
 
Large Honorable Mentions:
Ultra Tool Group: Multiple Mold Specialties Garner Profits Galore
Eimo Americas: Combining Forces Multiplies Profits
 
Small Honorable Mentions:
Graphic Tool: Concurrent Engineering Generates Quick Mold Builds
Peterboro Tool: Niche Moldmaking Produces Profits
 
Leadtime Leaders 04
Large Winner: Wentworth Mold: Blowing Away the Competition
Small Winner: M & M Tool and Mold: Niche Moldmaking Yields Results Two Years Running
Large Honorable Mention: Century Die Co.: Forging Ahead
Small Honorable Mention: Summit Molds: Better Not Bigger
 
Leadtime Leaders 05
Large Winner: Minco Tool and Mold: On The Fast Track
Small Winner: M & M Tool: Formula for Success-Specialization, Automation And Customer Service
Large Honorable Mention: StackTeck: Lean Strategies Combine for Niche Molds in Record Time
Small Honorable Mention: IDEAS, INC.: Thinking Outside the Box
 
Leadtime Leaders 06
Large Winner: Extreme Tool and Engineering: Building Relationships, Fostering Growth
Small Winner: A.J. Tool Co. Inc.: Niche Moldmaking Meets High Expectations
Large Honorable Mention MSI Mold Builders: Moldmaking Measured and Defined
Small Honorable Mention:IDEAS, INC.: Good Thinking!
 
Leadtime Leaders 07
Large Winner: Chicago Mold Engineering: In The Spotlight
Small Winner: Tech Tool & Mold, Inc.: Strength and Flexibility
Large Honorable Mention: Synergetic M2M Group: A Global Presence
Small Honorable Mention: M&M Tool and Mold, Inc.: Automation Investment Pays Off Big
 
Leadtime Leaders 08
Large Winner: Commercial Tool & Die: High Quality and Employee Innovation Drive Success
Small Winner: Extreme Tool and Engineering, Inc.: Embracing Change
Large HM: StackTeck Systems Ltd.: Continuous Improvement Trims Leadtimes
 
Leadtime Leaders 09
Large Winner: Commercial Tool & Die: Innovation And Improvement Are Keys to Success
Small Winner: Byrne Tool & Die: A Culture of Change
Large Honorable Mention: Armin Tool & Manufacturing: Sampling Success Since 1952
Small Honorable Mention: Elite Mold & Engineering: Team Elite
 
Leadtime Leaders 10
Large Winner: Triangle Tool
Triangle Tool: Product-to-Tool Service
Small Winner: Mold Craft: Innovation with Automation
Large Shop Honorable Mention H.S. Die & Engineering: A One-Stop Shop
Small Shop Honorable Mention CS Tool Engineering: In the Business Of Customer Service
 
Leadtime Leaders 11
Large Winner: United Tool & Mold, Inc.: Charging Forward with Unique Mold Repair Niche
Small Winner: Mold-Tech, Inc.: Technology-Driven, Detail-Oriented Precision Injection Mold Provider
Large Honorable Mention: MSI Mold Builders: Redefining Mold Manufacturing 
Small Honorable Mention: JM Mold South, Inc.: Constant Reinvention Results in Growth, Success
 
Leadtime Leaders 12
Large Winner: Industrial Molds Group: Thinking Outside of the Box
Small Winner: M&M Tool and Mold: Niche Manufacturing Sustains Profitability
 
Leadtime Leaders 13 
Winner Tech Mold Inc.: A Triple Threat!
Honorable Mention Micro Mold Company, Inc.: Partnering to Push the Limits
 
Leadtime Leaders 14
Winner: Westminster Tool Inc.—Bridging the Gap without Losing Focus
Honorable Mention: Aalbers Tool and Mold Inc.—Playing the Long Game
 
Leadtime Leaders 15
Winner: Cavalier Tool & Manufacturing - A Holistic Approach to Setting the Pace
Honorable Mention: Dynamic Tool & Design - Committing to a Scientific Process
 



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