Molding a "Real" Partnership

By: Christina M. Fuges 24. May 2016

JMMS Inc.--MMT's 2011 Leadtime Leader Award small shop honorable mention winner--has once again expanded its reach, capabilities and expertise with a truly global partner. 

Portuguese-based Moldetipo Group and Easley, South Carolina-based JMMS are now partners in the molding industry.  Check out this slideshow and video.

Both companies signed an agreement to expand their presence globally to manage projects in the automotive sector. With a combined 50 years of experience between both companies, they are now truly global players, handling operations in China, India, Mexico and Germany, in addition to Portugal and the U.S.  JMMS will be Moldetipo Group’s only official partner in the U.S. The agreement is set to start on June 1st. Moldetipo Group CEO Mr. Rui Silva and JMMS CEO Mr. David Bowers II will head this partnership, which will allow both companies to provide stronger support to OEM, Tier 1 and Tier 2 demands. 

"Moldetipo Group is now a global company with footprints in all continents. We’ve been in the business since 1996 and have since focused on giving the best engineering expertise to our clients. We’re one of the leading companies in the well-renowned Portuguese molding industry, exporting 100 percent of production as well as being one of only two European companies to master and develop what is known as water injection technology, which allows you to sculpt and inject plastic parts with water. Teaming up with JMMS will allow us to widen our post-sale warranty and rely on an experienced and certified company," says Silva.

“Having a European partner means JMMS is reinforcing a global sourcing network. This deal with Moldetipo Group allows us to expand our market by servicing their clients in the U.S. as well as widen our cross-source on larger programs. At the same time, teaming up with a new company provides us with the possibility to learn new technologies, such as water injection. This means an additional diversity for our product/market mix, thanks to synergies of like-minded leadership and business strategies. In other words, this is a real partnership,”Bowers II.

Additive Manufacturing May Digital Edition Is Here

By: Christina M. Fuges 20. May 2016


This edition includes a story on a new additive manufacturing factory at Caterpillar that focuses on aftermarket parts today in preparation for production parts in the future, how AM has made it possible to produce a medical tool that offers surgeons better control during ACL repair or replacement surgery, the way forward for an independent manufacturer offering AM and a discussion on the challenges of AM that OEMs, users and others are watching with interest.

Something of note in this issue is mention of our third annual Additive Manufacturing Conference (AMC) taking place alongside the International Manufacturing and Technology Show in Chicago, IL, at McCormick Place. The focus of the conference is on industrial applications of additive technologies for making functional components and end-use production parts. It will cover the processes, applications and materials to give you practical knowledge on how to implement AM in your facility.Your AMC registration will include full access to the more than 2,000 exhibitors that will be on display.  Registration for the conference opens this month, so please check back for details. 



"Extreme" Excitement at AMBA Convention

By: Christina M. Fuges 19. May 2016

Mike Zacharias, president of Extreme was presented with AMBA's Mold Builder of the Year Award by past winner Tim Bartz of Mold Craft (second from the right), and Glenn and Don Starkey of Award sponsor Progressive Components (on the ends). 

With a theme of “Trigger Your Brilliance,” last month’s AMBA Annual Conference put the spotlight on ways mold building executives can improve their businesses--including leading-edge benchmarks, industry trends, and operational and financial best practices--but one of the true highlights was this year's Mold Builder of the Year recipient, who I consider more than an industry colleague.

I was introduced to Mike Zacharias, president of Extreme Tool & Engineering of Wakefield Michigan, back in 2005 when I learned the company started the same year MMT launched its premier issue (1998) and with the same number of employees (six). Since then MMT has covered the passion of this inspiring leader and the growth of the company and its determined team through articles and its two Leadtime Leader wins in 2006 and 2008.

The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, was the perfect setting for this esteemed Award that honors individuals in an industry dedicated to American innovation. During the presentation speech by last year's winner, Mold Craft's Tim Bartz, Mike was described as a true visionary with extraordinary passion for the mold, tool and die trade for more than three decades. He started as an apprenctice in the eighties and then progressed to mold designer, project engineer, project management and plant management. He was running a tool shop for annother owner when the business was sold and was then faced with the choice between working for someone else or starting his own business. He chose the latter, stating that it was the "best decision of his life, other than marrying his wife." Today the company employees 85 people in two facilities.

Mike is also very active in the industry and always willing to give back to those around him. Many in the industry are honored to call him a competitor and friend, and that includes me. Congratulations Mike! 


2016 AMBA Mold Builder of the Year Mike Zacharias and his wife and company controller, Shari.​




WEBINAR: Want to Know How a Leadtime Leader Does It?

By: Christina M. Fuges 16. May 2016


Mold manufacturers are experiencing intense global competition, and that is requiring them to reduce tool cost, decrease tool design through manufacturing leadtime and improve product quality.  One way to take on these challenges is using the right software. This week's webinar hosted by Siemems PLM Software discussed and demonstrated how NX™ Moldwizard software can transform the tooling development process with advanced knowledge-driven automation that can improve overall productivity, accelerate the process, reduce waste and cost and improve quality.

NX Mold Wizard provides a structured workflow based on expert best practices, automation of mold-specific design tasks and libraries of standard mold components. It is a step-by-step process that promotes the most efficient workflow, while integrating complex elements of design technology into automated sequences. Supporting the value of this type of software investment was Brian Bendig, president of Cavalier Tool & Manufacturing, MoldMaking Technology's 2015 Leadtime Leader Award winner.

Listen to archived webinar today.


VIDEO: Rolling Out the Red Carpet for Manufacturing

By: Christina M. Fuges 12. May 2016

Gardner Business Media's new summer intern, Hannah Coombs--who is no stranger to the world of manufacturing, being the daughter of Ray Coombs, president of  MMT's 2014 Leadtime Leader Award Winner Westminster Tool of Plainfield, Connecticut--covered the film festival gala for the second annual video competition hosted by the Eastern Advanced Manufacturing Alliance (EAMA) when she hit the red carpet.

The competition, which MMT helped promote during the past few weeks, is a unique way to highlight manufacturing careers and pathways to better educate students, teachers and families about the industry. In this year’s theme, “Manufacturing a Path to Success,” each of the 13 high school teams were paired with local manufacturers to create videos illustrating skills and opportunity in the industry.

Here is a video snapshot of the event

Ms. Coombs reports: 

Kicking off last fall, EAMA began work to recruit and team up member companies with the participating schools in their area. Students spent several months working with partner companies ranging from small start-ups to multi-facility corporations such as Electric Boat and Web Industries. After the students’ videos are completed, online voting is opened to the public to determine the winners for the “Viewer’s Choice” award at the final ceremony.

"The competition was celebrated in a film festival ceremony held on April 14th at the Quinebaug Valley Community College where the students and their families joined teachers and the partner companies for the video screenings. Prizes were awarded in videography, narration, creativity and educational value with one team taking the prize for Best Overall, judged by a dynamic panel of manufacturing, education and videography professionals.  

"EAMA is a collaborative organization of more than 40 manufacturers across Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island that work to promote manufacturing careers and workforce development. For almost 20 years, EAMA has worked with local colleges and high schools with educational events such as the video competition to increase awareness and advocate for the manufacturing industry.

Working with educational promotion, training and workforce development, EAMA promotes the industry with young students hoping to expose the valuable career pathways it has to offer. In their videos, students were able to witness first-hand the innovation and quality of skilled employees at their partner companies. One student, Raquelle from Three Rivers Magnet High School was amazed by the efficiency and complexity of the company she worked with, MPS Plastics. Her experience changed how she looked at manufacturing. “It’s not as old fashioned as it used to be,” she said. “There’s a lot of high [technology] that goes into it.”

Mary Fitzgerald, President of Acme Wire Co. and the Event Coordinator, was surprised to see the impact not only on the students, but the companies as well. “The companies get a chance to see things through the students’ perspective and see how they put a spin on your story,” she said. “It’s marketing your message and why it’s important to consider manufacturing careers.” The video aspect of the competition allows students to deliver that message in a unique and creative way. “To see the automation visually…they get a better grasp of what goes into manufacturing.”

And the winners are ... 

Best Overall Video: Killingly High School & Web Industries
Outstanding Videography: Putnam High School & Ensinger Precision Components
Best Narration: Killingly High School & Web Industries
Outstanding Educational Value: Plainfield High School & Westminster Tool
Most Creative: Plainfield High School & Westminster Tool

Viewer’s Choice Awards:                              

1st Place: Three Rivers Middle College & MPS Plastics
2nd Place: Woodstock Academy & Whitcraft
3rd Place: New London Science & Technology Magnet High School & Sound Manufacturing

You can view all videos here.

Quinebaug Valley Community College hosted the event this year and last year’s film festival “gala” was hosted by Three Rivers Community College. EAMA plans to alternate between the colleges to host the film festival.


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