Finding Value in Industry Resources

Not very long ago, as I was working on a feature article about South Coast Molds, a company that builds investment casting molds for alloy parts, for our August issue, I posed a couple of questions to second-generation owner Paul Novak: Why are you more active with the American Mold Building Association (AMBA), and why do you read MMT?

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Segments of an aluminum investment casting mold built by AMBA member company South Coast Molds in Irvine, California.

Not very long ago, as I was working on a feature article about South Coast Mold, a company in Irvine, California, that builds investment casting molds for alloy parts, for our August issue, I posed a couple of questions to second-generation owner Paul Novak: Why are you more active with the American Mold Building Association (AMBA), and why do you read MMT?

Let me explain that previously, Paul had not only complimented me on the articles I’d written since joining MMT (which, incidentally is almost exactly a year ago) and said that he reads every issue, but I’d seen him at more than one AMBA event and knew he’d also served on its national board. So I was curious, because I also knew, due to working on the feature about his company, of the existence of the Investment Casting Institute.

Paul outlined his response by providing several reasons for becoming active in the AMBA, and following is what he said, in his own words.

“I had seen the ads for AMBA; and I was curious enough in the AMBA to subscribe to its quarterly magazine. Again, I thought the magazine was really good and relevant. Still, it probably took me a couple more years before joining the AMBA. I really didn't know what I was getting into [when I joined] the AMBA in 2009. I was interested in going to the AMBA annual conference in Orlando 2010, but our business was still down from the recession. So, instead, during the same dates, I took my wife and daughter to Orlando to go to Disney World. On the plane, my wife started talking with Robert Vaughan, who was on the AMBA board at the time. He had seen our company name in the AMBA directory but here was a random meeting. Robert is a fantastic, knowledgeable person in this industry, and he really encouraged me to participate in the AMBA wherever I could. In 2011, I went to the conference in Las Vegas, which is driving distance from us, and it was a really good conference but probably more important are the shop tours. Those tours really opened up a new world for me. Of course, our shop is small and I had never been to shops much bigger than us. Man, when you go to MSI Mold Builders, Commercial Tool, Ameritech, etc., those are very impressive operations. My first thought after "Wow" was that I am really glad that those operations are in the US. Furthermore, those shop owners are great people too!”

Then Paul told me why he reads MMT every month.

“About in 2007, we had a mold maker here that had a copy of MMT. While we get plenty of trade periodicals, most of which we don't need, I had never seen MMT. MMT was so different because of its focus on mold making. So, I subscribed. When receiving MMT, it was the only trade magazine that I would ever read; the rest I throw away. I knew that MMT is geared toward plastics which we don't do, and that's okay. My feeling was that maybe there's something we can learn from MMT and the plastics industry to translate into our small niche. After all, we become very near-sighted in our industry because ‘that's the way we've always done it.’

“Why I read MMT:

  1. Quality/ISO - always useful.
  2. Company profiles - very interesting to read what others are doing.
  3. Additive Manufacturing - one day we plan on doing AM.
  4. Finances - Michael Devereux is very sharp and on target in this industry.
  5. Case Studies - interesting how real-world problems are solved.
  6. Software - interesting but it's hard to change. It's almost like getting a divorce and then getting remarried.”

I hope Paul will continue to share his candid views on our industry and our magazine, because it helps us to know the value that our readers glean from it and what they want to see more (or less) of. It helps us strengthen the quality of our articles, whether we write them or a contributing expert submits them.

What do you like about MoldMaking Technology? Please tell us. What you submit doesn’t have to be a long explanation unless you want it to be. Paul’s list, above, was very helpful and appreciated. Yours will be also.

 
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