Seeing the Industry with a New Perspective

Last week I attended Plastec West in Anaheim, California (what a nice break from frigid temps in Chicago!). It was my first trade show as senior editor of MoldMaking Technology versus attending as a public relations manager for plastics industry suppliers, and I enjoyed seeing everything with a new perspective.

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Craftsman Tool & Mold announced it has purchased a Giddings & Lewis PC-50 5.12” CNC Table Type Horizontal Boring Mill. The machine will be installed this month at Craftsman’s St. Charles, Illinois, facility.

 

Last week I attended Plastec West in Anaheim, California (what a nice break from frigid temps in Chicago!). It was my first trade show as senior editor of MoldMaking Technology versus attending as a public relations manager for plastics industry suppliers, and I enjoyed seeing everything with a new perspective.

As I walked the show, I thought about how my role there was “flipped” around. Instead of working to place an article or news release with a publication to promote products and services, I was searching for article ideas and news from a variety of companies, moldmakers and suppliers alike.

I met many new people at Plastec West and I saw several old friends and acquaintances—that, in itself, was not new (anyone who knows me knows I love to meet new people and share some time with friends and colleagues). I visited with mold manufacturing companies that exhibited, including El Dorado Molds in Rancho Cordova, California, which has recently added a new cleanroom with an Arburg 88-ton molding machine and the ability to expand by six more machines as needed. The company also added two new Nissei molding machines—one 88-ton and a 500-ton. Robots, dryers and other auxiliary equipment has also been added with the Nissei 500-ton machine.

Fairway Injection Molding Systems in Walnut, California, is growing and has added a new five-axis CNC and increased its unmanned operations by nearly 35 percent through automation. Craftsman Tool and Mold in St. Charles, Illinois, announced it will be adding a fully enclosed shuttle pallet G&L PC-50 CNC Horizontal Boring Mill to its list of machinery for manufacturing large work pieces. Diversified Plastics out of Minneapolis now has the ability to 3D print plastic mold components so that prototypes can be injection molded in the exact resin specified on the blueprint.

I also paid visits to supplier companies—including my former employer, Progressive Components, as well as Hasco, DMS, Mold Base Industries, Autodesk and others. Talk about a change in perspective. Previously I would not have been focused on the supplier aspect. Hot runners, chillers, machine tools and software? It’s a whole new world out there for me!

As most of our readers know, there’s no better way to gauge the health of the manufacturing industry than by looking at how the moldmaking sector is doing. From what I could see, most shops are quite busy and several are expanding floor space and/or purchasing new, automated equipment and machinery. Some said they are experiencing a bit of a “soft” time right now, but all were optimistic about the coming year. I’ll be writing about some of these companies in future issues, so stay tuned!

 

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