What’s Your ‘Secret Ingredient?’

Given all the mold manufacturing companies I’ve visited or learned about, one detail continues to ring true with all of them: That “secret ingredient” to building a top-quality mold.

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Given all the mold manufacturing companies I’ve visited or learned about, one detail continues to ring true with all of them: That “secret ingredient” to building a top-quality mold. Secret ingredient, you ask? Well, I’m speaking about that one key aspect of a company that its owner(s), managers and supporting employees all seem to agree gives them that edge over competing shops. It reminds me of when my grandmother told me how some women in our family, who remained nameless, had a tendency to share a recipe with others but “forget” to include a certain, “key” ingredient so as not to be outdone by others attempting their special recipes.

Anyway, getting back to moldmaking, one example of a shop that has clearly defined its key ingredient for building high-performance molds is Industrial Molds Group in Rockford, Illinois. When I was visiting their facility, Wes Stephens, who is the company’s account manager, told me this: ““We create a recipe for every component that says how we’re going to make it, and every component is like its own job within a bigger job. So, a core block might have a different routing system than a gib would, but in the end, it all goes into one mold. The key is that everything is systems-based.”

And that “secret ingredient” that sets them apart? Wes will tell you it’s a tiny radio frequency identification (RFID) chip that’s embedded in every pallet and electrode holder that Industrial Molds uses with its automated machining cells.

My article about Industrial Molds’ RFID-chipped pallets and the systems that are in place appears in this month’s MMT. Read all about it here.

So, what’s your secret ingredient? What is it that makes your shop build higher quality molds that set you apart from your competitors? I’d love to hear from you and learn all about it.

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