Common Challenges

…and shared solutions. That is basically what our global marketplace is all about.

…and shared solutions. That is basically what our global marketplace is all about. Many moldmakers are managing a global supply chain every day, and to do that most effectively means understanding our customers and partners across the globe. This includes keeping up with technologies and trends within the industry, but also outside of its North American borders. 

In January, we introduced Barbara Schulz, MoldMaking Technology’s new international correspondent, who provided insight into how mold shops in Germany and Portugal are addressing the workforce skills gap dilemma. This spring, MMT’s publisher and I are headed to Stuttgart, Germany, for the Moulding Expo, from which we’ll be sure to report our findings.

Most recently, I have reconnected with an industry colleague who will bring some international expertise to the states this May to discuss one of the hot topics in moldmaking today: conformal cooling. Whether you use vacuum brazing, diffusion bonding, laser sintering or laser direct metal laser melting to build your conformal-cooled molds, conformal cooling has become a very effective method for reducing cycle times.

Robert (Bob) Beard, P.E., is president of Robert A. Beard & Associates and has more than 40 years of experience in the plastics industry. His latest mission is to bring new information on conformal cooling for injection molding to the North American marketplace. This year’s Conformal Cooling Conference, to be held May 16-17 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is truly international in scope, presenting two speakers from Germany and two from Poland willing to share their expertise. Topics will include: bonding, vacuum brazing and diffusion bonding; metal additive manufacturing strengths, weaknesses and opportunities; maintenance of conformal cooling channels; combining simulation and thermovision to create more efficient cooling; and more. Visit plastic-solvers.com for more conference details.

“This is the first time that vacuum brazing and diffusion bonding will be publically discussed in technical detail in North America without violating any non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), which is a major milestone considering all the NDAs that have been signed to keep this process secret when making a conformal-cooled mold for the past 25 years,” Bob says.

He strongly believes that U.S. industry can only survive by quickly adopting new technologies that give it a competitive edge and using those technologies before they become standard technologies. Early adopters will make the most profit. 

MMT will continue to keep our eyes and ears open for content like this, so we can help arm you with the information you need to solve the challenges you face every day.