Old Friend, New Alliance Leads to Cutting-Edge Additive Capabilities
Krieger Craftsmen has recently added additive manufacturing (AM) as part of an in-house alliance to offer a full-service solution for customers. It all happened by chance, last year, because of a fortuitous reunion with Jason Murphy, whom I met more than 20 years ago through a friend and former co-worker. We had not seen each other for 10 years. As far as I know, Jason has the only additive manufacturing machine in the United States that can print H13 and harden it.
Jason has been on the forefront of AM for several years. He worked on the technology while he was working abroad to bring tooling and molding solutions to customers. In addition to being a mold maker, he is also a master molder. Because he was looking to establish a business with this unique AM capability, and I have been interested in bringing AM into Krieger, I added space between Krieger Craftsmen and J-Flex, our automotive lighting division, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and that is where Jason operates the additive manufacturing operation called Next Chapter Manufacturing.
We began marketing this capability to customers, introducing them to the benefits of conformal cooling and showing them how they can reduce cycle times by building conformal cooling channels that can reach into very tight areas like the tip of a lifter and into the nose of a slide detail, a feat rarely achieved by conventional drilling. Engineers I have spoken with see the potential, and we have had a lot of interest. Jason and I have implemented solutions for companies including a complete, conventional mold build and another mold built with conformal cooling for a company that wanted to do a study.
I believe AM will continue to grow and evolve as more people in our industry see the exponential return over time on their upfront investment in the technology. With the array of applications possible, including now the ability to print H13, there is no question we need to be doing this. Krieger continues educating customers about the benefits of conformal cooling in H13 for molds running abrasive materials like glass-filled resins, and we strongly believe it is going to become more prevalent in the future of mold building.
For More Information
Tim Krieger, President
2758 3 Mile Road NW
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49534
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