MMT Blog

While part quality and profits go hand-in-hand, high productivity (faster cycle times) alone can impair quality and reduce profits, if not performed correctly. The key is designing high-efficiency capabilities into the mold/molding system, which means computing precise shrinkage (at four decimal accuracy, e.g. 0.0275 inch/inch) and the accurate minimum cycle time (19.8 seconds) based on material, part geometry, required tolerances, filling and maximum-performance, computed cooling. Then monitoring this cycle time with sensor-based quality control to minimize part rejects.

A mold builder can help achieve product quality by defining quality, functionality, dimensional/shape accuracy and appearance; starting with a robust product and mold design (resulting in a sufficiently wide moldability window), machine selection, and process design. Analysis, design and implementation of the critical quality pathway or CQP and adherence to the computed control limits of the material, molding cell, mold cooling, process, machine and quality control are vital.

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3 Lessons Learned about On-Machine Inspection

For quality control of CNC machined workpieces, many shops use a coordinate measuring machine (CMM) that checks that the geometry and dimensions of a finished part match the original design, ensuring that the customer does not receive defective parts. A CMM identifies even the most marginal errors and allows the machinist to rework a faulty part.

However, for a shop owner, the CMM is far from a perfect solution. While this kind of inspection provides security for the customer, it does not guarantee a high level of productivity for the machinist. Why? Because identifying errors after machining means you’re already too late to recover costs. When a machinist must rework a part because the CMM returns a negative result, the value of that part diminishes by half. Twice the expected time is going into it, as well as twice the material.

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PODCAST: Keeping Culture Change Constant and Consistent

In this episode of the MoldMaking Technology/Manufacturing Alliance podcast, Christina and Tony meet up with Westminster Tool’s Hillary Coombs and MJ Belmont. You might recall Westminster Tool from MMT’s feature on their innovative training and workforce development practices, and they’re here to talk about it some more, as well as discuss how they’ve updated their strategies since the feature. Change isn’t easy, but Westminster Tool has kept at it and seen success from the measures they’ve taken, and in this episode, they share just what makes them strive for keeping up continuous change.

Here are some highlights from their conversation:

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Mold Builder Creates Mobile Social Distancing Solution

Worker health and safety is the number one concern for every mold shop across North America as the pandemic continues, and that was motivation enough for the Precise Tooling Solutions team in Columbus, Indiana, to create what their name suggests—a solution.

Being MoldMaking Technology’s 2020 Leadtime Leader Winner makes it no surprise that Precise would see a problem and jump into developing a solution. It’s what they (and every mold builder) do for a living every day.

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MoldMaking Technology’s online database offers more than 1,000 manufacturers, distributors and suppliers for more than 200 product and service categories that you employ daily. To keep this information current, MMT surveys and updates its supplier database every spring with the latest company contact information and product/service offerings, including Additive Manufacturing.

This month’s Technology Review and Sourcing Guide includes a portion of that database listed in sourcing grids tailored to match suppliers with their respective product/service offerings along with a sample of product releases that the magazine featured throughout the year. These are the companies from the Additive Manufacturing section:

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