MMT Blog

By: Greg Mercurio 21. September 2018

Tips for Selling the Value of Automation

Those who work directly on the shop floor often come up with great ideas to improve productivity and make their jobs easier. The problem is conveying the need for these solutions to the shop’s decision makers.

DNC software systems and machine monitoring are two software investments on the shop floor today. DNC helps to network machines, organize thousands of programs and ensure programs are transferring correctly, while machine monitoring helps to increase utilization. These measures increase machine capacity, which in turn increases profits.

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Sponsored Content 21. September 2018

What to Consider When Designing Injection Molds to Spec

Creating parts that are both in specification and dimensionally capable is not an easy task. Mold designers often struggle with qualifying parts for their customers before monetary transactions can occur.

Complex shapes present a multitude of challenges for molders and mold makers alike. Often, the largest concern of mold designers or mold makers is to ensure the parts are within specification. However, there is more to the project than just being “in spec,” it involves taking into consideration part design, required tolerances and qualifications, material selection and potential process changes.

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On Monday, September 10, at a special ceremony held during IMTS in Chicago, the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Detroit Section named my friend, Wayne Hertlein, as its Outstanding Member of 2018. When he heard that he was to receive the honor, he asked me to assist him by writing his biography for the awards program. Having known Wayne for many years and as I currently serve on the board of directors of the SPE Mold Technologies Division with him, I felt privileged to oblige. I am honored to have the opportunity to share it here today and would welcome comments, anecdotes and congratulations for Wayne from his colleagues.

Wayne M. Hertlein has been an active and dedicated SPE & SME member since 1981. He currently serves on the boards of directors of the SPE Mold Technologies Division (formerly the Mold Making and Mold Design Division) as its treasurer and historian and the SPE Detroit Section of which he is Immediate Past President. In fact, in the Section’s history, he is only the second person to hold the position of president for two years. In addition, he served as Chair of the Mold Technologies Division in 2003 and from 2010 to 2012. Wayne was named an Honored Service Member of SPE in 2006. Other leadership positions include chairmanship of the SME’s Plastics Tooling and Mold Design Tech Group, SME Senior Member since 1987, Advisor to the Plastics Industrial Advisory Committee at Ferris State University since 2005 and serving as an editorial advisory board member for MoldMaking Technology Magazine from 2005 to 2008 and from 2012 to 2016.

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At NPE2018, Zahoransky USA Inc. exhibited and featured an array of injection moldmaking capabilities. What capabilities seemed to catch the most attention from potential customers?

Product Sales Manager, Molds, Andrew Cummings: We have many years of mold building experience and have gained a reputation for engineering molds that perform with extreme reliability. Where Zahoransky Automation and Molds (ZAM) really brings value to the table is with turnkey solutions and our ability to integrate automation in or around the injection molding process. At Zahoransky USA Inc. (Zahoranksy), we say, “from the pellet to the pallet—we can provide solutions.” For example, some of our customers have full lines that we built entirely, from the sub straight to the over-molded, inspected and packaged product. Cells like this run production 24/7 and can have as few as one operator for four machines. Another example, we run 100 percent all of the design and builds for all GUM brand interdental brushes. We impress potential customers by showing them that the right manufacturing solution for their products can be attained with only one vendor.

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In general, 2018 has been a very good year for MoldMaking Technology and mold manufacturing. This was evident by the booth presence of many technology suppliers supporting this niche marketplace as well as the activity levels of mold builders attending the show, who not only investigated new technology and processes but invested in new equipment on the spot.

Recent U.S. Census Bureau data on industrial mold manufacturing (including molds produced, imported and exported) supports this activity. The U.S. Census Bureau projects the U.S mold manufacturing market to be $11 billion, and recent data reports an average growth rate of 4.6 percent over the next five years.

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