MMT Blog

By: Timothy O’Neill, CPA 22. February 2019

New Tax Rules for Employee Parking Expenses

If mold shops are unfamiliar with the term Qualified Transportation Fringes (QTFs), they will know the term when they file their 2018 Federal income tax return. The reason is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Act), which does not allow any deduction for QTFs provided by mold shops to their employees, and is effective for amounts paid or incurred after December 31, 2017.

QTFs include any transportation in a commuter highway vehicle between the employee’s residence and place of employment, any transit pass and qualified parking, which is defined as parking provided to an employee on or near the business premises of the employer, or on or near a location from which the employee commutes to work. The QTF with the greatest impact on mold builders is qualified parking, as many shops provide parking for their employees at no cost to the employee.

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By: Paul Powers 21. February 2019

Managing Manufacturing Cyberattacks

 

Manufacturing cyberattacks are expensive, hard to detect and dangerous. Companies can no longer sit idle and hope not to be a target. Hackers are stealing everything from personal information to internal operational details and intellectual property. A single data breach can cost a manufacturer a year’s worth of proprietary information and lead to a permanent loss of customer trust. The damage to a company’s reputation is practically unfixable.

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As production demands rise, engineers find ways to maximize mold cavitations and minimize cycle times, which places a high demand on hot runner system performance. Designing a hot runner can be a challenging task, as melt flow paths must be geometrically and dynamically balanced yet provide sufficient space for heaters, bolt locations and valve gate assemblies, while maintaining temperature uniformity throughout each channel. This is where diffusion bonding can influence the initial design process to yield several molding benefits.

Diffusion bonding was developed and optimized for manifold manufacturing to create hot runner systems in various volumetric sizes and cavity pitches with inherent advantages for melt distribution, even with challenging applications.

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By: Ryan Katen 19. February 2019

Putting 3D Printing to Work

Micro Mold and Plastikos together employ more than 100 employees across 75,000 square feet of engineering, design and manufacturing space to provide moldmaking and custom injection molding for challenging tight-tolerance plastic injection-molded parts. Both companies have invested more than $400,000 in technologies and processes related to 3D printing and reverse engineering over the last three years.  

Our use of 3D printing varies depending on the specific application at hand. For example, in our molding operation, we use our 3D printer (dimensions: 19.9” by 13.31” by 27.09” with a printing plate 7.8” by 8.5” by 11.8”) to develop various components and fixtures that we use for product handling and cavity separation, such as end-of-arm-tooling grippers. However, this work is limited to the tolerances 3D printing can achieve. We also use 3D printing to streamline up-front product development and support for our OEM customers. For example, reverse engineering existing product designs to identify further opportunities to reduce wall thickness, simplify part design and improve cycle time. 

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Where does Tri-Par excel regarding its mold engineering and building expertise?

David Plocinski, General Manager: We build many molds for parts made with highly-engineered materials like high-temp LCP (liquid crystal polymer) materials, glass-filled nylons, and high-melt-flow resins. We run a lot of glass-filled materials in our molding department, so we continually work to ensure that the molds can withstand resins that contain up to 43 percent glass in them because these materials are extremely abrasive and can cause extensive mold wear if not built and maintained properly.

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