MMT Blog

Additive manufacturing and 3D printing are hot topics in molding and mold manufacturing that are often misunderstood. This panel discussion will present in detail the different AM technologies available today, their advantages and disadvantages, and specific ways to implement these technologies without issue. In particular, panelists will share some common challenges moldmakers and molders face with both conventionally-cooled and conformally-cooled mold components as related to water systems at injection molding facilities. Understanding the impact of a water system on molding performance and maintenance of AM-manufactured components is critical to consistent performance over time. Panelists will also cover current material choices for AM components, tool steels, standards used in AM, upfront application engineering tools, and methods for interpreting analysis results when considering AM-manufactured components for your next molding application.

Moderated By: Rich Oles, President, ALBA, ROI Industries

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Many large OEMs continue to struggle with monitoring tooling, such as molds, dies and castings, that they outsource for parts production.  Although manufacturing is at the turning point of Industry 4.0, it is hard to believe that most OEMs still rely heavily on supplier spreadsheets for mold data, which severely limits the accurate and timely analysis of parts production and mold usage data transparency.

Within these large OEMs, tooling engineers are the most affected and often feel powerless when it comes to this delayed and incomplete data. Next, the questions begin:

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Moldmaking is a lot about miniaturization. Whether it’s components for lifesaving medical devices or the scored grip on the bottom of a tube of lip balm, manufacturers use molds to generate tiny part features. As these molds continue to shrink in size, cutting tool manufacturers continue to provide techniques and tool geometries for the smallest cuts and biggest productivity boosts.

As part features get smaller, the challenges for mold manufacturers get bigger, especially when the cutting tools are a tenth of a millimeter in diameter and are required to machine molds and dies made from tough materials, such as steels and alloys ranging from 48 Rc (S7, 420 stainless and H13) to 60 Rc and above (A2, D2, and high-speed steels). This trend continually pushes cutting tool manufacturers to develop advanced tool tip geometries, especially for ball nose end mills, to ensure the free-cutting properties necessary for chip consistency and long tool life.

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As so many of our exhibitors know, the Amerimold Expo is an important and exclusive North
American trade show for the moldmaking industry. It is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and the MoldMaking Technology team wants to help exhibitors and attendees to make the most of their experiences. That’s why I am writing today, and each week leading up to the show, which will be held June 12-13, to call out a few strategies. Today the focus is exhibitor marketing.

Exhibitors, please observe the first image shown above. Did you know that the Amerimold marketing staff provides exhibitors with various tools to market your presence at the show? Some veteran companies know the value of these tools, but many do not. The best part is that most of these tools are free to exhibitors who request them!

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By: Gerardo (Jerry) Miranda III 12. April 2019

Mold-Design Review: The Complete Checklist

In a previous issue of MoldMaking Technology, Gerardo (Jerry) Miranda III, global tooling manager for Oakley sunglasses and MMT editorial advisory board member, shared some essential steps from his own mold-design checklist. Here, Miranda brings the full and complete checklist to illustrate the extent to which it affects Oakley’s product time and cost-to-market process.

Having a proper tool design review and check list can and will save time to market. Here at Oakley, we have an internal tool design team that works across functions by performing design for manufacturability (DFM) throughout the entire process, from sketch and design engineering through CAD. This means when final product CAD is released to our tool design team, there is little to no request for iterations to enable a robust tool design.

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