MMT Blog

By: Sergiu Fatu Ph.D 4. April 2019

How to Better Balance Family Molds

Family molds, which allow plastic processors to create different parts in a single mold, offer great advantages regarding lowering total tooling budgets and managing work-in-progress (WIP). Historically, family molds present inherent challenges and require expertise to balance material within the multiple cavities properly. With traditional control methods, all cavities are processed using common parameters set at the injection piston. So, the parts in a family mold customarily need to be very similar in size, weight, wall section and volume. 

However, using servo valve gate technology to control the process for each cavity individually directly at the gate can eliminate this constraint. The molding operator can control the stroke, velocity and force of each individual pin independent of one another. The resulting pressures, flow rates and volumes of the melt in the cavity are controlled at each gate independently, which means that each cavity or gate can have its own process (fill speed, fill pressure, pack pressure, pack time). This precise control can prevent overfeeding and flash formation on different-sized parts while all cavities are filled simultaneously.

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It is time for another video installment from Amerimold 2018. This month, we are talking about five-axis machining strategies and, specifically, Makino’s 5XC, which stands for five-axis continuous machining. I had the opportunity to chat with Greg Pozzo, application team leader for Makino, during the show and he explained what 5XC is, how it works and why it can be a game changer for moldmakers that build very complex molds. Here are the video interview and transcript of our conversation.

 

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Everywhere one looks, smart devices, especially smartphones, are out and in use by people of all ages. In fact, according to statista.com, the number of smartphone users is projected to grow to 2.5 billion worldwide in 2019, and in 2018, 77 percent of United States citizens had a social-media profile. Statista.com also reports that the current number of worldwide social media users reached 2.34 billion in 2018 and that number is expected to grow to 2.95 billion by 2020. Just 20 years ago these statistics would have seemed incredible, and yet, here we are.

MoldMaking Technology has been paying close attention to social media in recent years, and has profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Moldmakers have also begun to adopt social media as part of their sales and marketing efforts, so we asked a few shops who got on board earlier than most to share their views on it, including what social platforms they use, what works for them and why social media is an important part of their sales and marketing strategies.

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Does social media work?

It was about a year ago during a networking reception at the AMBA conference when a man came up to me and said, “I see you and MoldMaking Technology all over social media, so I had to introduce myself. I really like your content.” That man was Charlie Daniels, the chief financial officer of Wepco Plastics, a small company specializing in lower-volume plastic injection molded parts and rapid aluminum tooling. Charlie quickly became an industry friend and a valued resource. He even contributed a few business articles on determining mold prices, creating budgets and making sense of income statements, and the company was a guest on the MMT/The Manufacturing Alliance Podcast.

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If you are not familiar with the American Mold Builders Association, well here’s your chance to listen to what this group (which has been near and dear to my heart since starting MoldMaking Technology) is all about. I once again sit down with Tony Demakis, the host of The Manufacturing Alliance podcast to chat with AMBA Managing Director Kym Conis. Not only do we get the lowdown on Kym’s background (which is very interesting by the way), we touch on some of the group’s latest initiatives and events. 

 

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