MMT Blog

Noteworthy News: Welcome Aboard!

MoldMaking Technology may bring you the latest updates on industry technologies and innovations, but we also like to spotlight the people that make up this wonderful manufacturing community. Congratulations and good luck to the latest batch of new hires and promotions from the supplier companies below!

 

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MoldMaking Technology has always had an Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) comprising of people with expertise within their respective business, industry, technology and profession to help guide the direction of the brand’s content. We do this because you are the experts. The response to my call for new members for the 2020-2023 term was overwhelming but provided a stellar pool of candidates, from which I was able to put together a balanced board of moldmaking professionals across North America who represent various ages, genders, job functions, mold types and end markets. This column will introduce a new member each month.

Meet Marion Wells. Marion is a talent development consultant and partner in Human Asset Management (HAM), which offers services focused on talent development, organizational strategies, program management, and sales and marketing improvement for small to midsize manufacturers. HAM’s strategies result in manufacturing clients building and strengthening their talent pipeline, their organization and their customer relationships. Marion offers clients an incredible breadth and depth of experience using continuous improvement process tools to drive change in program management and sales and marketing.

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Moldmakers looking to drive continuous improvement using advanced, five-axis CNC machining centers often must contend with the learning curve that comes with the switch from tried and true three-axis machining approaches. Even when machine operators feel they have mastered the five-axis capabilities, there are additional adjustments based on operator knowledge and customer requirements. One of these is having the right software to coax the five-axis technology to produce at the optimum level. X-Cell Tool and Mold (Fairview, Pennsylvania) recently underwent this learning experience with its Yasda YMC-430 RT 10 five-axis Micro Centers.

X-Cell is MoldMaking Technology magazine’s 2019 Leadtime Leader Award-Winning shop and has a continuous improvement mentality entrenched in its culture. The company maintains a lead time of between 14 and 16 weeks for complex 32- and 64-cavity molds and was looking to invest in new technology to grow its hard-milling capabilities and optimize its finish machining operations. They invested in the first of two YMC-430 RTs in 2018 (the other delivered in 2019 was the YMC-650 Micro Center). It wasn’t long before X-Cell realized that its current CAM software was not suitable to the Yasda’s speed and agility.

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Peanut butter and jelly, T-shirt and jeans, Batman and Robin — all these things just go together. So when you think about your business and your machining processes, do these things go together? Are you perfectly matched up with the machines that will bring your shop successful processes? If not, then luckily MoldMaking Technology has a selection of machines below that could match up perfectly with what you need. From spotting presses that offer matching mold parts in a more ergonomic position, machining centers that provide advanced FEM analysis and design to optimize high speed cutting, and a direct drive spindle that features better surface finishes, quieter spindle and less head growth, which one of these will work best for your moldmaking needs?

 

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Tool steel resists condensation, and waterline corrosion, which is especially important as the use of corrosive materials like fire-retardant additives, PVC and aminoplast increases. However, with every positive there is typically a negative. For example, corrosion-resistant plastic injection mold steels require additional machining time that increases wear, and more complex mold bases cause 60 percent of the steel to become chips.

To address these challenges, steel suppliers continue to develop specialty steels to combat the extremely corrosive injection molding environment while improving steel’s machinability and stability. For example, a free-machining stainless steel that offers a balance between machinability and corrosion resistance by combining a special chemical composition with a special heat-treatment process.

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