MMT Blog

Peer-to-Peer Exchange sessions at the American Mold Builders Association’s (AMBA) conference lets mold industry leaders share challenges and offer solutions. Last week, I shared some of the questions and challenges discussed as they pertain to shop culture, leadership and related topics (you can find that blog here). Today I bring highlights from the group’s discussions about diversifying a shop’s customer base, managing the peaks and valleys of workload and how to keep up with the capital investments needed.

To reiterate, participants in our group of mold shop leaders and top management included those from Midwest Mold Services, Strohwig Industries, Concept Molds, Precise Tooling Solutions, Minco Group, Creative Blow Mold Tooling, D&M Tool, Do-Rite Die & Engineering and PM Mold Company.

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I met Captain Jack recently and took a pry bar to him. Okay, let me explain. Captain Jack, or more commonly known as the “beast,” is the most challenging mold (with 48 cavities and a valve-gate manifold system) presented to trainees at the MoldTrax mold maintenance training facility, which I was invited to participate in, along with Senior Editor Cyndi Kustush.

Now, I didn’t actually meet Captain Jack, but I did break down Husky Joe and got a good look at T-Rex and Dirty Bird, too. Each of these molds, designed with different complexity levels matched to the appropriate attendee skill level, is used to demonstrate the importance of choreographing mold bench work because proper mold maintenance is not freelance work; it is a process. This process demands effective communication among mold designers, processing engineers and repair technicians, as well as data. Now, let me share with you what I experienced during this training.

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By: Gabe Meldrum 20. May 2019

Digital Manufacturing Insights

When it comes to digital manufacturing, International Mold Corp. (IMC) (Clinton Township, Michigan) uses scanning, reverse engineering, and inspection (a Faro Edge Scan Arm with Polyworks software and Polyworks Inspection), but has not ventured into 3D printing.  So, a team from IMC attended an integrated digital manufacturing conference presented by  CATI (Computer Aided Technology) that covered scanning, reverse engineering, inspection, and 3D printing technologies.  

Engineers demonstrated scanning and reverse engineering using Creaform Handyscan and Creaform software. Although the technology is different from that of IMC, the principles are the same: scan to a point cloud, convert points to a .stl file and then reverse engineer the object.

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Today there are still conformal cooling skeptics, and because of incomplete analysis, they should be. Simulation is a great validation tool, but that is all it is.  It is a powerful tool, but results are still based on the input of the users.  Of course, there are optimization tools and modules within the software, but the saying “garbage in garbage out” applies.  Two analysts running a plastic injection simulation can give totally different results if the inputs are different.  For conformal cooling, specifically, wrong assumptions and dismissing important factors such as the ability to achieve the necessary flow rate to ensure turbulent flow can result in a bad investment.  

Simulation Vs Analysis

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By: Heather Wintle 17. May 2019

Amerimold 2019 Product Showcase, Part 5

Plan ahead for Amerimold 2019 with a sneak peek of some highlighted products from the show’s extensive list of exhibitors!

Amerimold is the Event for Mold Manufacturing, an annual tradeshow that addresses the business development, best practices and networking interests of the plastic injection mold manufacturing industry. Attendees are owners, executives, engineers and managers at OEMs and contract manufacturers. Register today for the chance to experience informational Tech Talks, In-Booth Presentations and two new workshops focusing on Additive Manufacturing for Plastics and Medical Injection Molding.

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