MMT Blog

The Gardner Business Index (GBI): Moldmaking started off 2019 by moving higher to 54.6 thanks in part to the accelerating growth trend in both production and new orders since the second quarter of 2018. Compared to the same month one year ago, the index has fallen 9.8 percent; however, data from January and February of 2018 represent both the peak growth rate of the current economic cycle, as well as all-time high readings for the Moldmaking Index. Compared to the average expansionary reading for the Moldmaking Index since 2017 — representing the start of the latest growth phase for the industry — January’s reading was within 1-point. Gardner Intelligence’s review of the underlying data for the month reveals that production, new orders and supplier deliveries lifted the index — a calculated average of the components — higher. In contrast, employment, exports and backlogs pulled the Index lower. Excluding backlogs, all components reported an expansionary start to the new year.

Gardner Intelligence was encouraged by January’s strong production and new orders results, as these components are often considered leading indicators among the other components. Rebounding strength in new orders during the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first month of 2019 after a brief slowdown in the third quarter will likely bolster readings for production, supplier deliveries and backlogs in the near future. The outlook of employment and export expectations in 2019 are more tenuous as they will be subjected to unique factors, including an exceptionally strong job market, which has resulted in many manufacturing positions going unfilled and the success of future trade negotiations respectively.

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By: Marty Key 28. February 2019

Redefining Learning Labs

RJG strives to educate as many students as possible. They recently saw an opportunity to fulfill one of their own needs while also providing a learning opportunity to students at Forsyth Technical Community College (FTCC) in Winston Salem, NC.

Here, RJG Consultant and Trainer Marty Key shares the details: 

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Solving the ongoing skilled labor shortage is not only a moldmaking problem, it’s also a manufacturing problem.  And MoldMaking Technology’s parent company, Gardner Business Media, manages several brands covering the many facets of manufacturing, so we thought it would be cool, and interesting, if each team developed content on workforce development at the same time, so we could share it all with you.  

What we discovered is that manufacturers in various industry sectors are stepping up in ways everyone can learn from. So here is our current collection of articles covering the challenge of finding and developing the next generation of talent:

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At Hyatt Die Cast and Engineering (Cypress, California), they measure the quality of the die-cast die by the castings (parts) it produces. But make no mistake, to get there requires a delicate dance between thermal dynamics, engineering precision, process, and quality verification. For this reason, Verisurf inspection and measurement software has become an indispensable tool for ensuring that this balance is not shaken.

Over the last 62 years, Hyatt Die Cast has perfected the art of high-pressure precision die casting of aluminum, zinc, and zinc-aluminum alloys (ZA) for aerospace, defense, medical, gaming, electronics and communications customers. The company’s casting size capabilities range from less than one ounce to over 75 pounds.

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When did Maximum Mold Group get involved in building die-cast dies and why?

Dave LaGrow, President, Maximum Mold Group: As an apprentice first starting in manufacturing, I was trained to build die-cast dies at the same time I was being trained to design and build plastic injection molds. A moldmaker is qualified to build both die-cast dies and plastic molds. Designing die-cast dies may be different, but if you understand tolerancing, a shop can build both. Maximum Mold Group designs and builds die-cast dies mainly for the automotive market, but also the appliance, aerospace and agriculture industries. The same markets for which we design and build plastic injection molds.

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