The American Mold Builder Issue 2 2019

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Issue 2 2019

Taking Service Seriously at Liberty Molds  AMBA Mold Builder of the Year  Managing the Sales Pipeline  Designing Molds for IMD

The Official Publication of the American Mold Builders Association


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Issue 2 2019

CONTENTS 10

16

FEATURES /// 6

Profile Liberty Molds Takes Service to the Next Level

10

Strategies Key Points in the Design and Construction of Injection Molds for In-Mold Decorating

16

Review AMBA Conference 2019

21

Awards Mold Builder of the Year: Rick Finnie Tooling Trailblazer of the Year: Century Die

26

Technology Business Evolves with Customer Needs at Precision Laser Technology

34

Preview Amerimold Show Preview 2019

36

Training Heat Energy Management in Molds

44

Benchmarking Managing the Sales Pipeline in Mold Manufacturing

6

DEPARTMENTS /// Speak Out ................................................... 4 Product ..................................................... 14 Association ................................................ 30 Industry ..................................................... 40 Calendar .................................................... 46 Ad Index .................................................... 46

www.americanmoldbuilder.com | www.amba.org

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SPEAK OUT /// reetings to all of you out there in the mold building world! I hope all is well as we continue to work our way through some questionable times, given the economic and political landscape. I know some shops are doing well and some are not – it seems to be project-to-project right now, with a lot of shops in the middle doing “ok.” Whatever your situation, I hope you find the drive, determination and resources needed to continue to push forward to that next level. Be prepared for Toby Bral AMBA President whatever may come your way and find your way through to the MSI Mold Builders other side. Ironically, I say that as I write this letter with my computer running on generator power as Mother Nature sent a late spring storm our way and knocked out power to my house. She tried, but Mother Nature couldn’t stop the President’s Letter this time!

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This issue comes out at a very busy time in the AMBA year, as we just came off the Leadership Summit and, even more recently, the AMBA Conference (my personal favorite event of the year). Soon, we head into a plant tour at Craftsman Tool & Mold (co-located with Amerimold) before summer hits. The conference was a great event, as always. It was the AMBA’s second largest conference in terms of attendance, so thank you to everyone who was able to attend or send others to make this a successful event. As I reflect on the conference, I have so many thoughts / takeaways from it – as I always do. First of all, I have to give credit to Troy Nix, Kym Conis and their entire crew for putting together some excellent programming and pulling it off without a hitch. Job very well done! As I mentioned in my last letter, the AMBA Emerging Leaders network kicked off at the conference, and I couldn’t be more excited about this initiative. The group had an excellent showing at the first meeting, with several companies stepping up and sending their young leaders to the event. In our industry, we hear so much about the “aging workforce” issues we all deal with, but it’s just a fact of life that our experienced people will continue to age and retire, so we need to make sure the next generation is ready to take the reins and push this industry forward to new levels of excellence. I can’t wait to see what the next steps for this group are and where they take it. Kudos to the AMBA and its membership for not just complaining about the aging workforce issue, but actually doing something about it! Chris McChesney’s keynote on 4DX really hit home for me. I know we touched on 4DX at last year’s conference, but I thought he did a good job of making it easy and applicable. As you look at what you do day-to-day, how often are you letting the urgent overrule the important when it comes to your time and resources? I think we all fall into this trap, and I appreciated how he acknowledged that there will always be the day-to-day work that will consume our time while also reminding us how important it is to set aside 20% or so of our time to work on the bigger initiatives. I also liked how he took a large initiative or goal and broke it down into small leading measures that we can affect more directly. I am going to focus more on this in my own goals and initiatives to keep things progressing and not get caught up in the overall lagging measures as much. The peer-to-peer exchange sessions always are good, as it’s such a great place to throw out some of those specific, nagging issues you may have – and you usually find out that others have similar experiences and some advice to give. The AC labs also were terrific, with an industry expert showcasing what his or her company did to solve particular problems. All in all, it was a great mix of experiences and I think everyone found something to take away from it. Best of luck and continued success for another three months! Let’s keep pushing US manufacturing and mold building to set the standard for the rest of the world.  4

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American Mold Builders Association 7321 Shadeland Station Way, #285 Indianapolis, IN 46256 p 317.436.3102 • f 317.913.2445 info@amba.org • www.amba.org

Officers National President Toby Bral, MSI Mold Builders Immediate Past-President Justin McPhee, Mold Craft, Inc. Vice President Jim Sperber, Master Tool & Mold Secretary and Legal Counsel Alan Rothenbuecher, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP

Board of Directors Tom Barr, TK Mold & Engineering David Bowers II, JMMS Mike Devereux, Mueller Prost Don Dumoulin, Precise Tooling Solutions Greg Eidenberger, Paragon D&E Dan Glass, Strohwig Industries Mike Mullholand, Freeman Co. Andy Peterson, Industrial Molds Group Kenny Skar, Vincent Tool Tyler VanRee, Legacy Precision Molds, Inc.

AMBA Team Troy Nix, Executive Director Kym Conis, Managing Director Susan Denzio, Business Manager Rachael Pfenninger, Project Manager

Advising Editor: Kym Conis Advertising/Sales: Susan Denzio Published by:

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2150 SW Westport Dr., Suite #101 Topeka, KS 66614 P: 785.271.5801 Managing Editor: Dianna Brodine Asst. Editors: Liz Stevens, Nancy Cates Art Director: Becky Arensdorf Graphic Designer: Mikell Burr Opinions expressed in this publication may or may not reflect the views of the Association and do not necessarily represent official positions or policies of the Association or its members.


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PROFILE

Liberty Molds Takes Service to the Next Level By Brittany Willes, contributing writer, The American Mold Builder e do things a bit differently than some of the bigger molding companies,” remarked Brian Scott, president of Liberty Molds. “We’re a service industry, and our goal is to make the process – from project management and engineering to part design and molding – as seamless as possible for our customers.”

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Headquartered in Portage, Michigan, Liberty Molds first opened its doors in 1986 as a moldmaking tool shop specializing in injection molds. In its more than 30 years in business, Liberty has maintained a simple but powerful objective: to provide the best possible service and products for its customers. “That’s what we live by,” said Scott. “Customer service is the biggest part of what we do and is at the core of how we operate.”

Looking for cost-effective solutions A strong customer service focus has proven invaluable for the company as evolving technology and a changing economy have drastically altered the ways in which clients approach the tooling process. According to Scott, “The push for more cost-effective tooling is at its peak right now. Especially in the last two years, customers have been increasingly concerned with pricing and keeping costs as low as possible.” As a shop that deals primarily in automotive tooling, Scott believes there are two main reasons pricing pressures have become so prevalent. The first comes as little surprise to anyone in manufacturing industries: Simply put, the cost of doing business in the US, especially for tooling, is expensive. Thus, companies always are on the lookout for ways to reduce the price of overhead.

concerns. One way it has done this is through outsourcing as a way to reduce costs. “About 12 years ago, I put together a business model to start outsourcing tools to low-cost countries, such as China,” stated Scott. By outsourcing part of its workload, Liberty is able to quote larger tool packages. For instance, with a package of 10 to 20 pieces, 10 or 12 of those tools might be sent offshore while the rest remain in-house. “By using this type of business model, we’re able to still perform work in-house while outsourcing some jobs to China, or wherever, as a way to keep costs down,” explained Scott. “It benefits both Liberty and the customer who then can turn around and negotiate with their own customers. It’s been a very effective business model.” While Liberty has been employing this model for more than a decade, it has only been within the last few years that there has been a noticeable increase in the number of jobs being sent offshore, according to Scott. “In the last three years, outsourcing has picked up drastically,” he said. “Last year alone, my outsourcing numbers – which include both domestic outsourcing and low-cost country outsourcing – made up 48% of our sales.” It’s hardly surprising that as pressures for more cost-effective tooling prices increase, so do the number of parts sent offshore. “We happened to be extremely busy last year, so naturally we ended up sending more parts offshore,” said Scott. “However, the majority of it was due to the pressure from customers needing their products to be more cost-effective. This was the biggest reason we ended up sending more parts to China than we normally would.”

Investing in the future Another reason pricing has become a major focus could be a result of changes in how automakers now are packaging their products. Once upon a time, shops like Liberty would build only two or three molded parts for a car. Today, automakers are offering many different package levels for their vehicles, all of which require a significant amount of tooling.

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Outsourcing is not the only avenue Liberty had looked to as a way of creating more cost-effective products. In the past 18 months, the company has invested more than $1 million in electrical discharge machining (EDM) robotic cells. “The type of tools that we build are very EDM-dependent,” Scott stated. “We do smaller tools with high-tolerance and small details – things that are highly susceptible to human error.”

“Automakers today want anywhere from five to eight variations of the same part for different packages,” said Scott. “As a result, they’re trying to reduce costs wherever they can in order to make their products more cost-effective. One area they focus on heavily is the price of tooling and negotiating for the lowest possible prices.”

While Liberty has been making use of EDM technology for some time, it found that the technology it had been using was outdated. In order to remain competitive, Liberty needed its shop to be able to run lights out. It also needed to increase productivity.

As part of its mission to provide the best possible service, particularly as the needs of its customers evolve, Liberty has worked hard to find ways to help customers with their pricing

“We took a full year to study how many electrodes we cut and found that, in 2017, we cut roughly 11,000 individual electrodes,” explained Scott. “By 2018, we had the necessary data to show that

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Issue 2 2019


PROFILE we needed to update our EDM technology. Doing so allowed us to reduce the number of electrodes we were using. Adding the robotics cell ensured that we would be able to run two new machines 24/7.” Although Scott has not done a second study on the number of electrodes used, he has noticed a difference in the productivity achieved with the updated technology. “Obviously, part of it depends on how busy the shop is, but I can see the increase in productivity,” he said. “The cavities are getting out of the EDM machine quicker, which gives the toolmakers more time for assembly and fitting. Furthermore, the quality of the burns and the final product are showing up on the job cards. Toolmakers are spending less time on jobs for things like hand fitting. The technology is definitely paying for itself.” In addition to its investments in robotics and EDM technology, Liberty also has been making strides in the area of 3D printing. This development was the result of one of Liberty’s customer’s desire to invest in the technology. “Like a lot of molders, they discovered that moldmaking is, in fact, not that easy,” he said. More importantly, when not done correctly, moldmaking is less than profitable. Liberty came to that customer’s rescue by offering to partner on the process. “The customer 3D prints inserts that we then put in the molds and finish for them,” said Scott. So far, it’s an arrangement that benefits all involved. “The customer gets the benefit of our years of knowledge and experience with the molding process. We benefit by getting access to the technology and getting the learning curve out of the way, without having to spend half a million dollars on the machinery,” he continued. As Scott noted, 3D printing is far from being a low-cost process. It is not a money saver or a time saver. Molders have to look at each part individually and determine if it is worth the time and expense to have it 3D printed. page 8  www.americanmoldbuilder.com | www.amba.org

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PROFILE  page 7 “It’s important to analyze the part that you’re trying to build a mold for,” he explained. “It might be a simple insert inside the mold that is laser printed so water can get to the area. It might not be the whole cavity box; it might just be pieces of it.” Even with its challenges, Scott believes that 3D printing is an important process for mold builders to consider. “As parts become more and more complex, it will definitely be something each moldmaker has to look at if he wants to stay competitive,” he stated. “It’s one of those things where you have to ask yourself. ‘when do you want to jump into that segment?’ Every year it’s getting less and less expensive, but every year is another year your competitors are getting into it. It’s kind of a gamble, and mold builders have to decide if it is worth it to spend the money up front.” For Liberty, partnering with another company allows it to get a jump on learning the nuances of the technology while minimizing the cost. This puts the company in a good position going forward while also providing a return service for the customer. Along with new robotics technology and 3D printing capabilities, Liberty also has expanded its services by investing in a laser welding

By 2018, we had the necessary data to show that we needed to update our EDM technology. Doing so allowed us to reduce the number of electrodes we were using. Adding the robotics cell ensured that we would be able to run two new machines 24/7.” company. “We started United Laser Welding last year as a way to get a quicker turnaround for our customers on engineering changes and repairs,” said Scott. Liberty’s customers aren’t the only ones benefiting from the new business. Because United Laser is located offsite from Liberty’s property, the general public has been allowed access to the facility. “By having it offsite, other tool shops are able to come in and use it without causing any delays for our own projects,” Scott said. “It’s been a very successful venture so far and is one more way we are able to provide better service for our customers.”

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Issue 2 2019

As Scott noted, customer service is at the heart of Liberty’s every undertaking. From part design to the final molded project, Liberty’s mission is to keep things as simple as possible for the customer. “We manage everything,” said Scott. “If XYZ company wants a mold built in China, they don’t have to send their people there. We manage the process for them. All they have to do is bring their people onboard, and we take it from there – from having high-quality, functioning molds built overseas and shipped to the US to doing all the processing and tuning and dimensional layouts in-house.” He continued, “It’s just like they’re building a mold locally in Portage, Michigan. We make the process as seamless and costeffective as possible.” 



STRATEGIES

Key Points in the Design and Construction of Injection Molds for In-Mold Decorating By John Berg, director of marketing, and Alan Kastelic, tooling manager, Sussex IM very experienced mold designer and toolmaker understands the basic best practices of their profession. Our readers are all familiar with the credos of appropriate draft, uniform and graduating wall thickness, a generous radius at corners / avoiding sharp edges, ribs to support walls… you can likely recite all of them in your sleep. When a customer’s part design includes special functionality, multiple materials, nontraditional surface geometry or atypical aesthetics, additional elements of consideration come into play.

steps involved. The result often is a colorful and engaging brand design that integrates seamlessly with the part’s surface.

The application of placing a preprinted film or pre-form into the injection mold to create a decorated surface adds several critical and unique aspects to the design and build of the mold. In-mold decorating (IMD) – used here as the general term for all things related to adding a visual element to the part (along with the inherent color of the selected resin) – is a value-added technology absolutely requiring its own subset of best practices. The finished product, when done successfully, gives little indication of the additional

In-mold decorative art can be applied to the final surface of the part when placed on cavity steel during the open mold cycle, and it can be applied on core steel, looking through a clear resin as a second surface. The art can be applied on a surface parallel to the parting line (a screen or appliance bezel, for example) or it can be applied to the sides of a part (cylindrical geometry, like drinkware). Key areas of consideration and focus for the mold designer and builder are as follows:

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You can certainly refer to the decorative element as a label, but the overall effect, both aesthetically and functionally, is generally superior to a post-mold applied self-adhesive film. Art applied “inmold” becomes part of the surface and is likely to never delaminate the way nearly every conventional adhesive-backed decal or label eventually will.


(Left) In this IMD work cell example, a two-sided end-of-arm tooling fixture is used first to place a statically charged film in each of the two cavities, then extract two molded and decorated components from the cores. While the geometry remains the same, this dispenser housing takes on dozens of unique looks by loading different film stacks and brings brushed metallics, glossy colors, brand images and multi-language instructions to meet customer demands.

• • •

Molded to Perfection

Where and how to gate the part to ensure plastic flows properly over the film – and balancing that with where and how to gate the part to ensure its structural stability How to guide and hold the film in place prior to and during the injection phase Cooling circuitry dedicated to both part geometry features AND label placement and label material characteristics

Gating location Gating location is a critical factor because resin flow, direction and force all play a significant role in successfully bonding and merging the film to the part surface. However, the gate also can be a challenging area because the temperature of the resin at this point can degrade the in-mold film, and its forceful flow can move or dislodge it. We want to direct material flow to the back side of the label, missing the leading edge of the film. A pocket in the steel needs to be created, typically no less than twice the thickness of the label, to act as a location guide – not necessarily a retaining mechanism. The ultimate goal of gating an IMD part is to create a flow that continuously moves outward. Material flow moving straight across a label often will produce ripples. A slight hesitation in flow front may cause a crease in the label. The flow of resin should be designed to pin the label against the steel. We can use a rib, which fills first, then feeds material to the back of the film, pinning the label to the steel to assure placement accuracy. Using this technique, we reduce heat concentration to the injection point, helping to alleviate degradation to the label. While it does add considerable cost to the system, valve gating can effectively regulate material volume, speed and flow. The mold designer and toolmaker also must integrate part geometry to develop a detailed level of understanding of the part design’s impact on how material will flow around coring and create knit lines – which can cause labels to crease or pucker. If part design is such that gating directly at the back side of the label is not possible, creating a pocketed area to seat the label below the flow surface is necessary to reduce the chance of flow getting under the film.

With over 160 years of steel production experience backing their brands, SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH is not only a pioneer, but also a market leader in specialty steels. Their comprehensive range of Formadur®, Thermodur®, and Cryodur® grades allows you to choose the ideally suited mold material for your application. In addition, an extensive range of value added services provides you with more alternatives from one source, SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH. www.schmolz-bickenbach.us www.schmolz-bickenbach.ca Phone: +1 800 323 1233

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STRATEGIES  page 11

The flow of resin should be designed to pin the label against the steel.” Decorative film placement In the production environment, the flat or pre-formed film often is robotically picked from a stack of films (magazine) and delivered to the injection mold via an appropriate end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) fixture. One of the most common and reliable methods for holding the label to a specific and repeatable location in the injection mold is to use a controlled static charge. This process charges an insulator – in this case, the in-mold film or pre-form – causing it to attach itself to a properly grounded injection mold. The EOAT will have guide pin(s) to match the guiding holes machined into the injection mold.

Cooling strategy Temperature control is especially critical when gating to the film. A water circuit, baffle or bubbler directly opposite the gating point behind the label is critical for label integrity. This focused water requires its own circuit, as most likely it will be run colder than the surrounding steel. Directing water near the gate on both halves of the injection mold to control heat is an important factor in establishing a process where the film or pre-form is not subject to damage.

Business as usual The IMD process does not normally present any unusual challenges or requirements for part ejection or venting. These mold features are entirely dependent on part geometry and resin characteristics

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– as if the part was not being decorated / there is no inserted film involved. There also are no specific rules or concerns as far as mold surface finishes / polish are concerned. The in-mold film will take on the surface characteristics of the steel. Texture depths of 0.0005" to 0.001" commonly have little to no effect on label performance or aesthetics. Beyond the decorative aspect, in-mold technologies also can add a level of functionality to the finished part. Conductive and luminescent inks can carry current or illuminate. Digital printing can add limitless art design changes in a fraction of traditional leadtimes and facilitate the inclusion of digital watermarks. Scanning these watermarks with the appropriate smartphone app can open a specific web page or online content to provide unique user experiences or act as a conduit to aftermarket sales and service. The ability to serialize the decorated product is possible with digital watermarking technologies, enabling product traceability or evidence of counterfeiting. Utilizing the attributes of IMD to facilitate branding, user instructions and product security are common to many brand owners for good reason. This particular method of valueadded injection molding provides the ability to change art without halting the production process. The films can be given performance characteristics such as abrasion resistance or a softtouch feel. The fact that this decorating technology is far more environmentally friendly than plating or painting is another inducement for expanding its applications.  Sussex IM is a proven, long-standing leader in custom injection molding, with a history of more than three decades. In 1977, Sussex Plastics, Inc., was formed in Sussex, Wisconsin, by an ambitious immigrant from Hungary, Lorand Spyers-Duran. His small but industrious group of employees grew to be the modern, integrated manufacturer that is now Sussex IM. For more information, visit www.sussexim.com.


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PRODUCT /// Synventive Introduces eGate® 2.0

HASCO Offers New Identification Stamps

Synventive, a Peabody, Massachusetts, business within Barnes Molding Solutions’ strategic business unit, has released eGate® 2.0, the latest addition to its activeGate control technologies that deliver complete pin movement control for large-part, sequential, valvegated applications. eGate® 2.0 delivers clean, quiet and energy-efficient operation that is responsive, precise and repeatable. The eGate electric actuator bolts directly on the manifold for an easy install, offering a compact footprint and small stack height. The product features precise all-electric control of each valve pin’s position, speed, velocity and stroke. For more information, visit www.synventive.com.

International supplier of moldmaking support products HASCO has introduced a new line of identification stamps: Z4880/..., Z4881/..., Z4882/... and Z4883/... The stamps offer simple solutions for clear and direct identification of plastic injection-molded parts. Stamps are available for standard international food, recycling and European conformity (CE) symbols. The compact stamps are engraved to create clean, clear impressions. Mounting is facilitated by a 10° insertion bevel, which permits an interlocking connection via a mounting thread. The standardized HASCO components are quick and easy to change. Corrosionresistant stainless steel 1.4112 ensures problem-free, continuous operation with a long service life and an outstanding price-toperformance ratio. For more information, visit www.hasco.com.

BORIDE Adds New Polishing Stone Kits Abrasive products maker BORIDE Engineered Abrasives, Traverse City, Michigan, has added new mold polishing stone kits. In addition to its standard 1/8 x 1/2 x 6 size kits, BORIDE now offers more sizes, more fine grits and a new premium kit. BORIDE’s kits offer a sample of standard grit or fine grit stones, now in 1/8 x 1/2 x 6, 1/4 x 1/2 x 6 and 1/4 x 1 x 6. These are available as a standard kit, including stones only, or a premium kit with stones, a 2 oz. bottle of premium stoning oil and one standard stone holder. BORIDE has added a 1/2 x 1 x 8 roughing stones kit and two coarse grit ceramic super stone kit options. For more information, visit www. borideabrasives.com.

CoreTech Releases Next Gen Moldex3D R17 Taiwan-based CoreTech System (Moldex3D), a professional CAE analysis solution provider, announced the release of Moldex3D R17, the next-generation plastics molding simulation solution. Moldex3D R17 offers significant advancements in composites simulation solutions, includes better capture of crucial information from the physical world and allows users to consider the dynamic machine response of an injection molding machine. Barrel compression functionality provides a more realistic prediction of material behaviors. Moldex3D cooling analysis allows better evaluation of the performance of mold temperature controllers. Flow-fiber coupling analysis allows engineers to more accurately capture the anisotropic flow behavior induced by fiber orientation. The Moldex3D Material Lab provides material testing services for characterizing critical material parameters. Moldex3D R17 Studio integrates all simulation processes on a unified platform. For more information, visit www.moldex3d.com/en/products/ moldex3d-r17/. 14

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HRScool Enables Hot Runner Systems with Uncooled Cylinder Hot runner systems provider for injection molding HRSflow – a division of INglass S.p.A., San Polo di Piave, Italy – offers HRScool, an innovative solution for hot runner injection molding in which the water cooling aspect of the corresponding actuator can be eliminated. The key is a twice-optimized temperature management system, in which insulating supporting columns with a minimal contact surface reduce the input of heat from the hot runner to the cylinder housing. This, in turn, is covered with a large, flat surface made of thermally conductive material. The integrated telescopic design enables maximum heat dissipation from the cylinder to the cold platen. With HRScool, there is no need for cooling lines, channels and connections, thus reducing assembly and handling costs. For more information, visit www.hrsflow.com.

Progressive Releases New Components for Medical Molds Progressive Components, developer and distributor of componentry and software for the injection mold industry, headquartered in Wauconda, Illinois, recently added products to support the needs of medical tools for clean room molding. Progressive now offers tapered series date plugs, made from stainless steel, that feature a tapered seal between the date plug and the date ring. The tapered seal prevents flash, which easily occurs with low-viscosity resins used in medical applications. Progressive also now offers stainless steel support pillars, allowing medical mold builders to eliminate the labor and cost for making custom pillars inhouse. For more information, visit www.procomps.com.


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PRODUCT

Slide Introduces Mold Cleaner Containing EPA-Exempt VOC Compounds Mold solution maker Slide Products, Inc., Wheeling, Illinois, has introduced X-EMPT, the first mold cleaner on the market that contains only EPA-exempt volatile organic compounds. The product is specifically designed to clean molds that have cooled to temperatures ranging from 32° to 200° F (0° to 149° C). X-EMPT surpasses California’s CARB standards and has no chlorinated solvents. With X-EMPT, molds can be cleaned and stored within minutes. The mold cleaner is available in 16-ounce aerosol cans, as well as one-gallon, five-gallon and 55-gallon containers. For more information, visit www.slideproducts.com.

GF Machining Offers Laser S Series Lincolnshire, Illinois-based GM Machining Solutions, a provider of machines, technical solutions and services to the tool and moldmaking industry, is debuting its new Laser S series. The AgieCharmilles Laser S series is an all-in-one texturing solution that applies designs to challenging surfaces while controlling cost per part, cutting lead and machining times, and improving quality. The series provides a fully digital solution to the limitations of conventional and manual surface texturing methods to reduce quality deviations without additional machining processes. The AgieCharmilles Laser S series debuted in February in Asia, reached Europe in March and entered the North American market in April. For more information, visit www.gfms.com.

Guill Tool Provides New Design for Rotary Extrusion Dies Guill Tool & Engineering, West Warwick, Rhode Island, a provider of extrusion tooling technology, announced a new design for its high-production rotary models, both inline and crosshead style. A doubling of speed, with models running up to 1,000 RPM, now is available in the Guill rotating tip and die designs. By rotating the tooling in relation to the material flow, a rotary head increases the wall strength of an extrusion, allowing for a thinner wall with less material. Features available include counter-rotating tip and die, co-rotating tip and die, rotating die with conventional tip, rotating tip with conventional die, crosshead or inline, multilayer, striping, certain profiles and optional quick-change cartridges. For more information, visit www.guill.com. 

Robot Dynamic 150L With the EROWA Robot Dynamic 150L you start with a system that suits your current needs. If the requirements to your production capacity increase, the system can be expanded modularly at any time. The ERD 150L has a transfer weight of up to 330 lbs and the selective magazine racks can be conƂgured for a mix of pallets, electrode holders and Ƃxtures.

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REVIEW

AMBA Conference 2019 Strategies. Executed. By More Than 200 Mold Building Professionals hat would you do if you were provided 40 hours to focus on personal and business growth? Would you use that dedicated time to network with fellow mold builders, absorb the messages of professional speakers and learn from others in your same industry?

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Nearly 200 US mold builders and industry suppliers took that opportunity in Itasca, Illinois, from May 8 through 10, at AMBA Conference 2019. “The positive energy and ‘buzz’ surrounding this year’s AMBA Conference 2019 was off the charts,” said AMBA Managing Director Kym Conis. “Once again, attendance was strong and the venue provided the perfect environment to network, connect and share best practices. New programming such as the AC Lab series, where AMBA members shared their successes in a number of topics, and the Trends in Technology track were well received and addressed challenges faced by today’s mold building community – providing substantial take-away value for all attendees!”

AC Labs: Conference sessions led by members of the mold building community had the potential to change the way business is done in the facility of each attendee. Organizational leaders in manufacturing companies from across the US shared their experiences in job scheduling; continuous improvement; ownership transitions; workforce recruitment; development and retention; marketing; business diversification and company culture.

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REVIEW

All photos courtesy of Creative Technology Corp.

Chris McChesney,

FRANKLIN COVEY

The activities required to execute your strategy are never at the top of the To Do list.” Focusing on the principles of 4DX and framing the work ahead as a battle to be won, McChesney spoke about the execution challenges faced by senior leaders. Too many times, leaders are unable to separate the day job (the urgent tasks that are always front and center) from the goals that move the organization forward (the important work that often is neglected). McChesney urged attendees to focus on two to three wildly important goals, because there will always be more good ideas than there is capacity to execute. He recommended acting on lead measures – which are influenceable – and keeping a visible scoreboard, because people play differently when they are keeping score. Finally, he also stressed the importance of a cadence of accountability: What are the one or two things that can be done this week to win the war?

Kirk Weisler,

TEAM DYNAMICS

Establish rituals and traditions that help you accomplish your goals.” Culture building beats team building every time. Building a strong workplace culture is critical in today’s competitive employment atmosphere, and Weisler focused his message on simple strategies that have a big effect. His most important advice? Meaningful recognition expressed weekly is essential to the human soul. Creating relationships is an essential part of culture creation, and recognizing the skill and dedication of the employee base is step one. He also suggested a short daily meeting that could include recognition, education and a moment to connect, because what we learn about each other forms the basis of the relationships that allow us to work together and succeed as a team.

www.americanmoldbuilder.com | www.amba.org

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REVIEW

Troy Nix,

AMBA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The mind is neutral. It is potential energy, and it will go the way you push it. If you put positive energy in, you will move in a positive direction.” AMBA Executive Director Troy Nix took the stage on the first morning of the conference with a compelling message about the power of self-doubt. Nix spoke about the determination and fortitude of David Goggins, the only member of the US armed forces to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger and Air Force Tactical Air Controller. Goggins credited his mental toughness to a willingness to get better by doing the things he does not like – and doing them often. Nix shared that lesson and reminded attendees that self-doubt often creeps in – but a positive mental attitude and a willingness to work can overcome it.

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Laurie Harbour,

HARBOUR RESULTS

The new definition of mobility is here whether we like it or not.” Laurie Harbour gave attendees a brief look at the factors impacting the mold building industry and the markets served by toolmakers. Chief among those factors is the economic uncertainty felt across the US as a result of the threat of recession and a constantly changing tariff situation. Also at play are an increase in autonomous technologies being used across all industries – including automotive, agriculture and logistics, a consumer base that is increasingly technologically savvy and a new generation of labor. These all require flexibility and adaptability from toolmakers. Harbour Results is predicting an increased tool spend over the next two years, despite the existing market uncertainty. In order to compete for those dollars, tool shops need to invest in equipment and in their people to position their facilities with faster turn times and an optimized workforce.


REVIEW Peer-to-Peer Exchanges One of the best networking opportunities at the conference, Peer-to-Peer Exchanges allow attendees to discuss topics that are unique to their job functions with others in those same job functions. Why reinvent the wheel when someone else sitting at the table already has a potential solution? In the Operations and Processing Peer-to-Peer Exchange session, these are a few of the topics discussed: • The value of sending employees to supplier/ machine training • Ensuring quality job candidates through aptitude testing • Engaging young employees • Holding employees accountable for hitting production targets Peer-to-Peer Exchanges also were held for Leaders and Top Management; Human Resources; Sales and Marketing; and Finance, ERP and IT Professionals. 

www.americanmoldbuilder.com | www.amba.org

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AWARDS

Mold Builder of the Year: Rick Finnie MBA sets a four-pillared standard for its Mold Builder of the Year honorees. Membership in the AMBA is leg one of the criteria. Pillar two is being an outstanding industry player who promotes the craft through program participation or educational outreach. The third pillar for consideration as an honoree is business acumen, demonstrated through company growth, innovation and a culture of honesty, fairness and practical creativity. Finally, an honoree must be the epitome of an American mold builder who represents AMBA ideals.

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Rick Finnie, founder of MR Mold & Engineering Corp, has been named as Don Starkey and Glenn Starkey, Progressive Components, honor award winner Rick AMBA’s Mold Builder of the Year. Finnie (center). Photo courtesy of Creative Technology Corp. Finnie’s philosophies, achievements and reputation, gained during his 40-plus years in the industry, have that helps customers save time and money in getting their earned him this recognition. products to market.

Leading MR Mold since 1985 As a teenager, Rick Finnie worked in his father’s tool and cutter grinding business and following that experience, he was employed by a moldmaker for eight years. When he opened MR Mold in 1985 in Brea, California, the company covered a mere 1,500 square feet of space, with a couple of used machines and one employee. Fast forward to 2019, and Finnie’s operation now occupies 16,500 square feet , employs 30 and houses five state-ofthe-art molding machines. MR Mold has grown to be a leader in the design and manufacture of liquid silicone rubber, gum stock silicone and plastic injection molds. Finnie’s company specializes in silicone injection molds that involve complex geometries, and it also produces micro molds, overmolds and insert molds. While many of Finnie’s molds are used for medical applications, MR Mold also serves the dental, aerospace, automotive and consumer products industries. Considered one of the top silicone moldmakers in the country, Finnie has developed his own key components and stays on the cutting edge with equipment purchases to give employees the latest software and machinery. In recent years, Finnie has added a WorkPal pallet system, a 5-axis Yasda, a Krauss Maffei and an overhead crane – just a few of the additions and upgrades complementing the company’s Engel and Arburg machines. This commitment to investing in equipment and technological advances is geared toward creating a “best in class” operation

Finnie has assembled an employee base that reflects his beliefs as well as the ideals the company was built on, and he promotes continuous improvement to fuel the continued growth of MR Mold. His four-man management team has a combined 170 years of experience in the industry. Overall, 30% of MR Mold’s staff has been with the company an average of 19 years, a testament to Finnie’s effective leadership.

Giving back to the industry Finnie joined AMBA in 1999. He sat on the AMBA Board of Directors for several years, created the California Chapter and served as chapter president. For Finnie, the value in AMBA membership is derived from the relationships he has developed – and the business impacts those relationships have provided over the years. “The AMBA is an organization of moldmakers who come together – we don’t compete,” he said. “Everyone has their own niche, so we can get together and have conversations about cell phone policies, high-speed mills, EDM machines or hours worked. Being able to exchange that information has helped me create some really good friends.” Those friendships and the trust that has developed have led to business solutions that might not otherwise have been available on more than one occasion over the years. “I’ll never forget being in Southern Wisconsin doing a mold tryout for a customer,” Finnie page 22  www.americanmoldbuilder.com | www.amba.org

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 page 22 said. “We identified an area where the mold needed a vent and, instead of overnighting the mold back to California and losing a day, Wade Clark at Electroform in Rockford, Illinois, put a vent in the cavity insert in a couple of hours.”

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He continued, “It’s a good camaraderie. Everyone is willing to help.” Finnie has done his best to be a resource for other moldmakers and, in 2016, MR Mold opened its doors for an AMBA shop tour. “I’ve conducted dozens of tours of this facility, but the vast majority of people come through and don’t know what they’re looking at,” laughed Finnie. “But this would be a bunch of moldmakers coming through, and they knew exactly what they were looking at – I was scared to death! But the feedback was great, and it was a great experience.” Beyond the AMBA realm, Rick Finnie is a member of the Los Angeles Rubber Group, the Twin City Rubber Group, PLASTICS Industry and SPE. He has sat on the steering committee for the LSR Conference for the last three years. Finnie also sits on the Board for the STEAM program at Century High School in Santa Ana and is part of a team of industry experts that offer courses on silicone through various universities.

Celebrated at 2019 AMBA Conference MR Mold’s Rick Finnie was celebrated as an exemplary AMBA member at this year’s conference on May 9 in Chicago, Illinois, when prior recipient Roger Klouda, MSI Mold Builders, presented him with the 2019 AMBA Mold Builder of the Year Award. Finnie was visibly emotional during his acceptance speech. “I sat through those dinners many times, and you’re dreaming of the time that maybe someday it will be you,” he said. “But you know you can’t hold a candle to some of the people who have won in the past. It’s a very cool honor, and it’s still sinking in a little bit.” In fact, Finnie said he wasn’t sure everyone in the office had heard about the honor yet. He plans to hold a steak barbecue to celebrate with his employees in the near future. As for the $5,000 scholarship grant from Progressive Components that accompanies the award, Finnie has plans for it, too. “Two years ago when we did manufacturing day, we had roughly 300 kids through here from all over southern California, with only a small group from Brea,” he said. “Because we’ve been raising awareness, we had 300 students again in October – all from Brea – so I want to approach the Brea school district to see if they have something valid we can do with this.” Finnie is passionate about the mold building industry – and it’s one of the many reasons he was honored by the AMBA. Congratulations to the 2019 AMBA Mold Builder of the Year – Rick Finnie! 

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AWARDS

Tooling Trailblazer of the Year: Century Die his year’s AMBA Tooling Trailblazer of the Year Award has been presented to Century Die Company of Fremont, Ohio. Tim Myers, general manager of Century Die, accepted the award at the AMBA Conference 2019 in Itasca, Illinois.

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The Tooling Trailblazer of the Year Award was established to recognize an AMBA member company whose accomplishments have made a notable impact in the area of education. Those accomplishments may be in the form of in-house apprenticeship programs; successful recruitment at job fairs; co-sponsoring and implementing tooling-related Don Starkey and Glenn Starkey, Progressive Components, presented the award to coursework at local high schools, Tim Myers (center). Photo courtesy of Creative Technology Corp. trade schools or colleges; hosting an open house to the community; impacting counselors and teachers with marketing efforts; and where local manufacturers have hands-on tables to illustrate the organizing or speaking at career day events. job opportunities in manufacturing. An additional initiative is the THINK Sandusky County Bus Tour: “We take approximately 45 Century Die’s job-shadowing program, Mold Maker Professional educators of great influence on tours of several manufacturers in for a Day, and its Green Box Derby event are among the educational the county that showcase the awesome career possibilities that initiatives that earned the company the Tooling Trailblazer of the these educators can share with their students,” he described. Year Award. A final program for educators is the Sandusky County Teacher Boot Century’s trailblazing endeavors Camp, where 24 teachers spend five days touring manufacturing Based in Fremont, Ohio, Century Die Company offers engineering, companies and the related career opportunities. “At the end of the design and metrology services. It is a blow mold specialist, but also program, these teachers will prepare a report of their experience crafts thermoform, compression and injection molds. Century counts and how they will take this back to their classroom to help students the automotive, appliance, consumer packaging, custom contract with their own career path decisions,” said Myers. machining, industrial and recreation industries among its clients. Where Century Die really shines, however, is in the two programs As is characteristic of Tooling Trailblazers, Century Die is it has hosted and sponsored for the last six years – Mold Maker involved in multiple education-oriented endeavors. The company Professional for a Day and the Green Box Derby. is a member of the Sandusky County Chamber of Commerce and the Sandusky County Economic Development Corporation. Mold Maker Professional for a Day Myers sits on both groups’ boards of trustees and is co-chair of the Myers calls the Mold Maker Professional for a Day (MMPFAD) Workforce Development Committee (a combined effort of the two program “job shadowing at its finest.” Students in grades 7 groups). “The Committee is responsible for several programs this through 12 come through Century’s facility and spend the day year, including the REACH Career Education Program, in which seeing what moldmaking is about, from project management and business representatives visit a class of fifth graders once a month quoting, to shipping and accounting. to talk about the ‘world of work,’” he said. “The students are provided lunch and a MMPFAD logo’d Tshirt to Another committee program is THINK Manufacturing Career wear. The program has hosted nearly 300 students – and that’s a lot Showcase, a one-day event for Sandusky County ninth graders, of pizza,” said Myers. 24

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AWARDS Since the beginning of the program, Century has hired a half dozen of these students who displayed a passion for machining. Three of them now are apprentices and two more will be enrolled in the apprenticeship program after graduation. Myers said, “It is exciting to participate in a job fair and have a student tell us about their MMPFAD experience from several years prior and how that changed their perspective of a career path!”

internship in a sense,” he explained. “These kids will spend a few years learning and gaining valuable experience in a skills trade, and they’ll get paid while they do.”

The Green Box Derby

“I’ve been in the trade now for more than 40 years,” he stated. “I started an apprenticeship program in 1978. I don’t have a college degree, and still I’m part owner and general manager of a successful company. These younger kids need to know that they can go another route. That’s our goal.”

In June of 2019, Century will sponsor its 6th Green Box Derby, an energetic, hands-on Workforce Development Committee program. “Students and adults build soapbox derby cars (like in The Little Rascals),” explained Myers, “and race them down a hill behind the county fairgrounds.” The students compete for scholarships and prizes. First- and second-place winners are awarded scholarships to Terra State Community College for $2,500 and $1,000, respectively. The remaining student racers are entered into a drawing for an additional $1,000 scholarship, and passes for Cedar Point amusement park and the Sandusky County Fair also are awarded.

For Myers, this kind of “skills trade college” is important for exposing younger generations to industries they might otherwise be unfamiliar with or have no chance to explore.

When asked what receiving the Tooling Trailblazer Award means to him, Myers responded, “We’re very honored. It’s incredible to be awarded something like this from our peers for something that we have a passion for. It makes us feel great to be acknowledged this way and to know that we’re doing good things.” 

“This program gets the students engaged and gives them an opportunity to plan, design and create vehicles that they get to race while the community and supporters cheer them on,” said Myers. At the end of this year’s competition, Century will have awarded $27,000 in scholarships through the Green Box Derby.

AMBA honors this year’s Tooling Trailblazer Century Die was recognized as the Tooling Trailblazer of the Year by Progressive Components’ Glenn and Don Starkey. Progressive Components is the sponsor of the $5,000 scholarship grant that accompanies the annual award, which may be donated to the industry-related educational program of the award winner’s choice. Century Die has chosen AIM Industries – a student-run, in-school fabrication business that will be launched for the 201920 school year at an area technical career center.

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The grant will go toward the purchase of perishable tooling and accessories to equip the lab. “The 5,000 sq. ft. lab is scheduled for renovation, equipment is being procured, an instructor will be hired and students will apply for the 15 positions available,” explained Myers. “After three years of planning and strategizing, we are excited to see this come to fruition!” According to Myers, AIM is the largest pipeline for exposing students to the industry. “It’s a great opportunity for these kids. Many of them are not necessarily looking to go to a four-year college following graduation. They’re looking toward local community colleges or the workforce, and we’ve been doing our best to work with and help them along the way for many years,” he explained.

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TECHNOLOGY

Business Evolves with Customer Needs at Precision Laser Technology recision Laser Technology, based in Rochester, New York, uses digital imagery and laser technology to engrave and texture molds for injection and blow molding applications. Laser services have expanded to include direct laser marking of molded plastic parts and welding of molds that need refurbishment or engineering changes. With more than 20 years of experience in the industry, the company’s founders have developed a customer base across the US and beyond.

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Ron Natale Jr., co-owner of Precision Laser Technology, recently took time to respond to some questions about the business for The American Mold Builder. How did Precision Laser Technology originate, and how has it grown? My business partner, James Garcia, and I started the business in 2004. We both had experience in the industry and branched off in an entrepreneurial spirit to start something on our own. The business began with a focus on advancing laser engraving for injection and blow molds: alphanumerics, brand logos, cavity IDs … any engraving detail for a mold. James oversaw operations and R&D efforts, and my focus was on sales and business development. Over the years, the business began to evolve. We started pushing the technology by providing surface finishes in addition to engraving. For example, if a customer had 26

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an insert requiring engraving and an industry-specified finish, we were able to produce both in a single operation. We expanded into laser marking molded plastic parts. We offered that service as an alternative to pad printing – ink will eventually fade or flake off, but laser marking proved to be permanent. In the years that followed, laser marking has become widely accepted as a form of printing on plastic. It’s amazing how many manufacturers are offering laser marking machines. In addition, the resin suppliers also have embraced it, offering color additives to the master batch and yielding certain print colors that customers desire. Eventually, we started offering add-on services, such as laser welding and laser texturing. We continue to evaluate and invest in new technology to advance all of our services. What areas of the business have grown most? All areas of the business have grown. Most recently, the technology for laser texturing has really advanced and presents huge potential. Top, left to right: Figure 1. Example of engraving and texturing services; Figure 2. High cavitation engraving. Scope of project includes desired surface finish at depth +/- 0.0005"; Figure 3. A recent laser texturing project


TECHNOLOGY We want to be successful at expanding services to our current customers and continually maintain our relationships with them. We can have a competitive edge by expanding into services they need. What are the advantages of using laser technology rather than more traditional methods, such as milling or etching, in terms of marking speed, repeatability and accuracy? Each laser application has different advantages. With laser engraving, there are numerous process advantages over more traditional methods of engraving: beam angle and clearance to engrave hard-to-reach areas with more precision – particularly deep cavities; the spot size of a laser beam is as small as 0.002" in diameter, allowing for smaller characters and more detail to be engraved; and marking speed is up to 1,500 mm per second – a significant improvement in process time over EDM (electrical discharge machining) and pantograph engraving. Lasers can engrave most tool metals, regardless of hardness, providing more versatility in material choices for our customers. Our knowledge and experience in laser systems, mold configurations and metal ablation gives us an advantage in controlling critical dimensions and draft angles in deep engravings.

Laser welding has a whole series of different advantages: reduced heat induction, rapid cooling to avoid annealing and more precision for consistent repeatable welds. With laser texturing, we avoid the hazards of acid, and because we are working with a digital file, pattern transfer over multiple cavities is consistent versus manual wax displacement. How does laser engraving reduce the risk of mold damage during the engraving/marking process? One major advantage is that the cutting tool is a noncontact, highly focused beam of light producing a mark, which results in less wear and tear on tooling. This level of tool care and repeatability is more problematic for traditional methods, such as stamping and mechanical engraving. The fact that the laser process is noncontact reduces the risk of mold damage and deformation, and since the laser beam does not wear, it produces a highly accurate, repeatable engraving. What is the environmental impact of laser engraving? It is environmentally safe. The laser produces no chemical or toxic by-products in the process, such as would occur with acid etching. page 28 

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TECHNOLOGY How can lasers add design elements to a molded product? Laser engraving and texturing can aid in the functional and aesthetic properties of a molded part. Lasers have made complex patterns easier to apply and/or modify, allowing for surface details to be evaluated at micro scale.

 page 27

Where should a mold builder start when considering lasers within their facilities? Lasers should be considered at the initial design phase. They possess the ability to replicate industry-standard finishes and the potential to incorporate tooling details, thus eliminating the machining of additional electrodes.

Figure 4. Laser welding for mold repair How can laser engraving/marking be used to increase product security in a global market environment where brand protection is critical? Utilization of lasers to barcode molded plastic is a simple, efficient way to define part origination.

Modeling • Hole & 2.5D CAM • 3D CAM • 3+2 Axis CAM • 5-Axis CAM

What is your approach when working with a new client? What can a client expect in terms of time and process? The biggest challenge we have is turnaround. Our services are at the very end of the mold assembly or, in the case of welding, the result of unexpected damage. What we try to do with a client or potential client is better understand their needs. We need to establish good communication to get a firm understanding of the scope of service and their delivery expectations, then try to structure a plan to accommodate those deadlines. Our culture is such that we are very focused on the details – maybe to a fault. It’s important to us that there are no assumptions or guesses, and we review those specifications with the customer up front. Time is lost once you get into the job and a question arises. A lot of communication is really the key. I would say the same thing for our competitors. Everybody is trying to do what’s necessary to help the customer. Precision Laser Technology serves the aerospace, defense and medical industries. Do PLT’s services to each of those industries differ? If so, in what ways? The services are much the same… just different markets. In aerospace and defense, they require a lot of part marking for traceability and accountability. In medical, laser marking on plastic parts reduces the risk of ink flaking and contaminating a clean environment. The services are really the same, but we have a clear understanding of the specific requirements and regulations in each of those industry areas. What kinds of future challenges do you foresee for your clients or potential clients, and how can PLT help them address those challenges? With global competition, our customers are being pressured for time and cost, and we play a role in that. Their success relies on our contributions, as well as their own. If we can stay on the cutting edge of technology, we can help improve turnaround time and reduce cost.

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Also, we are the benefactor of our customers. We’re really fortunate to have strong business-minded customers, and our relationships with them allow us to grow alongside them as they serve different markets. 

Toll Free: 1-844-737-6009 Email: admin@camtool.net www.camtool.com

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Plant Tour Workshop Announced June 11, 2019, 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. CT CRP (Craftsman Resource Planning) – Off-the-Charts Tracking Strategies at Craftsman Tool Creating an effective and profitable job scheduling and tracking system can feel like a daunting task for any owner or manager. However, at Craftsman Tool & Mold Co., a custom-designed software system is maximizing efficiencies in all areas of its mold base manufacturing operation – redefining the next generation of enterprise resource planning (ERP). From quoting, scheduling and direct interface with the company’s “CRP” system, all the way through tracking all stations of the shop – including non-conformative issues, maintenance scheduling, quality control and more – attendees will discover how the implementation of automated systems and a fine-tuned tracking strategy have achieved production improvement and increased profitability at Craftsman Tool.

Environmental Health and Safety

summit

ASSOCIATION ///

AMBA Releases HR Onboarding Checklists Report During spring 2019, AMBA released its first industry-wide compilation of human resources (HR) onboarding checklists report. The report spans over 50 pages and provides responses from more than 40 AMBA members. In addition to a compilation of more than 20 checklists, the report outlines the formality of new employee onboarding processes, HR representation on staff and which roles are responsible for onboarding new employees. Learn more and purchase this report and others at AMBA.org/Publications.

Connect Virtually through AMBA Peer Networking: July 10

Other highlights of the plant tour will include state-of-the-art technology installations, including a new surface grinder 70x140 that can hold very close tolerances, new vertical bridge CNC machines and advancements in large horizontal pallet changing and tool changing.

Peer Networking provides a free opportunity for Senior Leaders and HR Professionals to join a virtual session where questions are answered, benchmarks are discussed and attendees can access new ideas, explore new methods of improvement and expand their professional networks without leaving the office.

Tour registration includes transportation from the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center (site of Amerimold 2019), an afternoon networking reception at Topgolf and attendee pass to Amerimold 2019. Register at AMBA.org/Events.

All participants submit questions, which are discussed and shared for immediate feedback. These sessions are held near lunch, so grab a bite and get on the line to make connections and learn about things you don’t realize you’re missing. Invest 60 minutes

The American Mold Builder Launches New Website

Going forward, the website will be enhanced with an articles topic index and a video library.

In January, The American Mold Builder launched its website: www.americanmoldbuilder.com. The site has been designed to provide on-demand access to the in-depth articles The American Mold Builder is known for – whether helping today’s tool builders with business development strategies, technology best practices or industry benchmarks.

With its clean design, bright visual elements and depth of knowledge, www.americanmoldbuilder.com is a useful, valuable partner in the day-to-day operation of today’s moldbuilding facilities.

The new website offers an uncluttered design that is easy to navigate and user-friendly. Simple menu options direct visitors to the information most relevant, including article archives that are indexed by magazine issue and a digital edition gallery for subscribers who like to peruse the magazine while online. The website also is fully responsive on mobile devices, making it functional on a wide range of web browsers and portable devices. And, the search functionality allows site visitors to easily find topics relevant to their interests in past articles.

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to see how your AMBA membership can bring more value to your organization. Register at AMBA.org/Events.

Registration Underway for Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Summit The Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Summit, July 17 and 18 in Columbus, Ohio, is designed to share best leadership and safety practices with industry professionals hoping to achieve world-class safety within their companies. Attendees will hear from keynote speaker Kina Repp, whose message will inspire them to embrace safety, both at work and in life, and will participate in new EHS labs – sessions that will be centered around environment, health, safety and leadership tracks. Register today at AMBA.org/Events.

Visit AMBA at Amerimold 2019 On June 12 and 13, 2019, the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) will exhibit at Amerimold 2019 in Rosemont, Illinois, Booth #532. At the AMBA booth, attendees will be able to access valuable industry resources, including AMBA’s latest benchmarking reports, the 2019 AMBA Sourcebook, the latest edition of The American Mold Builder, association news and event updates, including upcoming webinars, plant tours and benchmarking opportunities, as well as membership information and other member news.

ASSOCIATION

Take Your Leadership to the Next Level with AMBA’s Emerging Leaders Don’t miss this no-cost opportunity to join other innovative, dedicated, under-40 mold building professionals from AMBA member companies! Join AMBA’s Emerging Leaders Network for access to peer-to-peer networking, exclusive plant tours, leadership development opportunities, emerging leaders pre-con session and industry mentors. Join the network and stay up to date on upcoming events and opportunities. Email Rachael Pfenninger at rpfenninger@amba.org for more information.

Site Chosen for AMBA Conference 2020 Save the date for AMBA Conference 2020, which will be held April 29 through May 1 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The Hyatt Regency is conveniently connected to the convention center and is just steps from Lucas Oil Stadium. The conference location, in the heart of one of the Midwest’s most exciting cities, offers attendees the convenience of nearby attractions. Read the recap of AMBA Conference 2019 on page 16.

AMBA Adds Two New Board Members Kenny Skar is the president and owner of Vincent Tool Technologies Corp, which specializes in building custom injection mold bases. page 32 

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ASSOCIATION ///  page 31 He has been in the mold base business for 20 years since earning his machining degree from Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC). Working to make a positive imprint on the community, he has served on the CVTC board for over seven years and actively participates in discussions to help ensure the skills taught in the program stay relevant to jobs in the SKAR industry. He encourages youth to explore the machining field through shop tours and through a scholarship incentive offered to students entering the machining program. Michael Devereux II, CPA, CMP, is a partner and director of Manufacturing, Distribution & Plastics Industry Services for Mueller Prost. Devereux’s primary focus is on tax incentives for the manufacturing sector. Mueller Prost’s Tax Incentives Group is nationally recognized and has assisted numerous companies in the mold manufacturing industry capture these benefits. Mueller Prost has been an AMBA Partner since 2015, and Devereux has supported the DEVEREUX industry not only through the services he provides, but also through educational webinars and articles on a variety of topics, which appear in industry publications such as The American Mold Builder magazine. SWT

NEW MEMBERS MP-TEC, Inc. Motoaki Sato, Sales 734.367.1284 www.mptecinc.com MP-TEC, Inc., specializes in the design, engineering and manufacturing of plastic injection molds, providing clients with a single source for complete mold manufacturing services.

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Rapid Production Tooling Inc. Clark Anderson, President 970.532.3169 www.rapidprotool.com Rapid Production Tooling, located in northern Colorado, provides its customers in the plastics industry with total solutions. From design-for-manufacturability to production molding and worldclass tooling made in the USA, Rapid can do it all. The company’s reputation for customer support, on-time delivery and world-class workmanship are what make the company stand out. Rolenn Manufacturing Joe Mendieta, Tool Room Manager 951.258.4430 www.rolenn.com Rolenn Manufacturing has been providing the world with highquality medical parts since 1978. The company is customerfocused and provides superior quality thermoset and thermoplastic molded products, mold design, mold fabrication, mold repair and custom machining. Rolenn Manufacturing is committed to continuous quality improvement and customer service through advanced technology, training and education. 


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PREVIEW

Amerimold Show Preview 2019 merican Mold Builders Association (AMBA) members and suppliers soon will attend and exhibit at Amerimold 2019 in Rosemont, Illinois, an annual tradeshow that addresses the business development, best practices and networking interests of the plastic injection mold manufacturing industry. Exhibitors – including equipment suppliers, service providers, toolmakers and moldmakers – will be on hand to connect with industry professionals. Additionally, several innovative educational opportunities await registrants. INCOE Business Development Manager – Automotive Jim Bott said the educational opportunities at Amerimold 2019 are “impressive, and with more than 10 topics there is sure to be a subject matter that will be a learning experience for every attendee.”

A

Amerimold Tech Talks are free, 30-minute educational sessions in the Tech Talk Theater that offer attendees technical information and feature a panel or presentation on a specific topic. Furthermore, in-booth presentations will be available to all show floor registrants. Selected exhibitors will offer a presentation about a specific technology, while demonstrating how it works on the show floor. Francine Petrucci, with B A Die Mold, Aurora, Illinois, said, “I love the Tech Talks and In-Booth Demos because you can staff your booth and still schedule time away to sneak in some topics that interest you.” She also plans to spend some time 34

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learning more about the latest in additive manufacturing at the coconference, AM2019. Co-located with Amerimold 2019, the Additive Manufacturing Workshop for Plastics (AM2019) is an immersive, half-day event that will take place on June 13. The workshop will present practical applications of 3D technologies as they relate to plastics processing. A handful of sessions will be offered, as well as a keynote speaker and panel discussion. For the first time ever, a Medical Injection Molding Workshop will be offered as a half-day option, providing injection molders a focused update on key aspects of medical molding. Market leaders will present best practices on topics that include material selection, design to process, mold validation, part inspection and qualification. Also free to Amerimold attendees, Westminster Tool will discuss its talent development system, which has allowed the company to create a backlog of new candidates during the workforce shortage the nation is currently facing. The shop is thriving and improving its business performance, taking what was a group of inexperienced employees to a high-performing team. Since implementing changes, Westminster Tool has seen a 60% increase in throughput per person.


The following AMBA members exhibiting at Amerimold 2019 may be of interest to The American Mold Builder subscribers: 3D Systems American Mold Builders Association Ameritech Die & Mold B A Die Mold Inc. Belmont Equipment & Technologies Boride Engineered Abrasives Braillon Magnetic Systems Inc. CGS North America Chicago Mold Engineering Co., Inc. Concept Molds, Inc. Craftsman Tool & Mold Co. Creative Technology Corp. Custom Mold & Design Delta Technologies Group DME/Milacron DMS Duro-Chrome Industries Inc. EROWA Technology Inc. HASCO Hirchmann Engineering USA, Inc. HRSflow INCOE Corporation Industrial Molds International Mold Steel Inc. Makino Maximum Mold Group Meusburger US, Inc. Michiana Global Mold Milacron (DME, Mold-Masters) Minco Tool & Mold, Inc. Model Die & Mold Omega Tool Inc. PCS Company Plastic Engineering & Technical Services Inc. (P.E.T.S.) Prodigy Mold & Tool, Inc. Progressive Components Promac North America Corp. R.E.R. Software, Inc. RobbJack/Crystallume SelfLube Superior Die Set Corp. Superior Tooling, Inc. Synventive Triangle Tool (Division of The Plastek Group) TST Tooling Software Technology, LLC UNISIG Deep Hole Drilling Systems Wepco Plastics Westminster Tool, Inc.

Booth 713 Booth 532 Booth 1130 Booth 1324 Booth 401 Booth 1220 Booth 821 Booth 1434 Booth 1432 Booth 618 Booth 923 Booth 1317 Booth 1012 Booth 302 Booth 1321 Booth 1132 Booth 406 Booth 915 Booth 906 Booth 519 Booth 605 Booth 922 Booth 1107 Booth 1313 Booth 1113 Booth 1412 Booth 1226 Booth 315 Booth 1323 Booth 600 Booth 1327 Booth 719 Booth 1105 Booth 825 Booth 501 Booth 1205 Booth 824 Booth 701 Booth 820 Booth 1024 Booth 814 Booth 402 Booth 810 Booth 612 Booth 806 Booth 1108 Booth 529 Booth 527 

www.americanmoldbuilder.com | www.amba.org

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TRAINING

Heat Energy Management in Molds by Torsten Kruse, founder and president, Kruse Analysis and Kruse Training he moldmaking business is evolving and, as molded parts get thinner and more complex, achieving high-quality results becomes more challenging. Mold designers and moldmakers now are becoming all-around program managers – not just expected to understand moldmaking, but also to evaluate the interactions between part design, polymer material and the molding process. In this capacity, mold designers and moldmakers can urge part designers to optimize designs based on the polymer materials and interact with the molder for input on process development and potential molding challenges.

T

Consistently molding higher-quality parts requires collaboration from all team members – from the polymer material manufacturer to the part designer, from the mold designer to the moldmaker and to the process team. When everyone is working together, the goal can be achieved.

Image 1. PP / melt flow front temperature

A few important things should be considered by moldmakers and designers for every new project: 1.

2. 3.

Polymer material: Understanding polymer molding behavior is the crucial first step in optimizing part design. Mold designers and makers should be involved in the part design optimization team with polymer as the focus. Part and mold design: Designing a mold that will satisfy customers’ requirements requires an optimized part design. Process: Because some mold designs can cause significant molding processing challenges, understanding this step is crucial for a successful outcome.

Injection molding is a process of heat exchange, and thermal properties of polymer materials play a key role in this process. This article focuses on polymer materials and how a basic understanding of thermal mechanical properties can provide moldmakers the ability to evaluate and predict the heating and cooling behaviors of molded parts. During the injection molding process, a polymer is heated in different ways, beginning inside the machine cylinder. Electric heater bands around the cylinder create heat, which is transferred through conduction from the cylinder to the polymer. Then, the rotating screw creates shear heat, which transfers to the polymer on top of the conduction transfer. In addition, when the material is rapidly injected through the machine nozzle body, nozzle tip, runner system and gate, more shear heat is generated. As the shear heat energy increases, the temperature of the polymer continues to increase, driving up the temperature of the material inside the cavity. 36

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Image 2. PPS / melt flow front temperature The two primary material properties that affect part and mold design are specific heat capacity and thermal conductivity. Heat energy within a polymer is removed by heat convection as coolants run in the cooling channels of the mold. This process lasts until the mold is opened and the product is ejected. The polymer continues to cool to room temperature by dissipating its energy into the air. To understand how a mold acts as heat exchanger, think about a temperature cycle variation with a steady coolant temperature and flow. During the filling, packing and cooling stage, the heat of the plastic is transferred to the mold cavity. Once it reaches the high temperature point, the part begins to cool and the mold wall temperature decreases to its lowest point, generally coinciding with when the mold is opened. When the mold is closed again, the same temperature waves repeat throughout the process. The natural heat exchange, represented by these waves, occurs with any material, mold or process. The maximum and minimum temperatures depend on the melt and mold temperature, as well as the process set-up.


TRAINING Specific heat capacity is how much heating energy is required to bring a polymer to its process temperature range. Thermal conductivity is a property that indicates how quickly heat will move through the polymer material during the heating and cooling phase. The concept of specific heat capacity can be illustrated through a simple heat energy calculation for a molded part. The specifics for the sample part are shown.

The results from these calculations indicate the energy required for the materials to be heated to their midrange process temperatures and the amount that must be withdrawn. Notice that the PP material needs about 17% less energy to be brought up to the process temperature. Energy = Mass (Kg) X Specific Heat Capacity (J/Kg.C) X Temperature Change (C)

Volume: 13.5 cubic centimeters

PP Energy

= 0.01215 Kg X 3,100 J/Kg.C X 210 C

Materials: PP (polypropylene) and PPS (polyphenylene sulfide)

PP Energy

= 7,909.65 Joule

PP

PPS Energy

= 0.018225 Kg X 1,800 J/Kg.C X 290 C

PPS Energy

= 9,513.45 Joule

Density: 0.9 gram / cubic centimeter Specific Heat Capacity: 3100 J/Kg.C PPS Density: 1.35 gram / cubic centimeter Specific Heat Capacity: 1800 J/Kg.C

The rate at which energy is removed depends on various factors, including the thermal conductivity of a polymer, the heat transfers effectiveness between the polymer and the mold, and the thermal conductivity of the mold steel. Plastics, which are considered insulators, have low thermal conductivity compared to that of metals. page 38 

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ď ´ page 37

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In this example, PPS material carries higher heat energy into the mold than PP material. The heat energy numbers indicate that more heat needs to be removed from the PPS molded part than from the PP molded part. The question is, does a higher heat load inside the mold require a longer time period to remove the heat? The answer depends. It does take longer – but only if the material has the same thermal conductivity. So, in this example, the thermal conductivity of the PPS material is almost three times higher than that of the PP material; therefore, the heat energy from the PPS molded part can be removed much faster than from the PP molded part. PP

SpeciďŹ c Heat Capacity = 3,100 J/Kg.C Thermal Conductivity 0.15 W/mC

PPS

SpeciďŹ c Heat Capacity = 1,800 J/Kg.C Thermal Conductivity 0.42 W/mC

Molding simulations of the two materials in this sample part: These images indicate the melt front temperature, or the temperature of the part at the time the material ows over the location inside the mold. Clearly, these examples show the PPS molded part has a much wider temperature distribution. This clearly indicates that the polymer rapidly loses temperature to the mold, most noticeably in the thinner ribs. The PP material, while showing similar behavior, loses temperature more slowly. The PP no-ow, or transitional, temperature is reached at 11 seconds into the packing and cooling phase, while the PPS temperature is reached at 3.6 seconds. The areas shown in blue are above the no-ow or transitional temperature and still are molten. Notice that a shorter cycle time can be achieved with PPS than with PP, since each polymer material has its own thermal characteristics that aect the outcome.

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Understanding polymer thermal properties is important for evaluating heating and cooling behaviors in molded parts. SpeciďŹ c heat capacity and thermal conductivity inuence the transmission of heat during the heating and cooling phases. By understanding these behaviors, part and mold design decisions can be made that will inuence the overall quality of a molded part, such as wall thickness in relation to ow distance capability or the location and number of gates.

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Part designers, mold designers and moldmakers can evaluate thermal properties of a polymer material to optimize thermal mold temperature behavior and the mold cooling system. By understanding heat energy management inside a mold, molders can optimize a mold’s cooling design to optimize quality and the overall cycle time and to achieve competitive piece part costs. ď Ž


TRAINING

Image 3. PP melt core after 11 seconds

Image 4. PPS melt core after 3.6 seconds

Torsten Kruse, the founder and president of Kruse Analysis and Kruse Training, is a leading expert in the injection molding industry, providing innovative CAE simulation services, software applications and state-of-the-art online training for design and process engineers. Now, Kruse has developed Kruse Training, a platform that delivers

the knowledge and expertise obtained over two decades in the injection molding industry, with the goal of developing synergistic teams of cross-trained professionals who can successfully design and mold plastic components. For more information, email Torsten_ kruse@krusetraining.com or visit www.krusetraining.com.

Custom Mold Base Expansion New sizing capabilities for custom mold bases!

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INDUSTRY /// Meusburger US Names New Managing Director Meusburger US, Charlotte, North Carolina, an international manufacturer of standard parts, hot runner and control systems, has appointed Michael Winship as managing director. Winship took over the responsibility from Thomas Leroy Worcester, who will stay active for Meusburger US as a senior expert within the US sales team. Winship has been successful with Meusburger as the area sales manager of the UK and Ireland. For more information, visit www.meusburger.com.

OMAX Now a Subsidiary of Hypertherm Abrasive waterjet system manufacturer OMAX Corporation, Kent, Washington, and Hypertherm, the Hanover, New Hampshirebased manufacturer of industrial cutting systems and software, announced their agreement to establish OMAX as a wholly owned subsidiary of Hypertherm. The transaction was expected to close in April. Hypertherm does not plan to make significant Pictured: OMAX co-founder changes to OMAX’s operations, and CEO John Cheung and management structure or Hypertherm President and distribution channels. The company’s current offices and CEO Evan Smith manufacturing operations will remain intact, with no consolidations or reductions planned. For more information, visit www.OMAX. com and www.hypertherm.com.

Mastip Appoints New General Manager Mastip Technology, a supplier of specialist hot runner solutions to the global plastics industry with US headquarters in Slinger, Wisconsin, announced the appointment of Jeff Ribley as general manager. An Indiana native, Ribley has spent the majority of his business career in the plastics and injection molding industry as a sales and business development professional. With more than 30 years of leadership and sales experience, Ribley has held a series of positions of increasing responsibility, from sales engineer to business development manager and regional sales manager to global sales director. His most recent post was as Americas segment manager for healthcare and medical for Trelleborg Sealing Solutions. For more information, visit www.mastip.com.

SPE Announces Antec® 2020 and 2021 Dates/Locations ANTEC® 2020 will take place from March 30 to April 2 at the Marriott River Center in San Antonio, Texas. The next year’s event, ANTEC® 2021, will take place March 22 through 26 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown in Denver, Colorado. ANTEC®, which had been successfully co-located with PLASTIC’s NPE Show, will revert to being a separate event. The ANTEC® conference consists largely of 40

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original, peer-reviewed technical presentations and sessions given by expert representatives from the largest industry segments. These sessions are focused on the latest trends in the plastics industry and the biggest questions being asked in the plastics community today. A tradeshow, industry awards ceremony and numerous networking events also are scheduled during the ANTEC® week. For more information, visit www.4spe.org/ANTEC.

OPEN MIND Announces New HyperMILL® Reseller for Texas, Louisiana OPEN MIND Technologies USA, Inc., the Needham, Massachusetts, arm of an international CAD/CAM software solutions developer, announced its partnership with a new authorized reseller, 5 Cell Technologies of Houston, Texas. 5 Cell will offer OPEN MIND’s hyperMILL® CAM software in Texas and Louisiana, with a strong focus on 5-axis milling and mill-turn capabilities. For more information, visit www.5celltech.com and www.openmind-tech.com.

HASCO Expands Shanghai Warehouse Location HASCO, an international manufacturer and supplier of modular standard components and accessories, has expanded its warehouse location in Shanghai, China, to accommodate an additional 2,000 products. With an increase in the local availability of standard parts and the associated faster delivery times, HASCO’s customers can achieve short throughput times, together with increased efficiency and productivity. The extended warehouse location also includes the optimization and reliable provision of HASCO’s services for moldmakers and injection molders. HASCO China hosted customers at the festive opening ceremony for the warehouse site at the end of February. For more information, visit www.hasco.com/en/.

Kruger Plastic Changes Name, Acquires Two Companies Kruger Plastics Products (Kruger), a portfolio company of Chicago, Illinois-based HC Private Investments, announced that it has acquired Northern California Injection Molding and El Dorado Molds (NCIM). The acquisition creates a manufacturer of custom injection molding tooling and parts serving customers nationwide. Kruger also announced that it has changed its name to Springboard Manufacturing (Springboard). Springboard provides products in conjunction with value-added services relating to engineering, product design, material selection, process mapping, assembly and packaging. For more information, visit http://www. springboardmfg.com/ and www.hcprivateinvest.com. page 42 


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INDUSTRY ///  page 40

Exact Metrology Now Represents GOM CT in US Metrology services provider Exact Metrology, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has become a US distributor of the GOM CT scanner. A computed tomography scanner, GOM CT provides 3D data of internal and external component geometries in exceptionally high resolution. The scanner captures complex components including the “inner workings” in a single scanning process. The system is ideal for digitizing smaller plastic and light metal parts. Exact Metrology will house a GOM CT scanner at its Brookfield, Wisconsin, location for customer demonstrations and educational purposes, as well as contract scanning. For more information, visit www.exactmetrology.com/metrologyequipment/gom-ct-scanner.

TTG Automation Announces New General Manager TTG Automation, Temperance, Michigan, a Tooling Tech Group (Macomb, Michigan) company and supplier of secondary tooling, fixtures and automation solutions, announced the appointment of Tyson Stoll as general manager. In this position, Stoll is responsible for supporting business growth through improved processes and higher productivity. Stoll has more than 20 years of automotive experience and an extensive operational background. Most recently, he STOLL served as technical engineering and launch manager at the Fiat Chrysler America Toledo Assembly Complex. For more information, visit www.toolingtechgroup.com.

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Moldex3D’s Research Papers: A Knowledge Library for Industries CoreTech Systems Co., Ltd., headquartered in Chupei City, Taiwan, has created a knowledge library on its website. With its Moldex3D CAE software product, CoreTech provides comprehensive simulation capabilities for composites. Moldex3D’s composites simulation technology has been recognized around the world and has received US patents. The company’s research papers exploring fiber orientation and related topics have been published in professional journals including Journal of Rheology®, Polymer Composites, International Polymer Processing, Composites Science and Technology, Polymer Engineering & Science, Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials and others, and are made available as a resource to the industry. To view these research papers, visit the Moldex3D knowledge library at www.moldex3d. com/en/support/resources-library/technical-papers/. 


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BENCHMARKING

Managing the Sales Pipeline in Mold Manufacturing By Rachael Pfenninger, project manager, AMBA or mold manufacturers, managing the sales pipeline – including sourcing potential work, managing incoming leads and following up on unquoted work – can be a daily challenge, especially when mold builders often are at the mercy of everything from government policy and strength of the economy to changes in material cost and the time of year.

F

To understand this challenge better and to get a picture of how industry members best manage their sales pipelines, AMBA conducted its first sales survey. Respondents provided information on how they manage incoming leads and quoted work, both with and without the use of automated ERP (enterprise resource planning) and/or CRM (customer relationship management) systems. This survey represented 41 mold builders, the majority of which reported annual sales between $5 million and $14.9 million and whose top three industries served included the automotive, consumer goods and medical industries. Over three-quarters of respondents were located in the Midwest region of the United States, with one-quarter of participants located in Michigan alone.

While more than 40% of respondents with annual sales between $1 million and $4.9 million report having owners or presidents source sales leads, that percentage drops to 10% for companies reporting up to $14.9 million in annual sales and 0% for companies reporting over $15 million in annual sales. Respondents also shared their primary motivator for hiring dedicated sales personnel. When surveyed, more than 20% of respondents indicated that the two most popular motivators for hiring dedicated sales personnel included slow lead generation at the time and/or that quoted work went without follow-up. Both responses indicate that respondents were primarily motivated when it became clear that their company’s bottom line was being affected (See Graph 1).

Primary Motivator for Hiring Dedicated Sales Personnel

Graph 1.

On average, total employee count correlated directly with annual sales; for example, as annual sales doubled, so did overall employee count. However, the number of sales employees – internal or external – did not rise at the same rate. Even as annual sales rose by five or 10 times, mold builders continued to employ fewer than five employees dedicated exclusively to sales. Interestingly, even though the count of dedicated sales employees did not rise proportionately alongside reported annual sales, there was a shift in which companies sourced more than 50% of the company’s sales leads. 44

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Most Popular Uses of Sales Management System(s)

Graph 2.

Issue 2 2019


BENCHMARKING While many mold builders cited time to implement and time to train as CRM and/or ERP challenges, all of the mold builders named some benefit to having implemented an ERP or CRM system in their sales management process.”

a role in the efficiency of lead intake and tracking. Overall, mold builders utilizing ERP and/or CRM systems to track sales leads and/or quoted work tended to be satisfied with their implemented systems. The most popular uses of such systems included tracking sales leads and customer information; providing quoted work to customers; setting follow-up reminders on either future, current or past work; and estimating the impact of quoted work on manufacturing capacity. While many mold builders cited time to implement and time to train as CRM and/or ERP challenges, all of the mold builders named some benefit to having implemented an ERP or CRM system in their sales management process (See Graph 2).

The workload becoming unmanageable Reaching a certain revenue number Needing to improve current sales growth or regional coverage via dedicated account management

In addition to personal sales management strategy, mold builders surveyed in this study also were asked two questions regarding cyclical trends that impact incoming leads and/or quoted work. When asked whether such trends existed, more than 50% of respondents answered in the affirmative. These responses included factors such as the strength of the economy, industry-specific updates (i.e., new safety regulations for plastics processors), time of year and government policy. 

Of course, personnel on staff are not the only portion of an effective sales management strategy – technology also can play

To purchase a copy of the final report and see other available benchmarking reports, visit AMBA.org/resources/publications.

Other reasons for hiring dedicated sales personnel included the following: • • •

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JUNE PLASTEC East, June 11-13, https://amba.org/events/plastec-east/ Plant Tour Workshop: Craftsman Tool & Mold Co., June 11, www.amba.org/events Amerimold 2019, June 12-13, https://amba.org/events/amerimold-2019/

JULY Webinar: Peer Networking: Senior Leaders, July 10, www.amba.org/events Webinar: Peer Networking: HR, July 10, www.amba.org/events Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Summit, July 17-18, https://amba.org/events/ environmental-health-and-safety-summit/

SEPTEMBER Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo, September 10-12, https://amba.org/events/ electric-hybrid-vehicle-technology-expo/

AD INDEX /// Alliance Specialties and Laser Sales........................................ www.alliancelasersales.com/tmfgalliance ............................................. 29 AMBA Conference Save the Date ........................................... www.amba.org ....................................................................................... 19 Boride Engineered Abrasives .................................................. www.borideabrasives.com ..................................................................... 38 CGS North America, Inc.......................................................... www.camtool.com ................................................................................. 28 Crystallume, a Division of RobbJack Corporation .................. www.crystallume.com............................................................................ 35 Dynamic Surface Technologies ............................................... www.dynablue.com...................................................... Inside Back Cover Dytron Corporation .................................................................. www.dytroncorp.com/.............................................................................. 9 Erowa System Solutions .......................................................... www.erowa.com .................................................................................... 15 EDM Sales ............................................................................... www.edmsalesinc.com........................................................................... 27 FALCON Tool Company ........................................................ www.falcontool.com .............................................................................. 25 Federated Insurance ................................................................. www.federatedinsurance.com ................................................................ 33 Finkl Steel ................................................................................ www.finkl.com ....................................................................................... 23 Gesswein .................................................................................. www.gesswein.com................................................................................ 32 Grainger ................................................................................... www.grainger.com ................................................................................. 41 HASCO America, Inc. ............................................................. www.hasco.com ..................................................................................... 22 INCOE Corporation ................................................................. www.incoe.com...................................................................................... 31 Kruse Training ......................................................................... www.krusetraining.com ......................................................................... 13 Mastip ...................................................................................... www.mastip.com.................................................................................... 37 Meusburger .............................................................................. www.meusburger.com ........................................................................... 23 Milacron/DME ......................................................................... store.milacron.com .................................................................. Back Cover Mold-Tech Midwest................................................................. www.mold-tech.com .............................................................................. 12 MoldMaking Technology ........................................................ www.amerimoldexpo.com ..................................................................... 20 PCS Company .......................................................................... www.pcs-company.com/rapidmb .......................................................... 39 PLASTEC East ........................................................................ www.plasteceast.com/free...................................................................... 45 Plastic Engineering & Technical Services, Inc. ....................... www.petsgroupintl.com ........................................................................... 5 Progressive Components.......................................................... www.procomps.com/pins.............................................Inside Front Cover SCHMOLZ+BICKENBACH .................................................. www.schmolz-bickenbach.us................................................................. 11 Superior Die Set Corporation................................................... www.superiordieset.com ........................................................................ 42 Ultra Polishing, Inc. ................................................................. www.ultrapolishing.com ........................................................................ 38 Vincent Tool ............................................................................ www.vincenttool.com ............................................................................ 42 Wisconsin Engraving Co. Inc./Unitex ..................................... www.wi-engraving.com ........................................................................... 8 YRC Freight ............................................................................ www.enrollhere.net ................................................................................ 43 46

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Issue 2 2019