The American Mold Builder - Issue 4 2020

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ISSUE 4 2020

DATA POINTS INDICATE UNSETTLED 2021 Wage and Salary Survey Shows Slow Growth Automotive Tooling Spend to See Slight Rebound Can Gridlock in D.C. Be Good for Business?

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE AMERICAN MOLD BUILDERS ASSOCIATION


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ISSUE 4 2020

DATA POINTS INDICATE UNSETTLED 2021 Wage and Salary Survey Shows Slow Growth Automotive Tooling Spend to See Slight Rebound Can Gridlock in D.C. Be Good for Business?

ISSUE 4 2020 THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE AMERICAN MOLD BUILDERS ASSOCIATION

8 TALENT Bridging the Gap: Helping Young Professionals Develop into Effective Leaders Speak Out .................................................. 6 Association .............................................. 16 Product ..................................................... 26 Industry .................................................... 32 Calendar ................................................... 42 Ad Index ................................................... 42

11 ADVOCACY Gridlock in Washington: Is it Real and Good for Business? 14

VIEW FROM 30 Malware Disrupts CNC Machines: Are You Prepared for a Cyberattack?

18 OUTLOOK North American Automotive Tooling Spend Declines 31%: What's Next for Tool Builders? 20 SOLUTIONS Digital Transformation: How Machine Monitoring Can Drive Continuous Improvement

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the american MOLD BUILDER | Issue 4 2020


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

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25 PREVIEW NPE2021: Opportunities in Virtual and In-Person Formats 30 BENCHMARKING Workforce Trends, Salary Freezes and New Data in Annual Wage Report 36 WELLNESS Healthcare Trends to Influence 2021 Insurance Rates 39 MANAGEMENT UV Surface and Air Disinfection Devices: Let the Buyer Beware!

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AMBA TEAM

Troy Nix, Executive Director Kym Conis, Managing Director Susan Denzio, Business Manager Rachael Pfenninger, Director of Strategic Execution

Advising Editor: Kym Conis Advertising/Sales: Susan Denzio PUBLISHED BY:

www.petersonpublications.com

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 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.

www.americanmoldbuilder.com | AMBA.org

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A MESSAGE FROM THE AMBA PRESIDENT

s I’m writing this letter (on Election Day) I hope you, your families and your employees are doing A well and staying healthy during these trying times. Boy, where did the fall go? Time is moving fast, and I think we are all ready for 2020 to be over. If you are going through a difficult time, please pick up

JIM SPERBER AMBA President Master Tool & Mold

the phone and call an AMBA staff member. I’m sure they’ll share an experience, strength or hope with you. Connecting members to share best practices is what this association does best! As members of AMBA, we can stand together and make our way through these challenging times. Together, we can do anything.

Some big changes are taking place in the AMBA. First, the board of directors made the decision to increase annual dues – the first time in 18 years that this action has been taken. Some may ask why now? The answer is that the association has stepped up its commitment to serving the industry with educational opportunities, workforce development and lobbying on Capitol Hill, provided by The Franklin Partnership (Washington, D.C.based lobbying firm). Bottom line, we need to keep the AMBA financially responsible. We continue to have monthly webinars (Roundtable Discussion-Embracing the Challenges, Peer-to-Peer Roundtable Discussion Sales & Marketing) and virtual workshops, such as the recent two-day forum on the Application of Continuous Improvement and the six-part workshop series on “Get Lean” for our Emerging Leaders. I would like to thank Troy Nix and the AMBA team, Laurie Harbour from Harbour Results, Alan Rothenbuecher and Johanna Parker from Benesch Law and Mike Devereux from Mueller Prost for providing support for so many of these webinars. If you haven’t joined in on these, you are truly missing out on one of the great benefits that come with AMBA membership. Be sure to check out the events page for all upcoming events at AMBA.org/events. Due to the COVID-19 environment, we had to cancel many of our face-to-face events and go virtual. We are hopeful that the situation will improve, which is why the AMBA board of directors made the decision to move the AMBA Conference 2021 from February to June (June 22-24, 2021), so that we might meet in person in Grand Rapids. Once again, I would like to remind you to fill out the surveys that are sent out, so we can keep up to date on the pulse of the industry. These short surveys also help the AMBA decide what content we should be sharing in our webinars. We’ve just completed the 2020/2021 Wage and Salary Report, and it is available for purchase on our website. The Business Forecast Survey is currently underway, so be sure to participate. Please remember that as a member, if you participate in these surveys, you receive them at no cost! This is a great benefit of membership. I know many of you have taken the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, and now the “forgiveness process” has started. Stay tuned: I’m sure we’ll have some very important webinars on this subject. Also in the works for Q1 2021 is another virtual summit on sales and marketing. Look for details coming soon. I am looking forward to the next time we can get together and have face-to-face discussions. Take care, stay safe and healthy, God Bless all of you and God Bless American mold builders. “We are Stronger Together” n

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OFFICERS

National President Jim Sperber, Master Tool & Mold

Secretary and Legal Counsel Alan Rothenbuecher, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP

Immediate Past-President Toby Bral, MSI Mold Builders

Treasurer Tom Barr, TK Mold & Engineering

Vice President Don Dumoulin, Precise Tooling Solutions

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

the american MOLD BUILDER | Issue 4 2020

David Bowers II, JMMS, Inc.

Charles Daniels, Wepco Plastics Mike Devereux, Mueller Prost Greg Eidenberger, Paragon D&E Dan Glass, Strohwig Industries Chad LaMance, United Tool & Mold Andy Peterson, Industrial Molds Group Kenny Skar, Vincent Tool Tyler VanRee, Legacy Precision Molds


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BRIDGING THE GAP: HELPING YOUNG PROFESSIONALS DEVELOP INTO EFFECTIVE LEADERS By Lara Copeland, assistant editor, The American Mold Builder

many ways, the manufacturing industry is booming in the US. IandnOperations have been working toward development and growth are now beginning to enter new markets with plans to expand

liaison. “We have a responsibility to our members to help drive their continued success. Offering a program like this provides current growth opportunities and continued success in the future.”

According to the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA), many segments of the manufacturing industry are plagued by inadequate workforce development, and American mold builders are no different. With additional baby boomers continuing to retire every day, it is essential for the next generation to move up into those positions and for younger generations to continue entering the field.

Attracting skilled workers satisfies one level of growing a business, but developing future leaders helps to ensure its continuation. Providing constant support throughout an employee’s career can provide manufacturers with the competitive advantage of meeting customer demands while developing their business and employees. Continuously developing existing employees, as opposed to recruiting new workers with advanced skills, may prove to help manufacturers be more efficient.

facilities, but there seems to be one important element in insufficient supply: the workers.

However, the manufacturing industry is still battling the misguided perception of dirty shop floors and dangerous, low-paying work leaving some businesses with job openings sitting unfilled. This misconception is at least partly to blame for the lack of young Americans entering the field and often opting to join the tech sector instead. A recent Deloitte Insights report highlights the fact that over half of the potential two million jobs that will become available over the next decade in manufacturing will most likely remain empty due to a skills shortage. Furthermore, according to Deloitte projections, $454 billion of the manufacturing gross domestic product is at risk in 2028 alone. Considering this potential, industry leaders are left without the ability to capitalize on growth opportunities since the talent is lacking. That is, unless something is done to intervene. CHAMPIONING YOUNG PROFESSIONALS To further support the continued development of the mold manufacturing workforce, AMBA launched the Emerging Leaders Network for young professionals in early 2019 to forge connections, create mentorship opportunities and offer educational resources to under-40 employees at AMBA member companies. “The AMBA provides a sense of community to its members, and the intention of the network is to supply that same sense of belonging, growth and support to its 100+ members,” explained Rachael Pfenninger, AMBA director of strategic execution and network 8

the american MOLD BUILDER | Issue 4 2020

SHAPING THE NEXT GROUP OF LEADERS Focusing on multiple types of molding, HS Inc., Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a mold manufacturing business founded over 50 years ago by Harold Steele. Recently this AMBA member company enrolled several employees in the Emerging Leaders “Get Lean” series for young professionals. This project-based application series combined industry knowledge and critical thinking into six, onehour sessions. Continuous Improvement Consultant Matin Karbassioon (CONNSTEP) coached the 40-and-under AMBA member attendees through the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of lean manufacturing principles for this unique series. This included deep dives into problem-solving methodology, visual management, the importance and method of value stream thinking, and more. Participants were able to explore the tenants of these principles, how they can be applied in the manufacturing environment and what opportunities exist for employees at any level to think differently about existing challenges, drive process improvement and create financial benefit for their employers. With a large group of younger employees recently hired on, HS Tool & Die’s General Manager Phil Tanis said the company is starting to hand over some leadership roles in all its departments internally. “We have been actively involved in getting young people in here, growing them and keeping that moving forward,” he said. “They have really stepped up and taken leadership roles.”


With his company’s perpetual focus on continuous improvement, Tanis emphasized that “this is an exciting time for us.” All the managers have had in-depth training, and HS strives to get that training passed on to that next group of leaders. “We really want that next level of leader to be able to follow through, give their input and get an understanding of everything from basic wastes to root cause analysis,” he added. As former director of continuous improvement and quality assurance, Tanis is not new to the idea. Between certifications, classes and assisting with General Motors’ lean assessments, he has been engaged in continuous improvement for ten years. “Continuous improvement is easily associated with production-type work, and our industry has been too slow to really jump on and adapt to true continuous improvement,” he explained. “Shops that are not actively looking and developing people and their continuous improvement efforts and their understanding of it are simply going to fall behind,” he noted.

Continuous Improvement Consultant Matin Karbassioon (CONNSTEP) coached the 40-andunder AMBA member attendees through the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of lean manufacturing principles for the Emerging Leaders “Get Lean” series.

DELVING INTO “GET LEAN” Each session of the “Get Lean” series explored a lean manufacturing principle and included exercises that enabled the attendees to walk away with the ability to practically apply each principle learned within their own facility. “I’m really glad AMBA put this series together because it’s coming from that level where, as an industry, we’re promoting continuous improvement – and that’s important,” Tanis explained. HS’s employees who participated in the series include four team members in the mold manufacturing arena. Joe Bastien, boring mill operator, said he was excited to gain a deeper understanding of lean manufacturing and to see how other shops utilize lean tools. “The course served as a good overview of what lean manufacturing offers,” he added. “They all really enjoyed it,” Tanis reported. “One employee jokingly told us it provided him the opportunity to make sure the rest of us were doing it right in the first place.” All joking aside, Tanis said the employees were all actively participating in the series. “They now realize how to pick projects – considering how things are identified, how they directly affect them, how and why to pick a project, and just being able to follow it through,” he continued. Rob Glerum, lead moldmaker at HS Inc., said he was hoping to gain a better understanding of the 5S principles along with value stream

mapping and ways to streamline non-value-added work. “Not only did I receive this information, but I also learned ways to integrate the principles into our work area,” he reported. “I think this series gave us a lot of transparency into the business aspects of lean, and I appreciated the understanding of the ‘how’ and ‘why’ for what we are doing at HS Inc., and in the industry in general.” Todd Westgate, machinist in the EDM Carbon department at HS Inc., acknowledged how much this series taught him about becoming a better employee and great leader. “Using the tools we have learned about will show us ways in which we can continue to improve our processes so we can strive to be the best.” FUTURE PROSPECTS Although the “Get Lean” series explored a number of key lean manufacturing principles, registrants focused primarily on takeaways that helped identify significant areas of waste and the strategic points of view necessary to begin addressing those areas. Key areas of waste discussed by participants included overproduction, waiting on material and communication, incomplete or missing data, engineering miscalculation and more. Now that the series is complete, Tanis said each participant has projects to work on, such as those identified above, that will be page 10

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finished to completion. The plan is to then have each of these leaders assist in training others in their departments as well as other department leaders. “Expanding our depth, passing on knowledge and continuing to establish that leader role is imperative,” he stated. Furthermore, Tanis is excited about the Emerging Leaders’ peer group. He would also be interested in education on the basics of business. “It would be great to see something that helps them understand the innerworkings of business – like knowledge about monitoring finances, for example.” He continued, “General employee topics would be of great value too, like dealing with conflict, hiring practices and workplace environment. Pfenninger agreed wholeheartedly with the team at HS Inc. “Younger employees are motivated differently than the generations that have come before them,” she remarked. “They want to be a part of the bigger picture, and they want to contribute to and have input into projects that impact the bottom line. This is why every program we offer strives to provide additional tools that enable these members – regardless of age and experience – to meaningfully contribute to the projects in which they participate.”

We really want that next level of leader to be able to follow through, give their input and get an understanding of everything from basic waste to root cause analysis.” In addition to partaking in the series through the Emerging Leaders Network, the company looks for other opportunities to connect with the under-40 group. “We support employees learning, whether it’s through training at community colleges, taking classes toward a plastics degree from Ferris State or those who want an engineering degree at Grand Valley State University,” Tanis said. As big supporters of learning, HS Inc., has a tuition assistance program in place, “and this benefits us and the employee mutually, he added. “Harold Steele, the name behind the company, always commented on growing people and that certainly is continuing.” n

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the american MOLD BUILDER | Issue 4 2020


GRIDLOCK IN WASHINGTON: IS IT REAL AND GOOD FOR BUSINESS? By Omar Nashashibi, The Franklin Partnership, LLC

n August 1986, President Ronald Reagan said, “The nine most Igovernment, terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the and I’m here to help.’” There is no question government plays a role in the daily lives of every American and in each transaction for every business. The federal government is your not-so-silent partner, and who is in charge of Washington means the difference between opportunity and obstacles.

The 2020 election results delivered to the country a divided Washington, with a Democrat in the White House, a Republicancontrolled Senate and a Democratic Speaker of the House – the first such combination in over a century. What does this mix of BidenMcConnell-Pelosi mean for American mold, tooling and die makers in 2021 and beyond? And is gridlock real and, in fact, good? The soaring hopes many Democrats had for advancing an expansion of health care, infrastructure legislation, the Green New Deal and a massive stimulus bill with tax increases quickly fell to reality after the November 3 election. A divided Washington does not mean complete inaction on major Democratic priorities, but a Republicancontrolled Senate creates a significant obstacle to their agenda – or a balance, depending on your perspective. Despite prospects of legislative stalemate in 2021, manufacturers across the country still report a need for additional support during the COVID-19 recovery. A September survey of AMBA members showed that 79% of association members accepted a Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan – an example of the government actually being “here to help.” A divided Washington is different than one gripped by gridlock and, if history is doomed to repeat itself, we likely will see more activist state and local governments as Washington struggles to move major legislation in 2021. However, this legislative gridlock is what drove up the stock market in the days when President-elect Biden’s victory became apparent and the congressional results remained clear. Wall Street, high-wealth individuals and the healthcare and technology industries all see this scenario as good for business, with the prospects of increased corporate tax rates unlikely due to the Senate being under Republican control. A system of checks and balances devised centuries earlier could defend them and other targets placed in the crosshairs by Biden and Harris on the campaign trail.

But, during a pandemic, is gridlock really what the American people and businesses need? The election outcome all but guarantees President-elect Biden will not secure the major economic stimulus bill he had hoped to pass through a Democratic-led Congress by March. Early rumors among overly optimistic Democrats ahead of the election predicted an economic stimulus measure upwards of $3 trillion. Many of us who lobbied the Obama administration in its earliest days recall then-Vice President Biden serving as the lead negotiator and implementor of the 2009 economic stimulus bill. He oversaw much of the dispersal of funds, and those close to the President-elect indicate he was eager to build on those experiences and inject the economy with significant government aid had Democrats also won the Senate. Not only do few in Washington envision such a large stimulus measure moving in 2021, hope quickly is fading for an infrastructure bill long sought by the likes of Caterpillar, its supply base and countless equipment leasing companies slated to benefit from construction page 12

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projects in congressional districts across the country. I agree that a massive stimulus measure envisioned by Biden’s economic team is unlikely, but not all legislation and regulation will grind to a halt. Lawmakers in both parties remain committed to overhauling the nation’s higher education and apprenticeship laws – Congress last updated the National Apprenticeship Act in 1937. We expect some action on workforce training legislation (supported by the AMBA), an increased focus on domestic sourcing and federal government purchases of US-made goods, and continued pressure on China – all issues on which the association is lobbying in Washington. While the media and Twitter pundits will focus on Capitol Hill, those of us lobbying for manufacturing in America are preparing for an onslaught of regulatory and executive branch actions by the incoming administration. Trade and tariffs have long been under the primary purview of the president, which will remain the case in a Biden administration. However, sources close to it expect trade to take a backseat to economic stimulus efforts. Knowing trade will not receive the same attention as under President Trump, US importers and some in the business community continue to press the Trump administration in

... AMBA is working with outgoing Trump officials and briefing incoming Biden members on the impact of Chinese molds, tooling and dies on US supply chains, including those for medical devices, defense and automotive.” its final days to lift tariffs or continue exclusions granted to companies from paying a 25% rate on Chinese imports. The AMBA lobbied and succeeded in convincing President Trump in December 2019 to reinstate the 25% tariffs on Chinese plastic injection molds and recently filed formal comments on China’s World Trade Organization compliance. With only days left heading into the presidential transition, AMBA is working with outgoing Trump officials and briefing incoming Biden members on the impact of Chinese molds, tooling and dies on US supply chains, including those for medical devices, defense and automotive. It is the regulatory space where we expect the most activity. Within days of taking office, President-elect Biden likely will seek to reenter the Paris Climate Accord, reverse Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy rule, begin rewriting environmental review procedures of infrastructure projects and withdraw looser auto tailpipe regulations. A divided Congress has few tools to stop an administration’s environmental actions, short of passing a bill the President-elect Biden would have to sign – reversing his own policies. Therefore, many battles wind up in the courts, where too often President Trump lost, even at the hands of his own judicial appointees. Of the 153 significant environmental regulations reviewed in the courts, litigation reversed or blocked 127, or 83%. We do not expect as many regulatory outcomes under a Biden-led EPA, as many of the senior officials already will have served in the Obama-Biden administration and are familiar with regulatory process. Faced with gridlock on Capitol Hill lacking a Democratic Senate, workplace safety regulations also will likely see immediate attention from the incoming Biden administration. Development of uniform general industry COVID-19 workplace guidelines and increased OSHA reporting will top the agenda as enforcement of hazard identification and record-keeping enforcement actions also take center stage. Working with a broad coalition of manufacturers, many are lobbying to support the current Trump administration approach of customizing OSHA guidance for each sector to avoid a onesize-fits-all COVID-19 regulatory scheme. Our argument has been and will remain: A manufacturing establishment is different than

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the dry cleaner and the restaurant or retail store. Educating the incoming Biden team on how manufacturers and critical essential infrastructure businesses have protected their employees during COVID-19 could mean the difference between another shutdown and continued operations. Due to the divided Washington, leading to gridlock, sources close to the Biden team anticipate obstacles to their agenda erected by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Knowing few, if any, bills drafted by Democrats will pass the Republican-held Senate, President-elect Biden must look elsewhere. The team intends to move quickly with executive actions, regulations and other steps not subject to congressional oversight. The swift moves will at first focus on COVID-19 medical relief and then quickly address economic recovery. This swift movement due to a divided Washington could mean more restrictions on US manufacturers or could open the door for new business through economic growth and federal government purchases. Often in Washington, perceived inaction masks work done behind the scene – work that regulators can complete with little public input. This includes trade, environmental and labor policy discussed here and identified by the Biden-Harris 2020 campaign as a priority.

Which brings us back to the original question: Is gridlock good for business, and does it even exist? We do not expect Washington to truly shut down – certainly not the regulators or responses to the coronavirus. It is true that Joe Biden is the first president since George W. Bush to enter his first term in office without full control of Congress, but what some will call obstruction others will call checks and balances. Some will label as Biden’s actions as attempted government overreach, but others will argue that during a global pandemic is when you need activist government most. Yes, the voters have delivered a divided Washington to America, but complete gridlock is more a perception than reality. In my 20 years of lobbying across what will now become my fifth administration, I’ve learned government always can act if you know how to pull the levers. Across his five decades in Washington, if there is a lever to pull, Joe Biden will find it, and whether you win or lose may depend on how strong a voice you have in the nation’s capital. n Omar Nashashibi is a Founding Partner at The Franklin Partnership, LLC, a bipartisan government relations and lobbying firm retained by the American Mold Builders Association in Washington, D.C.

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MALWARE DISRUPTS CNC MACHINES: ARE YOU PREPARED FOR A CYBERATTACK? By Brittany Willes, writer, The American Mold Builder

yberattacks are nothing new. In Cransomware fact, stories of new malware and circulate so often that

many have become numb to the warnings and red flags. Despite the growing number of incidents and the general acknowledgment that cyberattacks can happen to anyone, too many companies still operate with an “it won’t happen to us” mindset. As a result, they may not be taking proper precautions and safety measures to guard against online threats. However, even implementing minimum precautions is not likely to be enough in the event of a cyberattack. “It happened June 24, 2019, at about 9:00 in the morning,” said Don Snow, president of CS Tool Engineering, Inc, Cedar Springs, Michigan. “I’ll never forget it. They were getting in, The controlling PC computer for this gun drill – a Windows-based system that the machine tool builder and it seemed like it just went from recommended not running virus protection on as it would “slow down” the computer – was replaced at CS Tool computer to computer to computer.” Engineering after a cyberattack. “This is going to be an issue as technology advances with Industry 4.0,” said Don Immediately, Snow contacted the Snow, president of CS Tool Engineering. “Can all of your systems stay up to date to ward off disruptive attacks company’s cable provider to have its IP from their connection with the internet?” address changed. Unfortunately, even the cable provider was locked out. “At that point, we disconnected “The virus hit all of our CAD computers, our ERP software, and took from the outside world,” said Snow, “probably prior to getting a out some of our CNC machines. Even my gun drill, which has a PCbased operating system, was infected,” said Snow. “There’s absolutely ransom note.” no virus protection for something like that, because who would want CS Tool was the victim of Ryuk ransomware – a type of malware that to get in and screw up a machine control?” blocks and/or corrupts the victim’s data, often until a ransom has been paid. According to CrowdStrike.com, “Ryuk is specifically used While it’s hard to find a bright side in the wake of a cyberattack, one to target enterprise environments.” Most often the attack comes in positive aspect is that CS Tool learned where its weaknesses were the form of an email attachment that appears to be from a trusted and how to be prepared for future attacks. “First and foremost, have source. In the case of CS Tool, no one is entirely sure how the virus your system mapped out,” said Snow. “What is your network? What was activated, but it forced the business to a complete standstill for are your computers? What are your software licenses? Have those the better part of a week.

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backed up and stored in a separate, secure location so that you still have access to those in the event of a cyberattack.” This was a lesson hard learned, as shortly after the attack CS Tool lost its in-house IT support. “About four days into the recovery process, I lost my IT people and had to work with an outside source,” said Snow. The company’s backup data was found to be questionable at best, and working with a whole new IT group made the task that much harder. “We ended up having to rebuild the whole network,” he continued – a situation that might have been avoided, or at least less frustrating, had the company’s original IT team made regular backups of all its data. “Have all of your stuff documented,” he advised. “If your IT people go out of business or you want to switch providers, it is crucial to have those backups. If Humpty Dumpty falls off the wall, can someone else come along and, with the documentation you have of what your network was, can they put Humpty Dumpty together again expediently?” In addition to switching to a new IT provider, CS Tool also made updates to its system. According to Snow, prior to the attack the company had some computers running Windows 95, numerous machines running Windows 7 and only a few running Windows 10. Trying to run virus protection with such a mix was all but ineffective. All systems have since been updated to Windows 10, with personalized passwords for extra protection. “You get lazy,” Snow admitted. “You get lazy and you get complacent about upgrading. At the end of the day, you can’t be cheap about upgrades. We ended up spending a little over $200,000 in system upgrades, computers and replacements. That’s not even counting what it cost us as a business in terms of lost work.” Considering that it was five weeks before the company was fully operational once more, spending the money upfront to avoid potential lost profit down the line is a smart move. Another thing that can help offset financial damages as a result of a cyberattack is cyber insurance. “Listen to your business insurance agent when they ask if you’d like cyber insurance,” Snow advised. “We had declined the extra insurance in April and then were attacked in June. A cyberattack is not considered a work interruption, according to our agent. How can it not be? Definitely buy the cyber insurance.” Cyberattacks can happen at any time, even to the most prepared companies. As Snow stated, “It’s a matter of when, not if. You’re going to get hit with a cyberattack, so be prepared. You can have some of the best IT people and still get hit. Educate your people. Be prepared in the event of losing your IT provider. Backup your data religiously. Always ask yourself, if an attack happens, can someone pick up the pieces of your system and make it work?” n

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publications/browse to purchase a copy of the final report and other AMBA business resources.

AMBA CONFERENCE 2021 SETS NEW DATES JUNE 22-24, 2021 AMBA is pleased to announce new dates have been set for its Conference 2021: Connections Reimagined! Originally slated for February 17-19, 2021, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the 2021 conference now will take place June 22-24 in the same location: Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids. According to AMBA Managing Director Kym Conis, the strategic move was made in direct response to member feedback that indicated a strong desire to meet “responsibly and safely” in person, just as soon as the pandemic will allow. “State- and company-wide travel restrictions, self-quarantine requirements and the absence of a vaccine have made it impossible to hold a February conference in a manner that is safe and responsible,” stated Conis. “We are hopeful that the postponement will enable our members to connect in person with a renewed sense of purpose and support as we tackle these tumultuous times together as an industry!” Stay tuned for more information at AMBA.org/conference.

PLAN FOR 2021 WITH AMBA BENCHMARKING REPORTS Business Forecast Survey Launched AMBA has launched its annual Business Forecast Survey, which gathers industry-wide data from mold builders throughout the US. The final report will include data such as sales and profits, tariff updates, quoting activity, 2021 forecasting, anticipated sales trends and more. To complete the survey and receive a free copy of the final report, visit AMBA.org/resources/open-surveys. 2020/2021

AMBA

WA G E A N D SA L A RY A N N UA L

REPORT

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Wage and Salary Report Now Available Begin planning for 2021 with AMBA’s recently released Wage and Salary Report. Newly shortened to focus entirely on more than 50 job functions in the mold building industry, this report provides mold builders with the insight needed to compensate employees and compete in the marketplace. Visit AMBA.org/

the american MOLD BUILDER | Issue 4 2020

NEW WEBINAR – BUILDING A FOUNDATION: BUY-IN, ACCOUNTABILITY AND EMPOWERMENT DEC. 9, 12-1PM EST Join Paul Thal and David Kachoui of Thal Precision Industries, Clark, New Jersey, as they detail the company’s powerful journey to build a culture of continuous improvement. Working alongside each other to build a foundation of mentorship and a safe environment for all employees to provide feedback, Thal Precision has realized an ROI consisting of improved accountability, more open lines of communication and efficient task distribution. During this presentation (one of the many highlights of AMBA’s recent Continuous Improvement Virtual Forum), attendees will discover the tools and resources Thal Precision utilized to achieve its goals, with time for peer-to-peer discussion after the presentation. To register, visit AMBA.org/events. This is a members-only event. PREPARING FOR 2021: BUSINESS VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION DEC. 16, 2020; 12-1PM EST During this business roundtable discussion, business leaders will discuss the challenges they continue to face and those they see up ahead in 2021. Potential questions might include: • What investments are others making to give their company a competitive edge over the next 12 months? • How are peers managing the budgeting and forecasting process? • What activities are industry professionals prepared to discontinue in 2021? Are there areas where leaders are investing more, compared to years past? • What new communication technologies are being employed to engage customers and solicit new customers? This facilitated session will allow AMBA members to participate in a Q&A with their peers, with legal counsel from Benesch Law online to provide legal guidance and insight as needed. To register, visit AMBA. org/events. THE FRANKLIN PARTNERSHIP: BIWEEKLY UPDATES, GRANTS ACCESS AND MORE One of AMBA’s many benefits includes its access to firms like The Franklin Partnership, a bipartisan lobbying firm located in


Washington, D.C. In addition to advocating on behalf of the AMBA, its members and the mold manufacturing industry, The Franklin Partnership provides numerous other benefits to AMBA members, including: • A biweekly update that reviews timely information related to PPP loan legislation, workplace guidelines, OSHA guidance, CDC guidance and many other topics • Business and workplace guidance • State and county closures • Statewide and national grant availability • Legislative updates (past recordings available in the AMBA Webinar Archives) For more information, email the AMBA staff at info@amba.org.

AMBA MEMBERS BEAT IMPORT COMPETITION WITH PROJECT FUNDING Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) is the only federal program specifically designed to help American manufacturers that have been hurt by foreign competition. The federal TAAF program can help qualified manufacturers with up to $75,000 in matching funds to help implement critical business improvements. The Great Lakes Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (GLTAAC) administers this program in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. However, members in other states also have access to programs that are similarly funded through the US Economic Development Administration. Funds can be used for projects related to: • Lead generation • Sales training

• • • • •

Website development Productivity improvement Lean manufacturing ISO/other certification Management training

For more information, email the AMBA staff at info@amba.org. MEET THE MENTOR: A LEADERSHIP TRACK FOR AMBA EMERGING LEADERS Discuss operational leadership, communication challenges, problemsolving strategies and more in the newest program offered by the AMBA Emerging Leaders Network – “Meet the Mentor – A Leadership Track.” Each month, a committed group of AMBA’s up-and-coming professionals will hear from seasoned industry professionals, who will provide insight into a core challenge previously identified by today’s emerging leaders. After hearing each mentor’s insights, challenges and recommendations, attendees will explore the challenge and potential solutions in their own facilities and then come back together for follow-up peer-to-peer discussion. Core challenges will be identified in advance by session attendees and will vary month-to-month. Sessions will begin February 9th and will run bi-weekly through the month of May. Members: No cost. This is series is available to 40-and-under AMBA members. Register at AMBA.org/Events. NEW PARTNERS Kruse Training Torsten Kruse, President | 239.353.6468 Kruse Training is an online educational program for injection molding part designers, mold designers and process engineers. The company’s state-of-the-art online knowledge and training solution uses 3D CAE process simulation technology to demonstrate causeand-effect behavior of molding. This interactive training program illustrates how “The Circle of Knowledge” between injection molding engineers works in the real world. n

www.americanmoldbuilder.com | AMBA.org

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NORTH AMERICAN AUTOMOTIVE TOOLING SPEND DECLINES 31%: WHAT’S NEXT FOR TOOL BUILDERS? By Dianna Brodine, managing editor, The American Mold Builder hile the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated certain trends within the W automotive tooling market, the wheels had been in motion throughout the past decade, said Laurie Harbour, president and CEO of Harbour Results,

Inc. (HRI), during a recent webinar focused on the results of the Harbour IQ study on the current state of the automotive vendor tooling industry. On the heels of an 11-year expansion, during which technology investments and new OEMs lulled some tool builders into a sense of complacency, a softening economy and tariff issues began to impact manufacturing long before the pandemic placed additional pressure on the industry. “We knew this year was going to be challenging for the automotive tooling industry but could never have predicted the effect a global pandemic would have on the industry,” said Harbour. “2020 is a turning point for the automotive industry, with three key pressures impacting the future tooling demand. First is the financial strain COVID-19 and the global recession have placed on both OEMs and suppliers. This is impacting automaker profitability, which means platforms will be commonized and trim models will be eliminated. Finally, a large number of future vehicle launches in North America will be electric vehicles (EVs), which are costly to bring to market.” Harbour IQ analysis indicates that 2020 automotive vendor tooling spend in North America will be $6.4 billion, which is $0.4 billion less than originally forecasted in 2019 and 31% below the 2019 tooling spend. The key factor driving reduced tooling spend is the decreased number of North American vehicles that were sourced for tooling in 2020 – 49 total launches. Furthermore, the Detroit Three automakers, who source most of their tools in North America, sourced only 14 vehicles in 2020. Looking forward to 2021, the tool spend forecast is $7.8 billion, driven mainly by the entry of additional electric vehicles into the market. These numbers, combined with a challenging economic landscape, may lead to a sobering future: HRI predicts that 30% of all North American manufacturers will close in the next 18 months, with 10 to 15% being mold and die shops. What contributed to this? In April of 2020, a forced “stress test” occurred in the shape of the coronavirus. Tool shops saw reduced utilization, lowered their revenue forecasts, quoted less new work, saw more work put on hold and, in some cases, were forced to close temporarily due to state or local COVID-19 regulations. In an August study, 35% of tool shops were concerned

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the american MOLD BUILDER | Issue 4 2020

that they would not make it through the current crisis. The pandemic has highlighted issues that already existed, including a lack of working capital, inefficient operations, pricing pressures and stronger competitors that are hungry for new business. Harbour pointed out that the Paycheck Protection Program and wage subsidies given by the US and Canadian governments may have given some shops a false sense of relief, allowing them to hold on to employees in the short term without the ability to maintain that staffing level for the long haul. These shops will be feeling a delayed impact and need to take immediate action to ensure viability. Opportunities do exist, and tool shops are reporting additional quoting activity of tools that traditionally have been placed in China. However, not all tooling is coming back to the US, with some going to India or Vietnam. In addition, this reshoring activity may be somewhat short lived, so it’s important to capitalize on this quickly and to ensure it is done profitably. Growth in the battery electric vehicle markets also provides opportunities, but tool shops must be willing to move quickly and price aggressively. “As the tooling market contracts, it is important that shops position themselves for the future,” she said. “Leadership needs to push for edginess and eliminate complacency. It also is important that tool shops continue to put plans in place to shore up weaknesses, maximize technology and talent, and control costs.” n


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DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: HOW MACHINE MONITORING CAN DRIVE CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT By Liz Stevens, contributing writer, The American Mold Builder

D

on Dumoulin, the CEO and owner of Precise Tooling Solutions, Columbus, Indiana, knows that plastic tooling manufacturing is a challenging business, even in the best of times. With COVID-19 affecting supply chains and deliveries, and Chinese businesses competing for market share, Dumoulin believes that now is an excellent time for moldmakers to expand their resourcefulness, boost their productivity and increase their bottom lines. He admits, however, that achieving this is not a slam-dunk. “We have somewhat limited resources as toolmakers,” he said. “We only have so much capital we can deploy every year. We only have so much time that we can put against projects that will change our dimensions, if you will. And we only have so many things that we can do in a given year to really drive improvement.” Dumoulin believes that gaining a better understanding of a plant’s machines and how operators run those machines can give manufacturers valuable insight that can lead to profit-yielding changes. For him, advancing beyond the use of paper scorecards to record machine downtime is a key to gaining greater understanding, and machine monitoring is an ideal next step. After all, he notes, “the machine monitoring industry will tell you that the average machine utilization in our shops is 26%.” This equates to a loss of about $1.5M per manufacturer for downtime. Finding ways to reduce or eliminate machine time loss, and thereby increase the productivity of both machines and operators, is critical to profitability. And while reducing repair time and set-up time is an obvious way to improve operations, in Dumoulin’s experience, “continuous improvement also can happen with reducing the time needed to track down cutting tools, with improving steel availability, with making sure that programs are available for machinists.” During the AMBA Continuous Improvement virtual conference, held November 4 and 5, 2020, Dumoulin and co-presenter Akshat Thirani, the co-founder and CEO at Chicago-based technology company Amper, outlined Precise Tooling Solutions’ journey to find and implement a machine monitoring solution.

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the american MOLD BUILDER | Issue 4 2020

THE SEARCH FOR A MACHINE MONITORING SYSTEM “I have long believed that machine monitoring was part of the solution,” said Dumoulin, “but I really struggled to find a positive return on investment.” He found that sophisticated machine monitoring systems can come with a $30,000 or $50,000 price tag for software, plus an additional $10,000-15,000 to get all of a plant’s machines retrofitted for monitoring. So, when Dumoulin sat down with his team to prepare for another round of searching for a machine monitoring system, he and the team boiled down their wants and needs to a succinct shopping list. “We wanted leading indicators versus lagging indicators,” he began. “We wanted a culture of lean and accountability. We wanted to make sure that our technology was data-focused and staying ahead of the curve. And we wanted to make sure that we also were looking at the opportunity cost to collect that data.”

We wanted to make sure that our technology was data-focused and staying ahead of the curve. And we also wanted to make sure that we were also looking at the opportunity cost to collect that data.” Since machine monitoring includes integration with existing equipment – be it brand-new equipment or 20-year old machines – any plant considering the addition of machine monitoring should consider the cost of outfitting older machines with updated technology to allow for the most advanced monitoring systems. If the cost is prohibitive, Dumoulin suggests considering a more modest approach. “Maybe you don’t jump right to full-blown machine monitoring,” he said, “but you work instead on getting some of the machine monitoring aspects in place first. If you can’t afford those kinds of upgrades, but you at least need something that gets you going down the data path, a simpler version of machine monitoring might be a good choice.”


FINDING THE RIGHT FIT FOR PRECISE TOOLING SOLUTIONS Don Dumoulin and his company refined their search criteria to five key points to evaluate in a machine monitoring system: the true cost of the implementation, the implementation requirements (for upgrades and additions), the ease of use of the system, the simplicity and flexibility of the system’s reporting options, and the ability to get the company team engaged in using the new system. Dumoulin moved forward with Amper’s offering for machine monitoring. “Of the three systems we looked at, the Amper solution was the best across the board,” he said. “Some of the vendors had a very high true cost; they were very expensive to purchase and complex to install, and driving our existing machines was really hard to do.” Dumoulin had long been convinced of the benefits of software as a service (SaaS), another attractive feature of the system his company chose. “The great part about a SaaS model is you don’t have any capital cost,” said Dumoulin. “You literally hit the return on investment running as opposed to the average $35,000 or $50,000 in a purchase fee model, which immediately puts you in the hole.”

The solution Dumoulin implemented with Thirani required no machine upgrades. “We know that PLC boards are very different,” said Dumoulin. “We asked ourselves, do we have the time to figure out each one and the cost necessary to modify it, and how you code those things? One of our potential vendors wanted to send somebody to our shop at $1,500 a day for three weeks to reprogram all of our machines. I just wasn’t sure I wanted to let them into the code of my machines.” Amper’s design eliminates this requirement. The reporting features of a machine monitoring system needed to be robust, easy to use and flexible to meet Dumoulin’s criteria. The chosen system included emailed alerts when a machine went down, a variety of sample reports to choose from, and the ability to use unassigned data fields that allow plants to create custom reports with specific data (such as KPIs). “Also,” said Dumoulin, “we can look at longitudinal data over a month or a year and ask ourselves, ‘What is the biggest continuous improvement opportunity that we see that would make us more productive for machine timing?’” In November, when Dumoulin presented this AMBA workshop, his plant had been using Amper for about three months. Although page 22

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there was some initial pushback from machinists, they embraced the system once Dumoulin assured them that the system was a machinemonitoring system rather than a machinist-monitoring system. “This is not about the failings of you as a machinist,” Dumoulin had told his machinists, “This is about what we can do to help you to be more productive.” HOW MACHINE MONITORING CAN INFORM CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT Akshat Thirani described his company’s general approach as a quest to improve quality, cost and delivery by helping businesses use overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) as the leading indicator for their operation. “Everyone generally tracks QCD (quality, cost, delivery) and profit and loss (P&L) at the end of the month and the quarter,” he said, “and the purpose of our OEE-type tool is to provide the leading indicators so that business owners can make an impact at the end of the day.” “Amper is the simplest machine monitoring tool out there,” Thirani said. “It is a noninvasive sensor that measures the electrical signals of a machine.” The electrical energy used by a spindle varies, and a sensor tracks the electrical usage, recording whether a machine is off, idling or running at top capacity. Sensor installation takes only 10 to 15 minutes per machine. “You basically clip the sensor,” said Thirani, “hook up the internet-connected gateway, and then you are ready to look at real-time analytics via a computer or smartphone.” Installation of a sensor does not require integration with the PLC or control panel. As Thirani puts it, “Data in itself has no value if no one is using it,” and the data from these sensors has value at a variety of decisionmaking loops in plant operations. “The first loop,” said Thirani, “can revolve around daily improvement so, for example, the operator and supervisor level can have access to real-time alerts showing when a machine has had too much downtime or indicating that an operator is spending excess time on set-ups.” The data then can roll up into a second loop – weekly reviews from a plant management standpoint – guiding the focus of engineering projects. “The third loop,” Thirani said, “can be about taking a broad perspective regarding capacity management over an entire year: Does a company really need to buy a new machine? Are machines already utilized to the point that justifies bringing on more people or new machines? How can cost of capacity be adjusted to bring on new sales?” Don Dumoulin summed up his biggest takeaway from installing a machine monitoring tool. “You learn what your productivity really is, and that’s a little shocking. Once you get the bad news, you then start to see what the reason codes are – why you are getting those kind of results – and you can fix those issues. To me, that is the essence of continuous improvement.” n


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NPE2021: OPPORTUNITIES IN VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON FORMATS By Dianna Brodine, managing editor, The American Mold Builder

nce every three years, O the plastics industry gathers to attend the

materials and equipment that are revolutionizing manufacturing; and connect with industry leaders.”

largest plastics tradeshow in the Americas. Scheduled for May 17 through 21, the 2021 edition was on track to bring more than 2,100 exhibitors to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, with equipment, machinery, consumables, processes and support technology convened within more than one million square feet of exhibit space.

In addition to the tradeshow floor exhibits, NPE offers education programs, with sessions featuring topics ranging from sustainability and recycling to additive manufacturing.

The pandemic has forced the event to change shape – to what extent is yet unknown – but opportunities exist within the combined virtual and in-person event being developed by The Plastics Industry Association, producers of NPE.

First, given the inability of some to travel to Orlando in May, event organizers will offer NPE2021 as a hybrid event. A digital component will provide access to the technology and education, although details have yet to be released.

PLASTICS VERTICALS ON DISPLAY Event organizers say every sector of the global plastics industry and its vertical markets will be represented at NPE. From automotive/ transportation, consumer products and bottling/containers to medtech and packaging, the Orange County Convention Center will provide opportunities for those looking to diversify their supply chain, explore new market opportunities or compare potential capital expenditure options.

The priority, according to show organizers, is the in-person event. Recent communication posted to the NPE2021 website explained, “The health and welfare of all NPE participants is, of course, our top priority. We have been closely monitoring the situation, including all guidance from governmental health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as information from the State of Florida and the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), and will take into consideration all current health guidelines necessary to create a safe and healthy environment for our show.”

The event halls will feature 13 technology zones, including sectors that focus on innovation and offerings in the following areas: 3D/4D printing; bottling; contract manufacturing; decorating and secondary processes; flexible packaging; inspection and measurement; medtech; moldmaking; polymers and additives; product design and engineering services; recycling and sustainability; rigid packaging; and robotics and automation.

COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS ON TAP Whether a COVID-19 vaccine readily is available or not, health and safety precautions while at the Orange County Convention Center will be a key consideration for attendees and exhibitors alike.

Whether this includes face masks, pared-down exhibitor booths or other as-yet-unnamed precautions likely will depend on the United States’ ability to bring the spread of coronavirus under control prior to the May event. As of press time, the event still is six months in the future, and hope exists that it can proceed as planned.

These technology zones have the advantage of bringing together those working within specific spaces, simplifying access for event attendees and providing opportunities for collaboration.

“Given the challenges of the past six months, it is vitally important for the plastics community to come together and support each other with a positive outlook to the future,” said Radoszewski. n

“NPE2021 is the premier event for all sectors of the plastic industry to network, exchange ideas and see the latest innovations molding the future of plastics,” said President and CEO of PLASTICS, Tony Radoszewski, CAE, in a recent press release. “Attendees will be able to learn about emerging plastics trends; purchase the latest machinery,

Learn more about NPE2021 or register to attend: www.npe.org

See the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) at NPE2021 in Booth W9405. www.americanmoldbuilder.com | AMBA.org

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[1] HASCO OFFERS HOT RUNNER SYSTEM, TOOL LOCK Standard component provider HASCO, Lüdenscheid, Germany, offers Streamrunner®, a new, additively manufactured hot runner system from HASCO hot runner. Flow channels can be configured with the optimum rheological layout, avoiding sharp edges and areas with poor flow. The gentle passage of the melt through the manifold makes for considerably lower shear stress in the material, resulting in better quality moldings. And the flow-optimized design speeds up color changes, too, since the melt can be divided and deflected over generous radii. In addition, the company now offers the new mold lock Z730/… to prevent injection molds from opening during installation and removal as well as during transport and to prevent any moving plates, like ejector assemblies, from shifting out of position. The Z730/... can be operated with just one hand and without any tools, avoiding any damage to the mold. For more information, visit www.hasco.com/en. [2] HEIDENHAIN’S ANGLE ENCODERS, INTERFACE UNDERGO UPGRADE Motion control feedback solutions provider HEIDENHAIN, with US headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois, has announced technical upgrades to the ERA 4000 angle encoder series. The ERA 4000 series offers increased accuracy, ease of use and logistical flexibility, while remaining mechanically compatible with past models. ERA 4000 angle encoders consist of a steel drum at various diameters with the 20-, 40- or 80-micron graduation on the outer diameter, and a scanning unit that reads the graduation. The addition of HEIDENHAIN Signal Processing (HSP) to the scanning units increases the speed capabilities of the encoder system to 1 MHz 26

the american MOLD BUILDER | Issue 4 2020

scanning. The company also has debuted its EnDat 3 encoder interface protocol. Now available in HEIDENHAIN’s ExI 1100 series of inductive rotary encoders, this interface offers users faster and more efficient operation in their machine motion control. The new EnDat 3 protocol carries forward the features and benefits of the well-established original EnDat with a new architecture that maintains continuity and compatibility with previous versions. For more information, visit www.heidenhain.us. [3] ROLLOMATIC SPOTLIGHTS FULLY INTERPOLATED 6‐AXIS TOOL GRINDER Rollomatic, a machine tool manufacturer based in Le Landeron, Switzerland, highlights the new GrindSmart® model 630XW machine with new and innovative capabilities relating to the production grinding of solid carbide boring bars and other stationary cutting tools. Boring bar grinding on the Rollomatic 6-axis tool grinding machines offers exceptional flexibility in comparison to conventional single-purpose grinders. With its six fully interpolating CNC axes and a 6-station wheel/nozzle changer, the machine easily can be adapted for individual boring bar designs, both for short and long runs. The compact and versatile design allows full interchangeability between boring bars, inserts and round tools. Rollomatic provides service/support from its North American headquarters in Mundelein, Illinois, and satellite offices in California, Florida, Indiana and Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.RollomaticUSA.com. [4] MEUSBURGER OFFERS NEW CLAMPING CONFIGURATOR Austrian parts provider Meusburger now offers a new configurator service. Moldmakers spend an average of 600 hours per year on


machine set-up. This time can be slashed by using a zero-clamping system. Customers can order the plates they need to machine with the fitting holes for the clamping bolts of their zero-clamping system. Introducing fitting holes for the clamping bolts of a zero clamping system takes time, personnel and machine resources. With Meusburger’s service for the P standard and P special plates range, customers can skip this step since the fitting holes have already been made in the plate. The selection is made using the clamping configurator in the Meusburger shop. For more information, visit www.meusburger.com/clamping-configurator. DOOSAN PRESENTS 5-AXIS DVF SERIES, PUMA SMX5100L Doosan Machine Tools America, Pine Brook, New Jersey, presents the DVF Series of compact 5-axis machining centers, built for a wide range of five-sided and simultaneous 5-axis applications. The FANUC 31i-B5 CNC controller makes full 5-axis simultaneous control (all axes feeding at once) possible, giving full contouring capabilities. The DVF 5000 is equipped with a CAT40/BIG PLUS® taper 18,000 r/min spindle, which facilitates high-speed metal removal. The DVF 5000 features a 19.7" (500mm) diameter B- over C-axis rotary table with a 24.8" (630mm) option. The machine table is an integrated cantilever style full 5-axis table, which allows for the machining of parts from a variety of angles. The company also presents the PUMA SMX5100L, the latest addition to the company’s twin-spindle, multitasking turnmill centers. The PUMA SMX5100L is the largest machine in the series, with a maximum turning diameter of 32.7" and maximum turn length of 120.1". Chuck sizes of 15", 18" and 21" are available for the standard main turning spindle, which features a 49.6 horsepower built-in motor that spins at 2,400 r/min. For more information, visit www.doosanmachinetools.com.

Mold Polishing & Repair Providing the Latest Technology for: Micro-TIG Welders Ultrasonic Polishers Laser Welders Finishing Stones Power Tools Diamond Abrasives Mold Polishing Classes

[5] NEW EMUGE MICRO END MILLS AND CHUCKS OFFER EFFICIENT MACHINING OF CHALLENGING MATERIALS Cutting tools and accessories supplier Emuge Corp., West Boylston, Massachusetts, has announced the introduction of its new micro end mills and micro milling/drilling chucks for a wide range of applications such as die and mold, medical and more. The micro end mills feature a patented neck design with up to 10x diameter, enabling reach into deep contours. For optimal machining performance, a high radial bending strength withstands alternating stress on the cutting edge and relieved neck. The new Emuge end mills offer high-speed cutting finishing of 2D and 3D contours, and are offered in square, ball nose and torus end types. Featuring a short, stable cutting geometry, the end mills are available in solid carbide and CBN designs. For more information, visit www.emuge.com. BORIDE OFFERS THREE NEW FINE GRIT CERAMIC STONES BORIDE Engineered Abrasives, Traverse City, Michigan, a manufacturer of abrasive products for industrial and consumer applications, has extended its offering of Ceramic Super Stones to include three new fine grits: 1500, 2000 and 3000. This new series page 29

www.gesswein.com • 800.243.4466 www.americanmoldbuilder.com | AMBA.org

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Other freight charges will be incurred for such services as expedited delivery, air freight, freight collect, sourced orders, hazardous materials, buyer’s carrier, shipments outside the contiguous U.S. or other special handling by the carrier.


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7 is for semi-finishing, final finishing and mirror polishing on any mold and die, leaving a smooth, polished surface and excellent polishing results. Ceramic Super Stones are an excellent choice for fine detail polishing. They are strong, flexible and non-loading for use on all types of materials, and also are thin for use in tight ribs and slots. The complete line of Ceramic Super Stones now is available in 12 grits, ranging from 80 to 3000 and in over 20 sizes. For more information, visit www.borideabrasives.com. [6] HRSFLOW INTRODUCES HYFLOW Hot runner systems producer HRSflow, San Polo di Piave, Italy, has introduced HyFlow, a technology developed for applications with hydraulically actuated cylinders, in which the opening and closing speeds and the positioning of each pin can be adjusted precisely via the oil flow rate. HyFlow uses a controller with a user-friendly interface to set the lock position of each pin. The opening and closing speed for each nozzle can be set by a manual adjustment mechanism, allowing for controlling the melt flow rate so that cascade injection molding results in a uniform mold filling process without sudden pressure drops and associated surface defects. The positioning of the pin also allows for balancing of the pressure distribution in the cavity during the entire injection process. For more information, visit www.hrsflow.com. KENNAMETAL INTRODUCES THE KCFM™ 45 FACE MILLING CUTTER Industrial technology provider Kennametal Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has introduced a new face milling platform for cast iron applications, the KCFM 45. With fixed and adjustable pocket seats, the new milling cutter provides the option for semi-finishing as well as fine-finishing applications, exceeding the highest surface quality requirements. With carbide, ceramic and PcBN inserts, the tool is a flexible, cost-effective and user-friendly solution for any type of CNC machining center. Carbide inserts are ideal for machining at lower RPM, or in thin-walled workpieces and less stable conditions, while ceramic inserts (KY3500 grade) provide elevated surface speeds that result in higher productivity. For fine finishing operations, PcBN inserts will deliver the best possible surface finish, tool life and throughput. For more information, visit www.kennametal.com.

[7] CGTECH ADDS ADDITIVE SIMULATION CAPABILITIES TO VERICUT Irvine, California-based CGTech introduced the new release of VERICUT version 9.1.1, along with other VERICUT modules, including additive and composites applications. VERICUT CNC machine simulation, verification and optimization software simulates all types of CNC machining, including mill/turn and parallel kinematic/hexapods, drilling and trimming of composite parts, additive and hybrid manufacturing, water jet, riveting, robots and more. It operates independently but also can be integrated with leading CAM systems. VERICUT software version 9.1.1 has new features and enhancements to boost productivity and streamline workflow, including a refined AUTO-DIFF display, streamlined optimization controls for faster NC program optimization, a units converter in Tool Manager to easily switch between metric and imperial values, and enhancements to the CAD/CAM and tooling interfaces. For more information, visit www.cgtech.com. SECO TOOLS EXPANDS RANGE OF JETSTREAM TOOLING® HOLDERS FOR GENERAL ISO TURNING Seco Tools, Fagersta, Sweden, a provider of metal cutting solutions, has announced the expansion of its Jetstream Tooling® Integrated (JETI) technology with a complete range of holders for general ISO turning. This internal coolant technology increases tool life dramatically while shortening set-up and indexing times, thanks to a new single-screw insert clamp design and the absence of external hoses. By placing high-pressure coolant directly in the cutting zone, JETI technology ensures superior chip and temperature control. For further process optimization, holders equipped with Jetstream Tooling® Duo feature a second coolant outlet from the clearance side that can be turned on or off. As a result, manufacturers can run much higher cutting data without impacting application security for any ISO-S, ISO-M or ISO-P turning application. For more information, visit www.secotools.com. TECH SOFT 3D AND OPEN MIND COLLABORATE ON CAM SOLUTIONS OPEN MIND Technologies AG, Wessling, Germany, a developer of CAD/CAM software solutions, and Tech Soft 3D, Bend, Oregon, a provider of engineering software development toolkits, have announced the availability of HOOPS Exchange. HOOPS Exchange is a CAD data access and reuse technology for manufacturing and architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) workflows that will be integrated into hyperCAD®-S and hyperMILL® to ensure that all CAD and product manufacturing information (PMI) data are transferred seamlessly between applications. hyperMILL® is a modular CAM solution for 2.5D, 3D, 5-axis, HSC/HPC and millturning processes. The CAM software provides geometry analysis and tool path calculations. For more information, visit www. openmind-tech.com and www.techsoft3d.com. n

www.americanmoldbuilder.com | AMBA.org

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WORKFORCE TRENDS, SALARY FREEZES AND NEW DATA IN ANNUAL WAGE REPORT By Rachael Pfenninger, director of strategic execution, AMBA hen comparing wage data from 2019 to 2020, more than W 70% of jobs in the US mold building industry experienced wage increases in 2020. Across the board, mold manufacturing

positions experienced an average of a 7% increase in compensation (approximately $1.41 per hour), according to the most recent Wage and Salary Report published by the American Mold Builders Association. Now in its tenth year, AMBA’s annual Wage and Salary Report analyzes data collected from mold building executives on reported wages of more than 50 different job classifications within mold manufacturing organizations. The 2020/2021 report includes data from over 95 US mold manufacturing companies, representing nearly 4,000 full-time and part-time employees. Of the 50+ job titles analyzed in this year’s report, 40% of the positions revealed a greater than 5% growth in compensation (a rise in 12% over last year). The positions reporting the most significant rises in compensation include inspectors, purchasing agents/buyers, press operators and quality managers – all of which experienced an average of a 30% wage increase over last year’s reported data. New to this annual survey is the addition of the CNC programmer – 5-axis role. Added with insights provided by AMBA mold manufacturing members, this position represents those employees who have received specialized training in 5-axis machines. On average, CNC programmers with specialized 5-axis training receive $1.87 per hour more than CNC programmers without specialized training.

Over the next 12 months, 67% of respondents plan to hire additional employees (a 3% increase when compared to 2019 data), while 12% report no plans to hire new employees in 2021 (no change from last year’s data). The need to find skilled people to fill technical positions continues to significantly outweigh the need to fill administrative and leadership positions. Of the positions that respondents report needing to fill, 82% of the jobs are technically based. Administrative positions make up 12% of open positions, while leadership positions represent only 6% of jobs needing to be filled in 2021. Of all data reported in this year’s 2020/2021 AMBA Wage and Salary Report, the most alarming is the continuing workforce age trend. This year, the percentage of employees 50 years or older hit an alltime high of 43%, while the percentage of employees ages 18 to 50 fell to 57% (a drop of 4% from last year’s data). Although the arrival and continued stay of the COVID-19 pandemic likely has hindered workforce development efforts – as open houses were canceled, schools were closed, employees were furloughed and businesses were shut down – these data highlight the acute need to continue efforts to attract younger generations of employees and establish a succession plan that can survive an aging workforce.

Hiring Forecast for the Next 12 Months

Not Sure, 21%

Overall, the significant rise in compensation is promising for the mold manufacturing industry and indicates that it is looking to improve internal operations and job quality now more than ever. However, given that 17% of mold manufacturers reported a current salary freeze due to continuing economic conditions, this trend may falter in the coming months as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Despite the conditions of COVID-19, the mold manufacturing community continues to report a positive employment forecast. 30

the american MOLD BUILDER | Issue 4 2020

No, 12% Yes, 67%


Although economic times are difficult for many, there may be some opportunities for mold manufacturers to entice new talent to their facilities. For instance, while 75% of this year’s respondents report offering merit increases based on performance, less than onequarter offer across-the-board increases – something that could be considered when the company as a whole succeeds, particularly because younger generations thrive on being a part of the “bigger picture” and the company’s overall goals. n For more information or to purchase the report, visit www.amba.org.

Workforce Age Trend 80%

70%

70% 68%

67%

60%

64% 61% 61% 59%

61%

58%

57%

50%

40% 32% 30%

36%

43%

42%

41%

39% 39%

33%

30%

39%

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1

2

4 MEUSBURGER PROVIDES CAD TOOL FREE OF CHARGE Standard parts provider Meusburger, Wolfurt, Austria, has developed a CAD tool that is available free of charge. This tool is coordinated with the Siemens NX CAD system and enables designers to carry out a simple and time-saving design process. Configurations of components that are native in the system can be selected and all parameters automatically are adjusted. Installation spaces and the color table standards developed by Meusburger and the Association of German Tool and Mould Makers also are integrated in the tool. The parts list automatically is updated when changes are made. For more information, visit www.meusburger.com. [1] IWARRIORS LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE iWarriors – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to honor severely injured soldiers from all branches of the US armed forces by providing personalized technology packages to aid in their rehabilitation and recovery – has launched a new website. The website features information about the organization and its mission, and about the US military recipients of personalized technology packages, including photos and testimonials from grateful recipients. The site also includes application information for injured service members who would like to be considered as recipients, and information for making donations, for purchasing branded merchandise and for setting up individual and corporate yearly sponsorships. For more information, visit www.iwarriors.org. [2] HEIDENHAIN DONATES NUMERIK JENA ENCODERS TO SUPPORT ASPE STUDENT CHALLENGE Twelve NUMERIK JENA LIKgo encoders from motion control feedback solutions provider HEIDENHAIN, Schaumburg, Illinois, were donated to support the ASPE Student Challenge. These 32

the american MOLD BUILDER | Issue 4 2020

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encoders were used in the six critical XY stages being provided to the student teams for use in the competitions. The goal of the 2020 Challenge was to build a scribe tool controller and Z-axis mechanism that can be integrated with an XY scanning platform to produce a mechanical ruling system. The universities competing included The University of Texas at Austin, North Carolina State University, University of Michigan, University of Michigan – Dearborn, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Navajo Technical University. For more information, visit www.aspe.net/35th-annual-meeting/35thannual-meeting-student-challenge/. KRUSE TRAINING LAUNCHES MOLDING DEFECTS LEVEL 2 Kruse Training Inc., Naples, Florida, a developer of interactive online training programs, is introducing Molding Defects Level 2 to its training program. The self-paced, interactive, step-by-step training builds on the company’s successful Level 1 online training. The goal of this section is to teach the causes of common molding defects and how to prevent them. The training combines interactive parts, animations, simulations, videos, quizzes and multimedia presentations. Molding Defects Level 2 users will learn about various molding defects that can occur during the injection molding process; will gain an understanding of how part design, mold design and the injection molding process impact molding defects; and will analyze molded parts to learn the cause and effect behaviors of design and process. For more information, visit www.krusetraining.com. SUPERIOR DIE SET PARTNERS WITH TOOL PLANNERS TO OFFER ESTIMATING SOFTWARE Steel and aluminum product provider Superior Die Set Corporation, Oak Creek, Wisconsin, announced that the company has aligned with Tool Planners, Inc., as the exclusive distributor of Tool Planners’ DieEstimator software for global representation. DieEstimator, the die cost estimating software, is a solution to the traditional, timeconsuming quoting process and quickly adapts to the way shops quote, providing Superior Die Set customers with greater consistency and more accurate pricing compared to a ballpark estimate in calculating the cost of dies. Jeff Bennett, Tool Planners, Inc., founder, owner and president, created the software to be a comprehensive product based on years of solving difficult die problems for metal page 35


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stampers and die shops. After the software is installed, online training videos are available for quick use of the tool, and it is compatible with any Apple or PC device and effective on multiple browsers. For more information, visit www.superiordieset.com. [3] MOLDEX3D ANNOUNCED AS SPE PREFERRED PARTNER The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) announced that plastic injection molding industry solution provider CoreTech System Co., Ltd. (Moldex3D), Taiwan, has been named as an SPE Preferred Partner. An SPE Preferred Partner is a converter, manufacturer, solutions provider or product distributor that has been recognized by SPE for demonstrated leadership and innovation in the plastics industry. Their products and services are valuable to SPE’s members. “We are very honored to be named as an SPE Preferred Partner,” said Dr. Rong-Yeu Chang, Moldex3D CEO and a fellow of SPE. “Providing global customers with advanced and innovative technologies and services has always been Moldex3D’s mission. SPE’s recognition certainly gives us more momentum to assist industries to level up their competitiveness in the ever-changing global market.” For more information, visit www.moldex3d.com and www.4spe.org. [4] NORTH AMERICA MANUFACTURING EVENT ANNOUNCES NEW 2021 DATE PLASTEC West has announced that the 2021 edition of the conference and exhibition – typically held in February – now will be held August 10-12, 2021, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. In the interim, Informa Markets – Engineering brought the manufacturing community together in late November for Virtual Engineering Week, five days in a virtual setting featuring networking, education, buyer and seller sourcing. For more information, visit www.plastecwest.com. AMERIMOLD MOVES TO SEPTEMBER 2021 The annual Amerimold show will return in 2021 to the Donald E. Stephens Center in Rosemont, Illinois, on September 22nd and 23rd. The show organizers anticipate that, in a post-COVID world, moldmakers, molders, OEMs and tier suppliers will be eager to come to together to network, build their brands and learn. The 2020 edition of the event – Amerimold Connects – was held virtually in June, and the livestreamed sessions still are available for viewing. For more information, visit www.amerimoldexpo.com. n

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www.americanmoldbuilder.com | AMBA.org

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HEALTHCARE TRENDS TO INFLUENCE 2021 INSURANCE RATES

By Dianna Brodine, managing editor, The American Mold Builder

health insurance rates for 2021 is a difficult task. In some ways, the pandemic has resulted in declining healthcare costs in the Pmoreredicting current year: Individuals have reduced nonemergency visits to physicians and hospitals, and telehealth appointments have become prevalent. On the other side of the coin, treatments and hospitalizations for COVID-19 and related illnesses have driven costs higher, and mental health treatment frequency has increased as the pandemic stretches on. As insurers submitted their 2021 rates ahead of the October 15 deadline for the health insurance marketplace, the Kaiser Family Foundation (a nonprofit organization focused on national health issues) found most insurers intend a modest increase or decrease in premium costs in the upcoming year.

“The most common factors that insurers cited as driving up health costs in 2021 were the continued cost of COVID-19 testing, the potential for widespread vaccination, the rebounding of medical services delayed from 2020, and morbidity from deferred or foregone care. At the same time, many insurers expect health care utilization to remain lower than usual next year as people continue to observe social distancing measures and avoid routine care, especially in absence of a vaccine or in the event of future waves of the virus,” KFF explained.1 However, insurance costs remain a major financial factor for both employer and employee. KFF’s annual Employer Health Benefits Survey, released in October 2020, showed, “Annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached $21,342 this year, up 4% from last year, with workers on average paying $5,588 toward the cost of their coverage.”2 The report also pointed out that, “Since 2010, average family premiums have increased 55%, at least twice as fast as wages (27%) and inflation (19%).” Businesses continue the fight to find ways to reduce healthcare costs, employing strategies that range from incentives for healthy habits to in-house wellness visits. The following article, originally printed in Plastics Business magazine (www.plasticsbusinessmag.com), provides another perspective on reducing healthcare costs – a collaborative on-site clinic shared by four Minnesota-area businesses. 1. 2021 Premium Changes on ACA Exchanges and the Impact of COVID-19 on Rates, accessed Nov. 18, 2020, https://www.kff.org/private-insurance/issue-brief/2021-premium-changeson-aca-exchanges-and-the-impact-of-covid-19-on-rates/ 2. Average Family Premiums Rose 4% to $21,342 in 2020, Benchmark KFF Employer Health Benefit Survey Finds, accessed Nov. 18, 2020, https://www.kff.org/health-costs/press-release/ average-family-premiums-rose-4-to-21342-in-2020-benchmark-kff-employer-health-benefit-survey-finds/

REVAMPING HEALTHCARE AT VITAL PLASTICS

by Lara Copeland, contributing writer, The American Mold Builder

A

cross the business landscape, companies are employing creative strategies to draw in new talent while also trying to hold onto current employees. Attractive incentives – like flexible hours and good pay – are among some of the leading priorities potential employees are looking for; however, affordable and unique healthcare packages also are top contenders. Some large corporations, such as Amazon, Apple and Facebook, have been offering on-site health clinics for a number of years, but this growing trend is making its way into smaller companies, too. The modern on-site health clinic

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the american MOLD BUILDER | Issue 4 2020

not only treats injured employees, it also addresses overall health and wellness. MOTIVATION FOR CHANGE In January 2019, Vital Plastics, located in an industrial park just east of the Twin Cities metro area in Minnesota, became self-insured, offering healthcare, dental and short-term disability plans for its 112 part-time and 110 full-time employees and their families. Additionally, in July 2019, this custom injection molding and contract assembly


company – along with two other businesses and a local school district – opened a shared, on-site health clinic. According to Vital Plastics President George Hauser, two main factors motivated the company to make this move. “We looked at it as a differentiator,” he said. “At the time we started participating in this conversation, attracting and engaging employees was quite difficult. So, we did something to be different, look different and feel different – we wanted to be appealing to people so they could see the value in our company.” Company-sponsored healthcare offered another advantage. “The other thing we were striving to do is to control our healthcare costs,” Hauser added. “Every year we are faced with increases, and it just wasn’t sustainable anymore.” He commented that becoming self-insured and offering the on-site clinic were two ways Vital Plastics could get control of its healthcare costs and establish transparency. The company had spent money in the past offering wellness services, like a mobile blood unit or offering a copay for health memberships, but Hauser found that those services weren’t getting much “lift,” as he put it. “We simply decided to redirect our dollars,” he explained. The clinic is staffed with a couple of medical assistants and a nurse practitioner. It operates 40 hours each week, but its schedule is staggered so that it can accommodate employees from various shifts. And, despite being shared among four entities and a large pool of insureds, people are seen very quickly. As for the self-insured healthcare plan, Hauser remarked that it is “virtually the same plan we had when we were insured through a regular carrier. The only difference now is we fund it ourselves and have a third-party administrator while also having an over-line protection to help protect us from catastrophic issues.” COLLABORATION AND COMPLIANCE Becoming self-insured and opening an on-site clinic still may be a rarity, but as healthcare costs go up, the concept continues to attract interest. For others looking to implement something similar, Hauser mentioned some facets that have worked well for Vital Plastics and what a company should think about when considering such a paradigm shift. “We collaborate well with the other companies in our group, and we have the ability to customize our specific plan to meet our own needs,” he said. “I don’t have to offer the exact same plan as the others in our group, but some items do need to be the same.” He continued, saying that while another company in the group offers to cover part-

time employees, Vital Plastics only covers full-time employees. “We also can set different copay prices, for example.” Hauser also emphasized the importance of staying compliant with any health savings account (HSA) regulations. “With an HSA, we can’t offer the clinic for free, so we ended up doing preventive care for free,” he explained. In this case, any diagnostic care is a $25 copay, but Vital Plastics contributes enough to the HSAs for these copays to be covered. He said there’s “room for maneuvering, but make sure you remain compliant,” while also noting that it is “important to research vendors and make sure you know who your administrator and your clinic provider is. “Every single one of our plans is going well,” Hauser assured. “We are 17 months into the insurance plans and about 10 months into the clinic, and I can say that participation in each of these has increased over time.” Vital Plastics is not resting on its laurels though. In 2020, the company added an incentive to its health savings account. If an employee goes to the on-site clinic for a physical, which is free, Vital Plastics makes an additional contribution to their HSA. “This has been well taken advantage of and well received,” Hauser noted. As the company moves forward, controlling healthcare costs remains a top priority. “We did not increase health premiums in 2020, and if I stay on trajectory this year, I can hold healthcare costs again for another year,” Hauser commented. Vital Plastics also strives to create more responsibility for the user. As for now, he is pleased with all aspects of the company’s healthcare offerings. “We are ahead of the game with all of our healthcare plans – we were last year, and we are again this year. That tells me that we’re doing it right.” n www.americanmoldbuilder.com | AMBA.org

37


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UV SURFACE AND AIR DISINFECTION DEVICES: LET THE BUYER BEWARE! By Castine A. Bernardy, Nicola M. Elardo, Alexa M. Trautz, and James P. Malley, Jr., Ph.D., Environmental Engineers, University of New Hampshire orldwide concern over the risk of contracting or spreading W COVID-19 has sparked widespread interest in using UV devices for air and surface disinfection. The purpose of this article is to provide tips to the consumers and users of UV devices intended to inactivate air and surface pathogens. That market contains thousands of different products, with over 50 million UV products sold to consumers since March 2020. Unfortunately, these products lack uniform validation protocols, manufacturing specification, or guidelines. Therefore, consumers need to be informed before purchasing or using UV devices. There are three types of UV light commonly discussed in disinfection. UV-A and B wavelengths come from the sun and reach the Earth. UV-C wavelengths vary from 200 to 280 nm and are emitted from these purchased UV devices. Generally, the lower the wavelength, the greater the photon energy of the light that is being emitted by the device. This is important to note when discussing disinfection due to the sun, as UV-A and UV-B have longer wavelengths. While disinfection from the sun may be possible, the time required to achieve adequate disinfection from the sun is excessive and often results in desiccation of the pathogen before it is inactivated by the UV ray. WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW Often the information provided by advertisements and many very brief user manuals for UV devices simplifies operations to talking about time, instead of dose. Dose is the measurement that is recommended by all UV professionals because time is not the most important factor. The effectiveness of any UV device or application depends upon at least four key factors: a) the irradiance or fluence rate of the light source at specific wavelength(s) emitted (some refer to this as intensity or strength of light, but those are vague, nontechnical terms), b) the optical geometry of the UV device, or how it is to be applied, c) the type of organisms to be targeted, including their action spectra and what percent removal (or log inactivation), is desired and d) contact time. Of these lamp characteristics, optical geometry and organism characteristics are far more important than time. UV device geometry and optics matter when placing an object in it for disinfection, as shown in Figure 1. Figure 1 is a UV intensity “heat

Figure 1. UV Heat Map – Highest UV Dose (red) to Lowest UV Dose (blue).

map” of a typical device disinfecting a KN95 mask (black). The heat map measures the sum of all optical factors that affect delivered UV dose, as confirmed by UV radiometer readings. The figure demonstrates that many regions of a typical UV device (blue) deliver a very low UV dose and will produce poor disinfection. One way to determine if the UV device is effective at inactivating the pathogen of interest is by using UV dosimeter badges. UV dosimeter badges are reusable or single-use labels that change color as they receive UV radiation. When purchased, a pack of dosimeter badges will come with a color scale that matches each color to a UV dose. With this tool, the user visually can see if the required dose for disinfection has been achieved by matching their badge to the corresponding color on the scale after dosing. Thus, UV dosimeter badges offer consumers an easy way to confirm a UV device has done its job. SAFETY CONCERNS Virtually all UV devices come with warnings about the potential electrical hazards and about the fact that UV light is known to cause harm to skin and eyes. page 40

www.americanmoldbuilder.com | AMBA.org

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Dosing human and animal tissues with any forms of UV energy should not be done by the buyers and users of these UV devices. Special cases performed by experienced medical professionals under very tightly controlled conditions for very specific medical problems may be found in internet searches, but “do not do this at home� is the message for buyers and users of UV devices. The current US and international guidelines set limits on maximum exposure to UV and highly recommend that living tissue should not be exposed to any forms of UV light unless it is prescribed and monitored by healthcare professionals. Users must be vigilant to protect themselves from all direct, reflected or otherwise stray UV light when using any UV device, especially items such as UV wands. In addition, ozone production is another potential hazard when operating enclosed UV devices. Normal use of UV devices for applying lower doses (0 to 100 mJ/cm2) to surfaces or air is being increased 10- to 20-fold (e.g., 2,000 mJ/cm2) to ensure PPE is adequately disinfected before reuse. The elevated doses may result in the unwanted generation of low levels of airborne ozone. Such ozone levels can cause minor irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, as well

as low-grade headaches if people use these devices for extended periods of time. In addition, the effectiveness of using UV wands is doubtful. Normal human limitations and error make it unlikely that consumers will hold the wand an appropriate distance from a surface, use the correct sweeping motion to cover the whole surface or expose the pathogen to a high enough UV dose to cause adequate inactivation. Finally, it is extremely important to verify that you have purchased a quality UV device. Generally, the better-quality devices are hundreds to thousands of dollars and come with independent third-party testing data. However, price is not the only determinant for UV device excellence, and it is crucial to confirm that the UV device delivers the specified dose from the lamp by use of dosimeter badges. Finally, UV devices cannot replace the multiple barriers recommended by health experts to prevent the spread of diseases like COVID-19. n This article written under the supervision of Jim Malley, jim.malley@ unh.edu. For more information on UV disinfection technologies, visit www.uvsolutionsmag.com.

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the american MOLD BUILDER | Issue 4 2020

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DECEMBER 2020 Building a Foundation: Buy-in, Accountability and Empowerment, December 9, 12:00 p.m. EST, www.amba. org/events

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AMBA Conference 2021, June 22-24, 2021, Grand Rapids, Michigan, www.amba.org/events

MARCH 2021 Sales & Marketing Virtual Summit, March 10-11, 2021, www. amba.org/events MAY 2021 NPE2021, May 17-21, 2021, Orlando, Florida, www.npe.org

Alliance Specialties and Laser Sales.................................................................www.alliancelasersales.com.................................................................................................... 23 AMBA Conference 2021......................................................................................www.amba.org............................................................................................................................... 3 AMBA Membership...............................................................................................www.amba.org.............................................................................................................................34 Boride Engineered Abrasives.............................................................................www.borideabrasives.com.......................................................................................................22 Crystallume, a Division of RobbJack Corporation.....................................www.crystallume.com................................................................................................................15 Dynamic Surface Technologies.........................................................................www.dynablue.com....................................................................................Inside Back Cover Erowa System Solutions.......................................................................................www.erowa.com...........................................................................................................................31 Federated Insurance..............................................................................................www.federatedinsurance.com................................................................................................ 33 Finkl Steel..................................................................................................................www.finkl.com............................................................................................................................ 40 Gesswein....................................................................................................................www.gesswein.com.................................................................................................................... 27 Grainger......................................................................................................................www.grainger.com......................................................................................................................28 HASCO America, Inc............................................................................................www.hasco.com............................................................................................................................21 HEIDENHAIN CORPORATION...................................................................www.heidenhain.us...................................................................................................................... 7 INCOE Corporation.............................................................................................www.incoe.com...........................................................................................................................10 Milicron......................................................................................................................www.dme.net............................................................................................................. Back Cover Mold-Tech Midwest...............................................................................................www.mold-tech.com..................................................................................................................17 MoldMaking Technology.....................................................................................www.moldmakingtechnology.com......................................................................................38 NPE2021.....................................................................................................................www.npe.org................................................................................................................................. 41 PCS Company.........................................................................................................www.pcs-company.com............................................................................................................13 Plastic Engineering & Technical Services, Inc.............................................www.petsgroupintl.com........................................................................................................... 19 Progressive Components....................................................................................www.procomps.com............................................................................... Inside Front Cover Superior Die Set Corporation............................................................................www.superiordieset.com.........................................................................................................22 Ultra Polishing, Inc.................................................................................................www.ultrapolishing.com.......................................................................................................... 35 Vincent Tool.............................................................................................................www.vincenttool.com............................................................................................................... 35 Wisconsin Engraving Co. Inc./Unitex.............................................................www.wi-engraving.com.............................................................................................................12 YRC Freight..............................................................................................................www.enrollhere.net....................................................................................................................24

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the american MOLD BUILDER | Issue 4 2020