Published: January 16th, 2015
We hear a lot about hydraulic fracturing of shale rock to revive our energy industry by using pressurized liquid to aid in the extraction of natural gas and petroleum that is difficult to obtain by other means. You might be wondering what that has to do with the plastics industry. C. Andrew Rosenholm might be a familiar name to those who've been in the industry for many years. His family's company, OAR Tool & Die, was a well-known mold manufacturer for 45 years, and as Rosenholm noted was a "toolmaker to the stars."
Published: January 12th, 2015
Aluminum molds have been used for many years for applications that require lower piece part volumes such as prototype tooling for part R&D, and using materials that don't damage the cores and cavities. However, aluminum is being used more commonly today even in high-volume production molding applications. In fact, according to Darcy King, president of Unique Tool & Mold: "There are not a lot of applications where you can't use aluminum."
Published: December 22nd, 2014
At the same time that we hear a lot about U.S. manufacturers reshoring their production, we are also being reminded that there is a skilled worker shortage. "We know that our investments in automation and high-tech machine tools provide some relief from this problem, but we also know that the people at Industrial Molds are our most valuable asset," said Tim Peterson, VP of Industrial Molds Group in Rockford, IL.
Published: December 8th, 2014
It's one thing to have a job. Jobs are necessary in order to make money so that we can provide for ourselves and perhaps others as well with housing, food, clothing, transportation - those things that we truly need. However, when does a job become a career? How can you turn a job into a career?
Published: December 1st, 2014
The two-color injection molding process has been simplified through a development at Trelleborg Sealing Solutions (Stuttgart, Germany) that employs a single shot and a single tool to manufacture partially colored liquid silicone rubber (LSR) components. Utilizing an innovative and proprietary tool construction, the process has the capability to add color pigment to part of the transparent silicone material stream just prior to its injection into the tool cavity.
Published: November 24th, 2014
While 3D printing (aka additive manufacturing) has advanced dramatically in recent years, making possible myriad parts - both prototype and production - moldmakers remain reluctant adopters of the technology. However, as usual, OEMs seem to be catching onto the advantages of 3D printing for a number of applications including building single-cavity pilot molds quickly and cheaply.
Published: November 20th, 2014
At Japan’s biennial Jimtof machine tool show in Tokyo, 3D printing was in the spotlight with a new concept from Sodick (Kaga, Japan) that combined selective laser sintering coupled with traditional machining. The OPM250L “One Process Milling Center” can fabricate tooling inserts with complex internal cooling channels that would be impossible to achieve using traditional fabrication methods.
Published: November 14th, 2014
Attracting high school students to a manufacturing career isn't easy. It takes a lot of effort and time for companies to become involved with local high schools and trade/tech schools to promote the benefits of manufacturing as a career.
Published: November 13th, 2014
A new micromachining center from Japanese machine builder Yasda is designed for the manufacture of molds and components with challenging micro-sized geometries that are typical in the medical and semiconductor sectors, for example. The new Yasda YMC 430 Ver. IIA is distributed in the United States by Methods Machine Tools Inc. (Sudbury, MA).
Published: November 12th, 2014
The recent Jimtof show in Tokyo presented a number of innovations in machine tools and electric discharge machining (EDM) for improving the efficiency of toolmaking. See here for our previous pictorial report.