American Made Christmas

Santa will be adventuring around the world and down chimneys in a few short weeks. Thinking about the many presents he will bring there are many American made products that will be gifted this year. IMM is proud to build molds for companies like Little Tikes, Step 2, Vitamix and many more. The molds we make create the toys and maybe blenders that will be placed under the tree this year. Industrial Mold & Machine is proud to build American made products. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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Thanksgiving and Plastics

From the first Thanksgiving to today many things have changed how we celebrate. It has been almost 400 years and Thanksgiving is still a time to give thanks and enjoy in the company of our loved ones. However, plastics have greatly impacted our Thanksgiving day meal.

  • First we no longer go out and hunt our turkeys. We buy them at the grocery store wrapped in plastic. (If we do hunt our own turkey, we shoot them with a shotgun whose stock is most likely molded and whose shells are made of plastic)
  • When cooking many things in mom’s kitchen are made of plastic. From cutting boards to serving spoons to measuring cups and many utensils in between.
  • Plastic plates and plastic silverware are often used during the feast. Tables covered with plastic tablecloths. Everyone is looking for easy cleanup when the whole family is in town. No one wants to wash 30 dishes!
  • Leftovers. Perhaps the colleges students favorite thing is when mom gets out the tupperware and sends enough food back to school for a week!

Looking at the many plastic innovations that have helped to shape our Thanksgivings into what they are today we see how important mold making is. Without molds we wouldn’t have the cutting boards or utensils or plastic containers.  The conveniences plastics have contributed have made Thanksgiving much different than it was in the beginning. However, the core values of Thanksgiving still remain, give thanks and enjoy the company of your loved ones.

Happy Thanksgiving from IMM!!

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Injection Molding vs. 3D Printing

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There is a lot of hype surrounding 3D printing today. 3D printing is a layer by layer joining process. The printer can print almost any part that can be modeled using a CAD software. 3D printing is a very cool process especially for prototyping and small quantity parts. It is very easy to make revisions and modify designs. Once a mold is made, it is much more difficult to make revisions to the part. Injection molding is fast and precise. The parts come out smooth and finished taking only seconds to make.  3D printing just can’t compare to injection molding in that respect. The time it takes to print a part varies significantly depending on the size a shape. However, even very simple parts will take hours to print and often the parts require sanding or some finish coating. Complexity of parts does not really change the cost of 3D printing while complex parts with tight tolerances can greatly affect the cost of an injection mold. 3D printing is a great way to prototype and do small tasks. Currently, injection molding is the best process for mass production. 3D printing will not be able to surpass the abilities of injection molding both economically and timely. It is very difficult to compare 3D printing and injection molding since they both have many advantages. Overall, if you are making low quantity, complex or prototype parts that will be modified and changed 3D printing is on of the best options. However, if finished parts that will be mass produced are desired, injection molding is far superior.

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Precision Molds

Much of what you may think we do here at Industrial Mold is injection molding. What you many not know is we also make blow molds, extrusion blow molds, thermoset molds and compression molds.  Here is an example of a cavity for a blow mold. Precision machining and polishing for a piece like this one takes approximately 45-50 hours.

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25 Years

Industrial Mold & Machine is celebrating its 25th anniversary. It was founded by Dave Kuhary in 1988. It started in Dave’s kitchen and now IMM employs almost 40 people. Dave attributes IMM’s success to a talented team, hard work and optimism. He sees the future as being very bright for IMM as it continues to grow. Select the link below for a video on the complete history of Industrial Mold & Machine.

The History of IMM

 

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The Future of Manufacturing

I remember when I first saw an Apple iPad. “That’s no better than four iphones taped together.” I initially resisted and unfortunately missed the great potential these devices were bringing to all sectors of life. I had no idea how dramatically tablets would change the computing environment. A young man, I was soon enraptured by tablets and their captivating novelties, but that was all they were to me: a web browser, some flash games, and Netflix was all I was able to see. Since that day I have begun working with the team at Industrial Mold & Machine in an effort to leverage tablets as a tool for manufacturing organizations. Started years before I came on board, the result has been information sharing system unlike any I have ever seen. They have truly seen the potential these devices wield and have concocted a manufacturing environment where 3D models, images, and paperless memo sharing convey 100x the information more cleanly, more concisely, and more effectively than any paper system ever could. The adaptation to this system was not easy, hardset ways of past techniques did not change overnight. Still, nearly two years later, the current system is so far evolved off of our initial, rudimentary digital methods that to compare them is as radical a comparison as the idea to switch to tablets at all. The future appears bright here at Industrial Mold & Machine and as our reach with these devices continues to forge new frontiers of possibility, we eagerly await the future and new heights of productivity.

 

by Andrew Bowden

Mold Shop Cures the “Curse of Knowledge”

In this Webinar from Cimatron and MoldMaking Technology magazine, mold supplier Industrial Mold & Machine describes how it handled what shop management termed the “curse of knowledge” among its production employees.

That curse relates to the difficulty of conveying skilled expertise. In a mold shop, the experts have so much expertise that they forget how much they know. Meanwhile, the apprentices don’t know how much they still have to learn. In between are the employees in their 30s and 40s­—a group that is practically a lost generation in manufacturing, because so few skilled manufacturing employees are in this age range.
Industrial Mold & Machine describes the unusual steps they have taken to ensure knowledge transfer from the experts to the apprentices. The shop created a social-media-based knowledge sharing system that is effectively a Facebook for the shop’s jobs. Files and information exported from Cimatron software can be easily viewed and shared within the system via iPads used by shopfloor employees.

Learn much more by listening to their presentation here.

 

By: Peter Zelinski, Copyright © Gardner Business Media