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Getting Into Shape Mentally

Training, continuing education, skill development or whatever name you want to assign to it can have benefits beyond the bottom line. Why should you invest in training? There are a number of reasons why you or your organization should be looking at some form of training or continued education if you are not already doing so. In the US alone, 10K baby boomers turn 65 (the typical age of retirement) every day. While the average retirement age of a baby boomer lies somewhere between 61 and 65, it’s easy to see a growing wave of the very experienced and skilled workforce leaving the many industries, including plastics, across the US and in Europe.

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Putting Your Mark on Your Part

Have you ever looked at the bottom of a plastic container and noticed one or more symbols molded into the part? These markings are added at the time of molding with a metal insert placed in the cavity of the mold. When the resin solidifies it bears the mark of the specific insert added. Believe it or not these markings can be extremely important and very helpful for molders and consumers alike as they guide decisions through the life cycle of the plastic part. For the molder, the markings provide key information which can include when the part was made, helping to identify a specific manufacturing lot or batch and ensuring that a reliable quality system exists. For consumers, the markings can show how the finished good can be used and possibly re-purposed through recycling.

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Hot Runners vs Cold Runners: Why You Should Be Using a Hot Runner System

Plastic components are in use by every industry and manufacturing these components through injection molding has come a long way. A wide range of equipment options exist depending on your application and capabilities. Generally speaking you have a choice between traditional cold runners or the more advanced hot runners. Each option comes with its own unique sets of pros and cons and so understanding the differences and how they relate to your application could have a big impact on your productivity and overall profitability.

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Getting Smarter

If titles were being considered for the plastics industry in 2018, it is fair to categorize it as the year of “smart everything”. In fact, it has seen a fair bit of transformation this year both in technology and capabilities but also the mindset or direction of plastics processing in general.

From many of the industry exchanges we experienced at the beginning of the year, the comments posed were often hovering around the tenuous question of “should we or shouldn’t we invest and investigate” in any, or some of the IIoT manufacturing technologies being touted. Since then, I think it’s safe to say that more than enough software, hardware and technology has been showcased this year across the industry (and even from our own corner) to change that question and subsequent mindset.

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Benefits of Replacing Metal Cans with Plastic Cans

For years, the canned food industry has been dominated by metal. There haven’t been any revolutionary changes in the canned food industry until now, with the introduction of plastic cans. The highest quality plastic cans are injection molded and manufactured using a patented co-injection molding process and are a combination of polypropylene plastic with an EVOH barrier layer. The plastic cans offer all of the same features as metal cans, with even more great benefits including:

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LPIM (Low Pressure Injection Molding) – Structural Web Injection Molding

Structural Web molding technology is a variation of Low Pressure Injection Molding (LPIM) that was developed by Milacron as a proprietary molding process on our LPIM machines. It is a process that is well suited for large part/large shot sizes with good part surface aesthetics and low molded in stresses. The process also creates a part with a dual wall section (hollow) allowing for 10% to 30% part weight savings over a solid molded part with the same part geometry.

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What Mold Do You Fit Into?

The plastics industry, understandably so, is a rather diverse industry; not unlike other large global industries. It is comprised of companies and organizations of all shapes and sizes, usually differentiated by organizational structure or revenue.  Aside from the typical size comparisons of companies, the diversity extends outward in a great number of ways and categories (i.e., output product type, machine type, injection/extrusion/blow, industries serviced, supplier/mold maker/machine manufacturer/part molder, etc.); so much so that I wouldn’t pretend to be able to cover even a small fraction of it in this post. What I do want to chat about this month is more in line with the self-assessment or self-classification of the company that you currently operate. In essence, let’s talk about “What is your buying type”?

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Top Things to Consider When Assessing Ejector Pins for Breakage

Ejector pins are a critical component to the injection molding process. An ejector pin is driven into the rear of a mold cavity to force the finished piece out and is also often referred to as a knockout pin. Having pins you can count on can make the difference between manufacturing a product efficiently or creating future unwanted costs.

If you’re experiencing ejector pin breakage here are some things to consider when assessing your pins: