Canadian Plastics

American Mold Builders Business Forecast “Cautiously Optimistic”

Optimism among American moldmakers has increased over the past several months, according to a Summer 2007 business forecast survey conducted by the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA).

September 1, 2007   Canadian Plastics



Optimism among American moldmakers has increased over the past several months, according to a Summer 2007 business forecast survey conducted by the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA).

Of the participants in the survey, 15% said business is excellent, compared to 10% who described business as excellent in the organization’s Spring 2007 business survey three months ago.

Similarly, fewer moldmakers responded that business is poor — 11% — compared to 20% per cent in the spring survey. Only one mold shop in the summer survey reported business as bad, the AMBA said.

The majority of respondents — 37% — reported that business is good, an uptick of 2% from the spring survey, while 36% described their business as fair, an uptick of 1% from spring 2007.

Projections of business over the next three months show more optimism than in the spring, with 7% of respondents expecting business to increase substantially, compared to only 2% three months ago. Those anticipating their business to increase moderately fell to 40% in the summer survey, down from 44% in the spring survey. Another 44% expect their business to remain the same over the next three months, up from 40% in the spring survey. Those expecting business to decrease moderately remained the same, at 9%.

Employment is also staying fairly stable, with 64% reporting that employment is the same as it was three months ago. Workweek hours for design and engineering employees is the same as three months ago, at 46 hours; and for shop employees is at 46, which compares exactly to three months ago as well. The average number of employees is up one, to 24, compared with the spring survey, indicating an upward trend. Design and engineering employees remains the same at five.

“Overall, members participating in the summer survey are showing a bit more optimism than in the previous forecast,” the AMBA said.

Founded in 1973, the Roselle, Ill.-based AMBA is the only industry trade group in the U.S. dedicated solely to the country’s mold manufacturing industry.

WELDING WIRE REPAIRS TOOLS, DIES & MOLDS

A full line of copper-free ultra-small diameter welding wire for making microscopic and laser welding repairs to tools, dies & molds is now available from NovaTech Inc.

The NovaTech Welding Wire is manufactured from AISI tool steels in seven micro sizes from 0.003 inch to 0.025-inch diameters to match virtually any tool, die and mold repair requirement.

Conforming to ANSI, AMS, and AWS standards for chemical composition, they are offered in over 85 per cent copper-free filler materials.

In addition to optimizing repairs, the Welding Wire can also be provided in a variety of austenitic and martensitic stainless steels, carbon stels, chrome-moly, manganese-moly, chrome-vandadium, titanium, aluminum, silver brazing alloys, and nickel-, cobalt-, and copper-based alloys. Sizes from 0.032 inch to 5/32-inch diameter are also offered.

NovaTech Inc. (Smithfield, R.I.);

www.novatechinc.com; 1-800-442-6682

CONTOUR ROUGHING SERVICE SAVES TIME, EXPENSE

D-M-E Company is now offering a contour roughing service designed to reduce lead-times for moldmakers while also extending in-house capacity.

By milling approximately 90 per cent of the mold before shipping, D-M-E can save moldmakers time and machine wear and also allow them to focus on high-value machining of core and cavity plates.

In the contour and roughing process, customers send CAD files directly to D-M-E. The company then uses CAM software to program three dimensional cavity roughing tools paths to generate a rough-milled surface, leaving only machining stock for finishing by the customer.

Additionally, moldmakers use the same CAM software as D-M-E when transitioning from rough milling to finish milling, saving further time and production costs.

D-M-E Company (Madison Heights, Mich.);

www.dme.net; 1-888-220-2217

MOLD STEEL SHORTENS MACHINING TIME

The superior machinability of Bhler-Uddeholm’s new Uddeholm Nimax low carbon plastic mold steel allows for shorter machining times, making it easier for moldmakers to meet customer demands on delivery time, as well as benefiting from lower cutting tool costs and increased availability of their machines.

Delivered at a hardness of 40 HRC, the steel provides good resistance to indentations and a minimum risk for unexpected failures, while also leading to a more reliable tool and a prolonged tool life.

Moldmakers can reduce polishing costs while achieving a better finish. With good structure and a low amount of inclusion, a better surface finish can be achieved quicker and with less expense.

Additionally, Uddeholm Nimax requires no preheating or post heat treatment. Weld repairs, maintenance and design changes can be performed quicker, thus shortening the downtime during mold manufacturing and production.

Bhler-Uddeholm (Mississauga, Ont.);

www.bucanada.ca; 905-812-9440

NEW CORE AND CAVITY FABRICATION MATERIAL

New from Performance Alloys is a range of Rounds and Plate Stock made from new MoldStar 90 Byryllium-free copper.

This core and cavity fabrication material is the best alternative to beryllium copper alloys, according to the company, and is proven to be beneficial to the manufacture of injection molds and blow molds. The product boasts a 31 Rockwell hardness, Tensile Strength (ksi) 136 Nominal and Yield Strength (ksi) 126 Nominal.

MoldStar 90 offers economical, mechanical and environmental advantages including no crack development, consistent hardness, better availability, and proven manufacturing methods. Additionally, the material does not soften when TiN coated.

Performance Alloys & Services Inc. (Germantown, Wis.)

www.performancesalloys.net; 1-800-272-3031


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