Ontario moldmaker wins design competition in U.S.
FGL Precision Works Ltd. (Concord, Ont.) was the recipient of a top prize in the New Product Design competition at the Society of Plastics Industry's Structural Plastics Division conference held in Bo...
FGL Precision Works Ltd. (Concord, Ont.) was the recipient of a top prize in the New Product Design competition at the Society of Plastics Industry’s Structural Plastics Division conference held in Boston, MA recently. FGL was awarded first prize in the “Materials Handling” category of the competition for a large blue crate, made in a mold designed and built by FGL. The crate was structural-foam molded from polypropylene. FGL built the mold for a Belgian company. Under the rules of the competition the molder, end-user or moldmaker is allowed to enter a part or product in which it played a role in designing or manufacturing. In all, over 80 parts were entered. The award compliments the three previous awards won by FGL in similar competitions.
Frank Meisels, President of FGL, was on hand to accept the award. “We are very proud of this achievement,” Meisels said. “The mold that produced this part took close to 1000 hours to design and weighed close to 90,000 lb. The sheer size of the structural foam product stumped the judges, who wondered how it was manufactured.”
Mold size, however, was not the sole determining criteria in this competition. Meisels says the mold presented many extraordinary challenges, both in the design and build stages. One challenge was the customer’s desire for the crate to serve two different markets, the vegetable and liquid container markets. This meant that the part would need to be molded as a solid, five-sided crate or with louvered openings on all five faces. The only way to achieve this was by designing into the mold a series of interchangeable inserts that could be exchanged while the mold remained in the machine. Adding to the challenge was the difficulty in filling a mold with a 150 lb. shot. A series of gates along the underside of the part allowed the plastic to flow partially up the 48 in. high side walls. Additional gates were needed on all four sides that would allow the part to be edge gated along its upper lip. The design of these edge gates had to take into account the moving cores on all four sides of the mold.