Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Reshoring Initiative and Walmart Launch Effort to Help Suppliers Reshore

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Please direct all questions to: 
Sandy Montalbano, Reshoring Initative
T
CHICAGO, Ill. August 20, 2015 — The Reshoring Initiative recently announced a program in partnership with Walmart to help companies manufacture more consumer products in the United States.  
Walmart has committed to increase its U.S. purchases by $50 billion annually by January 2023.  Harry Moser, founder and president of the Reshoring Initiative observed, “We were honored to be called on by Walmart to support its Made in USA program.  We estimate the company’s increased purchases will add 300,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs. Helping Walmart succeed fits our Mission perfectly.”
The new program provides direct, personal access to 35 manufacturing trade associations, companies, banks, U.S. Commerce Department offices and other groups. Each group has assigned dedicated resources to help companies develop and implement plans to produce or source more domestically produced goods. The program launch was coordinated with Walmart’s Open Call and U.S. Manufacturing Summit in Bentonville, Arkansas, which was attended by the U.S. Commerce Secretary, two governors and current and prospective suppliers.
The Reshoring Support page on Walmart’s JUMP (Jobs in U.S. Manufacturing Portal) site links to the Reshoring Initiative’s Resources for Retail Suppliers page, which contains resources to facilitate and accelerate supplier efforts. Issues from product selection, to cost reduction, managing the transition to reshoring and financing are included for large, small, foreign and domestic companies. The resources offer guidance to help manufacturers select products and succeed in profitably producing or sourcing products in the United States.

“When Walmart committed to buy an additional $250 billion over 10 years in products that support American jobs, we knew we could also play an important role as facilitator and accelerator,” said Cindi Marsiglio, vice president of US manufacturing at Walmart. “We created Walmart-Jump.com to help companies find resources on manufacturing in the U.S.  The Reshoring Initiative’s support page is a great addition to that resource library.”
Harry Moser noted, “Based on published articles accessible in our Library, the Reshoring Initiative concludes that Walmart has supported at least  43 suppliers to add 4,579 or more  U.S. manufacturing jobs so far, and is currently the largest force driving reshoring. The Reshoring Initiative is delighted to provide these resources to accelerate this effort. We call on other retailers to get on board.”  He added, “We thank the 35 groups that have volunteered as resources.  Their personal commitment will make this program a success.”  
The Reshoring Initiative seeks to expand the scope and impact of the Resources for Retail Suppliers page by incorporating expertise from additional sources and adding more participating retailers.  We call on manufacturers to use the resources, other relevant groups to volunteer to be listed and retailers that are interested in Made in USA to provide a contact point to be displayed along with the Walmart JUMP site.  

Companies can help improve manufacturing employment by consistently utilizing advanced metrics for supply chain sourcing decisions. The Reshoring Initiative’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Estimator is the best-known publically available tool for this purpose. The TCO Estimator allows users to easily determine the total cost of offshoring by accounting for and understanding the relevant offshoring costs, which include inventory carrying costs, shipping expenses, intellectual property risks and more.  
About The Reshoring Initiative
A 48-year manufacturing industry veteran and retired President of GF AgieCharmilles, Harry Moser founded the Reshoring Initiative to move lost jobs back to the United States.  For his efforts with the Reshoring Initiative, he was named to Industry Week magazine’s Manufacturing Hall of Fame in 2010. Additional information on the Reshoring Initiative is available at www.reshorenow.org.  
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Callie SpitsonPublic Relations & Media Coordinator

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M.R.Mold Hosts Manufacturing Day Event

M.R. MOLD & ENGINEERING CORP. EVENT





EVENT DETAILS

Facility Tour

October 2, 2015 10:00am - 3:00pm 

2700 E Imperial Hwy
BreaCA 92821 


Shop tours will be given every 2 hours. In addition, Management personnel will be available to answer questions about who we are, what we do and how explain how manufacturing is being reshored and the need for the training of a new generation of workers. Closed toed shoes required.


For More Event Information
Geri Anderson
 714-996-5511
 geri@mrmold.com 

M.R. Mold adds 11th CNC Center

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File photoFinnie
M.R. Mold & Engineering Corp. of Brea, Calif., invested about $700,000 in acquiring its 11th computer-numerically controlled machining center and complementary computer-aided manufacturing software.
The mold maker received delivery of a Yasda YBM Vi40 precision center on Aug. 11 and began training technicians to prepare for the machine’s start of operations.
M.R. Mold acquired the Vi40 through Methods Machine Tools Inc. of Sudbury Mass. Machine manufacturer Yasda Precision Tools KK of Satosho, Japan, utilizes in-house production for all Vi40 components.
The machine’s jig bore mill frame and three-axis movement supply a rigid platform that can morph into a five-axis system with the addition of a massive tilting rotary table. The machine weighs 30,000 pounds.
The Vi40 model has five-sided machining with a single set-up, and the structure is designed for hard milling die mold applications. Rick Finnie, M.R. Mold president, anticipated the machine will significantly reduce the number of process steps and machining times.
For concurrent implementation, M.R. Mold purchased version 2015.1 of hyperMill CAM software from Open Mind Technologies AG of Wessling, Germany.
M.R. Mold occupies 15,000 square feet and employs 30.
  

M.R. Mold Showcases Manufacturing to Youth

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Jennifer KarpusStudents and teachers listen to M.R. Mold President Rick Finnie explain a machine's functions during a tour of the company for high school students.
BREA, CALIF. — Getting young generations excited about the field of manufacturing has been a challenge for many companies, but one has found a way to gain some momentum.
M.R. Mold & Engineering Corp. recently invited students from Century High School in Santa Ana, Calif., to tour its facility.
Students were given the opportunity to learn about silicone and plastic molding in an effort to give students a career path they may have not considered previously.
Geri Anderson, marketing director for M.R. Mold, said the seed was planted for the visit in February, when she met representatives from Century High School at the MD&M West Show in Anaheim, Calif.
Educators were speaking to Anderson about the need to get young people into manufacturing. This need matched one of the initiatives of the National Tooling and Machinery Association (NTMA) — of which M.R. Mold is a member — and Anderson wanted to see how the company could team with the school.
Century offers a STEAM program — science, technology, engineering, art and math — in which students “actually take engineering classes” along with some technology and science courses as well, Anderson said.
“They are trying to get them prepared for life,” she said. “And I was really intrigued because high schools these days do not have those kinds of classes.”
Whereas many school districts have eliminated woodworking, metal shop and automotive course work, Century still is offering courses for the trades.
Brea-based M.R. Mold wanted to get involved with this in some capacity, so the school and firm worked together to create an event.
Getting involved
It started on May 26, when Rick Finnie, M.R. Mold president, visited Century and gave a 45-minute presentation to introduce the students to what silicone and plastics are, along with what it is that M.R. Mold does.
In the week that followed, Anderson said teachers instructed students to do an online scavenger hunt on the M.R. Mold company website to raise awareness of Finnie’s presentation and their upcoming visit to the firm’s facility.
On June 9, M.R. Mold hosted 18 students at its plant. It originally was supposed to be 30 students, but seniors were taking final exams and could not attend.
NTMA and R.D. Abbott also attended the event to make it a “well-rounded program,” Anderson said.
NTMA spoke to students about its training programs and getting into manufacturing. Afterward, students took a tour of the M.R. Mold shop.
The tour started in design, where Mike Coleman, engineering manager, spent about 20 minutes detailing SolidWorks, showing students a particular mold and the steps it took to build it.
Anderson said students saw a print drawing of the completed mold and were able to see what the mold looked like.
Students were divided into two groups led by Finnie and Brian Geisel, operations manager.
They explained “each machine and its process and its importance in the whole scope of the work,” Anderson said.
“They got a sense of the whole entire picture ... from start to finish.”
Students got to tour the technology center, where they did some compression molding with R.D. Abbott. Anderson said a plastic mold was running at the time, along with a fully robotic silicone mold in one of the other molding machines.
College vs. trades
One idea posed to students is that college is not for everyone, and “sometimes taking these skills and working with your hands and building things ... is better for one student than it is for the other,” she said.
While the majority of visiting students were part of the STEAM program, Anderson said a few were not but were just interested in learning more.
“Whether they decide to go into manufacturing or not, we just felt that we opened up an avenue to these kids that maybe they weren’t aware of,” she said. “Even if they go back and talk to their peers, it may spark interest in someone who had not attended to at least look into it and see if this is something they want to do.
“We explained that coming into the trade, you don’t instantly make money, but you’re making money along the way — instead of going to school for four years and coming out with a great deal of student loans.
“And there’s an advantage in that, if in fact this is something that they’re thinking about.”
Interest from students
Students showed a good deal of interest, she said. M.R. Mold asked students to fill out evaluations after their time at the facility, and it is clear from those evaluations that they learned more about the molding industry.
According to the survey, several students indicated they “maybe” are interested in becoming a mold maker or mold engineer.
The majority of students wanted to learn more about mold making and the molding industry after their time at M.R. Mold.
“There were a couple of students that just couldn’t get enough information,” Anderson said. “There was one girl in that class who was enthusiastic and wanted to know why there weren’t more women in the industry.”
Anderson told them that while the industry did not seem to have many women in the past, more are coming into the field these days.
The day was a success, with students spending more than three hours at the shop. Anderson said Century High School was open to returning in the fall with another group of students who want to learn more about manufacturing.
“It is our hope we can get more high schools to ... buy into the tour and the possibility of giving these kids a little bit more options,” she said.
The company would like to initiate the program at the grade school level if it is applicable, Anderson said.
“Sometimes getting to the kids in seventh or eighth grade is just as important as getting to them when they are juniors and seniors in high school,” Anderson said, “because they don’t know what they want to do, and we have a little bit more chance to get their thought process going at a younger age.”

M.R. Mold Purchases YASDA

The new purchase is expected to increase capability for machining complex geometry to tight tolerances.
by: Matt Danford
Silicone mold manufacturer M.R. Mold & Engineering (Brea, CA) has purchased a Yasda Vi40 five-axis vertical jig borer in response to demand for more complex tooling. The Vi40 is capable of full five-axis machining, reducing machining time by approximately one-fifth. 
"In order to better serve our customers and drive down lead times, purchasing a five-axis is something that needed to be done," says Rick Finnie, president of M.R. Mold & Engineering. "Seventy percent of the molds we build have complex geometry, and the capabilities of the Yasda five-axis will enable us to increase our already finite capabilities."
According to the company, the decision to purchase a Yasda was based in part on consultations with American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) colleagues as it searched for a system with high enough precision and accuracy to serve medical-industry customers. The company says it particularly appreciates the fact that "the quality control by Yasda is 100-percent driven by in-house production of 100 percent of the machine."  
Featuring a rigid structure for hard-milling die and mold components, the Vi40's single-setup, five-sided machining capability significantly reduces process steps and cycle time, the company says. Five-axis capability also enables using shorter tools to achieve quality surface finish and high precision at higher feed rates. The machine reportedly achieved 2.32um (measured value) of circularity in a tilted cone machining test. The machine is also designed for accessibilty between spindle and workpiece, and operator and machining point. 
Along with the new machine, M.R. Mold purchased hyperMill CAM software from Open Mind Technologies. Although many CAM systems offer five-axis support, this system focuses on "true" five-axis programming, says Nhut Nyugen, programming lead at M.R. Mold. According to the company, the CAM developers' deep knowledge of the Yasda's capabilities is an added bonus.  

How moldmakers become equipment builders

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: August 7th, 2015
Moldmakers are more than just moldmakers. Most of them can do a lot more than follow the dimensions on a CAD file or stand at a CNC machine and watch chips fly. Moldmakers are innovative and creative, and most can come up with solutions that are way outside the box when it comes to making molds. Many even go beyond making molds and become equipment designers and manufacturers.
 MGS
A servo rotary platen and servo portable injection unit
from Universal Multishot Systems, the MGS line of multiple-
component specialty equipment, is hard at work in this ISO
Class 8 cleanroom. MGS converted a standard injection
molding machine into a multi-shot manufacturing cell for
the production of a two-component part for a drug-
delivery device.
MGS Mfg. Group (Germantown, WI), through its tooling division, Moldmakers Inc., has long been known for the molds it makes that include multi-cavity, high-volume precision molds for a variety of markets. John Hahn, Vice President of Engineering for MGS, related how the company got into the equipment side (multi-shot machinery and automation systems), which today represents approximately 10% of the company's business. "Customer demand pushed us. First we were moldmakers and we built high-end molds for complex parts," said Hahn. "Then customers wanted us to build equipment for their molding operations. We don't say no, so we began building equipment for customers when they asked. Obviously we had to come up with more resources from time to time to accommodate these requests."
The business expanded when customers needed sampling for the two-shot tools that MGS built, so in 2000 the company designed and built rotary platens, along with a portable injection unit for internal use. "Then the customers came along and asked, ‘where can we buy this?' " said Hahn. "Everybody loved the portable injection unit and it was quicker than buying a two-shot custom machine. We could deliver it in half the time it took for them to get a custom press, it's flexible, and the molder is not locked into a dedicated two-shot machine. It's also modular, plug and play."
The LSR (liquid silicone rubber) injection unit came next. "It's a small market but we had a clean slate with respect to what we could do, so we have a different technology," Hahn explained. "Today we make 600-ton molding machines, 200-ton vertical clamp machines, and four-shot injection machines. The Automation Group designs, builds and validates automation systems in a standalone facility near the main plant. It's one of those things where customers say, ‘can you do this?' We can't say no, so we build it. We're looking at combining the automation business and the equipment business into a 60,000-square-foot facility this year."
Today, MGS has facilities in Ireland, New York, Illinois, China and Mexico, in addition to its Wisconsin operations. The company has moved beyond moldmaking to develop the equipment that processors need to achieve efficiencies, produce high-quality parts and reduce the cost of manufacturing.
Wade Clark, President of Electroform Co., a mold manufacturer in Rockford, IL, began building rotary tables several years ago. While it's a mature market, Clark said that it was "something we needed to do, as it complements the rest of our product offerings." Clark builds cube (rotating) mold systems and believes that the rotary tables his company developed and builds are more robust and have higher precision than competing rotary tables.
"It's a limited market because of the cost," he commented. "It's not an inexpensive proposition to make these tables; however, our customers who bought them are very happy with them."
M.R. Mold & Engineering
Stuffer box for liquid silicone rubber processing is designed by
M.R. Mold & Engineering.
Rick Finnie, President of M.R. Mold & Engineering Corp. in Brea, CA, said he didn't actually decide to get into building equipment for processing liquid silicone rubber (LSR). "It evolved because we wanted to make ourselves more efficient," Finnie commented. "The development of the cold runner system came about because we were purchasing systems to use with our molds. Our customers began commenting on how they wished we could make some significant improvements in the systems. We listened to our customers and designed and developed our own cold runner system, along with a valve gate controller. At the time, molding machines rarely had that capability."
Finnie also developed a pneumatic stuffer box, which evolved because it was costing the company far too much time and money when sampling each mold. "We had to tear down the entire pumping unit for the next material," he explained. "Putting our heads together, we came up with a way to bypass the pumping unit and make our lives so much easier."
Customer feedback on his products helps Finnie make improvements on the company's original designs. "Because of customer feedback, we have improved on our original designs," he said. "For example, a single-drop cold runner for prototyping and a high-volume stuffer box were both the result of customer input."
M.R. Mold & Engineering continues to respond to industry requirements and looks for ways to become more competitive with the overseas market, including designing and building automation equipment. "Automation has become very important," he said. "Our robotics and end-of-arm tooling are designed and built for each individual project to help our customers be more competitive."
Today, 80% of the LSR molds that Finnie's company builds have a cold runner system and robotics to enable them to be fully automatic. Every LSR mold has vacuum seals, except where geometry prohibits.
Finnie added that designing, developing and building equipment provides his customers with greater value-added solutions to the challenges they face. "It makes us a complete systems provider and gives us control over both the design and cost of these LSR mold systems," he said.