Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Reshoring and FDI Surging in 20167

Reshoring Initiative


The rate of jobs coming from offshore is up 200+% since the 2016 presidential election (Fig.1)
Reshoring Initiative
Fig.1 Data on reshoring and foreign direct investment (FDI) from the Reshoring Initiative Library.
We made a great start in 2017, but even at this higher rate, it will take 30 years to bring back five million jobs and eliminate our $700 billion non-petroleum goods trade deficit. A National Manufacturing Strategy is needed to ensure the current progress is maintained and further accelerated.






Our Current Initiatives


Help define the National Manufacturing Strategy: Complete the Reshoring Survey

The Reshoring Initiative has been helping companies do the best they can despite the tilted playing field. At the same time, we are working with the government and companies to eliminate the tilt and improve overall U.S. competitiveness. The Reshoring Initiative and Plante Moran have launched the “Manufacturing Reshoring Survey” to identify: (1) why companies produce and source so much offshore; (2) how big the price gap is, U.S. vs. offshore; and (3) what national and corporate policy changes are needed to make more reshoring viable for individual companies. We ask for your participation in the survey: Tell Washington what policy changes would motivate you to reshore.
Long-term planning needed
In conjunction with the survey, the Initiative is working on a Toolkit to improve U.S. competitiveness. We are seeking other organizations to partner with us in refining the program and presenting it to the administration and Congress. Please visit the Competitiveness Toolkit blog to see if you can help. Also see Industry Week: 40% Increase in US Manufacturing is Achievable for a description of the logic behind the Toolkit.







Monday, November 20, 2017

M.R. Mold & Engineering to highlight silicone molding expertise at NPE

by: 
NPE
November 16, 2017

M.R. Mold & Engineering will demonstrate its expertise in building silicone injection molds with tight tolerances, complex geometries and flashless processing capabilities at NPE 2018. Liquid silicone rubber (LSR) moldmaking and molding has become a specialty for the company, which is based in Brea, CA. M.R. Mold & Engineering produces molds for the medical, dental, consumer product and automotive industries.
In partnership with Krauss Maffei, M.R. Mold will run a four-cavity, in-mold slitting duckbill mold featuring a four-drop cold runner system at booth W403. In-mold slitting is part of the mold automation with specific molding machine sequencing.
In Makura USA’s booths—W911 and W1103—M.R. Mold will be represented with a four-cavity mold producing a magnification lens from optically clear silicone. A single-drop cold runner system on M.R. Mold’s universal base will feature ejection that presents the part for robotic removal.
Zieger Industries (booth 5483) will demonstrate M.R. Mold’s technology with a two-cavity LSR mold for a high-beam automotive application. The exhibit will show how silicone can be molded in applications that thermoplastics are incapable of doing.
“LSR poses challenges that do not exist in the plastics industry,” commented Rick Finnie, President of M.R. Mold. “With 34 years of experience creating solutions to those challenges, we can help companies with their requirements from concept through completion to speed their product to market.”
In M.R. Mold’s own booth (W4391), R.D. Abbott will showcase the latest addition to its technical services portfolio—a Liquid Additive Manufacturing (LAM) 3D printer. The patent-pending LAM 3D printer was developed in collaboration with German RepRap GmbH, a manufacturer of 3D printers, and Dow Performance Silicones. German RepRap’s LAM platform combined with Dow Performance Silicones’ 3D printable Silastic LC 3335 LSR is potentially capable of printing functional prototypes and enabling small manufacturing trials of complex parts. Further, the material properties closely match those of molded LSR, allowing an easy transfer into injection molding processes for high-volume manufacturing.
M.R. Mold & Engineering also designs and builds molds for silicone gumstock, thermoset and thermoplastics materials.
NPE 2018 comes to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, from May 7 to 11, 2018.

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Day Makes a Difference in Changing Perceptions

Earnest efforts by shops like this one help spread Manufacturing Day’s message about the realities of modern manufacturing and the opportunities associated with a career in the field.
Blog Post: 10/19/2017

Senior Editor, Modern Machine Shop

National Taco Day. National Golf Lover’s Day. National Talk Like a Pirate Day. It seems like there’s an unofficial holiday for virtually everything, many of which are downright silly. And yet, naming a specific day to honor a specific area of interest can have a real impact, particularly when celebrating is about more than just marking the occasion on a calendar. 
Leave it to the manufacturers to make their day a day of real action. Conceived in 2012 by the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, International (FAM) and produced annually by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Manufacturing Institute (MI), Manufacturing Day is scheduled for the first Friday of every October (this year’s edition was October 6). From the outset, the intent has been for shops to open their doors to the public in order to lay outdated misconceptions to rest and expose the true reality of what it’s like to make things for a living.
Figures from the official website show that business owners have gotten the message. However, the best showcase of Manufacturing Day’s impact and the effort behind it can be found not in statistics, but in the real-world experiences of the shops and students that this expanding initiative brings together.

Ground-up Growth 
The photos above come from one of many shops that have helped drive the growth of Manufacturing Day. M.R. Mold and Engineering, a Brea, California, specialist in liquid silicone rubber (LSR) injection mold tooling, first participated in 2015 and considered it a great success, says Geralyn Anderson, marketing director. Although the shop had to skip 2016 due to scheduling conflicts, leadership was eager to host students again in 2017. Suffice it to say, this year’s event exceeded expectations, attracting more than 300 young people from eight area high schools. “We had 60 students in 2015, and we had hoped for about the same this year, but people came out of the woodwork,” Ms. Anderson says. “We had to expand this event to three days to accommodate everyone.”
This success can be attributed in part to relationships the shop has been cultivating since at least 2015, when President Rick Finnie visited Brea Olinda High School to give a presentation. That same year, Ms. Anderson sat on a committee that critiqued exit interviews for seniors graduating Century High School as part of a Santa Ana United School District (SAUSD) requirement to research a specific career path. Contingents from both Brea and SAUSD schools were larger in 2017 than 2015, with 80 technical students hailing from SAUSD’s Segerstrom High alone.
Of course, the existence of local technical programs like SAUSD’s is a contributing factor in its own right, but this hasn’t diminished the need for action on the shop’s part. For instance, Mr. Finnie reportedly attended a recent school district meeting in Brea to engage officials who are trying to institute their own such program. There’s also something to be said for putting effort into ensuring students take as much knowledge and inspiration from their visit as possible. Beyond just carefully planning each stop of the toolmaking tour, M.R. Mold brought in personnel from material supplier R.D. Abbott to provide a complete picture of how a part moves from design to completion. At the shop’s technical center, where customer molds are sampled, students were treated to a 7-minute PowerPoint presentation, a close-up look at raw material (both silicone and plastic), and demonstrations of both pumping units and injection molding machines in action. 

Benefits for Shop and Industry 
The 2017 event also marked the start of something new. M.R. Mold has just begun conversations with various high schools that attended, including Brea Olinda High, McBride High School in Long Beach, and Segerstrom High and other SAUSD schools, about a job-shadowing program to supplement the schools’ individual technical education efforts. “Our initial thoughts are that no matter what area of our company the student may be interested in—programming, engineering—we would have them shadow someone in the shop or molding area to understand the impact that position has on the rest of the business,” Ms. Anderson says. Work with teachers and other school officials on this proposal will begin in earnest after the first of the year, she says.
M.R. Mold’s enthusiasm for workforce development hasn’t gone unnoticed by peers. For instance, a $1,000 grant from the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) helped cover the cost of bussing students from area high schools. Manufacturing Day also marked the launch of the AMBA’s Educational Outreach Award, in which three individuals from member companies, including Mr. Finnie, were honored with the opportunity to award scholarships to educational programs of their choice.
For his part, Mr. Finnie has long considered himself an ambassador for the industry. For example, he’s been known to share his knowledge among processors and competitors alike in silicone elastomers classes at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Penn State University and Akron University. He views such activities as particularly important in a field like LSR tooling, which, as detailed in this article from 2015, must be constructed differently than more common plastic injection molds. “If we’re going to keep manufacturing in the U.S., the industry needs to be educated,” he’s quoted as saying in that article’s conclusion.
Based on the shop’s Manufacturing Day efforts this year, his passion hasn’t waned. And based on the growth of Manufacturing Day as a whole, he’s not the only one who thinks this way. Nor is M.R. Mold the only shop with positive stories to tell about their own efforts. In an era when fresh talent is as important as it is scarce, that’s encouraging.

M.R. Mold partners with RD Abbott at MDM West and NPE

M.R. Mold & Engineering is a global leader in the design and manufacture of injection molds for liquid silicone rubber (LSR), silicone gumstock, thermoset and thermoplastics. From concept through completion, M.R. Mold applies the expertise and technology to speed your product to market.  Product development, design, engineering, manufacturing, validation and molding are all performed in-house.
LSR poses challenges that do not exist in the plastics industry. M.R. Mold has 34 years of experience creating solutions to those challenges.
VISIT US IN BOOTH W4391 AT NPE - 

- BOOTH 1346 AT MD&M WEST -
Liquid Silicone Injection Molds
M.R. Mold builds tight tolerance, complex geometry, flash less silicone injection molds for the medical, dental, consumer product and automotive industries.
In partnership with Krauss Maffei, Booth #W403, M.R. Mold will showcase a 4 cavity in-mold slitting duckbill mold featuring a 4-drop cold runner system running fully automatic. The in-mold slitting is part of the mold automation with specific molding machine sequencing.  M.R. Mold will partner with Makura USA in Booths #W911 and W1103 featuring a 4 cavity magnifying glass from optically clear silicone. A 1-drop cold runner system on our universal base will feature ejection that presents the part for robotic removal.  In Zieger Industries' Booth #5483, M.R. Mold will demonstrate it's technology with a 2 cavity LSR mold for a high beam automotive application. The exhibit will demonstrate how silicone can be molded in applications that plastics are incapable of doing.
R.D. Abbott Promotes LAM 3D Printer using Silastic LC-3335
In M.R. Mold's Booth #W4391, R.D. Abbott will showcase the latest addition to their technical services portfolio, a Liquid Additive Manufacturing (LAM) 3D printer. This revolutionary, patent-pending LAM 3D printer was developed in collaboration with German RepRap GmbH, a leading German manufacturer of 3D printers, and Dow Performance Silicones. German RepRap's LAM platform combined with Dow Performance Silicones' 3D Printable Silastic LC 3335 LSR is potentially capable of printing functional prototypes and enabling small manufacturing trials of complex parts. Further, the material properties closely match those of molded LSR, allowing an easy transfer into injection molding processes for high volume manufacturing.

M.R. Mold hosts TLARGI Rubber Course



MR Mold and Engineering hosted the Los Angeles Rubber Group's annual Basic Rubber Technology Course for an educational tour of LSR Injection Molding and Tool Machining Operations. This guided tour gave valuable insights to the design and manufacture of highly engineered silicone rubber molds. Some fifty students were given hands on experience with state of the art technologies. The tour was lead by industry experts that offered valuable insight to the high volume production possibilities in today's automated and flashless LSR production processes. Rick Finnie, owner and engineer extraordinaire postulated the religious significance of immaculate conception in mold design and made the class laugh.