Mold making is a segment of the metalworking industry that has significance beyond its own borders. The current state of mold making tells much about the challenges and opportunities that manufacturers in general face today.
Our next issue will focus on mold making and the machining technology that is helping it remain competitive and even regain some of its momentum. Also occurring next month is the Moldmaking Expo. Although the exhibits and conference are targeted to mold shops, any shop or plant interested in competitiveness and productivity ought to take a look at what the expo offers.
Mold machining is often at the forefront of metalworking technology. The demands for highly accurate, complex machining in mold making drive technical advances in machine tool design, control technology, cutting tools, CNC programming, job planning/shopfloor control software and so on. Mold machining can be a glimpse of the future for machining in general.
Success in mold making requires a sophisticated business strategy. Innovation, imagination, integration and automation are all critical. The re-invention of the moldmaking industry is a model of how other segments of metalworking must adopt change as they adapt to a changing world.
The moldmaking industry in this country exemplifies how manufacturing can survive, even thrive, in the face of intense global competition, neglectful national policy and a customer base that is often shortsighted and tendentious. The evolution of this industry is instructive to any business leader concerned about the fate of manufacturing in North America.
The Moldmaking Expo is sponsored by Moldmaking Technology magazine and co-sponsored by its sister publications, Modern Machine Shop and Plastics Technology. It takes place April 19-21 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, near Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. Scheduled at the same time in other halls of this center are The Quality Expo and the AmCon Show (American Contract Manufacturers). One badge admits you to all three exhibit halls. For more details, visit www.moldmakingexpo.com.
The technical conference at the Mold Expo strikes me as particularly strong. Simply reviewing the line-up of topics and speakers gives a clear sense of the direction in which mold making is moving.
And watch for the moldmaking coverage in our April issue. The trends in mold making are ones everyone in machining should keep an eye on and learn from.