When Alan Petrucci started his own business in 1968, B A Die Mold Inc., in Rolling Meadows, IL, he never dreamed that he would become one of the mold manufacturing industry’s most honored business men. On March 4, Alan Petrucci was named the American Mold Builders Association Mold Builder of the Year. The award was presented by Mike Armbrust, president of the AMBA. Alan received $5,000 from Progressive Components, and is considering where to donate the money to benefit the industry.
Alan Petrucci has spent more than 53 years in the mold building industry, first working as a young teen for his father, Henry Petrucci, who owned Mirro-Brite, a mold polishing company. Alan began his apprenticeship as a moldmaker after graduation from high school at age 17.
Petrucci joined the AMBA in 1973. B A Die Mold would have been one of the ‘official’ charter companies of AMBA if he had not had to work that night to deliver a mold on time. He was instrumental in the founding of the organization along with Ole Bradley of PM Mold and others.
Alan Petrucci has been active in the organization since day one, volunteering his time to teach at College of DuPage via the AMBA’s early apprenticeship program and serving on apprenticeship committees. He also served on the Lyons Township High School Board for Vocational Training where he not only promoted moldmaking as a viable career path but also, spoke on career days to the students and advised the high school about how to structure its machinist and metalworking programs.
He donated his time and resources wherever possible to ensure that all apprentices got a good start in the industry, and he has employed and educated numerous apprentices at B A Die Mold over the years – many of whom now own their own companies as a result. To this day he attends almost every Chicago Chapter meeting and has even hosted many meetings in his own company board room.
Petrucci has served the AMBA in many capacities over the years including National AMBA Board Member 1991 – 2000; Chicago Chapter President 1995 – 1997 and Chicago Chapter Board Member 1997 – 2001. He is currently a Chicago Chapter Board member today.
His dedication to the industry includes membership Tooling and Manufacturing Association (TMA). Petrucci also served on the TMA Board of Directors, and has been very active on its TMA PAC in order to help influence Illinois legislators as they form legislation that impacts the trade.
He was a founding member of the Chicago AMBA’s Save American Manufacturing (SAM) USA organization, which went national and held a two-day conference, and has never ceased in his endeavors to see U.S. manufacturing regain a strong foothold in the global marketplace. He reminds everyone to “Read the label, Mabel” and buy American-made products, and has met with and contacted many Illinois and federal elected officials to make extra space them aware of issues important to our industry. B A Die Mold also is a member of the U.S. Business and Industry Council and Petrucci has taken much personal time to assist the USBIC with media relations objectives that help shed light on the issues. As a result, Alan Petrucci has been interviewed by several national publications including the Washington Times, the New York Times, and others. He and B A Die Mold also have been featured more than once in industry publications including MoldMaking Technology, Plastics Technology and Injection Molding Magazine.
B A Die Mold developed a system that offers precision positioning of virtually unlimited threads on any given part. The Programmable Electric Rotating Core (PERC) can be adapted to both traditional and hydraulic molding machines. PERC was officially patented in 2010 and customers who have utilized the system have only five-star reviews for it. In an article published about B A, Alan Petrucci said, “I consider something like the PERC System growth. It’s not how many people you have in the company; it’s what you do to further the industry.”
Other earlier firsts for B A include developing hot runner systems for molding starch. This was a proprietary medical application for a pharmaceutical customer that came about following the Tylenol scare back in the late 80s. The starch capsules were tamper-resistant and would shatter if the buyer tried to do anything to them. B A didn’t invent the idea, but it was the first to make it work.
B A also made hot edge gating work for a vendor that couldn’t make it work. B A redesigned the system and the vendor is still using the process today. B A developed internal actions for a couple of customers where the motion of the mold controls the action within the mold to form features on parts that would otherwise be impossible to mold. B A’s design eliminated cylinders and external cams by activating the mechanism within the mold motion. This system is currently being used by customers in the appliance and industrial spray applications industries. B A is known for its expertise in troubleshooting and making molds work – even molds B A didn’t build.
“Sitting there listening to Mike Armbrust (president of the AMBA), read the bio of the Mold Builder of the Year award winner, I was trying to guess whether or not I knew the person since the years mentioned seemed to match my own,” said Petrucci afterwards. “When it dawned on me it was me he was introducing I was totally dumbstruck. My daughter, Cyndi, had to give me a shove to get me started up to the podium. I was so overwhelmed with emotion realizing that I had been selected out of all the countless other fine shop owners who deserved this, that I couldn’t find words to express my gratitude to the Board of Directors. I did manage to blurt out ‘I love the trade!’ All I could think of was that I’ve been selected to join a very special group of my peers. Thank you!”