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Sturbridge Mass Meeting   (4)[1]

New England Chapter Meeting – Testimonials/ Recap

On February 16th MDNA’s New England Chapter met in Putnam, CT for a manufacturing tour of Phillips-Moldex Company followed by a chapter dinner meeting with special guests from The Smaller Manufacturers Association of CT: Doug Johnson, President of Marion Manufacturing, Board Member of the SMA, Chairs the SMA Education Committee, Ronald Turmel, Vice President and General Manager, H&T Waterbury, Inc., Board Member of the SMA.

View a full photo album from this meeting on the MDNA Facebook page here

Here’s what some of our MDNA Members who attended had to say about this meeting:

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(R TO L) Kevin Brewster, NE Chapter Chairman, President of On Target Machinery; Tim Barry of Phillips-Moldex; Phil Dalrymple, Owner of Northwest Shippers Inc.; Doug Johnson, President of Marion Manufacturing; Ronald Turmel, VP of H&T Waterbury, Inc.

I am so glad we were able to put this meeting together. Invitations went out last minute, because it was difficult to get all the pieces into place. As hard as this was, we could have never pulled this off without the help / support of Nate Smith, Stephen Papillo and Julie Brewster. We have so many to thank for this meeting, our sponsor Phil Dalrymple President of Northwest Shippers Inc., and our company tour guide Tim Barry, Vice President of Phillips-Moldex Company; Doug Johnson, President of Marion Manufacturing, and Ronald Turmel, Vice President H&T Waterbury, Inc.  Both Doug, and Ronald are Board Members of The Smaller Manufacturers Association of Connecticut, SMA-CT.

I think our chapter members had very eye opening experiences as they heard 3 separate manufacturing companies convening the same concerns about the future of manufacturing. I also feel we took big steps to bridge a gap that night between Manufacturing End-Users and MDNA’s New England Chapter. We are on common ground with the fact that we need to cultivate our future incomes. In the process of the night I saw our members realize that this could be achieved by working together to inspire future careers into the trades. We heard several times throughout the night how young tool makers are needed, but do not exist. This is a very valid concern because the average tool maker is in his late 50’s to early 60’s at best. This is a skill that needs to be learned, or it could be lost forever. Helping repair this will insure our future sales income. I definitely will be moving forward to help the technical schools within Connecticut and around the country as much as we can.

–Kevin Brewster President / AEA, On Target Machine Brokers LLC., New England Chapter MDNA Chairman and Board Representative

“Great New England Chapter Meeting the other night. We were introduced to two members of a sister metalworking organization right here in Connecticut that I didn’t know existed. We will be working with them on common goals in the future. Also met a new Premier Vendor freight company, Northwest Shipping, who sponsored the meeting and had a rep fly in from the west coast. Well worth the time and the drive.”

–John W. Conroy, CEA, MDNA Past President, Machinery International Corp.

That was a great meeting.

Really appreciate all of your hard work to put it together. It was very successful. Thanks!

–Kristine Conroy, Machinery International Corp., Austin .D. Lucas Scholarship Fund President

The Boston/NE Chapter of MDNA featured a plant tour of Phillips-Moldex CO in Putnam, CT, 06260 on February 16, 2017.

The tour was led by the VP of Manufacturing, Timothy J. Barry, accompanied by MDNA members and guests. The tour featured late model electrically controlled plastic injection molding machines in operation and they were equipped with robotic pick and place, largely for automotive parts, such as, steering column levers with knob add-ons. The machines and plant were exceptionally well maintained with state-of-the-art plastic fiber dispensing system.

The tour included the entire facility, approximately 50,000 sq. ft. nestled within a modern manufacturing area in a small town…an impressive layout suited for growth of manufacturing in a historic political and economic time in the USA where the political emphasis is bringing jobs back to America. Phillips-Moldex is ready for the challenge.

Kevin Brewster, Chapter MDNA Chairman and Nate Smith, Membership Chairman were responsible for the exciting chapter meeting program with dinner and meeting presentation in Sturbridge Village, MA.

Special meeting guests Doug Johnson, President of Marion Manufacturing and Ronald Turmel, VP H&T Waterbury, Inc., both board members of the SMA-CT gave a presentation to the group.

All who attended had a meaningful tour, learned about the state of plastic injection molding machinery and tooling and had a chance to ask questions and increase knowledge and challenges. Northwest Shippers provided drinks and event sponsorship.

–David Gold, ASA, AMEA, Gold Machinery Group

View a full photo album from this meeting on the MDNA Facebook page here


13 Insider Tips For DISNEY WORLD

MDNA Convention Blog Spot, 13 Insider Tips For DISNEY WORLD

Courtesy of Steve & Joanne Bignell, K. Braly Machinery Inc.Walt-Disney-Studios

  1. Get the My Disney Experience App Here you can link all of your reservations together to create an itinerary. Once you have a hotel reservation and park tickets you can book dining and FastPasses through the app. You can also connect with friends!

2. Fastpasses are the best way to avoid long lineups. For the more popular attractions this is the best way to go. There is no additional fee but there are a limited number of Fastpasses available per day so be sure to book them as soon as possible.  These give you a particular time to arrive at an attraction and go into a special line that is significantly shorter than the regular stand by option. Fastpasses can be modified via the app or at kiosks around the park. Fastpasses can be booked 60 days before your arrival date.

3. Some of the attractions that tend to have the longest wait are:

  • Seven dwarfs mine train (Magic Kingdom)
  • Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom)
  • Peter Pan’s Flight (Magic Kingdom)
  • Soarin’ (Epcot)
  • Test Track (Epcot)
  • Frozen (Epcot)
  • Toy Story Mania (Hollywood Studios)
  • Expedition Everest (Animal Kingdom)

4. Each day 1 of the four parks opens early or remains open later exclusively for resort guests. Take advantage of this! Parks are a lot less busy during these times.

5. Character dining is very popular. If you have little ones that want to meet the characters this is the best way to do it. There is a character breakfast at Cape May Café which is walking distance from our hotel.

6. Disney World has a lot of great restaurants for big kids too. Here are some of our favorites within walking distance from the hotel:

  • Flying Fish (Boardwalk Resort)
  • Yachtsman Steakhouse (Yacht Club Resort)
  • Todd English Bluezoo (Swan and Dolphin Resort)
  • Il Mulions (Swan and Dolphin Resort)
  • Beaches and Cream (Beach Club Resort, Try the kitchen sink!)

7. Some of our other favorite restaurants are:

  • Tiffins (Animal Kingdom)
  • Tutto Gusto (Italy pavilion in Epcot-a hidden gem, walk-ins only)
  • Teppan Edo (Japan pavilion in Epcot-great for kids!)
  • Morimoto (Disney Springs)

8. Dining reservations can be booked 180 days before your arrival (so any time now!)

9. Parking is free at all of the parks for resort guests

10. Once you book your flights you can book the Magical Express. This is a free bus directly from the airport to the hotel. They even take care of your luggage so you don’t have to wait for it!

11. There is a boat to Epcot and Hollywood Studios from the hotel. There is also a path to walk. Free buses are provided from the hotel to Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs.

12. Refillable mugs are available at the bakery on the Boardwalk and can be used for free refills for the duration of your stay.

13. Boardwalk is also home to the dueling piano bar Jelly Rolls. This bar is for guests over 21 and is a fun night out!


Introducing the new LOCATOR Directory Brand Stamp

Introducing the new LOCATOR Directory Brand Stamp

LOCATOR Services Inc. is excited to introduce our newest marketing tool.  The Brand Stamp is a new way for you to let LOCATOR Directory subscribers know that your company specializes in the category(s) that matter most to you and to your potential customers.  This marketing tool puts your “Brand” in front of the decision maker’s eyes at first glance.  The LOCATOR Directory reaches over 100,000 end users.

Let the sample Brand Stamp speak for itself!  The right column shows several Brand Stamps as they would appear in the Directory.

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The Details

  • Your Brand Stamp will be 1/24th of a page and contains your Company Name, Phone # and Website, all within the black band.
  • Categories containing Brand Stamps will have “Specialists in {Category Name}” preceding first stamp.
  • You choose the category from the approved category list (See attached list).
  • Your Brand Stamp will be placed within your chosen category.
  • The Brand Stamp cost is just $49 per month.
  • You can expand presence by getting up to 4 Brand Stamps for $69 per month.
  • You can expand presence by getting up to 7 Brand Stamps for $89 per month.
  • Brand Stamps will automatically renew from month to month until advertiser modifies or cancels order.

MDNA Members can receive the Brand Stamp FREE for the first 3 months

Take Our Short Survey and be Entered to Win

Create your own user feedback survey


Truckers & Riggers and Technical Services Online Directory – Updates now being accepted

The MDNA Truckers & Riggers Directory and Technical Services Directory lists companies recommended by MDNA member firms. This directory is an invaluable resource for member-recommended trucking, rigging, storage, and brokering services and is available on the “Members Only” page of the MDNA website.

Click here to download the Truckers & Riggers Directory Recommendation Form. Please send your TRUCKERS-AND-RIGGERS-COVER- copyrecommendations to MDNA via fax or email. This directory will also list the recommending MDNA member company, so please fill out the form completely.

EVER NEED A MACHINE SERVICED THAT YOU SOLD OUTSIDE OF YOUR AREA? When you are doing business outside of your immediate area and a machine you sold needs service, installation, or inspection in a geographical area that you are not familiar with, The Technical Services Directory is your solution!

The Technical Services Directory features companies recommended by MDNA member firms who specialize in different Technical Services in the machinery industry, such as CNC programming, hydraulics repair, presses, etc.

Your recommendations of companies in your area (including yourself) is what makes up this directory – Technical-Serv.-Cover- copywhich is a valuable resource for all MDNA members.

Each specialty listing is FREE! And to stand out with more exposure in this publication, purchase a display advertisement.

Please click here to download the form and send your recommendations to MDNA via fax or email. This directory will also list the recommending MDNA member company, so please fill out the form completely. We will then contact them and let them know they’ve been recommended by you to be included in the publication.

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Young Guns of MDNA, Meet John Butz

Meet Resell CNC’s CEO and Chairman of the MDNA Southern Regional Chapter, John Butz. John’s hardworking, dedicated work ethic allows him to not only run day-to-day operations of his own business, but also sit on two MDNA committees and the Board of Directors. While being heavily involved in the MDNA and his own business, he manages to set aside time to spend with his wife, Chay Butz, and his two beautiful children, Maiori and Alex.

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John was introduced to the machinery industry early in life when his father worked for Siegler Machine and Tool in Milwaukee, WI and Machinery Systems Inc. in Chicago, IL between the 70’s and 80’s. Although he grew up around machinery, John did not officially enter the business until the early 90’s. As he made the move to Florida, John began working for a Mazak distributor selling new and used machinery.

In 2007, John had a vision and embarked on a new journey with a new purpose, starting Resell CNC. Resell CNC is a full stocking used CNC dealer that provides many different custom solutions including end user sales, online and on-site auctions, service and repair, storage and logistics. Since its doors opened, the company is still growing and continuously invests in its team and technology. Today, Resell CNC is made up of 25 team members in two locations in Phoenix and Orlando, helping serve customers nationwide. With the addition of Resell CNC Auctions and the unique auction platform, the company has become a trusted, reliable source for all manufactures in the industry.

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“At Resell CNC, our mission is to help manufactures solve problems by creating an innovative platform to buy and sell machinery and equipment enabling our customers to be competitive and profitable in the global market.” – John Butz

Most recently, Resell CNC became the only used machinery dealer in North America that can provide used and demonstration machines from Mazak with a factory warranty, installation, and training.

“My years of experience with Mazak have led to us helping Mazak with their loaner, demo, off lease, used and trade-in machines. We are extremely pleased to be working with an industry leader such as Mazak.” – John Butz

John’s schedule is certainly a busy one, but he does enjoy the times during the year that he can take to explore and vacation with his family. Along with traveling, John has a passion for adventure and enjoys physically challenging himself. He recently participated in an Ironman 70.3 in Coeur D’Alene ID where he swam 1.1 miles, biked 56 miles, and ran 13.1 miles. After all his time spent with travels, family, adventure and business, John makes it a must to schedule one exotic fishing trip a year to enjoy with his friends.

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Resell CNC Website

CNC Lathes

Vertical Machining Centers

Horizontal Machining Centers


Resell CNC Auctions

Resell CNC Facebook Page

Resell CNC EBay Store 

Who are MDNA’s Young Guns? Learn More here

Cincinnati Hydraulic Press Brakes

Mechanical, Hydraulic, and now Electric Press Brakes. Which is best for me?

Written By: Adam Mattes, V.P. Sterling Machinery Exchange (MDNA Member Firm)

One of the most popular questions we hear at Sterling Machinery Exchange is…

What type of press brake do I need?  Most people are price conscious but want to make sure that they have enough capacity, proper controls and the correct safety gear to do the job.  There are many questions you need to ask yourself when shopping for the perfect press brake. 

There are many different brands to consider with lots of options such as Cincinnati Inc., JMT, US Industrial, Amada, Baileigh, Komatsu, Niagara and Chicago just to name a few. Besides CNC Controls, back gauges, and safety curtains or lasers you must decide on which one of the major styles would be best.

Cincinnati Hydraulic Press Brakes
Cincinnati Hydraulic Press Brakes

The most popular style is a Hydraulic Press Brake.  This style is the safest, most controllable and a bit more expensive than a mechanical brake.  They generally allow for multiple speed changes, for example you can set a Fast Approach Speed, Slow Forming Speed and a Quick Retraction Speed to really increase production time between bends.  Hydraulic also allows you more precision bends allowing for greater control when inching down and setting up for your job.  Another major benefit of the hydraulic brake is that you can reverse your stroke at any time.

The other biggest option is a Mechanical Press Brake.  These have been around for decades and many are still in use.  They are great for more simple jobs with less setup or special punching applications.  A mechanical press brake actuates a few different

Niagara Mechanical Press Brake
Niagara Mechanical Press Brake

ways, with either an air clutch system allowing for an electric foot pedal or a mechanical clutch and foot treadle.  The main difference between a hydraulic press brake and a mechanical press brake is that the mechanical brake cannot retract the ram until the flywheel has completed a full rotation.  This makes it harder to do certain jobs and you will not have the same control as a hydraulic machine allowing for ram retraction at any time.

New to the market is the Electrical Press Brake.  These machines are great for intricate jobs with multiple setups.  They use much less power to run and will give you the exact same bend every time by way of the servos that power the ram.  These are made for super high repeatability and are silent between strokes, great for laboratory or small shop environments.

Cincinnati Electric Press Brake
Cincinnati Electric Press Brake


Depending on the job you have you can save tens of thousands on bells and whistles that you don’t need.

You can visit Sterling Machinery Exchange, A member of MDNA at to Buy, Sell or Trade Your Machine today.  For thousands of machinery demonstration videos please visit Or
 Call Adam Mattes at Sterling Machinery Exchange 
626-444-0311 to find out what style press brake would be best for your needs. Article Written by:  Adam Mattes, Vice President & Auctioneer of Sterling Machinery Exchange

For more information on Press Brakes or to buy, sell or trade them you can also contact any of MDNA’s machinery dealers, located around the world, by using the Find Members>Search tool on


Here’s what you missed at MDNA’s Chicago Chapter Dinner in Chicago this year…

The MDNA Chicago Chapter/IMTS event was a huge success.  With over 220 attendees it was one of the largest chapter events to date.  Many thanks to all of the sponsors who helped make this event possible.  Please take some time and review this very powerful list of companies who contributed to making this evening one to remember.

Many thanks also to the Chicago Chapter Leadership Committee for working so tirelessly to put on this successful networking opportunity.  The Chicago Chapter Leadership Committee includes Chapter Chairman and Board Representative John J. Myers, Vice Chairman Thomas K. Mowery, Treasurer Ronni Graff, Membership Chairmen Joe Lundvick, Steve Kleba, Robert Yeoman and Past Chairman John A. Josko.

Congratulations to the winners of the Silent Auction!  The silent auction benefited the Austin D. Lucas Scholarship Fund and was arranged by MDNA First Vice President, Joe Lundvick.

And, another congratulation to the successful bidders in the evenings live auction!  Mike Reeves of Automatics & Machinery Co. Inc., was the high bidder on a Chicago Bears Jersey autographed by Mike Ditka, Donated by Wisconsin Metalworking MachineryMike DeRisi of Machinery Values Inc., was the winning bidder on a tour of the Yankee stadium with a photo signed by World Series champion Yankee, Derek Jeter, donated by Perfection Global. John Becker of Heat Treat Equipment Co. was the successful bidder on the MDNA Buyer’s Guide inside front cover ad location and Cesar Damino of Tramar Industries, Inc., won the MDNA Buyer’s Guide inside back cover ad location.

Special Thanks to the many volunteers who helped work the MDNA booth at IMTS 2016 this year! Check out more posts from IMTS 2016 on the MDNA Facebook page here

Rob Kroha, Performance Machine tools
Rob Kroha, Performance Machine Tools

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Angie Roskelley, Kim Khoury, Lisa Ziccarelli

Craig Ward and Lisa Z
Craig L. Ward and Lisa Ziccarelli

Jim and Jim Graff
Jim Bowman and Jim Graff


A very special thank you to our event sponsors below!


Platinum Plus 

Perfection logo Banner



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Direct Capital logoHilcoIndLogo2013_210

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Myers Technology Company, MDNA member firm PORTAGE

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yoder logo


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graff machine logo

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raco logo


aanda logo Revised Front Logo 4-15-14

abbott machine logo


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chicago export


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intersea logo

TDI logo

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Contributing Sponsor



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surplus record USD logo only 300

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MDNA Member Firm, Makes Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies


Resell CNC Auctions for the third year straight has been on Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies

Orlando, FL – Resell CNC Auctions (Machinery Dealers National Association Member INC5000-september-2016-cover_402[1] copyFirm) for the 3rd year in a row has been named by Inc. 5000. At #3,871, Resell CNC Auctions has had a 77% growth over the past three years. In 2014, the company ranked #155 and the following year earned a spot 47 spots ahead at #108.

“We are very excited to be named on the Inc. 5000 List for the third straight year. Our team is consistently working to remain the most reliable and trustworthy outlet for buying and selling used machinery,” – CEO, John Butz.

Resell CNC Auctions is a full stocking used CNC machinery dealer with offices in Florida, Arizona, and representation in California, Texas and Illinois. Backed by individuals with more than 100 years of combined experience, Resell CNC Auctions has been able to help manufacturers solve problems by providing an innovative platform to buy and sell used Inc500_stacked_goldmachinery, enabling them to be competitive and profitable in a global market.

The auction platform provides manufacturers all over the country with a way to buy and sell used machinery and equipment. The innovative format has allowed Resell CNC Auctions to be among one of the very few auction companies to be named on the Inc. 5000 list. The company has also been completely separated from the rest in the industry as the one and only machine tool dealer to be listed in the last three years.resellcnc_standard_CMYK[1]

Resell CNC Auctions continues to grow and will focus on creating new ideas, methods and products that will better serve their customers and distinguish them from the rest of their industry.


Resell CNC Media Contact:

Matt Horn Resell CNC 844.478.8181

MDNA Media Contact

Jennifer Gray

From: Automated Assembly Corporation
Workcell examples: In the manual form(left), two dedicated operators per shift costs $270,000 per year. The automatic form (right) allows for added capital investment and one-eighth of an operator costs $32,000 per year.

Plastics manufacturing automation trends rapidly expanding

By Don Rosato via MultiBrief

Note: This is the first of a three-part series covering plastics manufacturing automation (1)trends, (2) material/process advances and (3) applications.

The business dynamics of plastics manufacturing automation technologies are rapidly advancing. Trends in labor and energy are having a fundamental impact on plastics processors businesses. To effectively compete internationally and defend/expand established markets, high-wage processors must automate production to increase the productivity and economic efficiency of their operations and keep wages in a competitive range.

Even without high production volumes, automation can make for extremely cost-effective production. But automation is much more than simply adopting the use of robots. Instead of a 35-hour workweek, processors have to be prepared to increase processing time to 168 hours per week in fully automated production operations. Small- to medium-sized companies also need to join forces to form cooperatives and centers of excellence, which calls for a willingness to work together.

Considering the complexity and diversity of today’s products, maintaining huge inventories is not a viable option. As Just-in-Time deliveries become the industry standard, having local operations offers significant advantages. Some areas are less prone to having production shipped overseas. One area is medical, with its demands for precision and high quality. Large parts are another area less likely to move overseas, due to logistics. Making large parts offshore does not translate economically because of shipping expenses, a greater rate of product damage, longer supply lines and lead times, and more recurring packaging costs, since returnable packaging is impractical.

To start with, unlike older robotics, automation systems today are multifunctional, reprogrammable materials-handling devices, adaptable to a range of applications. Of robots used in automation, the gantry-style generation of robots increases production speeds but has limited flexibility and is generally dedicated to only one machine/work cell for its entire life. In contrast, newer robots with six-axis capability are user-friendly, price-competitive and versatile. They can rotate 360 degrees and perform additional post-molding operations, such as vision and gauging inspection, multicomponent assembly, trimming and cutting, packing and shipping.

Automated quality monitoring also reduces human error and leads to higher standards. Furthermore, robots provide advantages in direct part transfer, product cleanliness, part orientation, part counts and automatic barcode checking. The use of robots has benefits beyond lower direct labor costs. They also tighten manufacturing costs through more uniform cycles, parts removal validation, longer mold life, and reduced scrap.

Automation is more than an effective defense to overseas competition. It also provides an advantageous ROI, typically paying back in less than a year. To take full advantage of automation, companies need to have multiyear automation plans and track results to ensure effectiveness. Rather than cut jobs as they automate, some processors are creating more secure jobs, retaining full-time employee head counts by growing business and training personnel. Automation and training personnel both eliminate lower-paid, manual-labor positions and provide for better upward movement, bringing employees greater job satisfaction as well as making workplaces less physically strenuous and safer.

Next, energy management will save money and make a business more competitive. To reduce energy usage it is necessary to understand where, when, why and how much energy is being used. The main electrical energy users are motors and drives, heaters, cooling systems and lighting. A simple site energy distribution map will show where energy is being used. The use of submeters can help provide information on the areas of high energy use, which is a key factor in reducing energy costs. Energy use in plastics processing is a combination of the specific energy consumption (SEC) used to process each kilogram of finished product times production volume, and the base load, which is incurred regardless of whether production is taking place or not-it. Reduction in SEC involves improving production efficiency, and reduction of the base load mainly involves switching something off such as idling machines, heaters running with no production, and so on.

Businesses operating injection molding equipment can reduce operating costs and save energy using Powerboss, Somar’s latest motor control technology. Motors are extremely inefficient and use far more energy than they actually need, causing businesses to waste money on power, and puts added stress on machinery as the excess energy is released as heat, vibration and noise.

The Powerboss system assesses the needs of an AC induction motor every 1/100th of a second and dynamically adjusts the power required using microcontroller technology to deliver to the motor the exact power required. Cyclic loads such as injection molding machines are prefect applications. Powerboss is able to generate 15 to 30 percent power savings. Machines using Powerboss are also quieter, cooler and generate less vibration. In addition to injection molding machines such as Sandretto, Arburg, Demag and Toshiba, Powerboss can also be used with auxiliary equipment, like granulators and conveyors.

Continuing, the wireless factory is one area in manufacturing offering considerable future growth potential. The system uses a wireless local area network (WLAN) within a plant together with portable devices, like notebook computers cellphones, and PDAs, to provide real-time operational data.

Enabled by equipment advances and standardization of wireless specifications, the concept goes beyond standalone applications like automatic guided vehicles to extend throughout a plant and replaces wired devices, like computers, sensors and telephones. Using handheld devices to transmit, store and access real-time data on materials management, maintenance, shipping and so on significantly accelerates the rate at which personnel can identify and correct problems or plan for upcoming requirements.

BlueSecure access (L), BlueView ‘WLAN’ management system (R).
BlueSecure access (L), BlueView ‘WLAN’ management system (R).

Initially, the wireless factory was adopted for large manufacturing plants, such as those of BMW, Boeing, and chipmaker Intel, but as the benefits of wireless become evident, it is being adopted for more manufacturing facilities, even for smaller plants. Coming on strong among plastics processors, it is only a matter of time before they also adopt the wireless factory for its benefits in productivity, economy and competitiveness.

One development expected to accelerate the growth of the wireless factory is the push of RFID devices into the mainstream. One benefit of the wireless factory it gets people off the carpet and onto the concrete, bringing personnel out of their offices and into the factory. When fully in place, wireless technology is said to dramatically improve a company’s operational efficiency and profitability.

In wireless networks, compact “gateway” receivers process signals from a company’s e-mail and factory application servers and transmit them to access points in the factory, also compact wireless devices that transmit data to or from the factory floor. Via the access points, personnel are able to receive or transmit data throughout the factory using handheld devices. Using industrial PDAs, for example, employees can download information from a variety of sources, including their offices, view it on LCD screens with computer-like quality, and transmit it through the factory.

Finally, meeting the specialized high-tech needs of specific OEM markets is a promising path for plastics processors of industrialized nations to better compete with the low labor cost regions in the global economy. The stringent demands and specialized requirements of the medical goods market is an excellent example. Well-known quality standards, rigorous documentation and extensive testing are accepted practices in this segment of the plastics processing marketplace.

Syringes, suture guns and other medical devices used in direct patient care applications demand tight tolerances and specific labeling to deliver a precise volume for example, as well as to comply with the processor’s legal obligations when producing such parts. An automated workcell can complete the various processing steps, including decorating or welding, within the 10 to 16-second cycle time parameters common in this industry segment.

The processor additionally can ensure that quality standards and the related, necessary documentation is met using an integrated automated vision system that can measure the accuracy of the part to within hundredths of a millimeter and document it, as well. Similarly, in the highly competitive world of automotive OEM suppliers where efficiencies are critical, workcell systems employing machine-side flexible plug-in automated modules, which heretofore would have required multiple separate part inventory and finishing steps, are seeing increasing use. This is especially true, for example, in under-the-hood or interior automotive parts production as well as for instrument clusters or shrouds, where the part is touched only once, while as many as four process steps have been completed during its manufacturing.

The packaging marketplace is also a focus of competition for the North American plastics processor, who must have a technological as well as geographical edge, to satisfactorily compete for what can be very lucrative business. OEMs in this sector are demanding unique features that will attract a jaded consumer’s eye. Often an attention-grabbing feature can be created using unusual packaging. This is where highly automated new plastic technologies to create bold shapes colors and/or graphics can provide a distinguishing advantage in the packaging market where the ability to form and decorate in one seamless operation can be the key to both technological and commercial success.

From: Automated Assembly Corporation Workcell examples: In the manual form(left), two dedicated operators per shift costs $270,000 per year. The automatic form (right) allows for added capital investment and one-eighth of an operator costs $32,000 per year.
From: Automated Assembly Corporation
Workcell examples: In the manual form(left), two dedicated operators per shift costs $270,000 per year. The automatic form (right) allows for added capital investment and one-eighth of an operator costs $32,000 per year.


About the Author

Don Rosato

Dr. Donald V. “Don” Rosato serves as president of PlastiSource, Inc. a prototype manufacturing, technology development and marketing advisory firm located in Concord, Mass., and is the author of the Vol 1 & 2 “Plastics Technology Handbook”.