The days are long past when an injection mold was a passive receptacle for melted plastic.

The days are long past when an injection mold was a passive receptacle for melted plastic. A mold is now an active machinery system in its own right, nearly as complex, in some cases, as the injection press in which it is mounted. We are entering an era of what might be called "in-mold manufacturing." Painting, hard coating, film insert decorating, labeling, overmolding, and assembly—all of these can be done in the same machine and mold. I don't have to tell you how much that can save in equipment, labor, floor space, and time by eliminating all those separate secondary operations—not to mention environmental costs when it comes to painting or coating.

That's why PLASTICS TECHNOLOGY is presenting another conference on the subject this fall. Last September's one-day conference on in-mold decorating drew an overflow crowd and forced us to drag in more chairs to keep up with swelling audience. This year, we are expanding the program to two days and enlarging its scope. We're calling it "Do It All in the Mold: In-Mold Technologies for Decorating, Labeling, Finishing, and Assembly." We will present approximately 24 speakers from vendors of injection machinery, robotics, tooling, and materials technologies, as well as processors that are in-mold pioneers. There will also be tabletop exhibits and a cocktail reception for meeting and mingling.

The conference is planned for Nov. 2-3 in Columbus, Ohio.