Of Mike Reedy

By: James Callari 4. September 2013

As a technical resource for plastics processors both in print and on-line, we generally don’t cover the deaths of people in our industry. But I thought I’d make an exception in this blog after I heard about the passing of Mike Reedy, who died at the too-young age of 60 on August 16 after battling pancreatic cancer.


I first heard Mike was sick some months back, after my colleague Lilli Sherman called the company he founded 24 years ago, Reedy International in Keyport, N.J., to see if he’d be interested in writing an article for us. Since then, I’ve reflected on the dozens of times we’d run into each other and exchange pleasantries over the many years we've known each other.


Mike and I lived fairly close to each other in central New Jersey, and would meet time to time for lunch. Not enough times, as it turns out. Mike was clearly one of the world’s foremost authorities on foam, and has numerous patents in the field. He was also an insider in every sense of the word in his business life. If there was an ANTEC, a K Show, an NPE Show, a regional conference, an SPE meeting, an SPI event…Mike was there. He also had intimate knowledge of numerous projects that were in development or in production where his materials were being used, and took great delight in only giving me the tiniest of details involving them. He had inside info, he wanted you to know that he had it, and he wasn't sharing! “I have a non-disclosure on that…sorry,” he’d tell me when I pressed for details…details that never came. He was usually smiling when he said that. “Off the record, Mike?” I'd nudge. “Nah,” he'd reply. Truth be told, I think he took great delight in my disappointment in not getting full disclosure, but he'd have a good chuckle and I quickly got over it.


But life, and business, goes on. Reedy International is truly a family company, as Mike’s wife Anne Marie and children are all involved in the operation. In fact, Mike’s step-son Peter Schroeck, now the company’s president/CEO, will be contributing the article on foaming that we originally thought to ask Mike to write. Look for it in November. He has a tough act to follow.

Conference Explores Film Extrusion Topics

By: James Callari 12. August 2013

Need to get up-to-date on developments in film extrusion? Then check out FlexPackCon  2013, the annual technical conference of the Flexible Packaging Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE). FlexPackCon will take place at the Westford Regency Inn and Conference Center, Westford, MA (greater Boston area), October 8-10, 2013.

Two full days of technical presentations with multiple tracks for maximum value are planned. In addition to technical material, plenary sessions with global reach, networking events, lunch presentations and exhibitions will be included. The theme “Engineering Packaging Solutions for Global Growth” unifies the conference.

Learn more here.

Moldmakers Unite To Aid Wounded Vets

By: James Callari 26. June 2013

If you think it’s important to help soldiers wounded on the battlegrounds in Iraq and Afganistan, then check out is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to supporting wounded American troops by providing them with iPads and accessories to help them keep in touch with family members and friends while undergoing treatment for their wounds.


So far, has raised more than $90,000 to support more than 130 soldiers, many of whom are single, double, and triple amputees. In some cases, these warriors have to stay  away from home for two years or more while they undergo surgeries, are fitted for prosthetics and rehabilitate. is the brainchild of Tim and Kim Batz of moldmaker Mold Craft Inc., Bear Lake, Minn., and has been supported by numerous others in the plastics and moldmaking industries, including the American Mold Builders Association and MoldMaking Technology Magazine, a sister publication to Plastics Technology.


Log onto the website to learn about making an individual or corporate donation. Some 98.5% of every dollar raised goes directly to supporting the warriors.


MMT Recognizes Moldmaking Innovators at Amerimold

By: James Callari 5. June 2013

MoldMaking Technology Magazine, a sister publication to Plastics Technology, will recognize two cutting edge moldmakers with its Leadtime Leader Award at the upcoming AmeriMold Show, June 12-13, Rosemont, Ill.
“Through this year’s Awards—presented by MMT and Progressive Components—we honor two outstanding mold manufacturers who demonstrate excellence in overall innovation, efficiency, quality and commitment,” states Christina Fuges, MMT’s editorial director.
Both companies excel in tight-tolerance, highly complex molds, use innovation to differentiate themselves, commit to acquiring current technology, focus on customer service and view employees as the key to success.
There is much behind the success of this year’s winner, but it began with one man. In 1972, Bill Kushmaul started Tech Mold, Tempe, Ariz.,  with a Bridgeport, a grinder and a few basic hand tools. By the early 1980s, Tech Mold was building molds for some leading, up-and-coming industries, who then depended upon Tech Mold to engineer and manufacture innovative, high-volume molds. To remain successful Tech Mold needed to be flexible, and so when offshoring began Tech Mold found new customers in new markets, which landed the company as a leader with Fortune 100 companies in medical disposables, consumer products and packaging. Next Tech Mold began to heavily invest and integrate engineering and manufacturing technologies, but a major challenge became the “business” of moldmaking.
Kushmaul explains, “Most of us who started these companies many years ago had minimal business skills, so making the transition from a technical person to a business person wasn’t easy. We had to fight our way through and hire the right people to do what we couldn’t. I learned to trust people with their jobs, yet have systems in place to verify the results.”
MMT’s 2013 Honorable Mention shop was founded by a dynamic duo. Tim Katen and Dave Mead started Micro Mold Company, Inc., Erie, Pa., in November 1978 with a focus on manufacturing technically demanding, high quality plastic injection molds. They both poured their life savings into the business and officially launched the company in a 1,400-ft², rented garage. Initially the company could not afford heat or a phone line, and was hit by the 1980s recession and sky-high interest rates. However, they stayed committed to excellence in service, advanced engineering and conservative fiscal management, which allowed the shop to grow and make a name for itself.
Then came more employees and advanced machining equipment; sampling services and initial production requests resulting in the purchase of an injection molding machine that launched sister company, Plastikos in 1989. When offshoring began, Micro Mold honed in on the medical and electronic connector industries to survive. In 2009, Tim and Dave retired and passed the reins to second-generation owners, Ryan and Philip Katen, and Rob Cooney, who pushed the company pursue new technologies and industries.
Don’t forget this year’s winner and honorable mention will be honored at an Awards Ceremony at the amerimold Expo in Rosemont, IL, on Wednesday, June 12th at 5:00pm. You can also visit Tech Mold at Booth # 728 and Micro Mold at Booth # 130. Be sure to register today to be a part of this industry event and celebrate these Award recipients

Clock’s Ticking…But You Can Still Register for amerimold2013

By: James Callari 23. May 2013

The premier North American event for moldmaking will be held June 12-13, 2013, Donald E. Stephens Center, in Rosemont, Ill. Click here to get a free exhibit hall pass and a 25% discount (type in PT in the promo code box) for a conference registration for amerimold 2013, the yearly exhibition and conference presented by Gardner Business Media and three of its publications: Modern Machine Shop, Plastics Technology and, of course, Moldmaking Technology.
This year’s technical conference program is comprised of three tracks,  each sponsored by an professional association or consultancy. Each takes a critical look at product, application and business management issues related to a primary part of the plastic injection mold lifecycle.
  • Engineer: Sponsored by the Society of Plastics Engineers, Moldmaking & Mold Design Division (SPE MMDD).
  • Build: Sponsored by the Tooling & Manufacturing Association (TMA).
New this year, the amerimold showfloor will include two Knowledge Centers featuring technical presentations from applications experts at exhibiting companies. These presentations will focus on process innovations and new product technologies being displayed at the show.
Also, join MoldMaking Technology for the unveiling of this year’s “Top 10 Reasons to be a Moldmaker”. After the presentation, walk across the aisle to Booth #147 to pick-up this year’s “Top 10” t-shirt.
What: “Top 10 Reasons to be a Moldmaker” Announcement and T-Shirt Giveaway
When: Wednesday, June 12th – Noon
Where: Knowledge Center – North (End of 100 aisle) / Booth 147

Presented by: MoldMaking Technology
Sponsored by: Progressive Components

Join MoldMaking Technology and Progressive Components in honoring the 2013 Leadtime Leaders. Winning companies are outstanding North American mold manufacturers that best demonstrate overall innovation, efficiency, quality and commitment. 
When: Wednesday, June 12th – 5:15pm
Where: Conference Center, Level 2, Lobby
Sponsored by: Progressive Components

An annual amerimold highlight, this year’s casino-themed networking reception will kick-off immediately following the presentation of this year’s Leadtime Leader Awards. Join reception sponsor, Progressive Components, for an evening of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and fun.
When: Wednesday, June 12th – 5:30pm
Where: Conference Center, Level 2, Room 21

Search Exhibitors by clicking here
View the show Floorplan by clicking here

Follow these links for search exhibitors by Specific Product Categories:
  • OMTEC: The Orthopaedic Manufacturing & Technology Exposition & Conference. Attendees include orthopaedic device company professionals from the entire spectrum of research and development, manufacturing and operations, regulatory & clinical affairs and executive management. Learn more about OMTEC 
  • SUR/FIN : Annual gathering of the surface finishing industry. Attendees include shop owners, custom coaters and OEMs Learn more about SUR/FIN
  • FastenerTech : The All-Fastener-Industry Event in the Heart of the Fastener Industry.  Attendees include fastener manufacturers, distributors, users and industry suppliers. Learn more about FastenerTech
Co-Location Note: amerimold registrants will receive complimentary access to the SUR/FIN and FastenerTech exhibit halls. They can apply for a free OMTEC pass using code: OMTEC. OMTEC, SUR/FIN, FastenerTech registrants will receive complimentary access to the amerimold exhibit hall.



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