A Benchmark for Plastics Processors

By: Tony Deligio 25. March 2016

benchmark noun: a standard by which something can be measured or judged.


The term benchmark originally entered the English lexicon as a description of the reference point surveyors would use as a level surface—“bench”—from which they’d insert an angle iron that would subsequently support a leveling rod. From this accepted standard, subsequent measurements could be made with greater confidence.


Benchmarks and benchmarking have of course taken on significance beyond surveying, with frequent adoption in manufacturing. Last year, Plastics Technology bid to create its own “level bench”, or reference point, for plastics processors with the launch of the World-Class Processor survey (learn more here).   


After a tremendously successful inaugural survey, with participation from across the technology, end market and geographic spectrum, Plastics Technology is once again undertaking the World-Class Processor survey, and you can participate here. Completely anonymous, the survey can provide your shop that benchmark against which you can measure your own operations.


All shops track their internal performance; successful operations consider that performance within the context of the broader industry. Take the survey today and see how you stack up.

Injection Molding Meetup in NOLA

By: Tony Deligio 16. March 2016

Interest in injection molding will bring together an eclectic group of attendees, speakers and exhibitors in less than two weeks in New Orleans.


Members of small family-owned businesses sitting alongside employees at Fortune 500 and Dow Jones Index companies; attendees working in aerospace, medical, and electronics sharing lunch with exhibitors in automotive, packaging, and building and construction; molders, moldmakers and injection molding machine makers taking a coffee break together between sessions—all of them in New Orleans March 29-31 for one reason: injection molding.


The agenda is finalized (with the late addition of collaborative automation and micromolding presentations from Universal Robot and Tessy Plastics, respectively); sponsorships and exhibits are sold out (see list below); and we continue to secure last-minute registrations for the 26th edition of the Molding Conference and Exhibition.


Plenty of your peers, and possibly competitors, have registered to attend (see the list here), and there’s still a chance for you to join us at the Westin New Orleans Canal Place. Browse through our eight distinct sessions (Emerging Technologies; Automation, Assembly & Packaging; Materials Drying/Blending/Handling; Establishing & Maintaining a Robust Process; Tooling; Automotive; Medical) and 62 different speakers and I know you’ll find a topic/person/company that will help you mold better parts.


Register Now!


Molding 2016 Sponsors




Riverdale Global




Die-Sep           Eastman Chemical


Tabletop Exhibitors


Borche North America            Butler-MacDonald      Crafts Technology

Futaba                                      Kistler                         MdPlastics

M.R. Mold & Engineering      Novatec                       PCS Company

Prophecy Sensorlytics             RJG                             SyncroSpeed

Tria                                          Una-Dyn                     Unique Tool & Gauge

Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) and Molding 2016

By: Tony Deligio 9. March 2016

Not that we needed any new ones, but in our continuously on-the-grid lives of endless real-time status updates humans have developed a new anxiety: Fear of missing out or FoMO.


FoMO, as defined on its own Wikipedia page is "a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent". My goal with this post is not to stoke your FoMO, but if you’ve been reading our blog of late you’ll know we’ve given regular updates on the upcoming Molding 2016 Conference and Exhibition (March 29-31, New Orleans).


If you’ve missed those updates, and in the spirit of FoYMO (fear of you missing out), let’s recap what we have on store in a little over two weeks in New Orleans. A roster of 60 speakers providing their expertise on a range of topics and 19 sponsors exhibiting their latest technology to advance your molding operation will be there in New Orleans.


Plastics Technology’s Executive Editor Jim Callari has taken to our blog to highlight the event, asking you to save the date and some money on registration, while pushing you to learn more about injection molding.


Late last year, I asked you if you were an injection molding expert, or wanted to become one and offered a sneak peek at the program as it began to take shape. We also wished the reciprocating screw a happy 60th birthday, noting how Molding would bring into perspective the changes the technology has undergone over the last six decades.


I also noted that some popular Plastics Technology columnists were among Molding’s speakers, including drying expert Pete Stoughton, tooling expert Randy Kerkstra, scientific molding expert Suhas Kulkarni, and robust processing expert Robert Gattshall.


Finally I offered brief synopses of the various tracks, including:


Creating, Establishing and Maintaining a Robust Process





Emerging Technologies


We don’t want you to miss out, so if you haven’t already done so, please register today and eliminate any chance of Molding 2016 FoMO. 

Molding 2016 Conference and Exhibition

Optimized Molding Is Only Possible With Efficient Material Drying, Handling

By: Tony Deligio 2. March 2016

Injection speed and overall cycle time are often the focus for molders pursuing optimized processes, but for truly efficient production, molders should consider how and in what state material arrives at the machine.


Underlining the importance of what happens to resin before it hits the hopper, Molding 2016 (March 29-31, New Orleans) features a full session dedicated to material drying, blending and handling, indicating the importance of drying and delivering material in the injection molding process.


Minimizing costs, optimizing handling, matching material handling to the application, 21st century machine communication, closed loop software to fool proof recipes and working with difficult-to-convey resins are among the topics to be tackled in the Material Drying/Blending/Handling session at the Molding 2016 Conference & Exhibition.


An industry consultant and various product and process experts from industry-leading material drying and conveying equipment suppliers will be among the presenters representing market leaders like Conair, Novatec, and Universal Dynamics among others.


Check out the complete session below and remember to register by March 3 to save on your own (or if you come with coworkers) colleagues’ registration.




Pete Stoughton, consultant (long-time former Conair drying expert)

Minimizing the Costs of Polymer Drying


Mark Haynie


How to Choose the Best Dryer for the Application and Conveying


Bill Goldfarb 
Universal Dynamics

Validated, Automated and Optimized Material Handling and Conditioning


Chuck Morgan

21st Century Machine Approaches to Machine Communication


Jim Zinski


Solutions for Difficult-to-Convey Resins


Alan Landers, product manager for blenders

Closing The Loop: Common-Sense Software to Track Material Consumption, Recipe Proofing and More

Calculate Your Shot Size and More, Live

By: Tony Deligio 24. February 2016

At least once a week, I get a request for the shot-size calculation spreadsheet included in this article by Plastics Technology columnist, John Bozzelli.


Calculate Shot Size Vs. Barrel Capacity


In journalism speak, this article would be what’s considered “evergreen content”; that is content that doesn’t have a published shelf life but instead has ongoing relevance to a readership. Published in October 2011 and approaching five years on Plastics Technology’s shelf, the article definitely remains relevant.


Next week in Wood Dale, Ill. you can hear from Mr. Bozzelli in person. From March 1-3, John will be hosting a press-side training seminar, Process Development for Medical Validations. In addition to the basics of calculating a shot size given a certain barrel size, John will answer questions and cover topics, including:


Why do parts vary after you have done all the validation work?

Do you get good data and value from your DOE’s or are they simply done for the sake of doing them?

Are you getting your money’s worth for the time and metrology work?

The role process development has in validations.

How to separate “Machine Variables” vs. “Plastic variables”.

Understanding normal process variances and how to deal with them.

Sensing process changes, as they occur, not after two hours of wasted production.

Getting the Validation, Quality, Processing and Management teams on the same page.


Register today and get your evergreen content in person.


Photo courtesy Purgex Purging Compounds.

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