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8/12/2013 | 1 MINUTE READ

Know Your Mold-Building Terminology

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This can be particularly important when specifying a conformal-cooled mold.

For many years I held a seminar called Purchasing & Quoting of Plastic Parts aimed at OEM purchasing and molding personnel.  Attendance has waned during the recession, but the need for knowledge is still there, especially where conformal-cooled molds are concerned. 

I have seen many purchase orders over the years worded only  “Build a 4-cavity mold to produce ABC,” and nothing else. So it continues with conformal-cooled molds:  “Build a 4 cavity conformal cooled mold to produce ABC”.  People who purchase conformal-cooled molds need to understand the technology so that they know how to specify a conformal-mold in a P.O.

So what questions should OEMS or injection molders be asking their moldmaker? My list:

1. Who is designing the mold?  

2. What analyses will be done?  (You’re paying for these; put it in the P.O.)

3. How much experience do they have with each of the software packages?

4. Who is building the conformal inserts and what are they responsible for?

5. Who has the responsibility for the whole mold?

You have to have an understanding of the technology in order to write a good P.O., whether you are an OEM or a molder.

About the Author

Robert A. Beard is president of Robert A. Beard & Associates, Inc. which was formed in 1984. He has more than 40 years of experience in plastics. He presents seminars nationally and internationally entitled: Purchasing & Quoting of Plastic Parts, and Virtual Workshop On Trouble Shooting The Injection Molding Process. He has been elected to the prestigious grade of Fellow and is a Honored Service Member in the Society of Plastics Engineers, and has served as the Chairman of the Fellows Selection Committee. Contact: (262) 658-1778; email: rabeard@plastic-solvers.com; website: plastic-solvers.com