The Rodon Blog - A Focus on American Manufacturing and Plastic Injection Molding

ThomasNet Survey Highlights New Manufacturing Trends

Posted by The Rodon Group Marketing Team

9/3/15 11:30 AM

ThomasNet conducts an annual survey their Industry Market Barometer® which defines the business trends impacting manufacturing companies. This year's survey subtitle was "Will progress be sustainable without an infusion of younger workers?"  The summary of the report indicates that manufacturing companies are projecting upward trends and continuing to grow, hire and add new products.  "More than half (58%) of the companies surveyed grew in 2013 and 63% expect to grow by the end of 2014."  However, growth may be impeded by a lack of skilled workers.  Here is a sampling of their findings.

Not only have manufacturers experienced steady grow, but they expect the trend to continue.


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How ordinary items are made using plastic injection molding

Posted by Jill Worth

9/1/15 3:00 PM

Increasing use of thermoplastics in manufacturing took place during the middle of the past century, coming on especially strong during the war years, 1940-45, where many applications substituted the use of plastics for metal.  Even in the sixties it was a booming and yet still infant, emerging technology.  The 1967 movie, "The Graduate," starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, made a powerful reference to the promise that plastics held in the American economy when, upon college graduation, the character Benjamin Braddock received a one-word piece of advice from a family friend.  "Plastics," he was told, as if this material was destined to be the next great breakthrough, which it was.

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Topics: Plastic Injection Molding, Plastic Manufacturing

Gaining skills with manufacturing internships and co-op opportunities

Posted by Paula Hynes

8/27/15 12:30 PM

In the heyday of manufacturing in America, internships and apprenticeships were highly sought out job experiences.  Students knew the skills they gained during an internship could help shape their future success.

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Topics: STEM and Manufacturing Careers

Engineering students make the simple complex at the Rube Goldberg contest

Posted by Paula Hynes

8/25/15 7:00 AM

High schools and colleges throughout the country pay tribute to Rube Goldberg’s legacy every year though The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest.  According to the contest website “The Rube Goldberg Machine Contests bring Goldberg's cartoons to life as a way of helping students transcend traditional ways of looking at problems, taking them into the intuitive chaotic realm of imagination. The resulting inventions are collections of bits and pieces, parts of now useless machines, cobbled together to achieve an innovative imaginative, yet somehow logical contraption to meet the annual contest challenge.”

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Topics: Plastic Injection Molding, STEM and Manufacturing Careers, Manufacturing Automation and Innovation, The Rodon Group, Rube Goldberg Contest

How to choose the best resin material for your plastic part?

Posted by Paula Hynes

8/20/15 8:00 AM

This review of plastic resins is the third article in our series on how to make a quality plastic injection molded part. It will focus on the basic characteristics of polymers with some examples of popular resins and their applications.

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Topics: Plastic Injection Molding, Plastic Manufacturing, plastics

Inspiring Today's Youth Through Film 

Posted by Jill Worth

8/18/15 5:00 AM

Last November, I wrote a post for our blog about the movie Big Hero 6 (see below).  It was a fantastic movie and at its core was a great message about the importance of STEM for today's youth.  Since then there have been some other movies that inspire our youth to consider careers in STEM or STEAM related fields.

In May, the website http://edu.stemjobs.com/ created a list of 7 films to inspire teachers and students to think about STEM over the summer.  Let us know what you think of these films in the comment section below or if you have others you would add.

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Topics: STEM and Manufacturing Careers, STEM

Counting down to Manufacturing Day 2015

Posted by Jill Worth

8/13/15 9:30 AM

On Friday, October 2, 2015 over 400 manufacturing companies from California to Pennsylvania (including Rodon) will celebrate the fourth annual National Manufacturing Day.   

The participating manufacturers represent a wide-range of industries including, food and beverage, medical, metal fabrication, plastics, automotive and communications equipment.

According the MFG Day website:

"MFG DAY addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t. By working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry"

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Topics: STEM and Manufacturing Careers, Manufacturing Day

Top 5 Types of Plastic Molding 

Posted by Paula Hynes

8/11/15 10:00 PM

In today’s manufacturing environment, plastics are being used to make everything from automotive body parts to human body parts. Each application requires a special manufacturing process that can mold the part based on specifications. This article provides a brief overview of the different types of molding and their advantages and applications.

Blow Molding – Well suited for hollow objects, like bottles

The process follows the basic steps found in glass blowing. A parison (heated plastic mass, generally a tube) is inflated by air. The air pushes the plastic against the mold to form the desired shape. Once cooled, the plastic is ejected.

The blow molding process is designed to manufacture high volume, one-piece hollow objects. If you need to make lots of bottles, this is the process for you. Blow molding creates very uniform, thin walled containers. And, it can do so very economically.

Compression Molding – Well suited for larger objects like auto parts

The name of this molding method says everything.  A heated plastic material is placed in a heated mold and is then compressed into shape. The plastic can be in bulk but often comes in sheets. The heating process, called curing, insures the final part will maintain its integrity. As with other molding methods, once the part has been shaped, it is then removed from the mold. If sheeting plastic material is used, the material is first trimmed in the mold before the part is removed.

This method of molding is very suitable to high-strength compounds like thermosetting resins as well as fiberglass and reinforced plastics. The superior strength properties of the materials used in compression molding make it an invaluable process for the automotive industry.

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Topics: Plastic Injection Molding, Plastic Injection Molds and Presses, The Rodon Group

50 Shades of Grey Plastic Parts: Redux

Posted by Paula Hynes

8/6/15 9:30 PM

August is National Read-A Romance Month so we thought it would be fitting to repost this popular article on the art and science of coloring plastics in manufacturing.  Hope you enjoy this brief summer read.

50 Shades: Redux

How do you achieve just the right shade of grey in your plastic part?  It’s all in the masterbatch.  A masterbatch is a concentrated mixture of pigments and/or additives encapsulated during a heat process into a carrier resin*. The resulting product is used to color raw polymer materials and provide other desired characteristics to the final part such as UV light resistance, flame retardants, slip agents and anti-stat agents.

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Topics: Plastic Injection Molding

Women in Manufacturing: From Rosie the Riveter to Rose the CEO

Posted by Jill Worth

8/4/15 9:00 AM

My grandmother, Celia Shulman worked in the same factory in Philadelphia for 40 years. She made transistors for radios, TV’s and other electronics. She painted stripes on the transistors and worked in the shipping department at night. She never complained about her job and was proud to be able to go to work every day and support her family as a single mother. It was an honorable career then, and for many women in manufacturing today, still is.  

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Topics: Manufacturing, STEM and Manufacturing Careers

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