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

50 Shades of Grey Plastic Parts

Posted by Paula Hynes

3/3/15 9:00 AM

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,, masterbatch, colorants in plastic injection molding

Learning by Example from Manufacturing Success Stories

Posted by Manufacturing Innovation Blog

2/26/15 2:00 PM

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Topics: manufacturing

VIDEO: Inside The Rodon Group

Posted by Jill Worth

2/23/15 1:30 PM

We have a lot to be proud of at Rodon.  We've been in the business of plastic injection molding since 1956 and have remained true to our high volume, core capabilities since then. It's why we've remained a leader in U.S. manufacturing and are one of the largest family-owned and operated injection molders in the United States. 

We hope you enjoy our new video. Thank you to Westfield Films for visually capturing the pride we have for our company, facility and employees.  

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Topics: plastic injection molding,, manufacturing, Video

The Democratization of Manufacturing

Posted by Adam Robinson

2/19/15 9:30 AM

If you follow the manufacturing space, you’ve probably heard that the industry is undergoing a significant change, accompanied by terms like “New Industrial Revolution”, “Third Industrial Revolution”, “Manufacturing 3.0” and “Maker Movement”.

We should ask, ‘What does this change actually mean for consumers?’

The new industrial revolution will have an overwhelmingly positive impact on consumer experience by allowing more customers to get what they want, when they want it and at a price they’re willing to pay. Today, no product is too quirky, offbeat, personalized or complicated to be brought to market.

Consumers can obtain these through ways like purchasing them from one of the small, agile manufacturing companies that have emerged to address customers with niche requirements. These companies have targeted customers who want a more personalized product and are willing to pay a premium for it.

Alternately, consumers can now invest in products they want by directly supporting projects in crowd-funding places like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Crowdsourcing is also another channel for fresh ideas to become reality, with the added benefit of improving the quality of designs through cross-disciplinary collaboration and by gathering early feedback. These ideas also play nicely into the thought of Distributed Manufacturing.

The Rise of 3D Printing as the Driver of the Democratization of Manufacturing
3D-printing allows consumers to turn highly individualized concepts or designs into real-life products via a “personal manufacturing” process. As 3D-printing services and consumer devices become more affordable and ubiquitous, companies will start making digital versions of their products and parts available. Consumers will be able to download, modify and print these digital versions directly.

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Topics: manufacturing, 3D printing

West Coast Ports Sideline Offshore Shipments

Posted by Paula Hynes

2/17/15 10:01 AM

On Friday February 13th, there was a line of 27 container ships anchored at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach wanting to be offloaded. By Saturday, Valentine’s Day, that number had grown to 32.   This bottleneck is primarily the result of a nine-month labor contract dispute between the union representing the longshoremen and the ship owners.  The ship owners are accusing the union of work slowdowns.  To retaliate, the PMA (a trade group representing the ship owners) has canceled night and weekend shifts to avoid paying overtime to the workers.   It is estimated that the economic cost of one day of a lockout could cost $1 billion dollars.  If the dispute is allowed to escalate, shutting down all 29 west coast ports, the economic consequences could be substantial.  These ports handle approximately $1 trillion worth of cargo each year.  Los Angeles and Long Beach are the largest, handling 40% of all incoming cargo containers.

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Topics: American Manufacturing, American vs overseas manufacturing, offshoring, onshoring, near shoring

Minimize your offshore supply chain risks

Posted by Paula Hynes

2/13/15 10:00 AM

There are many risks when it comes to selecting OEM suppliers. Understanding them is essential to running a successful business.  In our new white paper, we’ll examine three strategic areas to include in your supplier selection process: Cost, Scheduling, and Compliance.

Cost is not just the final price you pay for a part.  Cost also includes shipping, time to market delays, quality control checks as well as labor.  Cheap foreign labor is becoming more expensive.  Offshore suppliers face a more demanding workforce.  And, today’s consumers are demanding that suppliers provide improved working conditions and pay.  All of this is driving up the unit cost of goods sold.

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Topics: manufacturing, American vs overseas manufacturing, reshoring, offshoring, supply chain risks, onshoring

Perfect Parts with Precision Plastic Molding

Posted by Jill Worth

2/9/15 3:37 PM

The adage “If it can go wrong, it will go wrong” should never be true in the world of injection molding.  In fact, problems can be easily avoided from the very beginning as long you are working with a turnkey precision molding manufacturer.  Some companies opt to use an outside design firm to design the mold, then contract another vendor to build the mold (often these are offshore mold builders) and another to run the parts.  By separating these responsibilities, they often sacrifice control, accountability and quality.

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Topics: injection molding,, plastic injection molding,, injection molding basics, injection molded parts

Building (New) Worlds Kids Love with K'NEX in 2015

Posted by Jill Worth

2/3/15 11:00 AM

Since 1992, The Rodon Group, a sister company of K'NEX Brands  has manufactured over 34 billion parts for the K'NEX building toy system.  Yes, you read that correctly...34 Billion! K’NEX Brands was established to make and sell what has become one of the world’s leading integrated construction systems for children and is America’s STEM building solution. They have won over 250 international awards and recognitions, are focused on Building Worlds Kids Love and encourage youngsters to “imagine, build and play."

The New York Toy Fair is coming up in mid-February and provides an ideal opportunity for K'NEX to introduce their 2015 product line, consisting of 47 new products and two new brands. The new products are geared to a growing audience of young girls looking to use toys for building science, technology, engineering and math skills, but also action outdoor play that traditionally had been the domain of boys. Mighty Makers, consists of a line of construction toys designed to empower girls through creative and stimulating building ideas. Created by an all-female marketing and design team, the Mighty Makers building sets encourage girls ages 7+ to build BIG ideas. Each STEM-based set includes colorful rods, connectors, panels, engaging story-based instructions that follow the life of the included female figure and an exploration card for additional educational fun.  

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Topics: KNEX Brands

White House Makes Manufacturing Innovation a Priority

Posted by Paula Hynes

1/30/15 10:33 AM

The great recession underscored some inherent weaknesses in the U.S. supply chain.  We have an employment skills gap, an uncoordinated approach to nurturing innovation, and an export imbalance.  Since 2011, the federal government focused on changing this paradigm and made American manufacturing a priority.  Under the guidance of the Department of Commerce/NIST, they developed an infrastructure with dedicated funding to rebuild our manufacturing sector. 

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Topics: manufacturing, American Manufacturing, Made in America, Manufacturing automation and innovation, national network for manufacturing innovation

Sustainability in plastics manufacturing

Posted by Jill Worth

1/27/15 11:30 AM

In today’s world, the green movement is more important than ever. No matter what the industry, it’s a company’s responsibility to make changes and choices that support the environment.When you’re looking for a plastic injection molding company, there are several things you can check for to be sure you’ll be working with an environmentally responsible business.

Certification
ISO 9001 Certification is a way for companies to keep a close eye on their production processes. Meeting the International Standards for Quality Management ensures the company has been thoroughly audited and is fully in control of its’ procedures so that no part of the production process “slips through the cracks.”

Waste Reduction
Make sure the company you work with is minimizing waste. During the molding process, excess plastic is generated. What does the company you work with do with it? Look for a company that has a system to recycle all excess plastic.

What about boxes? The efforts of cardboard recycling make a huge difference. At Rodon, we conserve 150 tons of cardboard per year, enough to fill 3000 cubic yards of landfill space or 3 football fields about a foot deep!  Using servo robots to incrementally stack parts, we reduce part distortion while tripling or quadrupling the number of parts packed into the same size carton. Rodon's customers are also offered a returnable/reusable packaging program to further reduce cardboard use

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Topics: plastic injection molding,, Sustainable Manufacturing

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