Veterans Should Consider a Toolmaking Career

At Rodon, we owe a great deal of our success to the work our toolmakers do. Toolmaking is one of our primary capabilities in our manufacturing process, and our team of professional toolmakers has over 25 years of experience producing high volume plastic parts.

So what kind of person makes for a great toolmaker? This highly demanding job requires dedicated individuals who possess great technical aptitude. The search for toolmakers should surely include one subset of the population: veterans.

The Department of Labor projects, between 2014 - 2019, nearly 1.5 million service members will be transitioning from active duty into a civilian job. As a workforce, the veteran population holds numerous advantages, especially the current Iraq and Afghanistan War era, also known as the Gulf War-era II veterans. The United States military is the most technologically advanced military in the world. As such, it requires a highly technically proficient workforce. The returning veterans of today are disciplined, technologically savvy, and most have tested their skills in Iraq or Afghanistan.

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Injection Molding vs 3D Printing

Earlier last year, we discussed 3D printing. Though it has been around for quite a while, the new printing technique has only been a player in the public consciousness for about five years.

In that time, the public’s perception of what 3D printing can do has eclipsed the process’ actual capabilities. And with more recognition come more inquiries — everybody wants to explore 3D printing as an option for their next project, and are eager  to want to move on from more traditional methods, such as injection molding.

3D Printing and Injection Molding

The two processes are similar — they both primarily produce parts and components from plastic, and they are both capable of high degrees of geometric complexity. However, there are important differences as well.

One of the more appealing aspects of 3D printing is the absence of steep initial costs. Because of its need for specially tooled dies, the creation of which is an expensive process, injection molding requires considerable initial costs. Though imposing at first, these startup costs are amortized over the lifespan of the die and the production run — in large volume injection molding projects, the startup costs are amortized over more individual parts, leading to a relatively low per-part cost.

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Top 12 Manufacturing and Plastic Industry Blogs to Follow

There is an enormous amount of content out there for us to read every day. Figuring out which of it is worthwhile of your time isn't an easy task. If you are looking to stay up-to-date, blogs are rich with helpful, educational and useful information and tips.   We hope you enjoy reading our blog and that we can help keep you informed on the topics of plastic injection molding, manufacturing and STEM careers.  

Below we've compiled 12 other manufacturing and plastics industry blogs (along with their Twitter names) to consider following on a weekly (or even daily) basis. Some of them are industry favorites, while others are our personal favorites. Let us know what you think and if you have others you'd add to our list.

** If you're not a regular subscriber to our blog, please consider doing so by filling out the brief form just to the top right of this post.  Thank you!**

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Understanding the hidden risks in an offshore supply chain  + [INFOGRAPHIC]

There are many risks involved in selecting an OEM suppliers. Understanding them is essential to running a successful business. In our white paper "Hidden Risks in Your Offshore Supply Chain", we’ll examine three strategic areas to include in your supplier selection process: Cost, Scheduling, and Compliance.

Cost

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.

Are you aware of the hidden risks associated with your offshore supply chain?  Download our new PDF guide

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NIST/MEP's Workforce Tips for Manufacturers

This article written by Mary Ann Pacelli at the Manufacturing Extension Partnership originally appeared on the NIST/MEP blog on November 12, 2015.

As a manufacturer, you don’t want workers – you want company ambassadors. Workers are individuals who show up and get their tasks done. Company ambassadors are a team of employees who are enthusiastic about their careers, and they are inspired and empowered to proactively help your business grow.

Company ambassadors are innovative and are confident in their ability to achieve excellence. They serve as cheerleaders for your company to the outside public. You can guide your workers into becoming company ambassadors through workforce development initiatives.

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The Importance of Quality Certifications in Manufacturing

In the past, many businesses operated on the assumption that their vendors were in compliance with the latest rules and regulations regarding their industry.Technology and materials were limited, so buyers worked with manufacturers who could produce the best product often without clearly defined quality guidelines or parameters.

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[eBook + Infographic] How to Manufacture a Perfect Plastic Part


Manufacturing high-quality plastic injection molded parts takes a lot of attention to detail. There are four key factors that determine if a large-volume project will go smoothly. They include:

Part Design, Tool Design and Build, 
Material Selection and Manufacturing

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Innovative Robotics and End-of-Arm Tooling

Speed and efficiency in plastic injection molding equate to cost savings. So, it is no surprise that robots play an important role in improving the manufacturing process. From simple sprue pickers to complex automated End-of-Arm Tooling (EOAT), the industry is taking advantage of this automation trend. 

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5 Manufacturing Leaders Who Contributed to Today's Advancements

Dr. Martin Luther King's contributions to the advancement of civil rights in this country defines the word "leadership". He was a visionary leader who was deeply committed to achieving social justice through nonviolent means. 

In celebration of Dr.King's birthday this past Monday, we thought we'd highlight past leaders in the manufacturing world who made very different but equally important contributions to today's advanced technologies.  Each of them had their own unique leadership styles with one important trait in common; they were all visionaries. They each saw the potential of creating a better, more efficient system or machine to complete a task. While the official “Industrial Revolution” may be over, our society still benefits from the work of these current day visionaries. 

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Made in the USA: Is It Cheaper Than Previously Thought?

For years, products made in the United States have been considered to be more expensive than products made overseas. Manufacturing was cheaper outside of the US, and it was easier to find the low-paid labor needed to keep factories running. In 2004, each manufacturing dollar in the United States cost only 86.5 cents to produce in China, leaving a much wider margin for profit for goods made overseas. According to The Boston Consulting Group, by 2014, that number had changed substantially: each manufacturing dollar in the United States costs 95.6 cents to manufacture in China. The trend suggests that the gap between those numbers can only close further. As a result, a growing number of American companies are reversing the trend and bringing manufacturing back to the United States. 

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