California Mold Maker Adds New Press

MMT_0214_Products_MR Mold_Stuffer Box

M.R. Mold & Engineering Corp. of Brea, Calif., has upgraded its injection molding capability to enhance testing and sampling of customer molds prior to shipment.

The firm took delivery Sept. 4 of a 110-ton Arburg 470A horizontal press that is equipped for thermoplastic and silicone processing and is suitable for short-run production volumes. The hydraulic unit replaces an existing 110-ton electric.

The new Arburg has a 30mm liquid-silicone-rubber barrel and screw and a 35mm plastic barrel and screw, extra heating zones, valve gate controls for cold runner systems, vacuum and a robotic interface. Arburg will train the press operators, and M.R. Mold plans to send two technicians for training in scientific molding processes.

Four other hydraulic presses include a 70-ton Arburg Allrounder 370S, a 100-ton tiebarless Engel and two 55-ton Engels.

M.R. Mold is shopping for a laser engraver to meet customer needs for cavity identification and logo imprints, functions that are now outsourced. The device would engrave mold components, a task M.R. Mold does now on computer-numerical-control milling machines.

In-house use of an engraver will free up machine time.

M.R. Mold partners with the Santa Ana, Calif.-based group Science@OC to advance the federal STEM education strategic plan encouraging students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.

“We understand the importance of American manufacturing and the lack of education in our society,” said Rick Finnie, M.R. Mold president. “Manufacturing is no longer a ‘dirty’ business. It is our hope to provide shop tours for students to show them from ‘art to part’ how the process works, tying in why math and science are important.”

Finnie aims to promote scientific literacy among Orange County students, make presentations, attend job fairs and bring industry colleagues into the effort.

The firm has developed another proprietary pneumatic stuffer box for higher-volume sampling, short runs or micro molding where a small amount of material is needed. Typical use of LSR in production requires a pumping unit to mix components prior to injection into the mold.

The stuffer box injects a small dose of pre-mixed material into the barrel of a molding machine and eliminates the need to repetitively clean a pumping unit. The new high-volume version has a volume of 78 cubic inches or 3.1 pounds of pre-mixed material, while the earlier low-volume model has a volume of 27 cubic inches or 1.1 pounds of material.

M.R. Mold has hired six persons since April and now employs 30 including seven mold makers and five CNC specialists. The firm seeks more CNC and design talent.

M.R. Mold envisions a 20-percent increase in sales for 2014 vs. its actual 2013 results.