Mold-parts producer Progressive Components International Corp. will work with Gram Technology Inc. to make spin-stack molds easier to create and maintain.
Gram's spin-stack technology allows molders to perform secondary processes, such as painting or labeling, in the press, eliminating the need to transfer parts to a second manufacturing line.
The agreement, announced April 19 during Moldmaking Expo 2005 in Rosemont, calls for Gram and Progressive to develop standard components. The alliance will result in quicker time-to-market, ``more-robust'' tool design and better molded components, said Jes Gram, president of Gram Technologies, which has offices in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Scottsdale, Ariz.
Until now, molders using Gram Technologies' system have relied on specially produced mold parts, which can slow mold development and complicate maintenance, said Glenn Starkey, president of Wauconda, Ill.-based Progressive.
Gram added, ``Multicomponent tools do not need to be complex, featuring bulky turntables and high price tags.''
Toolmakers eager to adopt new technology such as spin-stack molds can find ways to adapt to an industry that otherwise seeks the lowest-cost alternative, according to Starkey.
``The concern has been on the $100,000 mold that's being built in Asia for $70,000, but they should be thinking about what they can do to get the $500,000 mold that's being built in Europe,'' Starkey said.
During the expo, Progressive also introduced its ProV-2 Mold Management Program. The web-based database uses a cycle counter's serial number to coordinate tool maintenance, allowing molders to retrieve specific information about each tool, and giving them access to information from each mold in use worldwide through a secure database.
Starkey, 41, also received the Society of Plastics Engineers Fellow of the Society Award for 2005. Since 1984, SPE has honored 227 people with the designation, presented to members for their contributions to plastics.
``[Starkey's] many innovative products, coupled with his many patents, have changed the way injection molds are designed and built throughout the industry,'' said Scott Peters, chairman of the SPE Mold Making and Mold Design Division. ``These innovations have set new standards across the board.''