Novi, Mich. — Charles Klingler is the newest Mold Maker of the Year — an honor his father, Josef Klingler, earned in 1987.
Charles Klingler received the award from the Society of Plastics Engineers' Mold Technologies division at a ceremony during Amerimold, held June 13-14 in Novi.
He is vice president of Janler Corp., a Chicago maker of injection molds. Medical, packaging and electronic components are the company's biggest markets.
"We build high-cavitation, high-precision molds," Klingler said. Janler employs about 40.
Josef Klingler, an innovator in mold design and engineering who is credited with developing the first unscrewing stack mold in 1988, founded the tool shop in 1952. In 1989, he handed the reins to his daughter, Carol Klingler Ebel, who has served as president ever since. Carol and Charles are siblings.
The family is active in education and trade association work. Charles Klingler is the current president of the American Mold Builders Association's Chicago chapter.
"And in Chicago, we put together an education committee that I'm on, and we are driven to raise money. We are leading the nation in raising funding that we give right back to the schools, to help them," he said after receiving the award.
The SPE Mold Technologies division presented Klingler with a $500 check, which he donated to Lake Park High School in Roselle, Ill., on June 27, when students toured the mold maker as part of a summer camp in engineering and manufacturing. An administrator and students from Triton College in River Grove, Ill., also were on the Janler tour.
Fifteen students learned about mold making on the tour.
Carol Klingler Eber is the first woman to serve as board chair of the Tooling & Manufacturing Association. In 2013, TMA awarded her the Rose Mottl Leadership in Manufacturing Award.
Charles Klingler said Janler has a strong, ongoing commitment to apprenticeship training.
"We've always had an apprenticeship program, from day one," he said. "We never stopped it because we felt that we had to keep bringing youth into the plant."
U.S. tooling apprenticeships fell out of favor for a while, but Janler kept it up. "There were times when we might have only had one or two apprentices in the operation, whereas at times, back in the heyday, there were 12. But we always had to be retaining and bringing people in," he said.
Now the skilled worker shortage is getting headlines, as older toolmakers begin to retire.
"Well [the apprentice program] is being resurrected, and I think our organization, the AMBA is really one of the instigating actors to making it get back on the map,." Klingler said.
Winning the division's Mold Designer of the Year Award was James Baldwin of Western Carolina Tool & Mold Corp., in Mills River, N.C. Baldwin, who did not attend Amerimold, has worked in the mold design area for more than 28 years, and has worked both as a toolmaker and a designer. An advocate of continuing education, he went back to college to get a bachelor's degree in manufacturing engineering when he was more than 30 years old.
Also during Amerimold, the Mold Technologies division had a changing of the guard, as Brenda Clark turned over the reins as division chair to Renee Nehls. Clark is engineering manager of Hasco America Inc. the mold tooling components supplier in Fletcher, N.C. Nehls is tooling at engineer at Sussex IM Inc., a custom injection molder and contract manufacturer in Sussex, Wis.