ARM Announces Montreal Workshops

In addition to 12 general sessions, two seminars, and many tours and special events that will make up the ARM Annual Meeting, ARM has announced the workshops for the program. Workshops are 45-minute in-depth sessions that allow for audience Q&A.

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The following workshops will be presented on Tuesday, October 23:

  • Are You Cool? The Importance of Cooling – Martin Spencer, (Unique Roto)
    The presentation looks at the importance of cooling in our process. It will look at how we can improve external and internal cooling of our products and what effect this can have on the quality of the finished product and cycle times of our process. Also discussed: technology and techniques available to help improve cooling.
  • Automation Case Studies from Carsten Erkel (Elkamet) & Sergio Zilioli (Persico)
    Elkamet and Persico will share examples of how they are automating the molds, rotomolding machines, demolding, trimming, storage, and more.
  • Automation Case Studies from Rob Miller (Wittman Canada)
    Learn how rotomolders are using resin automation and other automations to significantly increase efficiency.
  • Understanding Your Tooling options: What is the right mold for success – Tony Short (Diversified Mold & Castings)
    What is the best mold for success? For years cast tools were the dominant force in the rotational mold industry. Fabrication has been around for decades and many roto molds are made this way as well. In the last 20 years CNC aluminum molds have become the hot topic and have began impacting the industry. But how do you make the determination on which mold to use? Does the rise of CNC molds mean that a cast or fab tool is not the best option? In this brief discussion I would like to discuss the different tooling options in our industry now and how each one has strengths and weakness in the rotomolding process. It is important in evaluating the merits of each type of tool other than price point. Which tool gives me the best tolerances? Which tools give me the best longevity? Does the type of tool I am looking to purchase limit my design options? By evaluating the stories of current rotomolders who run each tool we hope to learn what tooling option will ensure the best rate of return for years to come.
  • Product Consolidation Strategies –  Carmine D’Agostino (NOVA Chemicals)
    This workshop will explore product consolidation strategies. Personnel working in purchasing, production, operations, engineering and design will be interested in better understanding the value that key material attributes can provide in this area. Specifically, we will discuss strategies for the rotomolder to exploit with respect to the material process window and balance of physical properties. Insights will be shared comparing various polyethylene materials for their processability and physical properties.
  • What’s Your Problem? – Ron Cooke (ExxonMobil Chemical Company) & Sandy Scaccia (Norstar Aluminum Molds)
    A perennial favorite: troubleshoot your problems with your colleagues and industry experts. This is a simple and effective workshop that can change your operation, help you reduce scrap, and reduce significant expenses.
  • Why and How You Should Mold Polypropylene – Ted Humphreys (PSD Rotoworx) and Dr. Gareth McDowell (493K)
    Why should rotomolders use Polypropylene? How does Polypropylene Mold? Which applications is Polypropylene best suited? These will be answered as we take the Polypropylene journey. The physical properties of Polypropylene will be shown and how they compare to Polyethylenes commonly used today by Rotomolders. Where there is a need for Strength, Stiffness, Creep Resistance, High Temperature, Harder Surface, Abrasion Resistance, Environmental & Weathering Performance and even Autoclavability, we will demonstrate the improved properties of Polypropylene for use in these demanding applications. Polypropylene molds a little differently to Polyethylene, requiring some basic processing modifications. These will be explained, including the need for more heat to get a high Peak Internal Air Temperature (PIAT) and how this is achieved. Polypropylene’s natural lubricity means a different approach to use of mold release and as Polypropylene has lower shrinkage than Polyethylene, we will explore the benefits this can yield. A demonstration with the “RotoRocket” by Dr. Gareth McDowell will show attendees first hand how Polypropylene melts and produces good inner & outer surfaces with minimal pinholes. So what opportunities does Polypropylene present to the molder? It’s enhanced performance capabilities allow for it’s use in many demanding applications. Actual examples will be shown and selection explained according to the product requirements.

Register now for ARM’s Annual Meeting in Montreal this October.

ARM Management Change

ARM announced they have hired Webb Evans & Associates to manage the association beginning July 1, 2018. 

CM Services will continue to provide day-to-day management services during the transition which will be completed before October 1.

Everyone is committed to ensuring that all association members continue to experience the level of quality they have come to expect at all ARM functions, including the upcoming Annual Meeting in Montreal and the Operator Training webinars.

All parties are dedicated to providing ARM’s members with excellent service during the transition.  Dru Laws, ARM president said, “The Board and I thank CM Services for the 11 years of service they provided to ARM”. 

President’s Message: The results are in!

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ARM President Dru Laws

The results are in … 100% of the HR-Focused Executive Forum attendees reported that the event met or exceeded their expectations.  Everyone left satisfied with the location, the meeting, the meals, the activities, and the overall experience.

In similar fashion … 100% of the Madison Regional Meeting attendees scored the entire meeting as having met or exceeded expectations as well.  The venting topic proved to be popular, as this meeting had the highest number of registrants for a regional meeting in the Midwest thus far this decade.

And the operator training program continues to draw more and more visitors to the member-only portion of our website.  We are half-way done with these webinars, but the value this will provide our association for years is just scratching the surface.

Do yourself a favor and put the 2018 Annual Meeting on your calendar.  It’s October 21-24 in Montreal at the Hotel Bonaventure.  The program for this meeting is shaping up nicely, and I can assure you that the only regret coming from our membership will be from those who choose not to go!

My vision is a year of record-setting activities for our association … and it’s happening!  Come join me for the ride!

Dru Laws is the President of ARM and the Senior Vice President of Seljan Company in Lake Mills, Wisconsin.

Removing Stuck-on Debris from a Mold

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Dr. Nick Henwood

Our legal counsel notes: Dr. Henwood speaks for himself and not for ARM as a whole. We encourage feedback but comments should be on technical matters raised. Dr. Henwood’s responses are solely his responsibility and not ARM’s.

As part of a recent consultancy assignment, I needed to make a long run of parts in one of my hexagonal test tools.  At the end of the job, the two ends of the tool were coated with a lumpy deposit of overcooked polyethylene (PE).  I was aware that this deposit was building up as I continued to mold parts, but I was under severe time pressure, needed to keep the job going and didn’t have time to clean the mess off every cycle.  This type of thing shouldn’t happen, but it sometimes does, even in a well-regulated molding operation.

So, at the end of the job, I was left with a nasty mess to clean up.  When you repeatedly cook and cool PE, it can have a tendency to crosslink and the result is an extremely tough polymer layer which is extremely hard to remove.  This was certainly the case on this occasion and my attempts to remove it with a plastic scraper were totally ineffective.  I didn’t want to take a metal scraper to it and I really didn’t want to send my tool away for sandblasting, so I decided to try a trick that an experienced molder friend had told me about. Continue reading

President’s Message: A Year for the Record Books

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ARM President Dru Laws

2018 is already off to an amazing start.  I’m anticipating that it will be a year of records for ARM.

The webinars for the Operator Training program are attracting more attendees than we have ever seen with previous webinars.  And the recordings of these webinars are drawing record-setting visitors to the member-benefit section of our website.  If you haven’t participated in these live free webinars, it is not too late to get involved.  And if you haven’t yet logged in to review the recordings, I would encourage you to do so.

The Spring Executive Forum in Orlando drew a record number of attendees (as well as a record number of family members).  The feedback from the attendees has been supremely favorable.  We had presentations from experts in workforce development, alternative staffing solutions, leadership development, and effective career development & incentive programs.  If you missed it, you really missed out!

I’m confident this momentum is going to continue to build throughout the year.  The regional meetings we have planned in Wisconsin (May 15), California (June 13), and South Carolina (June 19) will provide great education and networking opportunities. This October, our Annual Meeting will return to Montreal, where we held one of our best-received meetings. I’m looking forward to this meeting breaking records as well.

The excitement among ARM members is contagious. The value of membership is growing every month as we add new online training to our website and we focus our meetings to directly address the needs of rotomolders. We hope you’ll join us as we continue to set new ARM records this year.

Dru Laws is the President of ARM and the Senior Vice President of Seljan Company in Lake Mills, Wisconsin.

Register now for Regional Meetings in May & June

ARM hits the road in May and June as we bring valuable and inexpensive regional meetings to our members across the United States.

May 15 in Madison, Wisconsin: Join us at the Crowne Plaza Madison as ARM President Dru Laws (Seljan Company) chairs a full-day meeting on Venting.

June 13 in Buena Park, California: Join us at the Holiday Inn Buena Park as ARM Secretary-Treasurer Mario Poma (Rotational Molding Inc.) chairs a full-day meeting on Color and Venting.

June 19 in Greenville, South Carolina: Join us at the Embassy Suites Downtown Greenville as Steve Andrzejewski (Mosaic Color and Additives) chairs a meeting on Color and provides a tour of Mosaic’s plant in Greenville.

Register online.
Download Wisconsin PDF.
Download California PDF.
Download South Carolina PDF.

What Executive Forum attendees are bringing back to the shop…

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Members, spouses, speakers, and children take part in the Kennedy Space Center tour.

Last week, ARM conducted our 10th Executive Forum. It was our best-attended Executive Forum yet.

We asked our attendees what they were going to take back from the meeting. Here’s some of what they listed:

  • The information provided by Jennifer McNelly will help change our recruitment methods and I believe will be more effective.
  • We will assess the needs of employees and what drives them. Implement strategies and actions from that.
  • How to better relate to today’s workforce and train front line mangers on its importance.
  • Be constantly aware of the next generation. Some of the things they do and how they think will be better than our way of doing things and will become our best practices.
  • Efficiency metrics and alternative staffing methods.
  • Automation of bringing powder to the mold in a custom volume application.
  • Benefits of hiring disabled/special needs employees.
  • Interesting ideas on incentive pay structures.

TESTIMONIALS
“Great meetings and a must attend for top management to share information.”
-Mario Poma of Rotational Molding Inc.

“It really was a great meeting for us, great contacts, great conversation and networking. Some REAL business potential coming out of it!”
-Rob Miller of Wittman Canada