Category Archives: Uncategorized

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!


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


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


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…


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.

“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


Let’s talk about something different: Bunnies, Cars, and Mannequins


Evan Silo, Senior Technical Representative, McLube® Release Coatings and Lubricants

The rotational molding industry encompasses a diverse group of processes and materials, but we in the industry only ever seem to talk about plastic.

It has been my pleasure to sell mold release agents all over the world and I have been fortunate enough to witness some extraordinary rotomolding operations along the way.  The giant machines that create highway barriers, kayaks, and dumpsters are fascinating to watch but what about the lesser-known rotational molding processes?  Did you know that dashboards are rotationally molded PVC?  Ever caught a mannequin staring at you and wondered how it was made?  Marvel at the rotomolding technology that brought you chocolate bunnies this Easter. Check out the videos below to see the different process which utilize rotational molding.

Slush Molding:

Slush molding is a method of producing hollow objects like traditional rotational process.  Slush molding typically involves heating the mold before the material (plastisol or vinyl powder) is introduced which allows the material to gel during processing before being cooled and demolded.  A traditional spider rotational machine processes in almost identical fashion.  This video goes over the basics of slush molding machines used to create dashboards, glove boxes and even door panels:

Hand Casting:

Products in the faux design and prop industry tend to be molded by hand in low-volume batches.  The materials they use are very unique and outside of traditional polymers, from two-part thermoset resins like polyester, urethane and epoxy to simple concrete and plasters.  The users in this industry are not overly interested in process specific materials and tend to focus more on the finished product.  Due to the low volume, they can spend more time working with any given material.

The hand rotation shown in this video is not overly exciting but just as important for the end user to have a fully functional part.

This simple desktop rotational molding machine often used for prototype and low volume parts is a step up from hand casting and reduces variations.

Hollow Chocolates:

The chocolate industry is perhaps the best example of fully automated production with little operator intervention.  If we can put aside cost and look at how confectionery manufacturers approach this sleek and high volume production, then we might be able to create the next level of throughput in our industry.

I hope you enjoyed learning about a few lesser-known rotational molding operations! What other rotomolding operations are there?  Can they be applied to larger parts or help other facets of the industry automate?  Are there any new, revolutionary materials out there just waiting to be rotomolded?  Share and post your thoughts and ideas below!