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Plastics Technology Blog on Scientific Molding with John Bozzelli

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Seminar: Get Past Tweaking to a Scientific Molding Process

21. July 2015
John Bozzelli, scientific molding guru and columnist at Plastics Technology, will be the instructor for the "At-the-Press Process Development Seminar," August 11-13, in Troy Mich. Promising to help molders "Get It Right the First Time for 24/7 Production," the seminar will concentrate on scientific molding based process optimization with at-the-press instruction.

Monitoring hydraulic and cavity pressure levels on the press, participants will define plastic variables to create a universal setup sheet, which will then allow the tool to be run on any press, accounting for barrel size, hydraulic or all-electric operation, and more.

Other topics to be addressed include:

  • Why after PPAP, DOE's & Medical Validations are bad parts still made?
  • Finding the tool/part/process problems before production begins.
  • Having an optimized 24/7 process from the initial tool trials.
  • Having the ability to replicate the tool trial parts on another machine.

Register today! (Photo taken at M.R. Mold & Engineering Corp., Brea, Calif.)
John Bozzelli scientific molding seminar

Pie Eating Contest Raises Money for iWarrior Challenge

Friday, July 24, 2015
M.R. Mold held a Pie Eating Contest after a company lunch in July to launch the iWarriors East Coast vs. West Coast fundraising challenge.  4 employees volunteered to face the challenge of eating an entire pie the quickest while their fellow colleagues cheered them on.  $300 was raised for iWarriors in support of their endeavor. 

The Winner was............. Orlando Abarca, a molding technician in our Tech Center.  For his efforts, Orlando was awarded a $25 gift card. 

Keep watching for other fun activities being planned at M.R. Mold, all to be done for the benefit of iWarriors.


Tuesday, July 07, 2015

In June, Westminster Tool (Plainfield, CT) joined M.R Mold & Engineering Corporation (Brea, CA) in raising funds for iWarriors, a non-for-profit organization that donates iPads gift packages to combat wounded service members. Both proud members of the American Mold Builders Association, the companies had previously participated in AMBA sponsored fundraising for iWarriors and have now challenged each other in an “East Coast vs. West Coast” challenge to bring public awareness to the iWarriors cause, instilling teamwork within each company and claiming the title of “Champion” by collecting the highest total.

            “The overall intent is to raise awareness and raise money by creating some friendly competition,” says Westminster Tool President Raymond Coombs, Jr. “It’s bringing 70 people together on both sides of the country in the spirit of trying to do something small for people who make HUGE sacrifices for us.”

M.R Mold & Engineering is a silicone and plastic injection mold manufacturer that began iWarriors fundraising in 2011, donating over 60 iPads to soldiers at the Balboa Naval Hospital and Camp Pendleton. In Plainfield, Connecticut, fellow plastics injection mold manufacturer, Westminster Tool is kicking off this year’s efforts by sponsoring a “5K Freedom Run” held this July 26thin Plainfield.

The companies have until March 31stof 2016 to organize events, facilitate fundraising and collect donations for iWarriors. The president of the winning company will be forced to endure a pie in the face in retribution for their employees’ diligent efforts, according to the companies’ agreement. Coombs says, “We are trying to come up with creative ways to get more people involved and M.R Mold and Westminster Tool are doing it together.”   

For more information on the iWarriors cause, please visit the iWarriors website at


M.R. Mold brings STEAM to its facility

Thursday, July 02, 2015

It is not news that the entire manufacturing industry is struggling to find young people to join the “TRADES”.  College is not for everyone and collectively, as an industry, through TMA, NTMA, AMBA, SPI, SPE and other organizations and associations, we are educating young people that manufacturing is their alternative to college. 


Recently M.R. Mold & Engineering teamed up with Century High School in Santa Ana, CA.  Century High School promotes a program called STEAM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Art/Math), offering students related technology courses.  Rick Finnie, president of M.R. Mold visited their school and introduced M.R. Mold and mold making to the students.  Two weeks later 18 student and 3 teachers toured M.R. Mold.  They began in Engineering and were shown how their classes apply to our business.  A tour of the shop followed.  Here they were introduced to the many machines and processes that are part of building a mold.  The two hour experience ended in our Tech Center where they experienced 3 completed molds; a plastic injection, silicone injection and a compression mold producing parts.  The NTMA (National Tooling & Machining Association) and R.D. Abbott were also present and involved in educating the students at M.R. Mold.


Surveys provided by Century High School solidified that WE did educate, that we sparked interest in students who did not know of manufacturing previously.  As Rick Finnie would say – “You don’t have to become a mold maker but find your passion and BUILD something!  Take pride in the fact that you used your hands to produce something. “

Pneumatic Stuffer Boxes for Prototyping/Sampling/Micro Molding

Friday, May 29, 2015


**Prototyping ** Short Run Molding **

Tired of cleaning pumping units after constant material changes? Don't want the hassle of setting up or having to break down a pumping unit from production?   M.R. Mold & Engineering's STUFFER BOX is your answer for prototyping, short run molding or micro-molding!

Ø  Chamber is 420 hardened stainless steel
Ø  3/4-14 NPT female thread to connect the Stuffer Box to your molding machine
Ø  Material is fed directly into the machine barrel, eliminating cleaning a pumping unit and material feed mechanism

                 Low Volume High Pressure 27 ci                       
Ø  Volume:  27 cubic inches or 1.1 pounds of pre-mixed material
Ø  Capable of feeding LSR, gum stock silicone and some organic rubbers
Ø  Controller regulates air pressure to 120 psi; 1200 psi on the material; a 10:1 ratio
              High Volume, Low Pressure 78 ci
Ø  Volume:  78 cubic inches or 3.1 pounds of pre-mixed material
Ø  Capable of feeding LSR and gum stock silicone
Ø  Controller regulates air pressure to 120 psi; 330 psi on the material; a 2.75:1 ratio

Silicone Elastomers class - July 21-23 - Penn State Behrend

Friday, May 29, 2015

Molding 2015 - Don't be left out!

Friday, April 17, 2015
Molding 2015 is a unique conference which will focus on important innovations in manufacturing technologies for consumer and industrial products. Industry leaders will present the latest developments in various injection molding processes, hardware and controls with special emphasis on adding value to your business. These conferences are widely recognized as the most important forum for technical information and business connections in the injection molding field.
       For Complete Conference          Information, click on the categories below:
Molding 2015 is co-located with amerimold, and with your Molding 2015 badge, you'll also have full access to the amerimold Show Floor.
June 16-18, 2015
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, IL
Conference Topics:

Emerging Technologies

Sustainable Manufacturing

Adding Value: Automation/Assembly/
Packaging/LSR Molding
Medical Molding
Molding of Integrated Electronic Components
Presented by:

Silicone Optics Showcased at LightFair 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015
LightFair International
Javits Center, New York, NY
May 5-7, 2015
Silicone Optics shine through partnership at Lightfair 2015
Silicone Optics for the Lighting Industry
The cutting-edge technologies that are being                   
developed to advance high-power LEDs pose significant new challenges. These technologies demand extremely long-term transmission retention for optimum optical performance and high flowability to enable a micro-structure design in a compact shape. However, these requirements are challenging for many transparent plastics. By providing optical clarity, durability and design freedom, Optical Grade Silicone can serve as the alternate solution.

   As the world's largest annual architectural and
   commercial lighting trade show and conference
   LFI blends continuing education courses with
   innovative products ranging from high-end design
   to cutting-edge technology.  

UWM Silicone Elastomer Course a HUGE success!!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015
"You have an excellent team of instructors"

"Best way to apply and see firsthand all the theories explained.  Good system & administration of activities"

"The shop tour was amazing.  It was very educational"
"My questions was answered and more"

"Very informative and eye opening.  If I had previous experience would have known how to use information presented & opportunity better"

"The trip to the mold shop was very beneficial, esp the trouble shooting with John
Everything was very helpful"

"The combination of presentations provided an overlapping perspective/understanding of the LSR process from each piece of the process."

How to Mold Liquid Silicone Rubber Successfully

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Posted in Molding Services by bmichaels on November 21, 2014
Communication and cooperation among partners are critical for optimizing LSR molding results.

In a medical device molding project involving liquid silicone rubber (LSR), the molder, the mold builder, and the molding press manufacturer can dramatically affect the success of the project by communicating with one another clearly and cooperating to meet customer requirements. Often involving close tolerances and precise control of critical characteristics, molding LSR-based medical devices can be especially demanding.
Example of a component made from optically clear liquid silicone rubber.
All three partners need to share not only detailed specifications with one another but also their experiences in molding LSR. Even when all three parties are familiar with LSR molding techniques, each has unique and intimate knowledge of a given specialty––molding, mold building and press performance. In addition, each acts as a knowledgeable consultant to the others, thus resulting in a stronger partnership than the traditional arrangement in which a mold builder and a press manufacturer simply serve as vendors to the molder.
The communication phase requires continuous discussions that should begin before the molder responds to a request for quotation (RFQ). While these discussions may initially involve primarily the molder and mold builder so that they can design a new mold, the participation of the press manufacturer is also essential for sharing expertise about the functional interaction between the mold and press. While a new molding press is not required for each new project, the press manufacturer’s input is vital for advising which of the molder’s existing presses will produce the highest-quality result most efficiently.
This interaction ensures that the partners will have agreed on the pricing and will have synchronized production and delivery schedules before the project begins. Preliminary information gathering and planning is an essential investment in the success of the project. Always costly and time-consuming, unforeseen obstacles during production inevitably reduce the finished product’s time to market. By sharing their own unique expertise, the partners can forge a tight team that ultimately works to the benefit of the OEM and the customer who uses the medical device.
LSR Molding Partnership
The Molder’s Perspective. In most cases, it is the molder that receives the RFQ from the customer, responds to the RFQ, initiates the project, and produces the part when the quote is accepted. Molders that are experienced with the intricacies and challenges of LSR molding should immediately reach out to their mold making partner and press manufacturer, both of whom should be equally experienced to consult about the project.
Next, the molder should provide the mold builder with those project specifications that will affect the mold’s performance: the annual production volumes of the finished piece; the type of molding machine to be used—whether vertical or horizontal; the required mold surface finish; sealing surfaces, if any; secondary operations that can affect the process; and whether a fully automatic cold runner mold will be needed.
Two halves of an assembly composed of a two-shot thermoplastic and a tactile silicone pushbutton switch.
The more detailed the specifications, the better able the mold builder will be to assess the required mold features. To provide this level of detail, a mold specification checklist such as that shown in Figure 1 can be employed for each mold RFQ. This checklist can include such specifics as the mold type; the type of mold base steel; details about sprues, runners and gating; ejection requirements; cavity qualities; cores; special features; and tool actions.
After digesting these details, the mold maker may well respond with alternative suggestions based on experience in order to achieve a more efficient molding process or a higher-quality result. For example, the mold maker may recommend the use of two 16-cavity molds instead of one 32-cavity mold or suggest the use of a different mold base steel.
At the same time, the molder should consult with the molding machine manufacturer about which of the molder’s existing presses are most effective for the project at hand. This discussion should also address whether a specific press must be modified or have such features as heating zones, vacuum, or a cold runner to suit the current project. The experience of the press manufacturer is invaluable for assessing whether such modifications are necessary.
In its ongoing relationship with the molder, the press manufacturer will have already recommended presses that provide both additional capacity and additional flexibility to the molder’s production capacity. Drawing on knowledge of the press itself and experience with other customers that have used it, the press manufacturer knows what a particular piece of equipment can do.
This is where the value of a partnership comes into play: The molder, mold maker, and machine manufacturer engage in a three-way conversation, exchanging ideas and experiences that result in the best options for the project. At this point, the molder can submit a proposal to the customer with confidence that it is based on solid experience.
Petri dish with a 0.004-in. wall of transparent silicone bonded to a green wall of polycarbonate.
The Mold Maker’s Perspective. Molding LSR is completely different from molding plastics. Mold makers familiar with creating molds for LSR applications point out that molders with experience in plastic molding but new to LSR molding enter unfamiliar and risky waters, often without realizing it. Molders of plastic materials tend to assume that years of experience with plastics translate directly to LSR. However, the opposite is true. Such molders should forget everything they know.
LSR molds must be of very high quality and must be machined to extremely precise specifications. In addition, they make demands on the molding press that plastic molds do not. As a result, an LSR mold can be significantly more expensive than a similar-sized plastic mold, shocking molders new to LSR applications.
The Press Manufacturer’s Perspective. The other critical tool in the molding process, the molding press, must work with the final version of the mold and meet such project demands as the daily production volume, the total number of parts to be molded, and the product life cycle. In addition, an LSR press must contain more heating zones than a plastic press and must include a vacuum system. The discussion between the molder and the press manufacturer often begins by evaluating whether an existing press will work or whether a new one will be required.
When designing the mold, other factors determine the best press for the project, including the shot size and number of mold cavities, the material specifications, and the part design. Because the materials used to mold LSR-based medical device components and the designs themselves are at the high end of the technology curve, the press and the mold must work together precisely and efficiently.
Molds are built for a single molding project, although the project may continue over several years. Molding presses, on the other hand, involve significant investments that must be amortized over many years and many projects. Thus, while a press must be able to work efficiently with a mold for the duration of the project at hand, it must also be able to work with other molds and other projects. To achieve the optimal interaction between the molds and presses over the long term, the press maker should seek input from the molder about the products it may manufacture in the future and from the mold maker about the most suitable presses for such applications.
A Coordinated Effort
Flexible, chemically stable, durable, and biocompatible, liquid silicone rubber offers unique properties to medical device manufacturers. Because of these valuable properties, the material will continue to grow in popularity, especially as medical devices shrink and become more complex. Moreover, this trend will proceed apace as manufacturers produce more and more products for the home healthcare market. As a result, more molders, mold makers, and press manufacturers will become involved in LSR molding. Thus, it is essential that they openly exchange information with vendors who have learned from experience that LSR is a key to efficient, cost-effective, and successful molding.
Jim Ritzema is director of operations and technology of Northbrook, IL–based Rogan Corp. Reach him
Geri Anderson is marketing director of Brea, CA–based M.R. Mold and Engineering Inc. Reach her
Kohei Shinohara is general manager of Schaumburg, IL–based Sodick Plustech. Reach him
Len Hampton is national sales manager of Schaumburg, IL–based Sodick Plustech. Reach him

The Collectors Will Love This Exhibit at NPE

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

M.R. Mold & Engineering Corp., which has earned its bona fides as a producer of molds for liquid silicone rubber (LSR), is raising its profile for making plastic injection molds with a tool running at NPE2015 that involves an eight-company partnership.
And it might be one of the most fun of the “give-away” demonstrations at the Big Show, which will be held next month in Orlando, Florida.
A plastic injection mold built in partnership with Craftsman Tool & Mold (S16059), Progressive Components (W4345) and Mastip, Inc. (W8191) will be running in Wexco Corp.’s booth (W1903).show_box_4
One of the interesting aspects of the project is a large living hinge molded into a 3-in x 6 ½-in survival box made with a PolyOne high-density polyethylene (HDPE) compound. The PolyOne material will be running in a Toshiba Machine (W1763) molding machine with a Yushin America, Inc. (W763) robot.
The box can be filled by visiting three other booths. Toshiba is doing a mini flashlight; M.R. Mold (W1873) is doing a first aid kit and Mastip is doing a snack pack.  Others may still jump in.
And M.R. Mold will showcase an LSR micro mold in Wittmann Battenfeld’s (W2743) MicroPower 15/10 B6P using a Graco/Fluid Automation 622 miniature meter mix system with 20 oz cartridges for shot sizes smaller than 40ccs.
In 1985, Rick Finnie opened M.R. Mold & Engineering in Brea, California, with one employee. In 2005, the company opened a 4,000 sf Technology Center with four company-owned molding machines, allowing mold testing before shipment and turnkey projects. A 110-ton Arburg 470A horizontal molding machine equipped for thermoplastic and silicone was added recently.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

By Roger Renstrom

Published: September 9, 2014 1:54 pm ET
Updated: September 9, 2014 3:14 pm ET
Related to this story

TopicsInjection MoldingEducation & Training,Workforce
  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.