In a recent Q&A, Ray Merritt — a toolmaker and moldmaker with over 50 years of experience — sat down to discuss what he does for The Rodon Group, how times have changed since he started out in the business of toolmaking and mold making, and what the industry can expect going forward.
As plastic injection molding methods continue to advance and evolve, allowing for enhanced flexibility and more sophisticated customization options, molding companies must be able to stay ahead of the curve in order to offer clients the latest technologies and highest-quality end products.
The need for talented manufacturing students is great
Last month, two of our Design Engineers at Rodon, attended an annual local event called "Manufest". Manufest began a few years ago as a way to get high school students interested in careers in manufacturing and to provide them with an opportunity to learn about manufacturing companies and the types of jobs available to them after they graduate. This particular event was sponsored by the Montgomery County Commerce Department/Montco Works in partnership with the Bucks/Montco Alliance, Bucks County Workforce Development Board, Montgomery County Community College, and the MidAtlantic Employers' Association.
The Rodon Group is proud to announce the launch of our newly redesigned website. Based on both customer and employee feedback, we’ve streamlined and enhanced our site using the latest technology to provide the best possible user experience for our customers and fellow industry professionals.
With new user-friendly, intuitive design and various new educational resources, we’ve made it easier than ever to get started on your next high-volume project.
Let’s take a look at some of the new features our new website has to offer:
As green movements gain traction across the globe and consumers increasingly seek out sustainable products, many manufacturers are implementing eco-friendly initiatives throughout their work processes.
At The Rodon Group, we’re committed to nurturing an ethos of environmental sustainability in everything we do. Over the years, we’ve instituted a number of green initiatives, all of which have helped us become one of the most sustainable leaders in the plastic injection molding industry.
These green initiatives have allowed us to streamline our manufacturing process in order to reduce excess packaging, transportation costs and carbon output, waste, water consumption, and energy. Below, we’ve outlined four of our major sustainability efforts.
There was a lot to celebrate this past Friday at The Rodon Group. Back in 2011, we hosted our first Manufacturing Day event. We were one of about 200 companies throughout the country to open our doors to students, educators and parents. Last Friday, we hosted our sixth Manufacturing Day and were joined by over 2,650 other companies and organizations. The message has certainly become loud and clear over the years; Manufacturing Day has struck a chord with the public and continues to grow every year.
“If you want to achieve your dreams you have to believe in yourself and work hard every day to achieve them. If it were easy, everyone would do it”, Matt Baranoski, Olympic Cyclist
Recently I had the honor of interviewing Matt Baranoski, a world class cyclist named to the U.S. Olympic track cycling team in March and the son of Mike Baranoski, a Design Engineer at The Rodon Group. With the Summer Games in Rio coming up in just a few months, I’m grateful that Matt was able to take some time out of his busy schedule to speak to me. You can read our conversation below.
(Photo source: Bryn Lennon- http://www.teamusa.org/)
How and when did you get started in cycling?
My older brother wasn’t interested in baseball or football, so on a whim, my parents decided to give track cycling a try. We raced around the velodrome cycling track in Trexlertown, PA where they had free classes. I’ve been racing there ever since and the now “Valley Preferred Cycling Center” is my home away from home. I got my start on the track at 6 and at 12 I competed in my first national race and becoming the Junior National Champion. At that point, I decided to focus on cycling. I still train there and have the opportunity to meet with the younger cyclists while I’m there.
Before you can manufacture a plastic part you need to have a solid design in place. Once done, you can build an injection mold to meet the product specifications.
The role of the Design Engineer is critical in this process. They assess the part design and make modifications and recommendations based on key product requirements including product usage and function. The engineer will need to know:
- How will the part be used? Is it a standalone product or a component of a larger assembly?
- What are the dimensional and tensile requirements?
- Does the part need to withstand elements, pressure, chemicals?
A plastic injection mold design is built with these criteria in mind. Mold cavities, vents and gate placement will vary based not only on the part design but the type of resin as well. Taking all of these manufacturing factors into account is a challenging task and one that requires a strong knowledge base, not only of mold design but the injection molding process as well.
High schools and colleges throughout the country pay tribute to Rube Goldberg’s legacy every year though The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. According to the contest website “The Rube Goldberg Machine Contests bring Goldberg's cartoons to life as a way of helping students transcend traditional ways of looking at problems, taking them into the intuitive chaotic realm of imagination. The resulting inventions are collections of bits and pieces, parts of now useless machines, cobbled together to achieve an innovative imaginative, yet somehow logical contraption to meet the annual contest challenge.”