Blog by John Schmitz, President of Aberdeen Technologies, Inc
When I was 16 I was hired after school part time by a company who molded connectors for Cleveland Electric, a tier 2 supplier to Ford. We had a small vertical insert molding press with a 12 station rotary table, and at each station was a book mold (top and bottom hinged together). I was running a male/female PVC connector that went under the car dashboard. The owner’s son had been running this job (reluctantly) and was producing about 30-40 parts per hour. Each time the table turned one position, a newly molded connector was removed, and the male/female terminated wires were loaded with pliers into the mold. I began molding and soon was up to 100 parts per hour. Out of boredom I started turning the cycle down and after a few weeks as doing 200, then 300 parts per hour.
The owner took notice and gave me a $ .25 per hour raise, which was big money in those days (1972). Soon I figured out a way to speed up the cycle and challenged myself to see how fast I could really go; 400, 500, 600, finally 750 parts per hour. The owner loved me! The whole key was letting the molded parts set up and cure in the book molds one station at a time until they reached the unload station. This allowed us to clamp and inject in just a few seconds, but each mold had 5 or 6 additional stations to cure before the part was finally unloaded. The molds were air cooled because the parts were relatively small, but later on a rotary manifold was added so that water could be brought to each station. Since the owner had invented this press himself, he was proud to show it (and me running it) off to any customers who visited. Soon he was asked to start manufacturing the presses, and when I graduated college he put me in charge of a new division making the presses and molds. Aberdeen Technologies continues to use this type of system for certain of their insert molding applications.
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