NPE 2018; The Plastics Show that is produced by the Plastics Industry Association. This is a major convention focused on the plastics industry that is held every three years. NPE 2018 was held in Orlando, FL and consisted of over 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space. Mold Craft. put Micro Molds at “center stage” showing two variations of 100 micron Filter Screens. The Mold Craft booth was running a 2 Cavity Micro Mold using POK resin in a Wittmann Battenfeld MicroPower 15t press and the Sodick Plustech booth was running an 8 Cavity Micro Mold running PPSU (Solvay Polyphenylsulfone) in their 20t Micro Vertical LP20VRE Molding Machine. Both molds had .004” x .004” shutoffs (100 micron) and .013” & .008” wall sections with a part weight of less than .007 grams in POK and .0095 grams in PPSU. Mold Craft managed both R&D projects from the part design to mold cavity design and finally processing.

Mold Craft. also introduced the Production Quality Prototype (PQP) product offering where our goal is to get you engineering quality sample parts in a prototype micro mold and quickly provide you proof of concept should you be developing a new part intended to run in a micro mold. This is parts to print using any engineering resin.

Mold Craft sent 10 staff members to NPE 2018 to either work with customers in the exhibit space or to walk the show for further learning about the future of the plastics industry. Upon returning from the show, several staff members were asked about their experience. When asked what his favorite part of the show was, Mold Craft processing tech & mold designer Derrick Jahr responded, “The amount of interest at our booth. A lot of people came by to engage with us and had genuine interest in what we were displaying.” Derrick was among the individuals stationed at the booth for the duration of the show, answering questions and providing solutions for guests. Designers Patrick Manship and MJ Kavanagh had a different experience as they walked the floor for the whole show and were exposed to a ton of innovative technology that is sure to impact the industry in the near future. Both Patrick and MJ enjoyed learning more about the mold making industry and seeing a number of innovative molding machines.

There were similar responses when each individual was asked about their biggest take-away. Everyone had some level of exposure to new technology whether it was seeing a new style of mold, new press technology or other innovative concepts. NPE is a platform for the whole plastics industry to get together and share ideas and experiences. It was clear from everyone’s response that they were not disappointed with what they had seen.

When asked what other value will be taken out of NPE, Derrick responded that he got a lot of non-engineering experience. For the greater part of the week, Derrick was able to spend time at the booth and speak with individuals about Mold Craft. MJ said that it was eye-opening to see how big the plastics industry really is. It is interesting to see other styles of molds and different types of molding companies. Patrick mentioned that some of the best value he got out of NPE was being able to see the presses that he designs molds around. Patrick said, “We had an opportunity to see how they operate and now we have a better idea of their working parameters and how to better integrate with automation during the design process.”

NPE 2018 was an invaluable experience for Mold Craft both as a vendor and as observers. The individuals that went certainly took a lot of value out of the event and will be better mold makers for it. Mold Craft is already looking forward to NPE 2021: May 17-21 in Orlando, FL.