Why American Plastic Mold Making Company Needs Apprentices
Over the course of the past 15 or so years, there is some mold making apprentices working in plastic mold maker shop. And these apprentices were all hired somewhat recently by the same plastic mold company.
What this means is that the guys with the specialized skills are getting ready to retire and there is nobody to replace them. I’ve seen politicians give lip-service to enabling American manufacturing with tax incentives and programs, but, here in the shop nothing has changed. Nothing that I can see.
The only reason for these apprentices is that the CEO recognizes the need, not because anybody sent him information from a high-level seminar or meeting. The old guys made enough of a ruckus that the management actually responded.
Here are a few examples of what an apprentice will not be able to do for quite a few years:
- Fit delicate inserts. This requires an understanding of the function and fit of the mold component and a trained eye to tell the hand where to remove tiny amounts of hardened steel with files, stones, rotary tools, carbide burrs, sandpaper, diamond compound, grinding wheels, and so on.
- Surface grind mold components to .0002 inaccuracy. Never mind .0001 in.
- Assemble complex molds with hot runner systems, slides, lifters, hydraulics, micro-switches, etc.
- Troubleshoot problem molds.
- Operate any of the CNC machines when thinking outside the box is demanded, which is rather often.
- Make a mold component out of scrap, hardened tool steel in an emergency. This bypasses almost all the sophisticated machining and requires old-school know-how that takes a long time to learn.
- Grind finished core pins on a Ded-Tru centerless grinder to .0002 inaccuracy.
The list could go on and on, and the only people who have any idea what all this is plastic mold maker, who tend not to be all that communicative, generally.
So, unless companies are able to take on apprentices, work with local schools and do whatever it takes to get them trained quickly, we are in for a big bump in the road.
Today I believe very less people that work in the molds in American, there are looking for injection mold china partner to support them, this outsourcing is working very well to all of American, Europe and all of the companies on the world.