R&D Molders Raises $600 for Breast Cancer Research

There’s always something going on in the month of October. In addition to holidays like Manufacturing Day and Halloween, October is widely recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness month. For this reason, it’s common to see people wearing pink ribbons, wristlets, and other apparel in support of this initiative.

R&D Molders staff wearing their pink shirts for breast cancer awareness.
R&D Molders staff wearing their pink shirts for breast cancer awareness.

This past October, many of our staffers suggested we distribute pink shirts instead of the standard blue or gray. We were happy to fulfill this request, and decided to do something a little extra to have an even greater impact. We ended up selling each shirt to our employees for $5 each, and donated all of the proceeds to the Susan G. Komen Foundation to support research and education about breast cancer.

This impromptu fundraiser turned out to be a huge success and

More staff wearing our pink shirts
More staff wearing our pink shirts

morale booster for our team. All in all, we raised about $600 in honor of family members and friends who were impacted by breast cancer.

As we have found, everybody knows somebody who has been affected by breast cancer in some way. By listening to our employees and working with them to raise awareness and funds, we hope to play a role in finding better treatments and eventually a cure for this illness.

Safety Awareness is a Focus in June

It’s never a bad idea to remind everyone about the importance of safety. Accidents happen every day that leave people injured. The National Safety Council’s mission is to raise awareness of safety no matter where we are—at work, at home, or in our cars.

For businesses, keeping employees safe is always a top priority all year long. Staying Safe for Life starts with workplace safety training seminars that re-enforce safety procedures. These are the first steps in providing accurate information for employees to follow. Unfortunately, not all employees follow procedures. If employees take shortcuts, accidents can happen.

When a minor accident does occur, most business are equipped with first aid kits. We work with customers on a daily basis to make the supplies that are a part of these kits as well as a wide range of other first aid products. For example, we make the bottle that is used to flush foreign objects or chemicals out of the eye. This is an extremely important component in every first aid kit and a vital piece of a company’s first aid response.

The medical industry also relies on many components that we produce. The Sharp container is something every medical personnel is familiar with. These containers make disposing of needles safe. When needles were placed in trash cans many people were at risk.

At R&D Molders, we help ensure safety through the products we produce. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services.

R&D Molders, Inc. Helps Mold the Future of Medical Diagnostics and the Medical Industry With Custom Injection and Blow Molding Services

So much is changing so rapidly in the medical fields, especially when it comes to medical diagnostics and the equipment and devices used in diagnoses. Medical diagnostics is the field within the medical industry specifically responsible for classifying symptoms and detecting disease, and this is one area where we seem to be seeing the most change. Every day, we’re reading or hearing about medical industry advances, changes and new technology, including “DNA diagnostics,” “precision medicine” and the technology and tools that will transform medical diagnostics in the coming years.

As a leader in custom injection and blow molding since 1974, R&D Molders, Inc. is helping to mold the medical industry, and we’re doing our part to contribute to today’s advances in medical diagnostic technology. More specifically, we mold parts for, and help build, medical devices and diagnostic equipment. We also mold ancillary supplies, such as sharps containers and vacuum bottles that are used throughout the medical industry.

Over the years, many of our customers have come to us from the medical industry. We use the highest quality standards in everything we mold and create at R&D Molders, and we understand and meet the specialized manufacturing needs required by the medical industry. R&D Molders can produce parts of any size and material for all types of medical devices and medical diagnostics equipment. We manufacture molded parts and products in a highly automated and lean manufacturing environment at our facilities in Georgetown, Texas, U.S.A. Our customers come to us from around the world.

Here’s one recent example of our experience working with customers from the medical industry:  R&D manufactured medical bottles using PETG (polyethylene terephthalate glycol-modified) resin. It was an intricate process, involving multiple cavity output continuous extrusion blow molding equipment, followed by post-treatment with a mold fluorination process. Mold fluorination exposes components to fluorine gas in a sealed reactor, where a bond with the PETG resin is created, making it much less susceptible to discoloration, odor emission, permeation and paneling. Post-mold fluorination is the only FDA-approved fluorination process, and it’s an essential process when creating plastics for all types of medical applications. And speaking of the FDA, R&D Molders is FDA-registered. We are also ISO9001:2008 certified, meaning we’re focused on quality and have a quality management system in place through every step of the manufacturing process.

In addition to the medical industry, R&D Molders works with customers from all types of industries, including the defense industry, electronics, and consumer products industries. For more information about our company and our capabilities, please visit our website, or give us a call at 800-259-5716.

In the News with R&D Molders

The leading publication for the plastics industry, Plastics News, highlights topics that are important to those in the industry. This month R&D Molders was featured in the publication for reaching another milestone. We are very proud that Plastics News has chosen to include our outstanding company with an article emphasizing our recent accomplishments.

To read the article, please click here.

The Future In Blow Molding And In-Mold Labeling Automation Is Already Available To You From R&D Molders, Inc.!

The future has already arrived at R&D Molders! We’re proud to announce that we’ve installed our 15th blow molding machine and automated production line at our facility in Georgetown, Texas.  The blow molding machine is a New 2015 Bekum 155 with custom servo driven in-mold label (IML) capabilities and a variety of downstream automation equipment.  Bekum machines are known as “the workhorses of the blow molding industry,” and have been solid machines to assist as our blow molding business continues to grow.  Downstream from the blow molding machine is an automated assembly line including the following equipment:

  • 100% leak detection
  • 100% vision system
  • Automatic Flaming
  • Automatic Filling
  • Robotic Pick and Place system
  • Automatic Spin welding station

Right now, we’re using the new automated production line and Bekum 155 blow molding machine to build up inventory in anticipation of launching the product this Spring.  Without disclosing the name of our customer, we can tell you that the company is known for consumer products with extreme durability and the highest quality possible with all of their product lines, and we’re proud to be teaming up with them for this project.

This project includes the production of multiple injection-molded plastic components, in addition to the blow molded plastic Enclosure. What’s great and special about this particular program is that we’re able to incorporate and apply the skills and experience of R&D Molders’ 3 core business units in this project:

  • Tooling and Prototyping
  • Injection molding
  • Blow molding

Overall, the ability to turn-key this project under one roof at R&D Molders provides our Customer with the advantages of a streamlined manufacturing process and supply chain.

For 42 years now, R&D Molders has been a leader in our industry, providing custom injection and blow molding services and solutions for Customers of all types. We’ve always focused on the future, and on providing our Customers with innovative and cost-effective products and services.  As manufacturers of medical components, diagnostic equipment, consumer goods, sporting goods, industrial products, electronics, home & garden products, and other industries as well, turn to the experts at R&D Molders, Inc. for your next blow molding or injection molding project.  You can learn more about our blow molding capabilities by visiting our website at www.rdmolders.com or by giving us a call at 512-763-3600. The future of blow molding and IML automation has already arrived at R&D Molders, and we’d be happy to tell you more about what it can do for you and your business!

In-Mold Labeling the Way of the Future

In Addition to Being a Differentiator with its ‘No-Label Look,’ In-Mold Labeling is More Sustainable

As the plastics and packaging industries recognize The Best and Boldest In-Mold Decorated and Labeled Products of 2015, it’s easy to see why and how in-mold labeling is a differentiator in packaging manufacturing and in the branding of products. In-mold labeling allows products to be labeled and stand out with a different and unique “no-label look.” What exactly is in-mold labeling? Here’s a quick description of how in-mold labeling works: At the beginning of the molding cycle, an in-mold label is inserted into a mold before the mold closes, and before the previously formed container is ejected from the mold. The in-mold label is embedded in the wall of a container, rather than being glued on or wrapped around the outside of a container. In-mold labeling is a simpler process than traditional labeling methods. It’s also more sustainable, requiring less equipment, less labor and handling, and a smaller footprint on the manufacturing line.

We’ve been doing in-mold labeling at R&D Molders for several years now. The molded products we’ve produced are imprinted with graphic images of unequaled quality. We’re able to produce a fully labeled product directly from the mold through a one-step process. Unlike conventional methods of labeling and decorating molded products with pressure-sensitive and glued on labels, or shrink-sleeve labels, heat-transfer foils, and decals, there are no secondary operations requirements, and therefore, no additional costs. In-molding labeling is more of a cost effective method than traditional package labeling methods.

The packaging industry, in particular, is recognizing and commenting on the sustainability of in-mold labeling. On its website, the In-Mold Decorating Association, a non-profit trade association dedicated to promoting the adaptation and growth of in-mold labeling and in-mold decorating in the packaging industry, says, “We offer for your consideration the premise that in-mold labeling is the most sustainable method of package labeling…”

And it’s not just the packaging industry that’s realizing the sustainable benefits of in-mold labeling. In-mold labeling has applications in just about every industry you can think of, including medical device manufacturing, electronics, home and garden, sporting goods, consumer goods, OEM and other industries. You can learn more details about our in-mold labeling capabilities at R&D Molders by reading a press release that we distributed a few years ago: R&D Molders, Inc. Takes In-Mold Labeling To Next Level. Or call us at 800-259-5716 to ask us about how you can produce and label your company’s products with the “no-label look” created by in-mold labeling.

R&D Molders Are LEAN Manufacturers

Process improvement begins with an understanding of lean manufacturing. LEAN manufacturing can radically change the way you do business in a very positive way.

LEAN manufacturing can lead to improving quality customer service and profitability. When LEAN philosophies are adopted production becomes streamlined, waste is reduced, and continuous improvement to processes are embraced. At R&D Molders, we have adopted many LEAN procedures and wanted to take this time to share some of the LEAN techniques we embrace daily.

Department
Developing a continuous improvement department was one of the best decisions we’ve made. This department ensures eliminating waste and continues to find ways to be most efficient. Declaring a department demonstrates how LEAN manufacturing is valued throughout the company and allows others to contribute toward its efforts.

5S Methodology
We also incorporated the 5s Methodology. 5S methodology is a simple tool for organizing your workplace in a clean, practical and safe manner to enhance your productivity, visual management and to ensure the introduction of standardized working. It requires 5 simple steps, but the results are great.

Routine Gemba Walks
Gemba walks are conducting every morning. Gemba walks are an approach that requires going to the source to find the facts to make better decisions. Gemba means “the real place” or to go see first hand, what is happening vs. what you assume is happening. It requires The “Check and Adjust” approach. It helps because it can strategize in reality.

Incorporating LEAN strategies not only keeps cleanliness, organization and faster productivity, but it also increases communication between all processes to work together and deliver high-quality results.

How have you gone LEAN? What are the best takeaways you learned from this blog? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter!

Meeting the Needs of the Medical Device Industry

At R&D Molders, we have become the trusted, go-to experts for quality injection molding and blow molding. We’ve built this success and reputation because we not only know everything about the processes—and about making exceptional products through them—but because we know about the very specific needs of each industry we serve.

For instance, we know that injection or blow molded parts for the medical device industry must meet certain standards. This involves highly specialized manufacturing requirements and techniques that are unique to this industry.

Using PETG resin to make a medical bottle, for example, involves multiple cavity output continuous extrusion blow molding equipment, after which the product is post-treated with a mold fluorination process. This process exposes components to fluorine gas in a sealed reactor, which creates a bond with the PETG resin, making it much less susceptible to permeation, discoloration, odor emission, and paneling. In fact, post mold fluorination is the only FDA-approved fluorination process, and is essential when creating plastics for medical applications.

After processing, labeling, double-bagging, and packaging, the customer receives a blow or injection molded PETG resin medical-grade bottle that’s safe, economical, and of the highest quality.

Of course, we can produce parts of any size and material to meet any medical device needs using the highest quality standards. You can check out an example of a reagent bottle for the medical device industry here, or feel free to contact us to see what we can do to meet your unique needs.

The Differences Between Injection Molding and Blow Molding

You may work in manufacturing or with manufacturers every day, and still not know exactly how certain processes work, or how one differs from another.

Case in point: Injection molding and blow molding. The terms are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. There are specific distinctions between the two.

Blow molding vs. Injection Molding There are several ways in which they differ:

• The Mold: The actual making of the mold varies between blow molding and injection molding. With blow molding, temperature, type of plastic, pressure/velocity, and speed are as important as making the mold itself, while with injection molding, making the mold is the vast majority of the process—about 90% of it.

• Part Thickness: The wall thickness of a part made by injection molding is determined by the mold and core relationship. On the other hand, a blow-molded part’s thickness is determined by how the material has been stretched as it is blown; its wall thickness will vary in places depending on how much it has been stretched.

• Part shape: Injection molding results in a solid part while blow molding results in a hollow part (think plate vs. water bottle, respectively).

Within blow molding, there are several different methods, including extrusion and stretch or injection stretch.

Extrusion
In extrusion blow molding, the plastic is melted and extruded into a hollow tube. At R&D Molders, our extrusion process is often used for products such as Sharps containers, Soap bottles and Fertilizer bottles, as well as Medical Vacuum Bottles (thicker products), using PETG resin, which is a tougher material.

Stretch or Injection Stretch
In either a single or two-step process, the plastic is molded into a preform and then heated and stretched.

We perform injection molding and blow molding for a variety of industries, and can produce small, medium, and multi-part products of any volume, using a wide variety of materials for each process. We use the latest technologies and equipment and provide many value-added services, including inspection and testing, tooling, soon to be clean room molding, and much more.

If you’re not sure whether injection or blow molding is right for your needs or have any questions about the processes, you can contact us anytime.

Injection Mold Maintenance: What You Need to Know

Injection molding is one of the most widely used and counted on manufacturing processes. There are almost infinite applications and industries that rely on injection molded parts.

What many people don’t always consider, however, is the maintenance of injection molds, which is crucial when it comes to the lifespan of the molds, as well as the parts they are producing.

Why is mold maintenance so important? First and foremost, repairs of molds are costly; performing regular maintenance helps avoid expensive repairs down the line. Additionally, the condition of the mold directly affects the quality of the parts it is producing. Without keeping it maintained, the quality will suffer. After all, a product is only as good as the equipment being used to make it, and the injection mold is too important to ignore.

So what will you look for during maintenance, and what can affect the mold’s performance? One of the biggest factors is water leaks in the mold, which will affect the quality of the parts, and if left too long, will cause costly downtime and loss of production.

Also consider the environment in which the injection mold is used. Are there extremely high temperatures, and/or high levels of moisture? Is it exposed to rust or oxygen? Take the effects of the environment into account when performing maintenance on your molds.

There are solutions for cleaning and maintaining molds that have been exposed to corrosive environments or materials, from ultrasonic cleaning to dry ice blasting. These techniques will effectively clean molds while ensuring their continued work.

Injection molds and the products they produce are critical in manufacturing—scheduling and performing routine maintenance will keep them at their best.

The Leader in Custom Injection and Blow Molding Since 1974