Since May 19, 2017, RJG’s TZERO® team has been working alongside Progressive Components, Ameritech Tool and Die and the Apprenticeship 2000 program to construct and launch a mold for use in RJG’s North Carolina training facility. On July 21, the mold was launched without a hitch and making good parts immediately.
RJG’s TZERO division bridges the gaps between part design, mold design and manufacturing through simulation, education and optimization. For the tool launch, the team opted for a four-cavity puzzle mold, and all mold and part design issues were addressed through flow simulation prior to manufacturing the mold. Progressive Components donated eight rapid tooling inserts to RJG’s North Carolina training facility to be used in this project.
Ameritech Die and Mold volunteered their time and resources to build the mold through their association with the Apprenticeship 2000 program. Apprenticeship 2000 is a four-year program that requires rising juniors in high school to complete a registration, open house, orientation and pre-apprentice summer program before being accepted. Once accepted, sponsor companies like Ameritech pay the student to attend classes at a local community college and receive hands-on training at their facilities.
At the end of the program, students receive an Associate’s Degree in Mechatronics Engineering Technology, a Journeyman’s Certificate from the state of North Carolina and a guaranteed employment with a $36,000 annual salary. In addition, the company receives an employee that is not only trained in theory, but in application.
Casey Meyer, a Junior at South Iredell High School, and Mike Merzke, a recent high school graduate, were the students working alongside Ameritech. They worked with mentors in each step of the mold manufacturing process, so they were able to see it from conception to launch.
“I got an in-depth look at each step of building a mold,” said Merzke. “I enjoyed seeing how each machine was used and how the molding process works.”
“I learned how to disassemble and reassemble molds,” said Meyer. “I learned all the features that a mold has to have in order to make a good part.”
Ameritech, Meyer, and Merzke completed the mold build on July 20, and RJG representatives traveled from across the country for the tool launch. They were taken on a tour of the Ameritech facility and were able to see firsthand the impact the Apprenticeship 2000 program has on their facility.
“Ameritech would not be the company we are without Apprenticeship 2000,” said Steve Rotman, President of Ameritech Die and Mold.
“The mold trial was flawless,” said Marty Key, RJG Consultant / Trainer. “With TZERO’s design, the manufacturing capabilities of Ameritech and the talented students of the Apprenticeship 2000 program, the mold produced quality components from the first cycle.”
About Ameritech Die and Mold, Inc.:
Ameritech Die and Mold, Inc. provides product engineering, development, consultation and the latest in manufacturing simulation software. They use the latest technology, lean principles and controlled time management to deliver the best possible molds in world-class delivery time.
About Progressive Components:
Progressive Components is an American-owned, independently operated developer and distributor of componentry and software for the injection mold industry. Off-the-shelf standards and exclusive innovations are provided via a network of direct and regional distributors throughout North America, Asia and Europe.