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By Brad Root | Jan 30, 2018
GMN's new senior quality manager

To exceed customer satisfaction, GM Nameplate’s (GMN) has always employed total quality management principles to maintain the highest level of quality in all its products and processes. Michael Wodrich, director of quality for the Seattle, WA Division, who has played a crucial role in integrating a strong quality culture within the organization is now transitioning to a new role of director of program management. GMN is delighted to welcome on board Sam Allen as the new quality manager of the Seattle, WA Division.

An American Society for Quality (ASQ) certified quality engineer, Sam brings with him a breadth of knowledge in process product engineering, value stream management, and Continuous Improvement (CI) activities. He will be responsible for managing all aspects of quality, including quality assurance, quality control, and quality improvement. His decades of experience in high volume manufacturing facilities and global quality assurance management will be vital in strengthening the quality culture at GMN.

Focusing on the front end of the business, Michael Wodrich will now be working closely with new product development and emerging technologies. To read more about Sam and Michael’s new roles, read our press release here

By Kenny Pravitz | Jan 30, 2018
IMD allows different graphic overlays to be used in the same molded shape, giving  you customization.

Many industries require the decorative elements of plastic to be highly durable. For example, the aerospace, automotive, and medical industries have many high-wear applications that require strong, durable parts where printed icons won’t scratch off or fade away. Products that are decorated using first-surface decorating processes, where graphics are placed on the outermost layer (such as pad printing, screen printing, or hot stamping), wear out over time and aren’t suitable for these industries. Depending on the materials and processes used, the inks on plastic pieces can fade out over time, making it difficult or impossible to read indicators on those pieces.

In-mold decorating (IMD) is a plastic decorating method that ensures the durability of the graphic overlays and allows for multiple design options for the overlays. In brief, IMD is a process where a graphic overlay is physically fused to injection molded plastic to form one piece. Molten resin is injected either in front or behind the graphic overlay to form a bond between the two. Unlike pad printing, screen printing, or hot stamping – where inks and overlays are exposed to the user that can deteriorate over time – IMD parts have a layer of plastic that encapsulates the ink, protecting it from users and the outside environment.

GMN Plastics, GM Nameplate’s (GMN) plastics division in Beaverton, OR, recently created a video that demonstrates the IMD process. In the video, we see an end-of-arm tool pick up a graphic overlay and place it in the injection mold using a vacuum system, while simultaneously removing a part that was just molded. Both of these functions are completed in one cycle, allowing for faster and more efficient production. Locating pins in both the end-of-arm tool and injection mold itself allow for consistent placement of the overlay in the tool, which is critical for functional parts in regulated industries. If the overlays are not correctly and consistently placed in the mold, some portions of the overlay may not be fully encapsulated by plastic during the molding process.

IMD is ideal for higher volume projects that have stringent durability requirements, as there is more design engineering required up front than with a standard injection molded part. However, one advantage is that once the graphic overlay and molded part is designed, printed graphics on the overlay can be changed at any time to allow for customization and unlimited design options.

To learn more about what the IMD process is, read this blog.

To watch the IMD process, click play on the video below. 

By Neha Toshniwal | Jan 17, 2018
GMN exhibits at MD&M West Anaheim 2018

GM Nameplate (GMN) is excited to exhibit at the upcoming Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West, the largest Medtech tradeshow in North America. The event will take place from February 6th to 8th at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA.

We invite you to visit our booth #1659 to explore our wide array of capabilities including technical printing, die-cut components, plastic injection molding, and front panel integration. You will also get to check out our capacitive switch unit and see how this evolving technology can enhance your device’s user interface.

To schedule a meeting with a GMN technical expert during the show, please email us directly at info@gmnameplate.com and we’d be happy to discuss your upcoming projects and manufacturing needs.  

By Neha Toshniwal | Jan 11, 2018
PTC heater guide

What are PTC heaters? How do they differ from traditional fixed-resistance heaters? Is the PTC heating technology right for my product? If you have the same questions swirling in your mind right now, this free guide is just for you.

Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) heaters are printed, self-regulating, energy-efficient heaters that run open loop. Compared to traditional heating technologies, they offer better strength and higher design flexibility. From car seats to surgical tables, they are well-suited for a wide range of applications. 

To discover the nitty-gritty of these safe heating solutions, download our free guide here.