Blog

Edward Laffert, GMN
By Edward Lafferty Dec 09, 2015
Injection molding machine

In the past year, GMN Plastics has added three new injection molding machines to its equipment list in Beaverton, Oregon. As a plastic molder, this new equipment is essential to provide our customers with the capabilities needed to manufacture their parts. These new machines, one 55 ton machine and two 220 ton machines, are upgraded with new technology and are equipped with tighter tolerances to produce more consistent parts.

This equipment was ordered to specifically meet GMN Plastics specifications so that we can continue to serve our customers to our best ability. Injection molding is a core capability of GMN Plastics and leveraging new state-of-the-art machinery allows us to provide greater precision and better parts.

As our business grows, GMN Plastics is building on our current capabilities to offer more advanced technologies. Plans are in motion to invest in over four new machines in the next year to continue evolving our processes and updating machinery to meet customer project needs. 

Samantha Quamma, GMN
By Samantha Quamma Dec 08, 2015
GMN’s metal calendar

Over the years, it has been a tradition at GM Nameplate to produce a custom calendar. The 2016 calendar showcases the wide range of GMN capabilities as it was designed in collaboration between our Seattle, North Carolina and China divisions. This year aluminum was chosen to create the metal calendar with a combination of mechanical finishes, 2D electroform and colored ink.  

 This calendar features multiple finishing options, including both spin and brushed. The top strip of the calendar is selectively spin finished; a process in which a small amount of material is removed from the aluminum to create a textured look. The spin finish gives the piece movement as it shows off reflections from light.

 The bottom area of the calendar features a cross brushed selective finish with strokes in two directions. The pressure and grid of the brushing process must be controlled to keep the look of both directions closely matched. Again, the brushing areas were selectively applied.

 It was decided that the top strip would be done in a blue grey color to enhance the silver aluminum. It was difficult to achieve the correct level of ink transparency because the tint needs to be thin enough to show off the spin finish, but also thick enough to show the color. After rounds of testing, an ink balance was achieved that met both requirements.

 The calendar also utilizes 2D electroform in the top strip for both the “GMN” and “2016.” The team dedicated to designing the 2016 calendar is proud to have created a piece that is both sleek and detailed.

Cynthia Schulte, GMN
By Cynthia Schulte Dec 03, 2015
Gold trophy

GM Nameplate’s, Monroe, North Carolina Division was recognized with the Excellence in Business Award by the Union County Chamber of Commerce. The Excellence in Business Award recognizes businesses that have attained significant growth, offered quality customer services, achieved overall excellence in the marketplace and made meaningful community contributions.

Over the past year, the division has enjoyed strengthening sales, a facility expansion, and the addition of new staff. The award recognized these changes as well as the company’s continued support of its employees and community.  

To learn more, read the press release Excellence in Business Award honors GM Nameplate Monroe, North Carolina Division .

By Richard Smylie Nov 30, 2015
Automotive fuel label

Producing automotive parts requires meeting exceedingly difficult quality and durability standards, especially for exterior vehicle components. These parts not only have to meet mandated safety, design, and industry performance standards, but also must withstand exposure to some of the world's most challenging environments. Despite these challenges, GMN Automotive has the process capabilities and knowledge required to meet and exceed tough external environments.

One of the major challenges facing metal components utilized in automotive exterior applications is galvanic corrosion. Galvanic corrosion results when two different metals come in electrical contact with one another in the presence of an electrolyte (for example a salt water solution) because it causes an electromechanical process in which one metal corrodes preferentially to another. Over time this causes the metal to deteriorate, compromising the component’s visual and functional intent. The metals that are typically affected by galvanic corrosion include aluminum, zinc, and magnesium.

This reaction presents many challenges when producing various metal exterior automotive components, especially wheel badges. Many exterior wheel badges are constructed to include a decorative aluminum or stainless steel center cap that is adhered into a chrome plated overlay. Due to exposure to the elements and the nature of the two differing metals, the more active metal, which would be the center cap, tends to corrode. Galvanic corrosion is one of the main failure modes for wheel badges and center caps, especially in colder climates where roads are dusted with salt (an electrolyte) to prevent ice in the winter months.

Our solution to overcome this challenge? GMN Automotive has developed proprietary corrosion resistant coatings and pre-treatments that are utilized with two other GMN Automotive capabilities, insert and over molding. These capabilities create a construction that encapsulates the raw edge of the center cap and thus eliminates the possibility of the two differing metals from coming in contact with one another. This means that galvanic corrosion is prevented from occurring and parts can better withstand external environments. 

Teresa Synakowski, GMN
By Teresa Synakowski Nov 18, 2015
Label or applique for perfume bottle

As a manufacturer for the cosmetics industry, GMN partnered with a supplier to Victoria’s Secret to create a branded nameplate for the Victoria Eau de Parfum scent. This fragrance won the 2014 Package & Fragrance of the Year award and the team here at GMN is very excited to have worked on such a well-received part.

Now out of production, we want to look back at the manufacturing processes involved in creating such a complicated part. The nameplate produced by GMN is the silver circular piece that reads “VS” within the center of the decorative bow.

The manufacturing challenges associated with producing this beautiful nameplate include registration and adhesion. Because the nameplate is so small, about the size of a pinky fingernail, lining up the blind embossing with the design was difficult. To solve this, high quality precision tooling was used to provide the intricate design desired on such a small surface size.

Another important consideration before manufacturing a piece is deciding how it will be assembled with the product packaging later on.  This VS miniature plaque has a laminated heat activated adhesive and was then blanked on tape for ease of assembly.  The adhesive is heated when the part is ready to be applied to the package and makes the process a lot faster and cleaner. The benefits of heat activated adhesive don’t end there; it is also clear (without yellowing) so that it can’t be seen through a glass bottle or clear surlyn cap.

GMN is very proud to have been a supplier for an award winning cosmetic package with such unique design requirements.

 

Paul Michaels
By Paul Michaels Nov 10, 2015
Certified Metalphoto Converter

Last month, Horizons Imaging Systems Group (ISG) announced that GM Nameplate (GMN) achieved Certified Metalphoto® Converter status. As part of GMN, GMN Aerospace has been a converter of Metalphoto products for more than 40 years. Only the largest and most advanced converters are eligible to apply for Metalphoto Converter certification.

The Certified Converter status means that GMN has completed a process assessment, received recommendations and begun implementing new processes to improve product quality and expand application expertise for Metalphoto. The photosensitive anodized aluminum is one of the most durable identification materials available – an important capability in the aerospace, military, and heavy equipment industries.

Within GMN Aerospace, we provide numerous Metalphoto parts to our customers in the aerospace industry. Last year we invested in a Computer to Plate (CTP) machine for our Metalphoto department. The CTP machine reduces cycle times of our products by eliminating the need for film in the exposure process – the image is exposed directly to the anodized aluminum by using a laser guided by the art file. Shortly after we added the CTP machine, we shared that the delivery of the first parts from the CTP machine and have since produced and delivered many more!

At GMN Aerospace, Metalphoto is converted into barcode labels, nameplates/data plates, placards, machine control panels, and other identification items. GMN is one of only six companies to achieve the Certified Metalphoto Converter distinction.

Learn more about GMN’s Certified Metalphoto Converter designation in the press release.

Cynthia Schulte, GMN
By Cynthia Schulte Nov 04, 2015
Emerson membrane switch and assembly by GMN

We are proud to announce that GM Nameplate was recognized with a Silver Golden Image Award at by the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA).  The award was announced at SGIA’s annual exposition in Atlanta. GMN submitted an entry in the membrane switch category with their CSI Machinery Health Analyzer. To learn more, visit the press release.  

By Elise Harrington Nov 03, 2015
Heart Walk 2015

On October 17th, 213 GM Nameplate employees, family members, and friends walked 3.1 miles to promote fun family physical activity, heart healthy living, and support the American Heart Association (AHA). Our AHA Heart Walk team was the 9th largest in the Puget Sound Heart Walk and raised $6,000.

We’d like to thank all of our team captains for doing a great job! Edna Tejada, senior quality assurance technician, recruited 66 walkers and Savy Long recruited 59 walkers. In addition, we had the support of 11 other captains representing various departments within GMN.

Our donations will be matched by GMN’s Root Cause initiative. Funds raised for the AHA are used for research and education to help overcome cardiovascular disease and stroke, which claims more lives than cancer and car accidents combined. Thanks to the work of the AHA, we are making progress and soon cardiovascular disease may no longer be the number one killer in America. Funded research in the past has led to the development of CPR, pacemakers, artificial heart valves, bypass surgery, and blood pressure medication.

At the Heart Walk the GMN team enjoyed live music, visited health education booths, and activity booths at the Seattle Center, where the walk started and ended. We are proud to continue to support the AHA and participate in the annual Puget Sound Heart Walk. The entire GMN team is already excited for next year’s Heart Walk.

Anna Minzel, GMN
By Anna Minzel Oct 29, 2015
Overlay for the Fluke Corporation

GM Nameplate has had a long history of working with Fluke Corporation, a producer of electronic test and measurement tools. GMN began supplying to Fluke from the company’s beginning and the two have been working together ever since. Over the years, GMN has produced overlays for many of Fluke’s measuring devices.

Creating an overlay for Fluke’s 5730A High Performance Multifunction Calibrator was one of the most challenging projects in the partnership’s history. Multiple overlays were manufactured by GMN for this product, including the thin gray strip on the top of the device as well as the overlay behind the cord plug-ins. The latter overlay was difficult to produce because it has so many different holes, making accurate registration really important. In order to ensure that the registration was done correctly and that the overlay would fit on correctly, a laser was used rather than a steel rule die. The laser has the tight tolerance levels that the overlay needed for accuracy, but isn’t as expensive as class A tooling can be. These overlays were made in GMN’s North Carolina division.

GMN was able to meet Fluke’s cost requirements and project requirements by offering a variety of overlay material and shearing solutions. After many years as a supplier, GMN and Fluke Corporation continue to partner together on both old and new projects.

Paul Michaels
By Paul Michaels Oct 23, 2015
Rogers Corporation GMN Aerospace

Earlier this year GMN became a preferred converter for Rogers Corporation. The company’s preferred converter status means GMN and GMN Aerospace can provide and fabricate PORON® and BISCO® materials direct to its customers – faster and more affordable than before.

PORON and BISCO materials are the leading names in advanced materials for sealing, shielding, gasketing, energy absorption and other applications. PORON high quality urethanes withstand repeated and long term compression better than alternative materials available. BISCO silicones provide design solutions for seals, gaskets, cushions, and other functional purposes. BISCO material can also have flame resistant benefits that may be necessary for some applications.

For GMN Aerospace customers already producing products that must meet Boeing Manufacturing Specification (BMS) 1-68, the new preferred converter status means that GMN Aerospace has streamlined its supply chain to provide faster and more affordable end products. As a preferred converter, we are aligned with Rogers to provide the best possible collaboration for our projects.

“We are extremely excited to partner with Rogers Corporation in aerospace,” said Carlo Mears, vice president of GMN Aerospace. “Our customers are constant in their pursuit of affordability and partnering with Rodgers allows us to build our value proposition while maintaining a competitive option for our customers.”

At GMN Aerospace, PORON and BISCO materials are supplied roll or converted into die-cut components used for a variety of functional purposes. GMN has already been fabricating PORON urethanes and BISCO silicones for more than 15 years.

*PORON and BISCO are licensed trademarks of Rogers Corporation.