Tuesday, March 11, 2014

             This machine is fabulous!

Metal fabricators make more things happen for us than many people realize. Any big heavy piece of anything has to come from somewhere. Here's a look at one of the places where those things come from, and it's very cool -- and very large.

The Story
Some recent video production/shooting needs brought me to Trade Tech Inc. in Hartford, Wisconsin. They are machining and metal fabricators with a strong history in that business and industry. Here's the link to their website  Trade Tech take a look at their 33,000 square foot facility. Everything is on such a large scale that it is really something to experience. They're really nice people, too, and were very helpful throughout the shooting day.

The mission that day was to acquire video footage of a machine they had just completed building for my client,  Die-Sep, Inc. They have a very handy and heavy duty machine that breaks plastic injection molding dies apart after they're done with a job. It's a very labor intensive and costly process to do it manually so Die-Sep partners, and brothers, Lou and Mike Bowler have their mechanical way of doing it and are doing very well in the marketplace with their product line.  

 When the video footage is edited and a final piece is ready I'll put it up, but in the meantime these still pics from last week will help tell the quick story. It's really interesting to watch the machine do its thing. In the above pic Louie Bowler, the sales force of the operation, stands with one of the models at the end of the shooting day.

How it works 
 Here's a die being brought in to help demonstrate the Die-Sep machine for the camera. This hunk of metal weighs 14,000 pounds and consists of two halves.  The seam line is in the middle, where you  see  that small yellow strap with a bolt on each end. Just above the yellow strap you can see a small space -- this is where a pry bar is inserted to do the job manually, and it is not a small feat. Companies will load the dies on flatbed trucks and ship them many miles, and spend many dollars, to have the job done.
The way it works with the Die-Sep machine is the die is placed in the machine

and the platen from the left side pushes it tight up against the end plate to the right.

Then the electro magnets are switched on to hold the two halves in place from each end,   
and the hydraulics are used to break/pull the two halves apart.

The next step is for the right end of the Die-Sep machine to tilt its half of the die up horizontally so they can clean and maintain it after it's been used in a production run, and that horizontal ability makes Louie and Mike's Die-Sep machine very special.


With the job done the die halves are pressed back together

and the die, costing  around $150,000, 

 is shipped back into safe storage until it is needed again.

                                       Stay tuned for the video!

 Art the Farmer is hanging in there and sounds pretty strong and more good than bad lately. His challenges aren't over but the tide is hopefully turning for him -- every warmer day helps him, as with all of us. His kitchen sink is still froze up but that will hopefully be resolved sometime soon -- and here's to hoping the frozen pipes aren't ruptured from the freeze.

More Otherwise
And work is beginning on the edit for the next American Barn Stories program. More on that as it unfolds as well as updates on current distribution of the last episode -- good things happening. And other good things are percolating in the edit suite as  well.

Ahhh, Spring -- get here!

More Later