Japan Steel Works America, Inc. (JSW) is a 100% owned subsidiary of THE JAPAN STEEL WORKS, Ltd. (JSW Japan), founded in 1978 to facilitate the sales, marketing, importing, and distribution of the forgings and castings and injection molding machines (IMM) produced by JSW Japan.
JSW’s core business goal is to become a leading supplier of all electric injection molding machines in the United States. Leading the growth and advancement of technology and innovation in plastics machinery for over 50 years, JSW provides a full line of all-electric injection molding machines, ranging from small to ultra-large models and offering ease of operation, safety, and environmentally friendly improvements such as energy-saving and space-saving features.
iMFLUX has had the pleasure of working with Dale Bartholomew, National Technical Director of JSW America, for several years now on multiple projects including demonstrations at national trade shows, and a live webinar. We asked him to share some insight into the JSW/iMFLUX partnership.
Why did you choose to partner with iMFLUX at Plastec West, PTXPO and Plastec South in 2022, and have a demonstration in your booth?
iMFLUX is the most exciting technology to come to the injection molding market in many years. With Japan Steel Works Corporate directive to be more involved with sustainability, partnering with iMFLUX was a perfect match.
How was the part/mold chosen to run for the demonstration? How was the demonstration concept designed?
When introducing our Medical Specification IMM, we needed a medical part for the demonstration. iMFLUX offered the use of one of their molds, and the Vicks dosage cup fit the bill perfectly. The demonstration was designed by Brandon Birchmeier, iMFLUX Technical Director – Innovation. Brandon made a trip to our facility in New Jersey in preparation for the first demonstration at PTXPO in Chicago, and from there the IMM, mold and material shipped directly to California for Plastec West.
What was audience reaction to the wide range of resins in the demonstration, both virgin and PCR?
Customers were really impressed to see the drastic change in viscosity take place, while continuing to make good parts, and without any changes to the process. For these demos we used two different PCR materials, one with MFI of 10 and other MFI of 40. One material was colored “JSW” blue, and the other “iMFLUX” green. With the different materials being different colors, it was easy to see when the material was transitioning between the 10 and 40 MFI PCR materials.
Having this demonstration in our booth at these three shows definitely increased our exposure and the traffic in our booth. Having a member of the iMFLUX team there with us helped us to sharpen our iMFLUX knowledge, while we answered guest questions.
Did shows in 2022 live up to your expectations? How was your booth traffic: quantity and quality of visitors?
PTXPO was the first opportunity for a lot of us to get back out to live events. The quantity of visitors was lighter than before the COVID pandemic, but it was so great to be together! The quality of the visitors was good, meaning the “right” (buying) people were there. We are excited to see how the attendance looks in 2023 at PTXPO in Chicago, which is the next time we will be doing an iMFLUX demonstration in our booth.
How did your internal team respond to having the iMFLUX demonstration in your booth, and the iMFLUX partnership at the shows? How was the combined messaging received by guests?
This was an excellent opportunity for our JSW team to become more familiar with the iMFLUX system, ask some questions, and forge relationships with the iMFLUX team. All the feedback was very positive, especially with the increased foot-traffic the demonstration brought our way.
As for the visitors to our booth, the JSW/iMFLUX demo partnership was very well received, even by scientific molders. Being able to “see” the technology in action helps shift thinking from conventional molding to low-constant-pressure molding.
Are there plans to partner with iMFLUX on a demonstration in the future?
Most definitely! As of right now, we are preparing for the demonstration at PTXPO in Chicago in March 2023. We will take the same IMM from last year, but we are developing a demonstration on a different iMFLUX-built mold – one that hasn’t been demonstrated at a show, yet. We are excited about it! I don’t want to give it all away just yet, but it will be an impressive demo.