Why Zinc Alloy Fluidity is Important in Diecasting?

Zinc Alloy Fluidity

Zinc alloy fluidity and why is it important in the manufacturing industry? Well, to help us kind of answer that and learn more about zinc diecasting and alloys, we have Dave Magner, the Director of Sales and Marketing at Deco Products Company.

The zinc diecasting process is all about taking the right recipe of metal alloy, which includes different components for zinc. The number one component within the zinc alloys is zinc itself, with aluminum coming in second. Chemistry is so important because it really impacts the different characteristics of the alloy and really lends itself well to what is important to the designer.

How Zinc Melts

The zinc diecasting process is all about melting that material down and then using a two-half mold so that you shoot this molten zinc in and able to achieve the right geometry, which would relate to really the right functionality of the part so, the type of material is so, so key in that process.

An important aspect to zinc is to understand the intricate, complicated features of the part itself. Zinc has great dimensional stability, and a big part of that is how it melts and how it fits into the mold and then ultimately cools. Understanding what your base material is, whether it's plastic or zinc, is so important in one's part design.

Zinc is very fluid. When it melts, it's almost like water so it's all about the viscosity of the material where other materials might be syrupier. Because zinc flows well up until the point it's cooled it can get into certain areas of the mold that can be very detailed or a closer tolerance that you might need. It may be a small feature that other materials just couldn't achieve

Another aspect about fluidity and some of the aspects of zinc and that it can be dimensionally, very stable, is some of those features might require a secondary operation, or you may not be able to hold those tolerances or create those features in other materials, but in zinc you can, thus avoiding all that post processing cost. So those are a couple of elements where zinc and the fluidity of zinc really can help out with the cost impact.

Design & Casting Collaboration

At DECO Products we really pride ourselves on a great collaborative relationship with, ultimately, the designer that understands the function of that part with our expertise and the manufacturability. And so, when you have those two elements converging together, an optimal design can come into play. And how that really impacts the tool design is that we need to communicate to the part designer how fluidity works and how zinc can flow because it's a very quick process

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Many thank to Dave Magner, Sales Director, Deco Products:  https://decoprod.com/

Electric Drive Casters Help Improve Material Handling!

Innovations in Material Handling Equipment

Imagine being able to move a rack or cart with a ton of weight on it just by pushing it easily with your hand. Well, that’s the idea with the Ergomove electric drive caster. The podcast explains how this innovation in material handling works and why it is important to manufacturers and warehouses alike.


Moving materials and products in a manufacturing operation is a big challenge, including potential issues of material damage, ergonomics, workforce safety and productivity. Employee health and retention is an important concern for many in the manufacturing industry. Pushing heavily weighted carts and racks not only is the cause of many work related injuries but the cause of many health related issues for workers. This also results in many employees leaving their job.


Forklifts and motorized pullers can work for some situations, but space and floor surfaces can make using these machines difficult. The answer many were looking for was to be able to retrofit their carts and racks with motorized casters to make movement easier and computerization to help control the carts for sudden stops and difficult floor surfaces.


In 2020, Blickle Casters and wheels released their powered caster system, the Ergomove, in the US market.  Two years and several models later battery powered casters can change the material handling equation and help with employee job satisfaction while also cutting down on workplace injuries and safety concerns.

Rob Jordan, Vice President of Engineering at Bickel USA Wheels and casters and Scott Smith from Barron Equipment Company join the podcast to introduce the Ergomove, a battery powered caster system that is really changing the material handling environment.


The ErgoMove

The ErgoMove is an electric drive system that can upgrade the casters on most material handling equipment like carts and racks. The electric drive makes moving heavy weighted items much easier than the manual labor of pushing or pulling alone.

Material handling equipment can be quickly and easily upgraded with a “plug & play” electric drive, steering and braking assistance. The ErgoMove includes 2 rigid casters with an electric drive, and integrated controls and battery unit plus many safety features.

There are currently 3 models available, the 500 designed for power assistance up to 500kg, the 1000 with assistance up to 1000 kg, and the 200 with up to 200 kg power assistance.



Performance benefits:

Each of the ErgoMove models provides workers with tangible benefits that help reduce strenuous activity like pushing and pulling loads by powering the wheel of the equipment making the load easier to move. This improves the transport of heavy loads by ergonomic means, reducing strain and stress on workers, improves productivity on the work floor, and greatly increases the safety of workers and products being transported.


Getting it out to the market!

Barron equipment also talks about how they work with companies and manufacturers by bringing in a model to demonstrate its capabilities and to let businesses physically test how the system would work in their environment. There is a great untapped market for improving ergonomics and not just for productivity or making the work place safer but helping improve employee retention by reducing the stress of moving heavy equipment.

Many Thanks to Scott Smith of Barron Equipment

Barron Equipment Website: https://www.barroneq.com/

Why Beam Saws Improve Productivity

Beams Saws - Manufacturing Productivity Machines

A beam saw is not a typical machine for home use, it is designed and built to handle heavy duty cutting operations like those found in manufacturing plants. Unlike a band saw or a radial arm saw, a beam saw has a carriage that is supported at both ends and uses a rial system resulting in a faster and more accurate cutting operation. These saws offer improved productivity for operations cutting raw material at a high rate. They are designed to cut multiple pieces of material at the same while maintaining high precision and accurate cuts.

To help us understand how a beam saw works and how it improves productivity and workflow in manufacturing we will be speaking with Dave Brown a customer service representative of the original saw company who are the only manufacturers of beam saws made in the USA.


Beam saws are designed for manufacturers more than for home wood workers!

The horizontal beam saw is purpose built for heavy duty cutting operations where employees need to make large volumes of repetitive cuts  accurately. The machines are built with heavy duty motors so that they can run long shifts and can make up to 64” cross cuts in wood, metal, aluminum, steel, and other kinds of materials.

When an Electronic Powered Cross Feed is added to the Beam Saw, it becomes a semi-automatic machine that can really boost cutting productivity. One of the things that was very interesting in the interview was learning that the motors, windings, and machines are all built right in The Original Saws factory located in Britt, Iowa. Only a few components are sourced out to manufacturers within 30 miles of their facility. The Original Saw Company is the only manufacturer of beam saws in the United States and the units are designed and manufactured in the USA.

The main difference between the models offered is the main length of the cut ranging from a 16” saw to a 22.5” saw and has features including voltage options, crosscut capabilities as well as offering manual or semi-automatic operation.

The largest buyer of beam saws is manufactured home companies because the capabilities align with the needs of the manufacturing process but the capabilities and range of materials that can be cut make it ideal in canopy manufacturing, automotive industry, metal roofing companies, and even logging.

Choosing The Right Blade

The most important thing to know about beam saws is “USING THE RIGHT BLADE” it is critical for performance and safety that the right type of blade is used depending on the material you are cutting. Dave explained that many saws are used for cutting cable trays, catalytic converters, and panels made of fiberglass and even aluminum panels.


Dave explains that regular maintenance and cleaning will keep the machines performing as optimum levels, keep them safe, and extend their lifespan. It is important to note that a basic cleaning and checking of blades and electrical connections are most important and to never oil or grease the machine as it will attract dust and possibly damage the unit over time.

Many Thanks to Dave Brown, Customer Service, The Original Saw Company

Listen To The Podcast at The Manufacturing Experts.

Why Supplements Made in the USA are Better and What You Should Know About Foreign Supplements

Suppliments Made in The USA

Collagen Supplements have become a big thing in America and sales have been growing over the past few years. One look on a store shelf or on the Internet and you will see a wide variety of supplements. But do you ever look to see where the supplements are made? What difference does it make if the supplements are made overseas? David Kramer, the plant manager of Sue Biochemical and SB-Edge a type 2 collagen supplement manufacturer discusses why collagen supplements made in America are not only better for your health but also supporting a wide variety of jobs in the United States.


Dave has a lot of experience in the manufacturing of dietary supplement ingredients and has seen a lot of things and has learned a lot about the industry and comparison to foreign produced products.


The Problem Begins

Well, when Sioux Biochemical started making chondroitin sulfate, there was not much being made in China. But throughout the late 1990’s the Chinese manufacturing started kicking up and they became our biggest competitor which drove down the price of chondroitin not the price that people paid in the store, mind you, it drove down the wholesale price, so it mainly affected the US. manufacturers, which was us of that product.


The problem is that a lot of the chondroitin coming out of China is considered counterfeit or adulterated. Instead of making a 90% product, they were shipping it in at as low as 5%. They found that there was a certain seaweed sugar that would mimic chondroitin sulfate on a lot of the tests that were being used to analyze it. Independent labs were finding that at best, some of this product was 50%, but there was a lot coming in that was five and 10% and was just adulterated with other things.


These facts didn’t change how many distributors and resellers were continuing to buy off-shore chondroitin. They liked the low price and felt that if the foreign company had a CFA that says it was good that was all that was needed to justify the purchase. This creates an uneven playing field for manufacturers and a less effective product for customers.


The good news is that a lot of the counterfeit stuff was fairly benign, so it wasn’t poisonous or anything. Now, there have been situations with adulteration where they adulterate people adulterate it with something that is actually harmful. But if you're buying a supplement based on what you've heard, that says it should do X, Y and Z for your body, but essentially, you're taking a sugar pill, it's not going to do X, Y and Z and actually hurts the supplement industry, because it was like when it was made in the United States, it was all under control. So that's probably one of the main important things for the consumer to be concerned about, is that these adulterated ingredients just don't give the effect that you might have been expecting or might have heard about or even just nutritionally.


What Else Does Foreign Made Supplements Affect.

Most people would never support a company that mis-lead them about a product, and today many would not support a company that treated its labor force poorly or unfairly and would never support a company that was causing environmental damage from their business practices but that’s exactly what you are doing when buying supplements made in China or even Brazil.

Take for example the environmental factors of how cattle are raised, in Brazil. Here in the United States, most of the cattle are raised in the Midwest, upper Midwest, in feed lots and small operations. But in Brazil, a lot of the rainforest has been cut down and burned to create cattle grazing. So, the idea that some people just say, well, these are pasture fed cows, well, that's true, but the pasture isn't as important If you had to burn down a rainforest to get to it


Quality Control & Safety

The United States has very stringent regulations from agencies. The FDA regulates anything like food and drug and supplements fall under the FDA's purview. So that's the primary person that regulates. But if anytime you're using a product of animal origin, like our collagen product, the USDA regulates those animals that you use that you can utilize for your raw material. One thing that we often don't think about too is OSHA. A lot of the conditions which these supplements are made in foreign countries would fail an OSHA exam in a heartbeat. So, they're unsafe working conditions as well for a lot of people who don't have that protection. And obviously then we have OSHA and the legal rights of a worker in the United States exceed that of many foreign countries.


Supporting American Jobs

Many people do not realize the impact of buying products made in the USA. When your dollars go to buy US made products , the money goes to pay not only the workers at the manufacturing plant but to the supplier company workers, truck drivers, lab testers and more. In fact, the supply chain for our product will easily impact several hundred workers beyond our 7 employees.


In Summary

It is important for consumers and even supplier to take notice of where their supplements are manufactured and realize the small up-front savings leads to poor quality, less health benefits but also helps support foreign countries instead of supporting all the people involved in producing and taking American made products to market.


Dave Kramer has over 25 years’ experience in the industry and is currently  the plant manager for Sioux Biochemical which manufacturers SB-Edge Collagen Supplement.

Website: https://sb-edge.com/

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The Manufacturing Experts

A community for manufacturers looking for information, expertise and what’s new in the world of manufacturing. We cover a wide range of topics from digital marketing for manufacturing to innovations and explanation of manufacturing processes. We let the experts explain through informative and entertaining episodes. Our hosts have over 20+ years in manufacturing and have searched for subject matter experts to share their insights with our audience.