Gas Assist Molding

Providing a one-stop-shop for our customers’ plastic and assembly requirements, DeKALB Molded Plastics utilizes three main plastic manufacturing processes to create our products: structural foam, gas counter-pressure, and gas assist. Beginning in the mid-1990s, our team began using gas assist as a way to enhance part performance and aesthetics with a footprint as large as 150 pounds and up to 30 inches deep.

What is Gas Assist Molding?

Gas assist molding is a process that uses pressurized nitrogen gas to hollow out strategically placed sections. During the process, plastic is injected into a mold, then gas is injected either in thick zones or in gas channels, depending on the part. For each part, our team works with the customer to determine the optimal settings for manufacturing the part, to achieve maximum performance while minimizing cost.

Once the resin is introduced into the mold, the nitrogen gas is injected into the polymer melt. The nitrogen forms hollow sections as it displaces the polymer in thicker areas, resulting in a significantly lighter cross-section. The gas assist method prevents sink marks and the ‘characteristic swirl’ that occurs during structural foam processing. In addition, cycle time is reduced due to faster cooling, equating to a lower cost component.

Benefits of Gas Assist Molding

Gas assist molding has many benefits:

  • Faster cycle time
  • Surface finish similar to injection molding
  • Reduced cooling times
  • Lighter part weight
  • Lower piece part price
  • Integrating localized design features

Applications of Gas Assist Molding

Typical uses for gas assist molding include:

  • Hollowing out a localized thick area
  • Generating stiffening sections across a part
  • Performing the pack phase of the process

Each of these reasons provides a different benefit. Hollowing out a thick area of a part also allows bold design features. Gas assist can also be used to increase the structural integrity of a part by producing stiffness across the part. Finally, using gas assist molding to perform the pack phase of the process allows a part to function in a smaller press tonnage, which lowers overhead.

When weighing the benefits of different ways to mold a part, the gas assist molding process is often chosen because of the benefits of not having the swirled pattern common to foamed products. Overall, gas assist molding produces parts with more attractive cosmetic surfaces.

What Products are Created Using Gas Assist Molding?

Everything including air compressor parts, medical equipment housings, refrigerator door handles, heater shrouds, bleacher seats, and utility carts. The possibilities of what can be created through gas assist molding are limited only by our imagination.

Does the Design of Gas Assist Molding Require Additional Considerations?

During the tooling design stage, tooling is adapted to direct gas into predetermined areas hollowing out up to 15% of the total volume.

To learn more about gas assist molding or any of our processes at DeKALB, contact our committed team of experts today!

Structural Foam for Seating

Everyone that buys a low-end plastic chair understands two basic things: one, the chair will likely be cheap and two, they will likely need to buy a replacement shortly after due to minimal construction qualities. What if these qualities could be enhanced in production? Structural foam provides the strength that will make chairs last. Whether it’s an Adirondack chair or stadium seating, structural foam produces a strong, durable plastic product at a cost reduction. Continue reading

DeKALB Molded Plastics Names New General Manager

Butler, IN – DeKALB Molded Plastics announced today the promotion of Doug Bonecutter to general manager.

In his new position, Doug will lead the daily operations of the company, where he will continue to ensure exceptional customer service and employee satisfaction is achieved. In addition to running the day-to-day operations at DeKALB, his role will include overseeing the finance, engineering, human resources and production departments. Doug Bonecutter will continue to report to President and CEO Rick Walters.

“With Doug’s experience and passion for getting the job done the right way, he has driven DeKALB to new heights,” said Walters. “I am excited to watch Doug continue to achieve new benchmarks for our company in his new role.”

Doug Bonecutter joined DeKALB in 2017 as the director of operations, bringing 15 years of manufacturing experience, where he previously held positions as both a plant manager and operations manager. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Grace College & Seminary in business management. Since joining DeKALB in 2017, Bonecutter has made a quick impact, working with a focus on continuous improvement and drive for improvements in efficiency.

With the promotion of Doug, Walters will be able to provide a stronger supporting role with the team in business development on top of assisting in overall sales efforts. Walters will continue to maintain regular contact with the leaders of existing customers and add support during the introduction of DeKALB to prospects.

###

About DeKALB Molded Plastics:

Founded in 1978, DeKALB Molded Plastics is a custom structural foam molder specializing in large, multi-nozzle plastic products. As one of the first ISO 9002, currently 9001:2015, certified structural plastics molders in the US, DeKALB offers a variety of value-added operations, including in-house post mold painting, plastic decorating capabilities, kitting, and assembly requirements for programs ranging from single stand-alone products to complex, multi-component, multi-operation programs. For more information on DeKALB Molded Plastics, please call 260-868-2105 or visit www.dekalbplastics.com.

Media Contact:

Teresa Schell
President | Vive, LLC
414.292.1291
tschell@vive4mfg.com

IMA® Board Welcomes DeKALB’s Lisa Cashel

Lisa Cashel, Controller at DeKALB Molded Plastics since November 2016 (previously from 2013–2014), was appointed a global board member of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA®), effective July 1, 2018.

Lisa holds both certifications offered from IMA®, including the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) as well as the CSCA® (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis), which further delves into the strategic nature of planning and analysis. With more than 300 professional and student chapters in 140 countries, IMA® is truly a global organization with monumental reach across the world.

“I have such a passion for this organization and the future of management accounting,” says Lisa. “I’m looking forward working with such a great group of people.”

About IMA®

The Institute of Management Accountants is the worldwide association of accountants and financial professionals in business. Founded in 1919, IMA® is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. IMA® is committed to empowering their 100,000+ members—and those throughout the rest of the profession—to strengthen on-the-job skills, better manage companies, and accelerate careers. IMA® invites members to discover the myriad possibilities within the profession and build an actionable future in management accounting.

DeKALB Receives Primex Award for Outstanding Partnership

DeKALB Molded Plastics received the 2017 award for Recognition of Outstanding Partnership with Primex, announced Steve Boyd, Materials Manager at DeKALB.

The award was bestowed upon DeKALB for dedication and reliability when working with Primex. Each year the award is presented to Primex customers that have created successful partnerships by working together and developing effective programs that are a win-win for both the supplier and customer. The recognition from Primex confirms DeKALB’s passion for our people, products, customers, and suppliers. Through relationships like these, DeKALB hopes to cultivate long-term benefits that will influence future projects.

“DeKALB manages our relationships with the highest level of professionalism, respect, and courtesy with both suppliers and customers,” says Boyd. “We also aim to demonstrate the courage to shape a more profitable future for our whole team.”

The entire DeKALB organization is honored to receive recognition from their peers, especially from a partner with such a stout reputation as Primex.

About Primex

Primex Plastics is a subsidiary of ICC Industries Inc., a worldwide leader in trading, distribution, marketing and manufacturing, primarily of chemicals, plastics and related products.

DeKALB Celebrates 20 Years Under Rodgers and Walters’ Leadership

DeKALB Molded Plastics is thrilled to be commemorating 20 years of local ownership under Jeff Rodgers and Rick Walters, and 38 years overall of successful business, relationships, and service to the community.

Founded in 1978, DeKALB Molded Plastics is a custom structural foam molder specializing in large, multi-nozzle plastic products. DeKALB was one of the first ISO 9002 certified (currently 9001:2015) structural plastics molders in the US. In 1997, Jeff Rodgers and Rick Walters purchased DeKALB from their parent company, JSJ Corporation. While the two serve as owners, Walters is also the President and CEO.

“We couldn’t be happier to be celebrating 20 incrediblely productive years with our team members and the community,” says Walters. “From the start, DeKALB has aimed to be a one-stop shop for your plastic and assembly requirements, and I think we’ve achieved that status and then some.”

One of DeKALB’s biggest differentiators under the leadership of Rodgers and Walters has been their commitment to the local community of Butler, Indiana.

“DeKALB is really engaged with our community because you have to make where you live a really good place,” says Walters. “That’s a combination of work, home, and anything else that’s around you. We work hard to make sure we put our time and our talents back into our community. A lot of people will help financially but really it’s about the time. It’s about getting out there, making contributions, and engaging – that’s what brings the win.”

The entire DeKALB organization will be hosting a party on Sunday, September 10, 2017, to officially celebrate their 20 years of outstanding leadership.

Level Three AchieveWELL

DeKALB is proud to be recognized as a Three Star AchieveWELL organization.

AchieveWell-BannerLevel3AchieveWELL is an award winning, proven strategic process, developed by the Wellness Council of Indiana, which provides a road map to the destination of a good workplace while recognizing excellence in the field of health promotion. AchieveWELL works with companies and organizations by providing tools and coaching help to create a more consistent work place.

To become a Three Star AchieveWELL organization, DeKALB made several strategic changes to help promote wellness throughout the organization.  Implementing wellness was well received amongst our leadership team and become apparent by their participation and encouragement in companywide challenges, up to and including the president/CEO.  Challenges were a great to introduce wellness into our culture and helped build moral and camaraderie amongst the employees.  And, there’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition.

In addition to challenges, we also introduced healthier vending machine options.  Healthier items are encouraged but we don’t take away people’s choices by eliminating completely.  Healthier selections are available at a slightly lower cost which is yet another encouragement.  Improving our overall communication and education opportunities was key for our employees to be successful in their wellness journey.  Provide the information and opportunity, the rest is supported by their strategic focus to live healthier.

Wellness is ingrained in both DeKALB’s mission and vision. We are not satisfied with a Three Star AcheiveWELL certification, and DeKALB is committed to becoming Four Star certified in 2017 and Five Star in 2018.

MAPP Innovation Award

DeKALB also received the 2016 MAPP Innovation Award. Capturing over 120 votes for the water manifold entry, voted on by plastics professionals in the United States, DeKALB won the award by a landslide.

Along with the title the award came with a monetary to award our employees for a job well done, free entries to a future plant tour event, special recognition during the 2016 MAPP Benchmarking Conference, and recognition in the national industry publication Plastics Business.

Value Added Services News

At DeKALB we offer an array of value added services to complement your molded plastics needs. We pride ourselves on the ability to provide our customers a wide range of services.

Our team has the ability to utilize existing products and fabricate them to create customized components. Our capabilities include cutting-straight and angles, assembly, bonding, welding, inserting, routering and drilling. At DeKALB, we also providing painting services, utilizing both solvent and water based painting systems with complete masking capabilities. We provide numerous painting systems, including: acrylic, water, and urethane based, as well as multiple masking, color, and textures.

DeKALB provides complete plastic and assembly solutions, from simple sub-assemblies to complete assemblies that are packed and shipped right to your customers’ door. We have the capabilities for sonic and induction welding, enclosure and component assembly, bonding and emabonding. We also have the capability of specialty packaging, bulk packaging, and consumer-ready packaging with custom labels and decals.

Our numerous years of experience in the manufacturing industry guarantees the highest quality products at the right price. We keep track of these products with our inventory management systems. These solutions reduce your work load and increase the efficiency of your supply chain.

At DeKALB, we are constantly looking for new ways to make operations for our customers more efficient.