Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wisconsin Whirlwind

I blasted out of Reno for a couple days last week for a work trip to visit some plastic injection molding facilities in panoramic DeForest, WI. We're seeing one of our designs move towards production and it was time to talk details at the factory.

1500 ton press; not the biggest one they have but the easiest big one to photograph

Joel does his best imitation of Crazy in cleanroom garb. Lots of sterile-never-touched-by-human-hands-automation goodness happens in here.

Insert finished product here, collect check from customer

A big honkin' piece of solid steel mold (this one makes 8 headlight reflectors at a time)

I'm continually fascinated by the machines and the molds and the automation, no matter how many times and in how many settings I see them. Particularly the automation. I don't think the general public appreciates the complexity of the tooling and process control that goes into the goods they use every day!

It's all about the pellets

A splash of culture in nearby Madison

The trip coincided neatly with the beginning of taper week, and I even managed a below-freezing pre-sunrise run through the countryside, running east while watching the broad horizon's palette evolve as daybreak approached.

Oh, did I say taper week? I'll be toeing the line at Silverman in four days...stoked and ready to rock. Watch this space.


Past Detritus