Exciting Q3 News from Fast Heat! The Indicator Newsletter Is Here.

Early Fall 2014

Fast Heat’s CableXChecker Can Easily Identify Problem Cables.

Fast Heat is predicting a change in the manufacturing weather. Forecasts call for a busy fall season and we’re ramping-up to ensure we help our customers become more productive than ever.

That’s why we spent our summer developing a brand new product — the CableXChecker™, the hot runner cable testing system by Fast Heat.

Cable Tester

The CableXChecker is unique to the marketplace because each tester is customized to your specific wiring diagram standards. Simply plug your cable into the mounted connectors and test each individual zone in both thermocouple and heater cables by using the dial on the instrument panel to rotate through each zone. Bright blue LEDs will light-up in the order of the wiring diagram. If a problem is detected, the LED will not light, indicating an open in the cable. If more than one LED illuminates, there is a short in the cable. A test lead is also included to probe for pushed back pins and other problems in the connector insert.

Powered by a single 9v battery, the easy-to-use and portable CableXChecker can be taken from one area to another to test cables on the manufacturing floor, then back to the tool room.

Building high quality hot runner temperature controllers has been the mainstay at Fast Heat since 1957. We’ve grown our business by carefully listening to our customers. Plant Managers, Maintenance Managers and Tool Room Managers have told us that they want diagnostic tools that help them avoid downtime. We designed the CableXChecker precisely with them in mind.

Find out how valuable Fast Heat’s CableXChecker can be on your manufacturing floor. Right now, take $50 off each CableXChecker you purchase through 10/31/14. Cables are an asset. Ensure they work! Email Jeff to find out more today.

Then visit us at Plastec Midwest, October 15-16 at the Schaumburg Convention Center, booth #822.

Posted in News

Fast Heat to Exhibit at Plastec Midwest 2014: October 15-16 @ Booth #822

Fast Heat, Inc. will be exhibiting at the exciting Plastec Midwest at the Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumburg, IL October 15-16, 2014. Come meet-up with us at Booth #822, where we can discuss new ways to help your injection molding manufacturing processes become more efficient than ever. Featured products include our high and low cavitation hot runner temperature controllers and custom cables and connectors.

Then check out our brand new cable diagnostic tool. You’re gonna want at least one of these in your shop!

For more information on the show, follow this link.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Posted in News

Fast Heat to Attend Amerimold Expo in Novi, MI June 11-12, 2014 Booth #626

Join Fast Heat at the Amerimold Show in Novi, MI on June 11-12, 2014. Visit us at Booth #626 and see all the cool auxiliary equipment you’ll need for a successful hot runner injection molding program—like our low-cavitation Ion controller and our high-cavitation Pulse controller. We also create custom cables and connectors and will feature some other new products of interest.

For more details, visit: http://amerimold14.mapyourshow.com/5_0/exhibitor_details.cfm?exhid=1031

Posted in News

New Year, New Opportunity: Your Q1 Indicator Is Here!

Winter 2014

It’s hard to believe this long snowy winter is slowly coming to an end. With a strong Q4 behind us and an optimistic view of the new year, this winter season has served as an opportune time for evaluation, planning and investment.

So far during this Q1, we’ve been excited for our customers as they’ve been able to grow, adding new programs and more employees to fill shifts. Many of our customers are also undertaking “best practices” plant strategies to improve production and overall part quality. And all this made possible as the momentum for products “Made In The USA” continues to accelerate.

Since 1957, Fast Heat has produced hot runner temperature controllers right here in the Midwest. Our location has made it easy to provide a high level of customer service. One of our latest innovations, the Custom Cable & Connector Builder, has made
it so easy for our customers to purchase their custom cables online…and then save the information conveniently for future purchases. Our custom cable builder is unique to the industry, and our customers are telling us they like this new tool because it’s so easy to use!

That’s why we’ve extended our FREE Spare Pair of Cables with any Pulse or Ion Hot Runner Temperature Controller program through 3/31/14. New cables are always in need around the plant, so be sure you take advantage of this premium offer.

 

Indicators of Success
The Smallest Things Can Cause A Huge Impact
Customer Challenge: Falling Short

Bad fuse
Bad or open fuses can cause bad parts, equipment to fail
or worse—a critical line-down situation
Good fuse
When conducting preventative maintenance, check
for good fuses and check ohms for consistency across your heaters and manifolds to uncover any possible degradation.

Fuses are your friend on the manufacturing floor. If your fuses experience an overcurrent, they will open or blow, and depending on your hot runner temperature controller, can trip an alarm. Left unattended or ignored, the rest of your system can keep running, leaving your machinery—and part production—at risk. Take a minute to consider what your fuses are telling you:

What if I blow a fuse?
- Your heater will start cooling down

* That means if you’re running plastic, your tip will eventually
freeze off, requiring attention and maintenance.

- Your manifold side will still operate, but cool down

* That means the risk of inferior parts due to short shot
   substantially increases.

What causes a fuse to blow?

- Overcurrent

* The maximum current allowed on your circuit has been breached.

- Moisture

* Environmental conditions may lead to moisture contaminating your molds. Water + electricity = short.

Solutions:
- Check to make sure your ohms are consistent on drops. If the ohms are going down, it could mean your heater is starting to short out. If your ohms are going up, it could mean your heater is degrading.

- Make sure your molds and materials are perfectly dry. If using a Fast Heat hot runner temperature controller, use the “Bake Out” feature before your production run begins.

 

Keep an eye on your fuses during regular maintenance checks and diagnostics. Keep a log of any zones that fail. If you’re blowing fuses on a regular basis on the same machinery, it will be necessary to investigate these problems further.

Fast Heat’s Customer Support Manager, Manny Diaz, has more than 20 years
of experience troubleshooting our customers’ greatest challenges and pain points. He can help with yours, too. Call 630.359.6300 or email
Manny today!

Manufacturing Indicators

Weather and the Economy
So far, Q1 looks as cool as the weather we’ve been experiencing around the country.Consumers have been hibernating, so demand for automobiles,
white goods and other bigger ticket items—including home sales—have waned following the busy holiday season.
The good news is that spring is on its way, and indicators are showing that with warmer weather come warmer spending habits.
In the meantime, our customers continue to find ways to be more productive through best practice programs such as SMED while gearing up for a busy Q2.What trends are your company experiencing? Share them with us and we’ll share them with our readers.

Budget Indicator

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!

FREE SPARE PAIR OF CABLES!
You asked for it–you got it! Purchase any Pulse or Ion Hot Runner Temperature Controller and receive a FREE SPARE PAIR OF CABLES! That’s a savings of up to $700! Offer expires 3/31/14. Find Out More About Our Cable Selections Here

DO A DEMO!
Fast Heat’s Expanded
Hot Runner Temperature Controller Demo Program Makes
It Easy to ‘Try Before You Buy’
If you’re in the market for a new hot runner temperature controller, Fast Heat makes
it easier than ever to “try before you buy.”New customers have expressed their appreciation in their ability to test out a new hot runner temperature controller before they
make their final purchasing decision, so Fast Heat has
a new program in place to make “doing a demo” easier than ever.Want to find out more?
Give Jeff Ashton, Inside Sales Manager, a call today at 630-359-6202.

In Case You
Missed It:
Fast Heat Featured in June Issue
of MoldMaking Technology!
Help Customers Gain Control of Mold and
Part Quality
Take a closer look at
a very important, and often overlooked, piece of auxiliary equipment that affects mold and part quality-the hot runner temperature controller.

Read more…

The Four “Cs”: Controllers, Cables, Connectors and Consistency

 

It’s always exciting to look around our industry and see all the accomplishments our customer partners are making. From improving processes, to training a new generation of plastics manufacturers, to developing new and important parts that make life around us work better, it’s great seeing how the state of the plastics industry continues to grow strong.

We really appreciate what our customers are doing because together we are helping them solve some of their toughest molding challenges with our “Four Cs”, controllers, cables, connectors and consistency.

 

We recently had a call with one customer who had used our Pulse high cavitation controller in his former plant and wanted to introduce it to his team at a new plant. He said he liked many of the features on the Pulse, but his “favorite” one was that it was consistent. It never let him or his team down. It kept his temperatures steady and was always reliable. It was one thing he didn’t have to worry about during a typical day full of challenges.That’s a pretty cool thing to hear.We have other customers who are now purchasing cables and connectors online from our new web-enabled Custom Cable & Connector Builder store. We know that cables and connectors are sometimes the weakest link in the manufacturing process, so we’ve made it easy for our customers to build, purchase and store their cable orders online. Our custom cables are made to order and right here in our Chicago-area plant.We take pride in every order we build and fulfill because we know our customers count on us to be the best. You could say then, that “customers” are our “Fifth C”—who we always put first in our line-up.

Fast Heat wants our customers to continue to be successful in the industry. That’s why we’re always here to help! Check out our website or give us a call at 630.359.6300. We’ve extended our FREE SPARE PAIR OF CABLES offer with any hot runner temperature controller purchased through 3/31/14, so be sure to take advantage of this great offer.

Sincerely,
Tim Stojka
CEO

Fast Heat, Inc.

Posted in News

Headed for the Homestretch of 2013: Your Q4 Indicator Is Here!

Autumn 2013

Wow! Time is hurtling toward the year’s end. Our customers are telling us that 2013 is looking to finish strong. Orders are up all over the various industry segments, and many manufacturers are adding programs and trying to boost overall productivity to fulfill their customers’ inventory demands.End-of-the-year is also a great time to take stock and inventory of all the parts and machinery you have on your manufacturing floor. What’s working? What’s not? Did you know your business can also deduct the FULL PURCHASE PRICE for any new or used capital equipment up to $500,000 purchased until 12/31/13 according to the revised Section 179 of the IRS tax code? You can find a link detailing Section 179, here.

And speaking of parts: Fast Heat is proud to introduce our newly launched online tool: the Custom Cable & Connector Builder. Unique within our industry, the Custom Cable & Connector Builder allows you to conveniently configure any cable to your exact specifications, save your cable specs, make your purchase and quickly ship to any address-or multiple addresses. As a bonus? FREE Shipping with any order over $500! To celebrate the launch, we’re offering a FREE Spare Pair of Cables with any Pulse or Ion Hot Runner Temperature Controller purchased through 12/31/13.

Indicators of Success
What’s Your Weakest Link?

Customer Challenge: Failure to Connect
 
Fried connectors can cause havoc on your hot half mold or hot runner). Call Manny at 630.589.8463 for new custom cables or cable repair! You can also buy custom cables with our new online tool. Check out: http://fastheat.com/store/index.php/fast-heat-custom-cable.html today!

 

The smallest connectors can often cause the largest manufacturing problems. Pushed-in pins, crushed housings and fraying wires can cause shorts and intermittent problems that affect your mold and your part quality. Take a minute to consider some issues regarding your controller’s cables:

 

What are the symptoms we see everyday?
- Erratic temperatures

* Stable for long periods of time then swing wildly, sometimes
with each machine cycle.

- “Burning” connectors and or cable
- Open heater occasionally
- Triac shorts

What are the causes?
- Crimped Pins/Pin Push Back

* Operator doesn’t make connection straight on

- Environment is tough

* Oil, water, dust/dirt effect the connectors, specifically the pins
* Pins corrode over time
* Becomes more of a problem for TC’s with small signals

Solutions:
- Don’t reuse old stock – inserts and pins.
- Broken latches should be replaced immediately
- Replace cables every 3 to 5 years, some do annually
- Cost of downtime and research on problems outweigh replacement of cables and mold connectors

Connectors are the #1 disruptor to reliable hot runner temperature control. Ensuring cable and connector reliability is our primary focus. At Fast Heat, we do extensive testing on failure points and implement solutions to eliminate those failures with correct design. All Fast Heat cables are correctly rated, use machined pins and guide pins for larger connector densities.

Fast Heat’s Customer Support Manager, Manny Diaz, has more than 20 years of experience troubleshooting our customers’ greatest challenges and pain points. He can help with yours, too. Call or email Manny today!

Manufacturing Indicators

Consumer Orders on the Up-and-Up!

Caps and closures, packaging and automotive have led the plastics industry over the last year. And it’s no wonder—though the economy as a whole has seen modest growth, consumer need and pent-up demand has created an environment where, according to the October 2013 Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®, manufacturing has continued to expand over the last five consecutive months.

Consumer sentiment, while not overly confident, continues to grow the economy through purchasing power, fueling manufacturing production.

Despite “Beltway” shenanigans, conventional wisdom is trending toward seeing continued manufacturing growth.

What trends are your company experiencing? Share them with us and we’ll share them with our readers.

What’s On Your Wishlist?

It’s been an amazing 2013. We’ve had the privilege speak with so many of our customers this year and listen to their stories of higher product demand and additional price pressures on parts. We’ve helped them create higher quality parts to meet their new demands, innovate new molding opportunities for traditionally tough plastics, save on labor and scrap costs and become more productive overall.

But most importantly at Fast Heat, we’ve realized that we’ve created a company that continues to thrive on answering our customers’ calls. On building quality hot runner temperature controllers that help our customers become more competitive in their marketplace. On being innovative with new technologies that meet our customers’ needs.

This quarter, we’ve begun rolling out one such new technology that our customers asked for—a touch screen display for our Pulse hot runner temperature controller. Easy buttons, crisper colors and a larger screen allows operators to see readouts and input their recipes with ease.

We are also proud to announce the launch of our web-enabled Custom Cable & Connector Builder. Fast Heat has always built custom cables. Now we’ve made it easy for you to spec, build, save and purchase any cable configuration—online! We’ve even included a “wishlist” option so that you can virtually build cables and share them with managers or your purchasing department at your convenience.

At Fast Heat, we’re wishing for continued economic growth and prosperity in Q4 and beyond. That’s why we’re always here to help! Check out our website or give us a call at 630.359.6300. And be sure to take advantage of our FREE SPARE PAIR OF CABLES offer with any hot runner temperature controller purchased through 12/31/13.

Sincerely,
Tim Stojka
CEO

Fast Heat, Inc.

Posted in News

Fast Heat to Exhibit at Plastec Midwest Show: Join Us at Booth 1747!

Fast Heat, Inc., a manufacturer of customized hot runner temperature control solutions allowing customers to improve plant performance, productivity and quality since 1957, is exhibiting at the Plastec Midwest show, September 10-12, 2013 at McCormick Place, Lakeside, Chicago.

Visit us at Booth 1747 to see how Fast Heat can help you make higher quality plastic injection molded parts for your customers. We look forward to meeting you.

Posted in News

Easy Summer Read: Your Q3 Indicator Is Here!

Summer 2013
Summer is heating-up with many manufacturing sectors having some of their best quarters ever–think automotive and consumer goods. Due to pent-up consumer demand, our automotive OEM customers are telling us that they are at capacity, with three shifts constantly working on production. They are looking for new ways to innovate through R&D while still continuing cost-management plans boosting efficiencies in their production. Overall, the trends seem to indicate that our manufacturing partners expect continued growth over the next year!

 

Process Improvement

Customer Challenge: Preventative Maintenance

Call Manny at 630.589.8463 to help you with your preventative maintenance plan! Or email him at mdiaz@fastheat.com

It happens all the time. You get an indication that things aren’t running as well as they should be, but you have quotas and deadlines to meet and can’t take the time to find and fix the problem. Until a line goes down…and then there’s a mad scramble to fix the issue–and answer to management.

Regularly scheduled preventative maintenance is one way to avoid a line down situation and help your plant save valuable time and resources. At Fast Heat, we’ve found that summer is a good time of the year to accomplish this important task. Here’s a check list that can help get you started:

Controller 

- Check the air filters.

- Give your controller a general cleaning. Remove any dust, debris, oil and other contaminants from the controller cabinet, output modules, cables, connectors and any other components that plug into the controller.

- Inspect modules for any signs of burnt traces, delamination (traces lifting off the board), and any other indicators of wear.

- Inspect the fuses and fuse clips. Make sure you have good contact points. A loose fuse clip can cause a hot spot.

Heaters

- Now is a great time to replace any faulty heaters. Check the ohm values. If you don’t have the heater specifications readily available, the ohm values should be similar in value. The sprue heater may be different than the manifold and cavity heater.

Spare Parts  

- Always make sure you have plenty of spare parts on hand. A spare set of modules and cables on a shelf and “at-the-ready” is far more convenient than having to search for parts when a major problem arises during production.

Calibration  

- Over many years of service, modular controllers are known to have their temperature settings “drift” either up or down. Take the time to make sure everything is calibrated according to your needs.

If you don’t have the time or resources, consider scheduling a visit with a qualified technician for thorough preventative maintenance. This is a good time to also train new employees and provide a “refresher” for Maintenance Managers.

Fast Heat’s Customer Support Manager, Manny Diaz, has more than 20 years of experience troubleshooting our customers’ greatest challenges and pain points. He can help with yours, too. Call or email Manny today!

 

Manufacturing Indicators

Made in the USA

The summer season brings us many occasions for which to feel patriotic: Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.

With overseas production and shipping costs rising, manufacturers continue to revamp under-utilized plants and facilities, build new plants and add more workers and shifts to their payrolls—here at home. While the general public is also becoming more cognizant about where their food and goods originate and preferring home-grown goods over imports, the trends show that good old USA manufacturing is leading the way to building a stronger economy, rippling it’s way across many sectors.

These indicators have allowed manufacturing leaders to look more optimistically in their performance assessments for future company growth. For them, Made in the USA is paying dividends once again. Fast Heat has experienced this first hand as our hot runner temperature controllers, the Pulse and the Ion, are proudly Made in the USA!

What are some ways your company is making Made in the USA resonate with your customers? Share them with us and we’ll share them with our readers.

 

Preventative Maintenance: Keep Your Plant Running Strong

Factories sure have been humming this summer! With third shifts on and no regularly scheduled shut down this Q3, many of our manufacturing customers are meeting their production goals—but not necessarily their plant maintenance needs.

At Fast Heat, we know that preventative maintenance is critical to your plant’s productivity and your overall success. That’s why we want to extend a friendly reminder to take a bit of time and give your tooling and auxiliary equipment a thorough inspection before the Q4 upswing hits.

And as always, if you need technical service and support, cable and connectors, other parts or new controllers, we’re here to help. Check out our website or give us a call at 630.359.6300. And be sure to take advantage of our FREE SPARE MODULE OF YOUR CHOICE offer with any hot runner temperature controller purchase through 9/30/13.

Sincerely,
 
Tim Stojka
CEO
Fast Heat, Inc.

 

Posted in News

Moldmaking Technology Features Fast Heat Hot Runner Temperature Controllers!

Help Customers Gain Control of Mold and Part Quality

Take a closer look at a very important, and often overlooked, piece of auxiliary equipment that affects mold and part quality—the hot runner temperature controller.

Tooling manufacturers build their molds to last—and stay in service. That’s why they recoil at the thought of their injection molding customers asking, “Why is my mold not working properly?” After some troubleshooting, often the answer is not found in the tool, but in an exceptionally important, and often overlooked, piece of auxiliary equipment—the hot runner temperature controller.

Many injection molders still use the standard-issue modular controllers with 1970s technology. That equipment deficit is becoming a weak link in the manufacturing process. Molders are asking their moldmaking partners to build new tools that take advantage of breakthroughs in processes, product materials and complex part designs. But those molders are not considering that these new processes require that the temperature tolerances in their heaters be more precise than ever.

Read more here…

Posted in News

Spring Into Action: Your Q2 Indicator Is Here!

Spring 2013

Spring is finally here! That usually means consumers are out-in-force stocking-up on products and packaging made from plastic. But our economy has been anything but predictable. While the leading indicators do show continuing market growth, manufacturers are more cautious than ever regarding new hires and investments. At Fast Heat, our goal is to help our customers ramp-up their productivity, become more efficient by saving energy and reducing scrap–so they can reinvest those savings for business growth.

 

Indicators of Success

Process Improvement

Customer Challenge: Segregating Parts

The customer was intermittently experiencing inferior part production from a failing mold. With fulfillment deadlines looming, the customer could not afford to take the line down for mold maintenance.

High quality parts could be attained through constant mold adjustment. However, the customer could not dedicate one employee to continually watch the mold for intermittent errors–and the resulting bad parts–at the injection molding machine.

Solution: Manny was able to help the customer by outfitting a Pulse High Cavitation Hot Runner Temperature Controller with an Input/Output (I/O) package. The I/O was programmed to reverse the conveyor belt when the controller alarmed, redirecting any inferior parts into the sorting bins. This solved the need of assigning one employee to constantly tend the machine and kept inferior parts separated from the company’s high quality part production.

Tip: When outfitted with an I/O package, the hot runner temperature controller can be the main point of two-way communication between the IMM and all its other processing auxiliary equipment.

Program the four inputs to tell the hot runner temperature controller how to raise or lower temperatures in the heaters according to material processing conditions. This can prevent cold slugs from snapping screws and short shot resulting from restricted plastic flow to the mold.

Program the four outputs to control auxiliary actions based on specific alarm sequences. This can help reduce sorting challenges and keep employees performing meaningful duties.

Fast Heat’s Customer Support Manager, Manny Diaz, has more than 20 years of experience troubleshooting our customers’ greatest challenges and pain points. He can help with yours, too. Call or email Manny today!

 

Manufacturing Indicators

Focus on Medical

It’s always been assumed that the medical sector is “recession proof.” However, manufacturers in this group have been experiencing something a bit different during this economy.

With uncertainty surrounding the implementation of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), medical part manufacturers have found themselves in a holding pattern as far as adding new programs to their 2013 production line-up. And those manufacturers in the medical device sector are pulling back production and investment because of unknown impacts with new 2013 taxes implemented by the law on their products and not knowing if their products will be reimbursable.

Physicians and hospitals still need supplies, but overall demand is down. And that means that manufacturers have to find new ways to become more productive with the workforce they have while preparing for the unknown–and having to wait until 2020 for the entire PPACA law to be implemented.

What are some ways you are managing your medical parts production amid uncertainty? Share them with us and we’ll share them with our readers.

 

Productivity Is Still #1

Heading into the second quarter of the year, our customers are telling us that 2013 has so far been challenging. While certain economic indicators are starting to lift from their doldrums (housing, automotive), there hasn’t yet been the overall and overwhelming surge from pent-up demand the economy really needs to get steaming again.

Customers are indicating that they are expecting the second half of the year to be much better than the first and are ramping-up their expectations and programming accordingly. Employment challenges, on-shoring operations, fuel costs, materials costs, capital equipment costs and other pressures on margins are making productivity more crucial to their overall bottom-line.

By carefully listening to our customers and customizing their ION or PULSE hot runner temperature according to their productivity needs, we are helping them successfully navigate the ups and downs of today’s economy.

At Fast Heat, we know we can help you become more productive than ever. Check out our website or give us a call at 630.359.6300. And be sure to take advantage of our FREE I/O Package offer on any hot runner temperature controller through 6/30/13.

Sincerely,
Sean Rainsford
General Manager
Fast Heat, Inc.
Posted in News

FastHeat to Exhibit at AmeriMold 2013 Show

Fast Heat, Inc. will be exhibiting at the 2013 AmeriMold trade show, a technical conference and networking event that connects mold manufacturing and plastic injection molding, June 12-13 at the Donald E. Stephens Center 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont, Illinois. Come visit Fast Heat at booth #620. You can map our location, here.

The AmeriMold trade show floor features exhibitors displaying products used for designing, machining, repairing and injection molding molds. Products on display include: machine tools, cutting tools, CAD/CAM, 3D printers, mold components, materials, mold / die / tool services.

Fast Heat will be featuring it’s state-of-the-art hot runner temperature controllers for plastic injection molding manufacturers as well as other technically advanced auxiliary equipment.

Posted in News
Find out how Fast Heat can help you manage your temperature with our custom hot runner temperature controllers—and find cost savings!
Call 630-359-6300 / 877-747-8575 or email info@fastheat.com today!