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October 2016

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Linear AMS Expands Molding and Tooling Business



"With its recent acquisition by East Aurora, NY-based Moog Inc., Linear AMS, formerly Linear Mold & Engineering, is quickly cementing its position as the Midwest's leading provider of additive manufacturing (AM) capacity and expertise, with strong engineering and process qualification support from Moog," said a company spokesperson. Now Linear is announcing new investment in the molding and tooling side of its business with company veteran Lou Young heading the effort.

"We are a one-stop partner for everything from mold and part design through process qualification, and it remains critical that every Linear employee knows that every task is about adding value to the customer," Young said. "With specialties including prototyping, mold building and low-volume production for automotive and non-automotive companies, our 3-D printing and metal AM capabilities are rewriting the manufacturing rule book. Tooling, however, remains the heart of production success."

The company is in the midst of adding two new account management experts for tooling and molding, in addition to new capital equipment at its Livonia, MI, injection molding facility. "This is all aimed at supporting an already strong customer-centric culture," said Young. "We are at our most effective establishing collaborative problem-solving and custom solutions with our customers centered on design, engineering, prototyping and low-volume production." Linear's strengths include conducting design and feasibility studies, full black-box design, advanced process support and deep CNC machine shop and metal AM capacity.

"General interest in 3-D printing and AM is white-hot right now," said Young. "The ability to incorporate 3-D printing with traditional tooling allows us to offer established companies innovative solutions for their existing manufacturing processes (e.g., molds and castings) together with new 3-D metal-printed components that can make those existing tools much better. For companies making millions of parts, a cycle time reduction of 25 to 30% can be pretty disruptive, both from the part design side and from the production side.

"These companies want to know about design techniques for cooling channels, water lines and how we could optimize inserts for particular parts. With our knowledge and experience both on the 3-D side of printing metal inserts and our mold manufacturing expertise, we can go further and simulate how those optimized designs not only work better, but maybe in 30% less time. We are able to present testimonials from customers who not only used the concepts, but showed we were able to hit the improvement marks we predicted. We consider large companies that mold millions of plastic parts annually leaders because they have their molding systems down to a science. Being a part of introducing them to a disruptive technology that can drastically change their core business is profound to see and something we intend to continue."

Conformal Cooling

Production molds with 3-D printed conformal cooling lines are a Linear AMS specialty. "As opposed to drilled holes, 3-D printed heating or cooling lines are designed to follow the contours of the part," Young said. "Placing them at an optimal distance from the part surface means the mold can maintain a constant temperature and avoid warps and sinks. Testing these cooling lines with finite element analysis means we can fine-tune conformal cooling lines to accurately predict optimum mold performance and improved cycle times."

Linear AMS has qualified cycle-time reductions from 15% up to as much as 45%. This not only means reduced energy output, but also extra capacity for a customer. Other tangible benefits include less scrap, improved final part quality and much more flexibility when it comes to part features and the mold components necessary to make them.

For more information contact:

Linear AMS

12926 Stark Road

Livonia, MI 48150

734-422-6060

www.linearams.com

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