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Davies Molding

For 90 years Davies Molding has been a premier manufacturer of plastic parts.

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Embracing Excellence: Davies Molding's Manufacturing Day Tradition

Posted by Davies Molding

Nov 7, 2023 2:02:24 PM

Davies Molding is proud to be able to celebrate Manufacturing Day and continue the long tradition of US based manufacturing excellence. Manufacturing day is held the first Friday in October. Manufacturing Day gives us, manufacturers, at Davies, the perfect chance to shine a spotlight on our manufacturing expertise and the incredible skills of our workforce. It's all about inspiring the next generation of skilled workers. We open our doors to showcase the potential of modern manufacturing and foster interest in manufacturing careers.

Why is there a manufacturing day?

Across the country, organizations showed the public what manufacturing really looks like through more than Manufacturing Custom Parts2,600 open houses and other events in each of the 50 states along with Puerto Rico, according to The hosted events had an estimated 400,000+ students, parents, and community members attending. This community outreach is important as, according to the National Association of Manufacturers, manufacturing accounts for 10.94% of the total output in the states and employs nearly 9% of the workforce. The total manufacturing output for 2019 was $2,345.85 billion which is an increase of $600 billion since 2010. In addition, there was an average of 12,182,000 manufacturing employees in the United States in 2020, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. There continues to be strong demand for local talent to join the manufacturing industry. In fact, according to a study by Deloitte, as many as 2.1 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled by 2030 due to lack of qualified applicants. During the pandemic-challenged year of 2020, the manufacturing industry lost 578k jobs and at any given point in the last 6 months, nearly 500k jobs have remained open. This is an ideal time to get involved as manufacturing continues to grow and the talent pool is low.

Why does Davies participate in manufacturing day?

With a rich history spanning nine decades, Davies has proudly participated in every National Manufacturing Day thus far, and we are firmly committed to remaining an integral part of this celebration for all the forthcoming Manufacturing Days to come. The plastics and rubber products industry is one of the top 10 manufacturing sectors in the US. Davies Molding stands as a premier player in the plastic products industry, consistently ranking among the biggest and best composite and plastic manufacturers. With this position in the market, there is continuous high demand for our top-notch products leading to a high demand for quality employees to make these components. We recognize how important local talent is to our success as a company and the immense value they bring to Davies Molding. We will continue to support local recruiting events, like manufacturing day to find the best talent available for the future growth of Davies Molding.

Davies will be steadfast in our dedication to serve our customers and provide our local community employment opportunities at our world class Injection and Compression Molding facility. Visit our new website to learn about our famous knobs and plastic products that we manufacturer every day. If you are a local school or other training facility and would like to schedule a visit to teach your students about manufacturing of plastic and composite components, contact us at (800) 554-9208 and we can schedule a visit. We believe that the future of Davies Molding depends on the youth of today.


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Topics: Custom Molding, Davies Molding Company News

Thermoset Plastic Molding

Posted by Davies Molding

May 18, 2023 10:43:23 AM

Thermoset plastic molding is an advanced manufacturing process that enables the creation of highly customized parts with enhanced design flexibility, superior strength, exceptional durability, and excellent chemical resistance. Unlike thermoplastics, tThermoset Imagehermoset products maintain their structural integrity over time, making them ideal for demanding environments where quality is crucial. Additionally, the minimal shrinkage exhibited by thermoset products during the curing process allows for intricate details and precise customization options, further expanding their versatility. Thermoset plastic parts are produced by utilizing heat and pressure to transform raw materials into precisely shaped parts. In contrast to thermoplastic molding, thermoset molding involves the application of high pressure to room temperature pellets or powders, which are then introduced into a heated mold. Within the mold, the polymers in the material undergo cross-linking during the curing process, resulting in an unbreakable and irreversible bond. The pellets or powders used in thermoset molding commonly consist of epoxy, phenolic, or polyester resin. While thermoplastic molding has traditionally enjoyed greater popularity, manufacturers are increasingly embracing thermoset molding due to its array of advantageous features.

What are the key benefits of thermoset molding?

    1. Design Flexibility: Thermoset molding allows for a wide range of design options. IncludingThermoset Materials Puck the ability to produce complex shapes along with details not available in traditional molding. This makes thermoset products an ideal choice for custom project.
    2. High strength: Thermoset plastics are known for their high strength and stiffness. This makes them ideal for producing thinner parts, parts with longer ribs, and other features that require high strength-to-weight ratio. Parts produced using thermoset molding can withstand high stress, making them suitable for applications where durability and reliability are required.
    3. High and low temperature resistance: Thermoset plastics are capable of withstanding high and low temperatures without melting, becoming malformed or broken. This means that parts produced using thermoset molding can be used in high-temperature or very low temperatures applications, where other plastic materials would not hold up 
    4. Low shrinkage: Thermoset plastics are ideal for applications where tight tolerances, precise measurements and details are critical. During the curing process, thermoset plastics experience minimal shrinkage allowing for more complex dimensions and details which are difficult to achieve with other molding processes. Plus, thermoset parts will retain their shape and size over time and in harsh environments.
    5. Chemical Resistance: The resins used in making thermoset parts are resistant to acids, alkalis, solvents, and oils making these parts ideal for more demanding environments.

What are some use cases for Thermoset?

Thermoset molding is a rapidly expanding option across many industries as companies look for parts that can hold up under extreme conditions. Below are some of the industries where you will find thermoset molded parts:IMG_1059

    1. Electrical: Thermoset parts are used for insulators, circuit breakers, transformers, and other electrical components where there may be high temperature or stress.
    2. Industrial equipment: Thermoset parts are used in pumps, valves, and compressors.
    3. Energy and power generation: Thermoset parts are used in wind turbine blades, solar panels, and power plants.
    4. Consumer goods: Thermoset parts are used in electronics, appliances, and sporting equipment.
    5. Construction: Thermoset parts are used in pipes, fittings, and roofing materials.
    6. Marine: Thermoset molded parts are used in boat hulls, decks, and interiors.
    7. Automotive: Thermoset molded parts are used extensively in the automotive industry for engines, electrical systems, and different components on the inside of the vehicle.
    8. Aerospace: In the aerospace industry, thermoset parts are used for aircraft interiors, engines, along with structural components.
    9. Medical devices: Thermoset parts are used in many different types of medical devices, including surgical instruments, diagnostic equipment, or implants.
    10. Military equipment: Thermoset parts are used in weapons, vehicles, and aircraft.

Thermoset molding is an advanced manufacturing process that produces parts with a range of benefits over traditional plastic molding including better details, greater strength, higher durability, and superior chemical resistance. Thermoset molded parts are the perfect solution for companies seeking high quality customizable parts that will outlast standard plastic parts.


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Topics: Thermoset Molding

What is the difference between Thermoset molding and Thermoplastic molding?

Posted by Davies Molding

Apr 27, 2023 2:02:53 PM

Thermoset and thermoplastic material is often used for making various plastic parts, including knobs, handles, controls, containers and more. While these two types of plastic materials are alike, they are different in their chemical properties and therefore used in different applications, Each type has unique advantages and disadvantages in how they can be used and we will review each below.

What are the advantages of both Thermoset molding and Thermoplastic molding?Plastic Knobs

Thermoset materials offer excellent stability and resistance to high temperatures, making this material ideal for applications such as electrical components or industrial equipment that are subjected to harsher environments. Making thermoset parts also tends to be more cost-effective than other materials in high-volume production jobs, due to their ability to be molded quickly and with little to no waste.

Thermoplastic materials, on the other hand, offers greater flexibility and toughness, making them a popular choice for consumer products such as kitchen products or even toys. They can also be easily recycled, reducing their environmental waste and increasing their appeal to environmentally conscious consumers.

Despite their differences, both thermoset and thermoplastic materials are used in the creation of knobs, handles, and other components. Depending on the intended use and desired properties of the finished product, manufacturers can select the appropriate material and molding process to ensure a high-quality, durable product that meets the needs of their customers.

How does the process vary between Thermoset molding and Thermoplastic molding?

The process of creating knobs and handles from thermoset and thermoplastic materials can vary depending on the desired outcome, but there are some general steps that are common between both types.

First, the material is selected based upon the specifications of the final product.

  • Thermoset materials, such as epoxy or polyester, are ideal for components that require high heat resistance and stability at different sizes.
  • Thermoplastic materials, such as polypropylene or polycarbonate, are better suited for applications requiring flexibility and toughness.

After the material is chosen, it's usually melted or combined with other components to make it better. These can be things like coloring or materials that make it stronger. For thermoplastics, this process is relatively simple, as the material can be melted and molded repeatedly Custom Molding Machinewithout significant changes in its properties. In contrast, thermoset undergoes a chemical change as it hardens. This means it is really important to mix the ingredients carefully and keep the temperature and time just right to make sure it turns out correctly.

After the raw material is prepared, it is molded into a specific shape using an injection molding machine. Injection molding involves heating the material to a high temperature and injecting it into a mold under high pressure. The mold is designed into a desired shape including the details of the finished product, such as a textured grip or a threaded insert.

What are the options in finishing the molded product?

Once the material has cooled and become solid, the product is removed and finished. Finishing may involve:

  • Trimming excess material
  • Sanding rough edges
  • Adding engravings or other markings
  • Applying a coating or finish to improve the appearance or durability of the product

Creating knobs, handles, and other components from thermoset and thermoplastic materials is a relatively straight-forward process that requires expertise to execute properly at high volume. Attention to detail is crucial in order to achieve consistent quality and performance. When selecting the material and molding process, it's important to consider factors such as the component's intended use, expected lifespan, and any safety or regulatory requirements.



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Topics: Custom Molding

A Warm Welcome to Yusuf!

Posted by Davies Molding

Jul 17, 2018 10:26:00 AM

We are pleased to welcome Yusuf Waxali to Davies Molding. He has recently started the position of Mechanical Engineer. After graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2016, he worked at the Intec Group, a tier-two automotive plastic injection molding company. There he developed strong skills in CMM programing and injection molding simulation. 

Yusuf has a centralized focus in plastic part and tool design as well as tool building/maintenance. He will be very busy at Davies learning new information, but plans to continue playing soccer and reading in his spare time.

plastic holding employee

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Topics: About the Company, Davies Molding Company News

Meet Our Newest Davies Member

Posted by Davies Molding

Jun 5, 2015 2:28:10 PM

It's summer time!  That means time for BBQs, pool days and college interns at Davies Molding.  We're excited to have a marketing intern this summer, Claudia.  Claudia will be working on various marketing projects including: updating product information, assisting with website projects, working on social media and much more.

plastic molding employee Claudia


Claudia grew up in St. Charles, IL and currently attends the University of Texas at Austin, where she's studying government.  She is also getting certificates in Business Foundations and Elements of Computing.  When Claudia is not in school, she enjoys training for competitive running and triathlon races, hiking and reading.

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Topics: Davies Molding Company News

The Impact of 3-D Printing on Custom Plastic Molding

Posted by Davies Molding

Jan 15, 2014 9:00:00 AM

How does 3-D printing technology affect an 80 year old plastic knob and custom plastic parts manufacturer?  That was one of the questions that was asked to Derran Smith, President of Davies Molding, in a recent interview on CEO Intronet.

“The advancements in 3-D printing is growing everyday,” said Derran in the interview. “It can help our customers build and tweak a finished product to the exact point where they know it is going to work before we invest in cutting significant tools steel, which saves everyone time and money.”

metal-to-plastic-part-conversion3-D printing prototypes are often very helpful when converting a metal part to plastic.  Plastic parts are dent-resistant and lighter, and utilizing 3-D printing to prepare the prototypes allows the conversion process to move faster. Davies Molding has manufactured several metal to plastic conversion parts for the food service, commercial HVAC, and automotive industries.  Details of these projects can be found in our custom molding portfolio.

Want to learn more about metal to plastic conversions?  Contact us and we can discuss how we can efficiently create a plastic component from your metal component. 


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Topics: Custom Molding

The New Trend in Industrial Shift Knobs

Posted by Davies Molding

Jan 2, 2014 9:51:35 AM

Shifter knobs can be found in vehicles, cranes, tractors, and other types of machinery where manipulating gears are required. Davies’ shifter knobs can be customized to meet specific requirements such as operating instructions or customer logos. Secondary operations include laser engraving, pad printing, or hot stamping, applying inlays or mylars, color matching, drilling, machining, and a new finishing trend- hydrographic printing.

decorative-finish-industrial-shift-knobsHydrographic printing is a popular trend for adding customizable designs, colors, and textures to shift knobs.  As you might have guessed, it's a water-based printing process and a  high gloss polyurethane hydrographics clearcoat makes the printing durable and long-lasting.

 Spectrum Industries, does a good job of describing the process in 6 easy steps.

1) Parts are loaded onto custom tooling.

2) Parts are prepped by washing or painting.

3) Parts are dried.

4) Parts are dipped in the hydrographic printing bath.

5) Top coat is applied based on the application for the part.  Exterior and Interior durability options.

6) Parts are inspected before shipping.

Check out this neat video of how hydrographic printing works.

Plastic knobs designed for heavy equipment and industrial use are available in a wide range of sizes, but the most popular are ball and lever knobs.  Our ball and lever knobs come in a variety of styles and sizes and are available in phenolic, nylon, or polypropylene. Phenolic materials are typcially stonger that thermoplastics like nylon, and are a popular choice for durable, long-lastic shifter knobs.  However, thermoplastic materials such as nylon have a high impact strength, and can be molded into just about any color you can dream up.  And now with hydrographic printing, you can choose the material you want and add a customizable finish that makes it yours.  Want more information?  Check out our hydrographic printing info page or call us at 1-800-554-9208.

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Topics: Plastic Knob Insert Molding, Custom Molding

Custom Molding: Choosing the right material for your plastic knob or handle

Posted by Davies Molding

Dec 5, 2013 7:44:03 AM

Nothing is more important than choosing the right material for your plastic knob or handle.  Careful consideration of the end user and application can save time and money in the long-run.  Don’t know where to start?  Here is list of materials for both thermoset plus thermoplastic and their applications to get you started.  Talk to our highly trained technical sales and engineering staff if you have questions.  We work with hundreds of various materials and constantly reviewing new materials as they come on the market. 

What materials are available for plastic knobs and which is right for my application?

Thermoplastic Materials



Applications and Uses


Extremely rigid, high melting point, high strength, good frictional properties, resistance to fatigue

Gears, bearings, bushings, cams, housings, conveyors, plumbing fixtures, gas tank caps, automotive door handles, seat belt components, and zippers


Exceptional resistance to long-term exposure to sunlight and weathering, outstanding clarity, good light transmission

Swimming pools, skylights, sinks, washbasins, room dividers, and the tail lights on automobiles

Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS)

Outstanding impact strength and high mechanical strength, great as a substrate for metalizing

Appliances, automotive parts, pipe, business machines, telephone components, shower heads, door handles, faucet handles, and automotive front grilles


Known for their stability and adaptability

Automotive parts, electrical and electronic applications, and packaging


Exceptional mechanical, thermal and chemical resistant properties

Aerospace, heavy equipment, and automotive


Known for its strength, toughness, chemical resistance, and high melting points

Automotive, appliances, electrical and electronic applications, ovenware, and outdoor lighting

Thermoset Materials



Applications and Uses


Excellent heat resistance, dimensionally stable under components,excellent dielectric strength

Electrical applications like circuit breaker insulation, switchgear, cases, housings, capacitor and resistor encapsulation, automotive parts, and coatings

BMC (Bulk Molding Compound)

Highly rigid, impact resistant, exceptional physical and aesthetic properties, high strength-to-weight ratio

Appliance parts, electric and electrical components, HVAC components, industrial light housings, automotive, recessed lighting baffles

Diallyl Phthalate (DAP)

Virtually no post-mold shrinkage, high impact resistance, resistant to sudden and extreme jolts and severe stresses, recommended for very high temperatures, chemical resistant, fungus resistant

Cross-linking agent, thermosetting molding powders, casting resins, and laminates, military, electronic components

Custom Molding

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Topics: Custom Molding

3 FABTECH Takeaways from Davies Molding

Posted by Davies Molding

Nov 26, 2013 8:10:00 AM

Luckily Davies Molding is close to Chicago, so I get to take a few hours out of my work day to go down to manufacturing shows at McCormick Place and check out some cool new stuff in manufacturing.  On Thursday I visited FABTECH to see what's new in the welding and fabrication world.  Here are my 3 takeaways from the event:

  1. Lincoln Electric's Welding Simulator.  Except for a few embarrassing minutes of trying to figure out how to put the welding helmut/mask on, I thoroughly enjoyed my hand at welding in the simulater truck from Lincoln Electric.  I was thrilled when the instructor told me my score- 65 and commented "not bad for a beginner".  Here's the video link:  knurled-soft-touch-knobs
  2. Cool new Davies Molding plastic knobs on welding machines.  They're soft touch overmold knurled control knobs and they look great on these machines, don't they?
  3. Terrific Tradeshow Swag. Thanks to generous vendors, I came back to the office with a bag of goodies, from "Keep it made in America" key chains to nifty tote bags for my coworkers. But my prize "swag" from the show was a metal hanger from Swagelok -2 pieces of the hanger was welded together at its booth in a demo. That one I gave to my boss, of course.
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Topics: Control Knobs

It's in the details -specialized packaging for plastic knobs and handles

Posted by Davies Molding

Oct 28, 2013 12:05:00 PM

Quality needs to continue even after your plastic knob or handle has been made.  Improperly packaged parts can cause defective goods, resulting in lost manufacturing time and lost revenue. Davies Molding provides a variety of packaging requirements such as bagging, layer packaging, clamshell or blister packaging, and bar code labelling to make sure your plastic knobs and handles arrive securely packed the way you need it.  Here is a list of some specialized packaging for plastic knobs and handles:

  • Bagging: Thermoset Phenolic Knobs are durable and heat-resistant, but can be prone to chipping if not packaged plastic_knob_bagging_imageproperly.  Wrapping and bagging are important for phenolic knobs to ensure they arrive for your project in proper shape. At Davies Molding, we make sure our phenolic knobs are packed properly to arrive in pristine condition


  • Egg Crate Packaging: Just as the name implies, we pack some of our knobsplastic-knob-egg-crate-pkg that require extra care in egg crate style packaging.  This is important for knobs shipped long distances and with intricate designs



  • Layer Packaging: Layer packing is a cost-effective way to pack knobs and handles for long distance shipping and keeps the parts in an easy-to store package for longer-term storage. Thin cardboard inserts separate each layer and protect the knobs from chipping


  • Barcode Labeling: In addition to offering packaging that protects your plastic knobs and handles, Davies Molding provides bar code labeling to track and  identify the parts at your manufacturing facility.





Need help deciding which packaging might work best for your plastic part?  Call us today at 1-800-554-9208 for more information. 

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Topics: Plastic Knob Insert Molding

Interested in custom molding options?

Davies Molding 90 Year Logo

For 90 years Davies’ has been molding custom plastic components for all industries, including lighting, lawn & garden, industrial machinery, medical, oil & gas, and many more. Our compression, injection, and transfer molding capabilities provide tremendous flexibility in part design and production.

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