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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

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

Mold Flow Simulation Analysis for Custom Molding

Posted by Marketing Manager at Davies Molding

Mar 24, 2016 12:00:00 PM

The Davies Molding engineering team utilizes mold flow analysis software to create tooling for new custom molding projects.  Mold flow analysis simulates the flow of plastic into the mold cavity during the injection molding process.  It provides a qualitative analysis of the quality of the part that will be produced.

Mold flow analysis can predict if changes will be needed with the wall thickness, gate location, material or part geometry.  Combined with 3D printing, it's faster and less expensive to perform a mold flow analysis than making physical prototypes to test.  The analysis is especially useful for parts that will require plating, as knit line locations are important to know.


Mold flow analysis benefits include:

  • Eliminate costly re-work
  • Improve part quality
  • Accelerate time product reaches the market
  • Troubleshooting steps and practical design advice to help diagnose and avoid potential problems

Davies Molding custom part process


Learn more about our engineering capabilities by visiting or email us at


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Topics: Custom Molding

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

Custom Knobs: just like Burger King- we make them your way!

Posted by Marketing Manager at Davies Molding

Nov 13, 2013 7:37:55 AM

Having the right color part is very important for many applications that require knobs, either because it is functional, industry or product specific, or for appearance. The standard color for phenolic material is black. Other colors are available, but usually cost more. Red is the second most popular phenolic knob color, typically used for ball or lever knobs.  phenolic-balls

Unlike thermoset phenolic, thermoplastic materials have a very wide range of available colors. In many cases you can match your color target exactly to a PMS number.



In addition to color, knobs can be customized with a variety of finishes.  One of the most popular finishes is laser engraving, and then pad printing, for adding instructions or a logo to your knob.  At Davies Molding, we have over 80 years of experience making custom knobs for companies in a wide range of industries.  We will be happy to assist you in choosing the right finish for your application. Contact one of our experienced account representatives at 1-800-554-9208, who will be happy to assist you with your knob needs!

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Topics: Custom Molding

Custom Plastic Molding for Valve Controls

Posted by Marketing Manager at Davies Molding

Nov 8, 2013 5:00:00 AM

There are a variety of plastic knobs that are particularly suited for manual valve controls.  “T” or Bar knobs are the most popular plastic knobs used for manual valve control applications. Here are examples of different shapes of bar knobs available.  


Options for custom molding your Bar or T Knobs include:
  • Variety of thermoplastic and phenolic materials
  • Sizes ranging from 1-1/32” to 3-3/8” in diameter
  • Female insert, projecting stud and thru-hole options. 
  • Knobs can be decorated  or branded to your specific need.

Contact Davies Molding for a free sample or call us at 1-800-554-9208 to discuss your custom molding needs.

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Topics: Custom Molding

Made in the USA Butterfly Valve

Posted by Marketing Manager at Davies Molding

Nov 1, 2013 1:40:23 PM

butterfly-valve-thermoset-moldedWe have a long history of manufacturing plastic knobs, especially phenolic plastic knobs.  But we also mold phenolic custom plastic parts, such as the plastic butterfly valve for the oil & gas industry. We started manufacturing butterfly valves a few years ago because the company that needed them got fed up with their overseas vendor. 

Long lead times, poor communication, and inconsistent quality from their overseas vendor made them decide to source domestically, and Davies Molding got the call to quote. We were able to manufacture a butterfly valve that met their strict quality standards and short lead times.  We chose a compression molding process using a phenolic material that is chemical and water resistant – key attributes for a butterfly valve.  We now manufacture a large range of sizes of butterfly valves along with other custom compression molding. 

Check out our custom molding portfolio for more information or contact us for a custom quote.


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Topics: Custom Molding

Reduce Costs by switching your metal parts to plastic

Posted by Marketing Manager at Davies Molding

Sep 30, 2013 7:47:12 AM

metal-to-plastic-part-conversionAre your metal parts rusting or denting?  Do you need multiple operations such as welding and bending to machine your metal part?  If you answered yes to either of those questions, you should consider switching to a plastic part.  Plastic parts resist rust and denting, can be custom colored, and have high impact strength - not to mention are cheaper to produce.  Want to learn more?  We've put together a 24-page ebook to help you learn more converting metal to plastic parts and about the molding process-click here to view our optimized process, or call to schedule a design consultation today.  Visit our product portfolio to learn more about metal to plastic conversion parts for the Automotive, HVAC, and food Service Industries.
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Topics: Custom 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.

Custom Quote Request


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