Tuesday, June 18th, 2013
At an event during Amerimold 2013 in Rosemont, IL on June 12th, the Society of Plastics Engineers’ (SPE) Mold Making and Mold Design Division gave its Mold Maker of the Year Award for 2013 to Roger Klouda, president of MSI Mold Builders Inc., Cedar Rapids, IA.
The awards go to people who have shown they can adapt to changing technology, provide career and technical guidance to others, and share their information and experience with others in the industry. That description fits Roger Klouda perfectly, and there is still more worthy of respect.
In 1978, Klouda joined MSI Mold Builders, which his parents had founded in 1971. In 1990, the company moved to its present 35,000 square foot facility in Cedar Rapids. Continuing to grow, in 2001 MSI opened a 20,000 square foot facility in Greenville, SC to better service its clients in the Southeast.
Today, the 75 employees in the two plants can produce tools from eight by eight inches to six by eight feet and weighing up to 30 tons. The company is driven by lean principals, continuous process improvement, and commitment to ISO principals, having received ISO 9001:2008 Certification in 2010.
Besides his involvement with SPE, Klouda is very active in SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association, of which MSI Mold Builders is a long-term member. He currently is a member of SPI’s National Board, Board of Directors, Membership Subcommittee, and Equipment Council, and in the past has held other positions. That part of the Mold Builder of the Year that is for sharing information and experience with others is evident at SPI meetings.
The part of the award recognizing career and technical guidance is evident from Klouda’s activity with Kirkwood Community College, also in Cedar Rapids. He provided seed money for a tuition assistance program at the college to help students complete the CNC Machinist Certification Program.
Klouda is also active outside the plastics sector. For example, he helps the iWarriors organization set up three years ago by another mold maker, Tim Bartz of Mold Craft Inc. (Willernie, MN). iWarriors organizes donations of iPads to wounded members of the 5th Marine Regiment, which recently in Afghanistan added to a long history of hard combat. The iPads help wounded Marines stay in touch with family and friends, a key aspect of their recovery.