Steve Johnson's career in the area of tooling management and maintenance was built around something his father taught him from childhood whenever he and his brothers built or repaired anything: "Remember that someone will have to maintain this." Johnson was recently named as the SPE's Mold Making and Mold Design Division's 2014 Mold Designer of the Year.
Johnson's career in mold maintenance and repair began after he left the military and went to work for Calmar Inc., an OEM specializing in high-production caps and closures for a variety of consumer products. He tells the story that on his first day on the job they set an old insulated hot runner on his bench and said, "Here Johnson. Fix this." When he asked where the maintenance manual was, they threw him a log book with handwritten scribbles. "This was the motivation I needed to begin developing MoldTrax, a documentation system for molds. As of today, it is the only one like it in the industry, bar none," says Johnson.
He stayed with Calmar for 24 years, honing his craft along with the MoldTrax system, and taking evening courses in mechanical design at Southern State Community College. In 1998, he was invited to write an article on mold maintenance for Injection Molding Magazine. From that article, Johnson was invited to create a four-hour, then an eight-hour mold maintenance course to present around the country for a training company called TechTracks (no relation to MoldTrax).