AMBA Conference 2021: Celebrating AMBA Members

During AMBA Conference 2021, AMBA members were asked to share their essential work completed during the pandemic. In addition to the AMBA Conference 2021 kickoff video, where the AMBA community was celebrated for its past connections, current work and future possibilities, AMBA is publishing the additional stories shared by its members. 

A1 Tool Corporation

Cardinal Health came to A1 Tool Corporation during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and asked for urgent assistance in making a mold to produce face shields for first responders. The team quickly improved the sample part’s geometry, produced a functioning mold and shipped it in just a couple days (quicker than the PO receipt)!  An efficient turnaround time + high demand was so high resulted in producing a second capacity mold.

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Accede Mold & Tool Co., Inc.

Accede Mold & Tool Co., Inc. built many medical/diagnostics and consumer packaging molds used to produce products that were used on the front-line battle against the pandemic. Management at the company emphasized their gratitude for their employees, who put themselves at risk by continuing essential work during the pandemic, and their supply chain partners and customers.

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Alliance Specialties and Laser Sales

Following through on their passion for the iWarriors cause, Alliance Specialities and Laser Sales continued with its annual golf outing and raised $20,000 for the cause during the pandemic. The iWarriors™ mission is to assist severely injured Veterans of the Armed Forces by providing them with personalized tablets to aid in their return, recovery, and reintegration.

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Autodesk

Utilizing the resources available at Autodesk workshops in San Francisco, Boston, Toronto, and Birmingham, UK, technology center members joined forces to help bridge the gap in PPE shortages by facilitating the production of much-needed face shields. 

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Buss Precision Mold Inc.

Buss Precision Molds completed 4-5 projects that directly related to the testing capacity for the Covid-19 virus. Jonathan Buss (pictured here) even flew two of the molds in his own aircraft to expedite their delivery to the customer, allowing them to start production a full 1-2 days earlier (as well as test the same day the mold arrived).

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Chicago Mold Engineering

In response to the pandemic, Chicago Mold Engineering did several jobs for customers, including three separate face shield programs (pictured here) for a customer during the summer of 2020. Additionally, the company was part of a project that created three component parts for a ventilator project in May – July of 2020. 

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Compumold Tool & Design, Inc.

In early April 2020, Compumold Tool & Design, Inc. was contacted by Netzer Plastics in Medford to build a mold on an expedited time frame for an injection mold face shields project. Milwaukee Makerspace was making and donating shields for free to area hospitals, but the existing CNC cut frame took too long to produce. Together, the companies were able to design a mold that replaced the need to router cut out the frame for the face shield. Our toolmakers worked over Easter weekend to produce the mold in a six-day period.

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Concept Molds

In April 2020, Concept molds built a mold on a donation basis that produced the headband portion for PPE face shields. The contributing team at Concept Molds is pictured here.

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Detail Mold & Manufacturing

During the pandemic, Detail Mold & Engineering completed a Class 101 mold for COVID rapid-testing kits. From design to production, the project was completed in a total of six weeks. 

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Die-Tech & Engineering

In March 2020, Die-Tech & Engineering responded to an urgent call from General Motors to make ventilators for the coronavirus effort. Alongside Twin city Die Castings, Minneapolis, MN, workers crammed months of work into only a few days to complete the first piston parts for the ventilator project. 

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DME

DME joined the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic when the injection molding team at A.L.P. LexaLite’s Charlevoix, MI facility, mobilized to design and manufacture Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) face shields for front-line health care workers. They rapidly reorganized tooling and manufacturing functions to support this critical need, and, through its knowledge of health care requirements and standards, worked together to quickly design and tool the face shields in an unprecedented 10-day turnaround.

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Eden Tool Company

Eden Tool Company mobilized during the pandemic to generate a ventilator mold (pictured here).

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Eifel Mold & Engineering

Throughout 2020, Eifel Mold & Engineering continued to work on their Polaris projects, which included vital pieces of equipment used by organizations critical to the nation's essential infrastructure, such as federal, state and local governments; the U.S. Department of Defense; first responders and emergency response services; and other indispensable industries and businesses. 

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Elba Tool Company

Elba Tool Company worked alongside S&C Electric Company, a strategic partner, during the COVID pandemic. Together, the two companies collaborated on several mold design and builds, keeping both on track and in business.

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HRSflow/Proper Group International

Proper Group and HRSflow teamed up to rapidly produce molds for the two-component front and rear housings for this ventilator. Together, they were able to expedite the project so that it was completed in days, not weeks.

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HS Inc.

At HS Inc., the team was fortunate to work with West Michigan Molding. During the pandemic, the company not only remained open, but met the challenge, representing the mold manufacturing industry on three successful short-delivery medical related projects.

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Industrial Molds

In partnership with Tessy Plastics, Industrial Molds built (two) 16 cavity 2 shot tools and (four) 8 cavity 2 shot molds.  All told, the company built a total of 128 stacks in an eight-week time frame.

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Liberty Molds

Liberty Molds answered the call to help with the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, when the company received a request from the Ford Motor Company to help manufacture components for critical respirators. Once the company received this request, their team contacted their local Hurco representative at Braun Machinery to expedite a critical order. Within only one day, new Hurco machines were shipped, delivered and installed, allowing the company to meet the urgent deadline.

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Makino

Pictured is a machine installation at EVCO Plastics in DeForest, WI. During the COVID pandemic, Makino personnel met with the customer for essential start-up training.

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Master Tool and Mold

Pictured are the parts for a pump that went on a ventilator. This is a four cavity mold, with two core pulls per cavity (one hydraulic and one mechanical), a total of four slides and hardened H-13 and S-7. The entire mold was completed on a four-and-a-half week timeline from start to finish (including delivery).

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Mastip

Mastip worked alongside a Wisconsin-based molder to provide several high cavity molds/systems on a tight delivery deadline. Pictured here is a high cavity mold for COVID test strips.

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MGS Manufacturing

During the COVID pandemic, MGS Manufacturing constructed a cleanroom to manufacture COVID-19 test kits. The company also built the tooling for the parts.

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PCS Company

PCS Company produced mold bases (pictured here) during the COVID-19 pandemic that were ultimately used to produce face shields. Additionally, the company also worked with a CA molder that used a PCS company-mold base to make PPE ear savers. 

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Progressive Components

When the pandemic hit, Progressive Components acted quickly to split their warehouse team into two shifts so that one sick person wouldn’t be able to wipe out the company's ability to distribute. Due to its essential status and ability to produce specialized parts for molds (particularly in medical tooling), this was a critical action that allowed Progressive Components to continue its participation in the larger supply chain.

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Promac Machine Tools

During the pandemic, Promac Machine Tools never stopped supporting its clients around the world. Through the use of technology, clients were still able to order, schedule their production stay operative. It demonstrated this through projects like the machine pictured here. The SHARAV HGVT, a custom 60’ long, heavy-duty, 5-axis gantry machine, was purchased from Promac's client last year; despite curfews and restrictions, Promac upheld its commitment to the customer and its provision of a lifelong investment and partnership.

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Pyramid Mold & Tool Inc.

Pyramid Mold, along with key supply chain partners such as Edro, Husky and local service providers, strategized, coordinated and expedited the critical path materials and mold components needed to fabricate an 8 cavity, complex mold for an urgent COVID-19 test device. The Pyramid team then planned the workflow, rallied around the schedule needs and sustained extended overtime periods to support the cause. The combined efforts resulted in the successful expedition of the standard 18-week lead time to the needed 12-week delivery.

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S&C Electric Company

S&C Electric Company maintained its status as an essential business during the COVID pandemic. After a brief shutdown to implement COVID-related safety protocols, S&C resumed full production, keeping development work on two new product offerings on track to schedule. These efforts required multiple mold design and builds and, as usual, the tool room and design teams successfully responded to the challenges.

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SelfLube

SelfLube, like many manufacturers, participated in the pandemic fight through its production of essential manufacturing efforts. During this period, SelfLube shipped a high-priority order of components to Hi-Tech Mold & Engineering that were used in tooling for badly needed emergency room ventilators for Covid-19 patients. Despite the urgent need for these custom parts, the team was able to work together and get the order out in record time. 

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Superior Die Set Corporation

Accro Tool and Manufacturing, a plastic fabrication company in Burlington, Wisconsin, contacted Superior Die Set for a custom mold base needed for producing ventilator parts during the COVID-19 pandemic. The typical lead time on such a piece is five-to-seven workdays; knowing the urgent need for the mold base, the Superior Die Set team delivered in less than two days.

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Trifecta Tool

Rachael 
Trifecta Tool joined the manufacturing effort when they made two different molds: a two cavity face shield headband mold (built in eight days, in press on the ninth day), and a 4 cavity oxygen valve mold for a medical device.

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Vincent Tool 

Vincent Tool made national headlines when its mold was used to produce a new rapid COVID test during the pandemic. This mold was used after the Food and Drug Administration announced emergency authorization for antigen tests that were developed by Quidel Corp. of San Diego, a Vincent Tool customer.

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Wepco Plastics, Inc.

During the pandemic, the Wepco Plastics team banded together to contribute to the PPE effort, rearranging workspaces to achieve maximum efficiency. Here, the team is pictured proudly announcing that they were #PARTofthesolution. 

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Westminster Tool

Here, Kim and Ray Coombs are pictured with the police chief police chief of the Atwood Fire Department. In total, Westminster Tool donated over 3,000 ear guards to local police, fire and first responders, as well as over 5,000 ear guards to local health care and home hospice facilities. 

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Wisconsin Tool Works

Two Wisconsin Tool Works companies – M&M Tool and Mold and Forest Tool – joined forces to produce three molds for a common customer. These molds produce plastic components for a modular stand to provide access to hand sanitizer, wipes, paper towels and more.

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Zero Tolerance

Zero Tolerance built several plastic injection tools during the COVID-19 pandemic, producing parts for mask ventilation and face shields.

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