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Plastikos keeps investing in medical-device molding

By: Gayle S. Putrich

April 8, 2013

ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Custom injection molder Plastikos Inc. is continuing to invest in its medical-device operations.

The Erie, Pa.-based company and its sister Micro Mold Inc. are installing updated AgieCharmilles mold-making and prototyping equipment for computer numerically controlled electric discharge machining and milling.

“This will be our second [CNC EDM machine] so we’ll be able to double our output,” said Dan Snyder, technical sales engineer with the family-owned firms. “And since we currently have one, that means training is not a problem.”

The AgieCharmilles equipment will be used primarily for research and development products to speed new mold testing, and is expected to be up and running by the close of the second quarter.

As previously reported, the firms also are adding a third press to a Class 7 clean room — an 88-ton, all-electric Arburg. The investments total more than $1 million.

With medical-device customers’ increasing requirements for precision and quality, Plastikos is investing to stay ahead of the demand curve, Snyder said at Medical Design & Manufacturing West, held Feb. 11-14 in Anaheim.

While the companies expect output to increase with the equipment purchases, the additional machines are unlikely to result in a personnel increase, he said. The companies are also investing in a robotic manipulator with three-revolute positional configurations for “lights out” work even after the human mold-makers have gone home.

“These machines are highly automated so the objective is to take the manual labor out of the mold-making process,” he said. “The purpose of this year’s investments is to keep our overhead down and speed our throughput.”

Plastikos was Plastics News’ 2010 Processor of the Year.