TUCSON, ARIZ. — Tech Mold Inc. President Bill Kushmaul has become just the fifth person since 1985 to earn the SPI Moldmakers Division's most prestigious honor — its Distinguished Service Award.
Kushmaul was visibly moved after receiving the award during a Feb. 20 dinner ceremony at the group's annual conference in Tucson. He expressed humility at being ``honored by my peers.''
He joins Bruno E. Wessinger, Frank S. Marra, Harry L. Braun and Ernie Csaszar as holders of the division's Distinguished Service Award.
Kushmaul, president of the Tempe, Ariz., mold-making firm that he jointly owns with Tech Group Inc. of Scottsdale, Ariz., served as a director of the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. division from 1977-89.
The Moldmakers Division honored him for encouraging educational, training and standards-setting efforts benefiting the industry.
He was instrumental in creating a definitive entry-level seminar and a hard-cover book on the art and intricacies of mold making, initially for Tech Mold employees and customers. The text, What is a Mold? An Introduction to Plastic Injection Molding and Injection Mold Construction, is used in some trade schools. Tech Mold sells the book for $50 to individuals and in quantity discounts to educational systems.
Tech Mold's core business operates from a 30,000-square-foot facility, employs 102 and makes high-cavity molds primarily for medical and high-technology original equipment manufacturers with captive molding operations.
As a business, Tech Mold, founded in 1972, avoids the market for ``faster, cheaper'' molds, Kushmaul said. ``We've played in the high-quantity, high-quality, lowest-total-cost'' market, he said.
Precision equipment includes three computer numerically controlled electric discharge machines with pallet and tool changers and five other CNC EDMs. Also, Tech Mold uses a five-axis Moore jig grinder and is taking delivery of its fifth Okamoto CNC surface grinder.
Nearby in a 22,000-square-foot building, Tech Mold employs 25 and operates seven Engel and three Van Dorn injection molding machines, with clamping forces of 75-400 tons, for prototypes, first-article inspections, mold-capability studies and some custom molding.