Prototype Tooling & Plastics Co. has moved into a $3 million facility that effectively triples its space for tool building and injection molding. The Elgin, Ill., firm built the 38,500-square-foot plant to accommodate anticipated growth. It formerly leased a 21,000-square-foot building in Elgin that it said had an inefficient layout.
Prototype Tooling is in the final stages of ISO 9002 accreditation, said operations manager Jack Rossate. It was a member of DePaul University's ISO 9000 collaborative program to convert its quality-control plan into one that meets ISO 9002 requirements. It expects to receive the international certification by July 1.
Prototype Tooling began as a one-man shop when Mike Wekony, president and owner, started an aluminum prototype tooling company in 1979. It has grown into a tool prototype and production tool operation that includes injection molding services for short, medium and long production runs.
The firm's prototyping technologies include urethane casting, stereolithography and fused deposition models, in which Prototype Tooling imports a design file and creates a durable model in ABS resin. The FDM method creates the model by extruding fine ABS lines layer upon layer. Rossate said FDM is particularly useful for customers that want a working model as large as 10 inches on a side.
Prototype Tooling's molding operations focus on value-added programs such as telecommunications parts and components that require decoration and assembly. Rossate did not disclose sales for the 60-employee operation.
The company runs eight injection presses with clamping forces of 45-180 tons and has room for about 30 similar presses in its new building. Rossate said Prototype Tooling completed its relocation in only a few days and was back to normal operation April 24.