Mold makers have to do more to survive, and that's why Providence, R.I.-based Oar Moldworks has extended its options to medical molding.
Oar Moldworks quietly formed Teknastar Inc. in early 2005 to mold medical devices, and the business is becoming an important part of the overall company.
``I took two trips to China and saw the [mold-making] competition - it scared the daylights out of me. It lit a fire for me to get into devices and modernize our toolmaking,'' said Oar Moldworks President Andrew Rosenholm.
Rosenholm said in an interview at MassPlastics in Fitchburg that Oar still does a lot of mold making, but also operates Engineered Components Corp. for high-speed milling and Teknastar for molding. That way the operation can provide customers with design, tooling, molding and secondary services.
``Every year we spend half a million on new equipment, and we've already exceeded that this year,'' he said.
He noted that the company added a high-speed milling machine and auxiliary equipment, such as a robot and a sonic welder. Last year, it added four electric discharge machines.
The company has four injection molding machines, ranging from 30-210 tons, and is using a 3,000-square-foot area for insert molding of medical devices. Teknastar also is doing some custom molding.
Overall, the company has 39 employees in a 20,000-square-foot facility. Among the 20 mold makers is Oswald Rosenholm, who founded the company in 1966. The 76-year-old chief executive officer still works six hours a day on molds.
Andrew Rosenholm wrote a letter to Plastics News in March 2003 lamenting the loss of manufacturing jobs, but his company is evolving to keep the jobs alive, he said.