Anaheim, Calif. — Mack Molding Co. is adapting to grow in a complex medical industry.
The injection molder and mold maker not only needs to make products “better, cheaper and faster,” said Joan Magrath, vice president of sales and engineering, it has to be ready to move into new products and respond to changes in its customer base.
“As parts evolve and we zero in on design, we can take stock at moving into plastics from metal,” said Jeff Somple, Mack Molding president during an interview at Medical Design & Manufacturing West in Anaheim.
Among signs of industry consolidation, four Mack customers changed hands in 18 months.
“We've got 150 molds transferring from one division, and we have a lot of tools under construction,” Magrath said.
Designs are more complex, and products require different plastics, often with high-heat requirements and higher costs, she said.
Arlington, Vt.-based Mack observes product development lengths of three to seven years and more reshoring of work from customers concerned about intellectual property protection in Asia.
Regarding the FDA, Magrath sees many customers introducing new technologies in countries other than the U.S. The FDA takes far longer to approve projects than in the past.
Mack Molding had 2015 sales of more than $310 million. Somple forecasts growth of 5-6 percent during 2016. Medical work accounts for 35 percent of the sales at Mack's Northern Division while industrial/energy projects make up 20 percent.
Mack Molding now employs 1,800 at 11 facilities.
Mack Molding is working with laboratory equipment developer LabMinds Ltd. of Oxford, England, on an adaptable automated liquid solution production system.
LabMinds' lead product, Revo, offers control over the measuring and mixing of solid and liquid compounds, full process automation and a predictive maintenance.
Mack provided redesign services initially and offers full-service contract manufacturing services to the LabMinds team in England and Boston.
The Revo unit is 5 feet high and 2 feet in width and depth. Three functioning modules move independently. The build includes 560 components. Mack is shipping production units now.
On another project, Mack is assisting Lee AntiMicrobial Solutions LLC of Armonk, N.Y., in commercializing dilute-hydrogen-peroxide technology.
The technology uses small amounts of humidity and oxygen from the surrounding air to produce hydrogen peroxide, a green, natural disinfectant that kills viruses, bacteria and fungi.
Mack's Synectic design team partnered with the mold-flow-and-fill analysis and mold procurement capabilities of Mack's application development center to create a manufacturable part.
Mack acquired Synectic in 2013 and is benefitting from having the range to take customers from product development through production.