A Wood Dale, Ill.-based business that has evolved over the decades is marking its 40th anniversary with a name change to Matrix Plastic Products Inc.
Formerly known as Matrix Tooling Inc. & Matrix Plastic Products, the family-owned company designs and builds molds and also produces injection molded components for global customers in the medical, electronics and personal care industries.
Brothers Paul and James Ziegenhorn, along with their father William, started the business as Matrix Tooling Inc. in 1978 with seven employees. The company opened strictly as a mold design and fabrication shop but added plastics manufacturing to meet customer demands, Matrix President Paul Ziegenhorn said in a news release about the name change and rebranding.
The first molding press was installed in 1995 to perform mold samples and run small volumes for customers, Ziegenhorn said. Then a quality assurance lab was added for inspection capabilities. When the business certified its quality system to ISO 9001 by 1999, Ziegenhorn said Matrix was one of the first mold shops to do so.
"At that time, molding production made up a very small portion of our sales, but the momentum had already begun," he said.
In 2000, Matrix secured the trade name Matrix Plastic Products and built a 10,000-square-foot addition dedicated to molding production. An ISO 8/Class 100,000 cleanroom was installed for medical work in 2006 followed by ISO 13485 certification in 2010.
Matrix currently operates 15 presses ranging from 5 to 300 tons, and has added assembly and 3D prototyping. The lab has also been expanded and features four OGP multi-sensor metrology systems for advanced inspection protocols. A CT scanner will be installed next.
"This company has never shied away from technology," Gary Johansson, vice president of quality and regulatory, said in the release. "We understand that we need to have better equipment than the competition to keep the high-level work coming here."
Matrix officials describe the business as incorporating moldmaking with injection molding and other services to produce critical components and sub-assemblies for medical device and other high-performance applications.
Given the company's evolution, the move to the single corporate identity of Matrix Plastic Products is both practical and tactical, according to Andy Ziegenhorn, chief operating officer.
"It is the more inclusive name and better represents our broader mix of services today," he said in the release. "But we are still moldmakers by trade, so ensuring the integrity of the tools we run in production will always be hard-wired into the way we operate here."