In less than two weeks' time, Plainfield, Conn.-based Westminster Tool Inc. designed and manufactured a two-cavity tool with a cold runner to 3D print ear protectors for face masks for employees to give away to front-line workers in the pandemic.
The tool, which was completed in March, produced more than 10,000 ear protectors for donation to local senior centers, health care facilities, grocery stores, firehouses, police departments and others.
Westminster employees were permitted to donate packages of ear protectors to be shipped or hand-delivered to local organizations of their choice along with handwritten thank-you cards to show their appreciation to essential workers in the community.
Westminster Tool President Ray Coombs said the company is very connected to the community and always looks for ways to get involved and assist.
"Using a design we found online as a starting point, we began production in small amounts for local nursing homes looking to provide their essential workers relief from the constant pressure face masks placed on their ears," Coombs said in a news release.
The entire manufacturing process was completed by one team member, Anthony Strmiska, who is one of the newest additions to Westminster Tool.
"This was an excellent opportunity for me and the rest of our team to showcase our unique ability to find solutions to complex applications," Strmiska said. "After the first run, there were challenges that were not initially anticipated, but at Westminster Tool, being prepared for anything is a staple of our culture. This is what allows us to have quick turnaround times."
Westminster Tool serves the aerospace, medical devices, consumer packaging, automotive and industrial markets.