Moldworx finds assembly machinery niche
When Jim Taylor founded Moldworx in 1995, he planned on the specializing in mold manufacturing and repair. Eventually he realized that
Moldworx would have to be more than just another moldmaking company to succeed long term. So in 2003, Taylor took on a business partner, Joe Motyka, and it was Motyka’s experience and skills that added to Moldworx’s ability to design and manufacture automation equipment.
They started out by building various test and holding fixtures for the parts for which he was building the molds. “The mold business is so competitive,” says Taylor, who was giving PlasticsToday a tour of his facility located in Gilbert, AZ. “Then one day a customer asked me, ‘can you build an assembly machine to put these two parts together?’” The rest, as they say, is history.
Custom automation house
Today, Moldworx designs and builds a variety of precision custom automation and assembly solutions for its customers, with that revenue now representing about one-half of Moldworx’s total business. Taylor says he has work lined up through the end of the year and is currently scheduling projects into 2012.
One of the more recent projects Taylor completed was test equipment for the filling of syringes for the pre-filled syringe market of a laboratory company. Another project came along in the consumer products packaging market in which Taylor was asked to provide an innovative solution for the degating and assembly of two cap components. Taylor designed the specialty equipment and the customer is quite happy with its new system that reduces labor and cost-to-manufacture. “We had to figure out a way to remove the runner, and orient the part,” explains Taylor. “We made it so that the two parts can only fit together one way.”
Because of the automated solution, the OEM pulled the work from Mexico for that cap component. No longer labor intensive, the two-component cap is now being molded at a custom injection molding company in the U.S.
Taylor is currently working on a project with a medical device manufacturer that involves more than two dozen molds. Moldworx is developing the assembly equipment for these parts that includes laser engravers, robotic part detection, and end-of-arm-tooling for all of the molds. The project will also include an off-load station with three-axis robots and will ultimately be an integrated packaging system with pick-and-place systems – all press side. The device maker’s customer will receive a fully finished, packaged product.
Moving into medical
This is the second project that Moldworx has done for this medical device maker. Taylor also helped this customer develop the assembly equipment for a pre-filled syringe that was released several months ago. “It’s interesting how my business has morphed,” says Taylor. “I would have never dreamed we’d be doing all this development work for the medical device market.”
In spite of all the company’s development work in the automated assembly arena, Taylor hasn’t forgotten his company’s roots. Recently Moldworx added a Mitsubishi FA-10 wire EDM in its mold manufacturing facility. Additionally, the company has three injection molding presses including the recent addition of an 80-ton Van Dorn DeMag machine. Moldworx does mold sampling and short-run production molding. Currently the company has 14 employees.
Moldworx has also partnered with a local sheet, rod and tube manufacturer and fabricator that specializes in medical grade extruded materials such as PEEK. If the quantities required become too high, Taylor works with this company to build an injection mold for the components to supply the higher volumes. Recently, Moldworx built a 4-cavity hot-runner mold and is supplying PEEK replacement discs for spinal implants.
“We also built a mold for another component for a computer component maker, for which we ship the parts to China,” says Taylor. “That’s a change – we’re sending parts to China rather than the other way around.”
Source : www.plasticstoday.com