Med-Tek: A Case Study
Med-Tek makes blood typing slides, selling 600,000 per year. When several issues regarding quality and delivery from a previous supplier piled up, the company turned to VDI for help.
The 16-cavity tool had an unbalanced runner system meaning that cavities were receiving differential pressure. While one would be short, another would be flashed. The tool also utilized a cold runner system which required a lot of pressure and created excessive waste. Due to the amount of scrap created, operator intervention was required to inspect parts and separate acceptable pieces from defects. An edge gate design also required cutting and trimming 16 times per shot. In short, the tool was not effective, creating a non-repeatable cycle dependent on operator judgement.
We designed a replacement tool with eight cavities. The new design is now created using a two-drop hot manifold to two minim small cold balanced runners with a sub gate or automatic de-gate and substantial stripper type ejection. Utilizing a robot with end-of-arm tooling and a conveyor, parts are removed from the tool and stacked in a position on the conveyor in quantities ready for packaging. The fully automatic cycle is now repeatable without defects.
Even though VDI cut the number of cavities in half, we can deliver the parts with a higher level of quality and at the same cost to the client.
By utilizing our new design and the VDI stocking program, Med-Tek went from an unreliable supplier with quality and delivery issues and a 4 to 6-week lead time for parts to precise pieces ready to ship within 24 hours.
Letter of Recommendation
In my business dealings, I found myself in possession of a 16-cavity mold that produced disposable blood typing slides in clear polystyrene. Over the span of 12 years and four different injection molders, it came to my attention that each of my molders had been applying temporary fixes and workarounds on the mold instead of properly addressing the issues. We later determined the tool had outlived its usable life and that it was time to invest in a new tool.
After speaking to many designers and tool shops in southeast Michigan, I was introduced to VDI Manufacturing in Kalamazoo. VDI compared my numbers and costs and we mutually agreed that it would be beneficial to reduce the cavity size to eight cavities and redesign the mold for greater efficiency.
VDI’s design team consulted me through the design and prototype phases and I am beyond pleased with the new tool. It has a balanced fill, auto de-gate, and runs fully automatic with no operator intervention. The smaller tool is faster, runs on a smaller press, and is much more efficient. The icing on the cake is the robotic removal and stacking, which allows for a fully automatic, repeatable cycle and product.
I take full advantage of VDI’s Stocking Program which allows my orders to ship within 24 hours versus weeks.
I could not ask for a better mold and process and I highly recommend VDI!
President, Med-Tek Inc.
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