Crafts Technology is an Elk Grove Village, Ill., designer and manufacturer of component parts for industrial equipment, specializing in superhard materials for dies and molds. The sudden need for machinery used in specialty medical equipment has brought new requirements from injection molding businesses — specifically, a rush order for the shop's CraftAlloy™ tungsten-carbide core pin tooling to be used in molding machines that manufacture vials for COVID-19 testing.
Tungsten carbide is an extremely strong and dense material, and it's the material of choice for Crafts Technology's core pins because it allows injection molding machines to hold the tolerance necessary for for complex, but intricate, forms, with a tolerance of only 50 millionths of an inch. Medical products manufacturers that produce diagnostic items (e.g., COVID-19 testing systems) select CraftAlloy™ core pin tooling because of its high rigidity, precision, and superior cycle-time capabilities.
One customer, Prestige Mold, a producer of the high-precision injection-mold tooling systems contacted Crafts Technology to quickly and effectively produce the core pins needed for an order from a medical diagnostic company Hologic, in the shortest time frame possible.
Crafts Technology is one of only a few commercial providers of tungsten carbide core pins, so typical lead-times run from nine to twelve weeks. Thanks to planning by skilled machinists and company-wide coordination, Crafts Technology was able to produce these core pins for Prestige Mold in only three weeks.
"Never before in our lifetime have we had the opportunity to assist medical tooling and medical diagnostics companies that are at the apex of a solution more than today," said president and CEO Jeff Taylor. "Tooling typically has a long lead time, in some cases, up to 12 weeks. Once we knew the gravity of our core pins supporting Prestige Mold and Hologic with the development of COVID-19 test kits, we said that we would drop everything to produce these in four weeks. And, we ended up doing it in three weeks. I'm extremely proud of our team's dedication to this project, taking what seemed to be impossible and making it a reality."
Upon completion of the core pins, the parts were disinfected and securely packaged to prevent any damage during delivery. Due to the urgency, the cores were driven from Elk Grove Village, Ill., to Prestige Mold's location in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., to eliminate the possibility of the parts being lost or delayed.
Crafts Technology will continue its commitment to expedite core pin production, with a four-to-five week turnaround goal instead of the typical nine to twelve weeks.