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Making the right medical moves

Being a major supplier of molds and extremely small, tight-tolerance molded components to the electronic connector industry means that Plastikos Inc. (Erie, PA) has developed a unique expertise. Over the past few years the company has expanded its business into the medical device market by molding Class-1 medical devices for an increasing customer base. Plastikos’ sister company, Micro Mold Co. Inc., has designed, built, and sampled injection molds that adhere to SPI Class 101 standards, since the founding of the company in 1978.

Clare Goldsberry

June 16, 2010

2 Min Read
Making the right medical moves

The initiative to expand into medical molding initially began in early 2007 when the Plastikos and Micro Mold leadership team of Philip Katen, Ryan Katen, Rob Cooney, and Matthew Mead saw a trend that would lead the company toward using its expertise and capabilities for medical device OEMs. Since then, Plastikos has developed several key relationships with Class-1 medical device OEMs and manufacturers. Expansion plans for cleanroom molding were put on hold due to the economy. However, after weathering that storm, Plastikos is now gearing to further develop its medical molding services.

According to Philip Katen, general manager of Plastikos, “Phase one of the expansion will consist of a new custom 100-ton Arburg Allrounder that is equipped with a clean-air module, located above the clamping unit. Once parts are molded within the clean-air module, they will be transported through an enclosed conveyor that leads to a Class 10,000 (ISO 7) cleanroom. The purpose of this molding technique is to transfer the product without contamination to the decentralized cleanroom where final inspection will take place. Additionally, this concept offers a high-quality cleanroom without decreasing efficiency since the size of the cleanroom can be drastically reduced. All operations such as inspection, packaging, labeling, assembly, etc. can be performed in the controlled cleanroom environment.”

The addition of a scalable cleanroom expands the range of custom injection molding services that Plastikos brings to the market. “We have seen increased interest and demand from our existing medical OEM customer base [for cleanroom production capabilities],” says Dan Snyder, technical sales & marketing associate. “We added multiple medical OEMs to our customer portfolio over the past two years, and the addition of a class 10,000 cleanroom will open up new opportunities at those and other industry-leading medical device companies.”

The expansion plans are slated to begin by the end of June, with a target phase-one completion date of late 2010-early 2011. Future phases of the expansion will bring additional cleanroom capacity online for Plastikos. Currently, Plastikos operates with 27 injection molding machines that range from 25-110 tons. —Clare Goldsberry

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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