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High-Volume COVID Test Kit Mouldings 17 Days from Tool Order

The Protool Plastics Group (Fareham) took an urgent order for two fully hardened steel, multi-cavity, high-volume injection moulding tools during early October. The parts were required for testing no later than Halloween, forming part of a COVID-19 testing kit.

With the Halloween deadline, just 17 working days from the order consisting of 70,000 parts per week, this highly important request may be a scary thought for many, but not for the Protool team at its Fareham facility.

Protool Plastics Group Managing Director, Michael Hadfield, commented: “We are delighted to pick up this high-volume injection moulding business and used two UK toolmakers to ensure that tool completion was backed up with trials the same day.

“Graham Wilkins, Operations Director in Fareham, spent several hours critiquing the design and checking tolerances of mating parts with the customer while initial tool designs were completed to allow tool steel to be ordered.”

The tooling was closely project managed with twice-weekly updates sent to the customer, giving them the confidence that progress was in line with expectations and the project in control.

Each moulding must be uniquely laser marked, so tests were carried out in various grades and colours of polycarbonate during the tool manufacture to ensure the best quality marking was signed off before the actual parts were ready.

The tools completed T1 trials from the 28th to 30th October and samples submitted for product assembly approval.

Both parts were approved from the initial trial and started mass production on the 4th November, with over 140,000 parts delivered from the first 5 days production.

Michael Hadfield continued: “We were delighted with the rapid approval of the parts and delighted with the performance of the tools that are running 24/5 in our Fareham facility.

“The vast experience Graham Wilkins has gained in Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) allowed him to totally de-risk the product design stage and remove the need for typical tuning loops.”

With over 32 years’ experience in the PPE and medical moulding markets, The Protool Plastics Group are an ideal partner for fast turnaround medical and PPE injection moulded components and sub-assemblies.

The Protool Plastics Group (Fareham & Manchester) are ready to take your injection moulding enquiries now. For more information, visit www.protoolplast.com.

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Protool Plastics Group
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