Westfall Technik opens new, purpose-built medical molding facility with clean room in Chicago
LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE) – The fast-growing specialist in plastic injection molding and tools Westfall Technik Inc. is responding to calls from medical technology OEMs who need more production capacities in North America by significantly expanding their cleanroom capacities.
The Las Vegas-based company has just completely remodeled a brownfield structure and opened it as a purpose-built, 40,000-square-foot facility near Chicago that features three Class 8 cleanrooms and a Good Manufacturing Practices-certified White Space (GMP). The clean rooms, which can accommodate up to 23 injection molding machines, should receive ISO 13485 certification by September. The GMP-compliant room now offers space for up to 15 molding machines. The press sizes range from 35 to 400 tons of clamping force.
According to Chief Operating Officer Mark Gomulka, the site also has a fully functional tool room with its own, air-conditioned mold store.
In addition, Westfall has tripled its cleanroom space in Riverside, California in the past 18 months; doubled it in Union City, California; and installed new cleanrooms in both New Richmond, Wisconsin and Tijuana, Mexico, he said.
This is all part of the growth trajectory in which the company acquired or established approximately 19 companies in North America in less than four years.
Westfall Technik’s “if we build it, they’ll come” strategy in terms of medical mold capacity, Gomulka notes, is that “as soon as we publish one of our footprints, we sell it immediately.”
The new location has a long history of molding and began as All West Plastics Inc in Antioch, Illinois, northwest of Chicago. The customer-specific injection moulder and tool manufacturer MGS Mfg. Group Inc. of Germantown, Wisconsin, bought the facility in 2006 before closing in 2020 to consolidate production in Wisconsin.
Tech bought the shell of the factory and gave it “a complete facelift,” and Gomulka says he hired several experienced workers who worked under MGS at the factory.
Westfall also plans to install three of its M3 microforming machines at the Chicago facility and turn it into a microforming competence center. The M3 is an all-electric precision micro-molding technology that Westfall acquired in December 2018 with the acquisition of the Canadian company Mold Hotrunner Solutions Inc. (MHS) in Ontario. The machine can convert high-tech materials such as bioabsorbable microform resins into microscopic parts without waste.
In addition, Westfall is considering relocating production of its NxtBio brand of life science laboratory consumables to its new location in Chicago. In May 2019, the company acquired NxTBio Technologies, headquartered in Claremont, California, whose line of products includes pipette tips, filter tips, tubes and strip tubes, vials, multi-well plates, and related racking systems.
“Ultimately, we will be investing millions of dollars in new, all-electric machines for this location,” said Gomulka. Although he hasn’t yet decided which types of presses they will buy, he said Westfall’s preferred electrical brands are KraussMaffei, Sumitomo, Netstal and JSW.
Westfall’s portfolio of health-related products includes medical devices, pharmaceutical delivery systems, diagnostic tools and consumer health products. This includes molding plastic parts that are used in rapid diagnostic Covid-19 tests for home and clinical use.
The new plant in Chicago will help fill the company’s regional manufacturing capabilities, said Gomulka. “This is a necessary location for us, right in the middle of the Midwest, right in the medical corridor that runs from Chicago to Wisconsin.” In the Midwest, the company already operates tooling facilities in Willernie, Minnesota; Molds in New Richmond, Wis .; and both tool and die making in Wakefield, Michigan, on the state’s Upper Peninsula.
About Westfall Technik Inc.
Westfall Technik is a global holding company that offers highly productive plastic manufacturing solutions for the medical, consumer packaging and consumer goods industries. Since its inception in Las Vegas in October 2017, the company has acquired or incorporated at least 18 companies across North America. Westfall Technik’s competitive advantages include modern automation systems, correlative molding processes and effective Industry 4.0 concepts. Brand owners can expect high quality products at great value for money, a quick response for reduced time to market, 100 percent inspection and traceability from pellet to pallet, compliance with supply chain security and the reliability of a trusted team. Further information can be found at www.westfall-technik.com.