And the Winners are . . .

Westminster Tool Inc. of Plainfield, Connecticut, and Aalbers Tool and Mold Inc. of Ontario, Canada

MoldMaking Technology’s 2014 Leadtime Leader Awards—sponsored by Progressive Components—honor two outstanding mold manufacturers who demonstrate excellence in overall innovation, efficiency, quality and commitment. Westminster Tool has been named the 2014 Winner, while Aalbers Tool and Mold brings home the Honorable Mention title this year.

Both of these Leadtime Leaders stand out for their investments in continuous improvement, efforts in workforce development and passion for their people. However, each shop also has a unique story to tell.

A few Westminster Tool highlights attributing to its win include: a new technology center, a move into aerospace work, the addition of “from concept to production” services, daily/weekly production meetings, strategic supplier partnerships, a palletization program, lights-out manufacturing, value stream mapping, a lean culture, the addition of a marketing department, the Eastern Advanced Manufacturing Alliance to help direct curricula for the future of manufacturing, a five-year/$500,000 cross-training investment, and a focus on employee empowerment and work-life balance.

“It is truly an honor and a privilege to receive this year’s Leadtime Leader Award. We consider this one of the most prestigious awards in our industry, and the fact that we are in the company of some of the best in the country that have won this award is a clear testimony to the passion we have for our profession.”—Ray Coombs, President.

Aalbers Tool and Mold has a few highlights of its own that have helped set it up for success: a slow and steady growth philosophy, the latest technology, control and track systems, components standardization, a focus on environmental responsibility, a move to inlay cloth tooling, a new business development hire, monthly innovation and improvement meetings, a team mentality, training seminars for employee advancement, and a “promote from within” philosophy.

“If I was asked 32 years ago if we ever thought we would be as successful as we are today, I would say, ‘Yes!’ My idea of success is exactly where we are today: a solid, healthy company with good people and an outstanding product. Winning the Leadtime Leader Honorable Mention confirms that distinction within our industry. We thank the team of judges in recognizing our ability and innovation. The Aalbers team can be proud of winning this award. Without this team it would never be possible.”—Toni Hansen, President.

You can read feature articles about both of these companies in the June issue of the magazine, and both shops will be honored at an awards ceremony during amerimold (amerimoldexpo.com) in Novi, Michigan. You can also visit Westminster Tool at Booth 725 and Aalbers Tool and Mold at Booth 721. Be sure to register today to be a part of this industry event and celebrate these award recipients!