Mold Builder Tools Up to Produce 10,000+ Ear Protectors
Since learning how Westminster Tool was embracing change, leading and communicating during COVID-19 a few months ago, I found out that they tooled up to support their local community with ear protectors too.
Not only am I continuously inspired by the incredible skill and passion of mold manufacturers, but I’m also blown away by their commitment to solving problems. COVID-19 put the spotlight on this.
For example, with each face shield and mask that was produced, a new design or solution was developed soon after to solve a problem that arose with a previous design—mainly centered about raising the comfort level of people required to wear these shields for long periods of time day in and day out.
Westminster Tool Inc. in Plainfield, Connecticut is one such mold builder who stepped up to this challenge. This past March when COVID-19 hit North America, this team started 3D printing ear protectors in response to the state of Connecticut requiring the use of facemasks in public.
The requirement for facemasks has continued so the need for more ear protectors was an obvious need to Westminster Tool, so they used their equipment and designed a custom mold for producing larger quantities to donate.
“Using a design we found online as a starting point, we began production in small amounts for local nursing homes looking to provide their essential workers relief from the constant pressure facemasks placed on their ears,” says Ray Coombs, President of Westminster Tool.
In less that two weeks a two-cavity tool with a cold runner was designed and manufactured by one team member, Anthony Strmiska, one of the newest hires at Westminster Tool. Strmiska's effort and commitment shows the core values of Westminster: being flexible and adaptable to solve any challenge, big or small.
“After the first run, I encountered unanticipated challenges, but our culture promotes being prepared for anything, which allows us to have quick turnaround times,” says Strmiska.
After week one of molding, the mold produced 10,000 ear protectors, to be donated to local senior living centers, healthcare facilities, grocery stores, firehouses, police departments and other facilities in need.
Every employee is permitted to donate packages of ear protectors to a local organization of their choice, shipped or hand-delivered with handwritten thank you cards to show their appreciation to all essential workers in the community.
Way to go, Westminster Tool!