A moldmaking startup based in Windsor, Connecticut is growing rapidly from a zero start five years ago and plans a splash at NPE2015 with two mold demonstrations, one in its booth and the other in the Wittmann Battenfeld booth.
Burteck LLC will show a Wittmann Battenfeld MicroPower molding a tiny medical clip in its booth in the in the South Hall, and Wittmann Battenfeld will show a Burteck demonstration two-cavity mold making polycarbonate jewelers loops that can be used to view the miniature clips. The loops, which are about the size of a thumb drive, will be molded on a new SmartPower servohydraulic machine.
“With the MicroPower, we want to show our ability to build tools for the micro market, and with the loop, we want to demonstrate our ability to make highly polished surfaces for optical parts with fast cycle times,” says John Eastham, program manager for Burteck.
Cycle times to mold the loop will be about 10 seconds, thanks in part to a beryllium insert. A video inspection camera will monitor production on the four-cavity clip mold, and possibly be available for viewing at the Wittmann Battenfeld booth near the loop demonstration. The clips, which weigh just 0.0018 grams each, can be attached to the five-magnification power part for attendees interested in closing the loop. The clips will be molded in a four-cavity mold.
Burteck was started five years ago by Peter Burgess, who had been a project manager at Advance Mold and Manufacturing, Inc. of Manchester, Connecticut where Eastham had also worked at one time. Burgess had earlier worked as a project engineer at ABA-PGT.
His business model was tuned for the times. Burteck partners with a large Chinese mold maker interested in expanding its business in the United States. The name of the company has not been disclosed, but it operates production facilities in the Shanghai area. Burteck’s engineers and managers work directly with the Chinese partner and fully certify molds before they are shipped to customers.
“Our injection molds are built at a lower cost while maintaining high quality standards,” says Burgess.
Annual sales are now in the $5 million to $6 million range and are growing at about a 20 percent a year clip.
“When we started, our molds were almost entirely Asian,” says Eastham. “We have started manufacturing in the United States, depending on the requirements of the job.” He estimates that 40 percent of the work is now done in the Windsor shop. The company currently has 18 employees. The pool of available local workers has expanded as some mold shops have fallen victim to Asian competition.
Burteck’s first-ever NPE booth will be in the 3D Printing Pavilion. The company has no direct connection to 3D printing, but can discuss the potential for using 3D printed mold inserts for conformal cooling or other applications.
Burteck specializes in Class 101 high-end molds, and is eyeing the potential for more work in specialized areas such as micro and two-component tooling. The company has no plans to become an injection molder, but at some point plans to add in-house mold testing capability. Wittmann Battenfeld emerged as a natural partner since expanding its Tech Center in Torrington, Connecticut earlier this year. As many as 16 machines are running under power in the center at any given time.
NPE2015 will be held March 23 through 27. Wittmann Battenfeld’s booth is 2743 in the West Hall. Burteck’s booth is 35013 in the South Hall.