St. Paul, MN (May 8, 2020) — Five days from the initial idea to the production of the first injection molded shield–this is how 3D metal printing helps fight the coronavirus epidemic.
Thanks to the triad of modern technology, professional knowledge and real will to help, Matsuura customer, Mold Tech Ltd. reacted as quickly as possible to the epidemic. The company relocated its entire production plant to the production of health protection shields.
This initiative was possible by utilizing a state-of-the-art metal printer, the Matsuura LUMEX Avance-25 metal laser sintering hybrid milling machine.
The Matsuura LUMEX greatly simplified and accelerated operations along with the expertise of Matsuura’s Hungarian distributor, Szimker Zrt.
Zalaegerszeg’s Mold Tech Engineering Office Ltd. Felt compelled to assist health professionals and their lack of protective shields. Thanks to their well-trained professionals and advanced tooling and injection molding fleet, along with their recently acquired and currently state-of-the-art Matsuura Lumex 3D hybrid metal printer, Mold Tech Ltd.
A machine with a powder bed and additive manufacturing technology does more than just build parts or tools from metal dust. Thanks to its built-in, high-speed milling head, it also machines surfaces, thus producing the current piece almost ready. With this method, it drastically reduces the number of multi-step processes used in tool manufacturing, so that the production of a complex injection mold can be measured in days / hours instead of weeks. The large reduction in tool production time is mainly because EDM and the use of inserts can be omitted as a result of machining between sintered layers.
This currently unique technology and associated CAD-CAM software was supplied to Japan by Matsuura, known for its 5-axis machining centers, now has an 18-year history in hybrid (powder bed construction + milling) technology, and the currently available LUMEX Avance machine represents the fifth generation.
The injection molding tool required to manufacture the shield has been designed with form-following internal cooling for fast shutter speeds using the CAM software included with the machine. Thus, not only the tool, but also the production of shields is significantly faster and more efficient, so it is possible that Mold Tech can provide the health care device used by doctors to its customers for a third of the current market price.
The unfortunate epidemic situation further highlights the importance of the introduction and application of cutting-edge technologies in Hungary, as the company successfully followed the rapidly changing market demands.
At Matsuura USA, we understand that the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its resulting impact has caused disruption and uncertainty for our customers. We remain ‘Open for Business’ and committed to providing consistent, high quality service while keeping our customers, business partners and employees safe and informed.
As we closely monitor the situation and follow guidance from public health officials and government agencies, including the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, we would like to express our gratitude for all local, state, and federal officials, as well as those in health care who are all working diligently to contain the virus.
At Matsuura, business continuity remains a priority for our leadership team and those that directly serve your needs. In response to the pandemic, we have proactively expanded our corporate preparedness plan, in place in the event of natural disasters or other widespread emergencies, to maintain business continuity. We are very focused on protecting the health and safety of our workforce, while maintaining the ability to keep serving you.
We are also grateful for the commitment our employees have in providing service and parts to our customers. The COVID-19 virus directive from the US Government stresses the need for employees in companies such as ours to continue to work to support critical infrastructure as defined by the Department of Homeland Security. Matsuura Commitment
We have no concerns about disruption nor delay of service, and there are no known impacts to our supply chain nor workforce that will impact demand for our products and services. Our technical and support teams are geographically dispersed throughout the US, allowing us to serve our customers’ needs at the same level of service we typically provide. We have also verified that our business partners have defined business continuity plans in place.
Employees who continue to work in our facilities are practicing stringent sanitation and social distancing. We have closed our facilities to most visitors, and all essential visitors are being screened.
Matsuura has a long history of serving our customers and we remain committed to being a trusted partner of yours during this difficult and unprecedented global event.
At Matsuura USA, we continue to supply 5-axis, vertical, horizontal, linear motor, multi-tasking CNC machine tools and machines with a powder bed metal AM platform with machining capability to many critical manufacturers whose operations are vital.
We encourage our customers to contact Matsuura with Sales, Applications, Service and Parts Requests. Our website will direct you to your local Matsuura Distributor for sales information.
At Matsuura USA, we understand concerns about COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) are top of mind for our customers and the community. We created a COVID-19 Resources Page on the Matsuura USA website to share content that we believe is relevant to your challenges related to the pandemic.
Below is an evolving collection of resources to consider for your manufacturing business and your family. These will be updated regularly as more information is available. To visit the COVID-19 Resources Page, please visit: https://www.matsuurausa.com/covid-19-resources-page/.
Please click on the highlighted links below for more information.
Federal Government Resources:
- NEW–5/4–Tips for Manufacturers on Continuing Production During the Coronavirus Pandemic HERE.
- NEW–5/3–Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility HERE.
- NEW–5/1–How to Communicate With Customers During Times of Crisis HERE.
- NEW–4/27–Higher Percent of Manufacturers Open Normal or Expanded Hours with Reduced Staffing. HERE.
- NEW–4/27–Why Reshoring Matters Now More Than Ever. HERE.
- NEW–4/27–The market is rebounding on hope for a treatment, new index tracking coronavirus-drug makers shows. HERE.
- NEW–4/26–American Enterprise Institute’s National coronavirus response: A road map to reopening. HERE.
- NEW–4/25–Global 500 companies are utilizing their resources and expertise during the coronavirus pandemic. HERE.
- NEW–4/23–Financial Resources: Get and Keep America Open: Supporting states, tribes, localities, and territories: HERE.
- NEW–4/23–COVID-19 Testing and Reporting by Laboratories (CDC): Q & A: HERE.
- NEW–4/22–To strengthen the nation’s response to COVID-19 and ensure manufacturers are poised to lead the recovery and renewal of the American economy, the National Association of Manufacturers released the “American Renewal Action Plan.” HERE.
- NEW–4/20–The Save Small Business Fund is a grantmaking initiative offering short-term relief for small employers in the United States and its territories. Apply HERE.
- NEW–4/19–CDC & Whitehouse Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts HERE.
- NEW–4/17–U.S. Department of Labor Issues Alert To Help Keep Manufacturing Workers Safe During Coronavirus Pandemic HERE.
- NEW–4/13–US Paycheck Protection Program Information & Find Lenders: HERE.
- NEW–4/12–US Small Business Association Guidance and Loan Information: HERE.
- NEW–4/12–FEMA, CDC & White House Info. on Supporting Small Business Owners: HERE.
- NEW–4/9–Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers from the CDC: HERE.
- NEW–4/7–Coronavirus.gov announces the latest Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) updates.
- NEW–4/6–Covidview—A Weekly Surveillance Summary of U.S. COVID-19 Activity.
- NEW–Latest Information from the CDC, updated hourly.
- NEW–4/5–CDC recommendation regarding the use of cloth face coverings.
- U.S. Department of Labor guidance on the WARN Act (regarding plant closings and mass layoffs).
- Additional CDC Guidance: HERE.
- Summaries and FAQs on all phases (I, II, and III) of the federal COVID-19 emergency packages.
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) paid leave requirements – for employers.
- FFCRA Paid Leave Q&A.
- FFCRA Poster Notice – for employers.
- FFCRA Poster on Employee Rights.
- SBA Guidance on the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program Loan Guarantee.
- Latest updates and resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- CDC’s revised cleaning and disinfection page and how to clean and disinfect your facility when someone is sick.
- CDC’s guidance for businesses and employers.
- CDC’s Coronavirus FAQ.
- COVID-19 Screening Tool.
- OSHA guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19.
- U.S. Small Business Administration guidance for employers regarding the coronavirus pandemic, including information on its disaster loan program.
- Subscribe to the CDC’s email updates: HERE.
- National Association of Manufacturers COVID-19 Resources.
- CDC letter to NAM and ?_zs=kkDad1&_zl=KUmd6">additional guidance to give manufacturers clearer guidance on how to operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- View COVID-19 resources from states and local governments: HERE.
Home and Family Resources:
- Learn how you can plan, prepare, and cope with stress before and during a COVID-19 outbreak.
- Household Checklist: HERE.
- Detailed Planning Guidance: HERE.
- US Readiness Resources: HERE.
- CDC Communication Resources: HERE.
- CDC Print Resources: HERE.
- Prevention and Treatment: HERE.
- What to do if you are sick: HERE.
- Handwashing Guidelines: HERE.
- Stress and coping: HERE.
- Frequently asked questions about COVID-19: HERE.
Manufacturers around the world have joined forces on a historic initiative to respond to COVID-19.
- Mercedes High Performance Powertrains have produced engines that have won eight constructors’ championships and 10 drivers’ championships in Formula 1, and as part of ‘Project Pitlane’ they’re now helping turn the tide in the battle against coronavirus. Learn more: HERE.
- Matsuura UK Customer, CNF Precision Engineering Limited, instead of producing their usual output, they are preparing to churn out ventilator parts, joining the other essential manufacturers working against the clock to fight the coronavirus. Read more: HERE.
Matsuura USA Resources:
- Matsuura USA’s President Craig St. John’s Statement on the virus: HERE.
- Matsuura USA’s Critical Manufacturing Sector Information: HERE.
- Matsuura’s Service Team, available 24/7: HERE.
- Matsuura’s Parts Team available 24/7: HERE.
- Matsuura’s Distributor Network available 24/7: HERE.
- Matsuura USA’s Partnership with ‘The Open Door’ HERE.
Our team at Matsuura USA sends our gratitude to the essential workers for all their hard work and for putting themselves at risk to protect, serve and provide for their communities. From the doctors, nurses, medical staff, first responders, truckers, delivery drivers, mail carriers, essential retail workers, gas station employees, custodial staff, essential manufacturing workers and so many more.
Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc., located in St. Paul, MN is the U.S. subsidiary of Matsuura Machinery Corporation in Japan. Since 1935, Matsuura has been the forerunner in designing innovative technology and manufacturing solutions to a variety of industries around the globe. Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc. delivers unmatched excellence in 5-axis, vertical, horizontal, linear motor, multi-tasking CNC machine tools and machines with a powder bed metal AM platform with machining capability. Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc. provides the service, applications and technical field support that have always been the Matsuura standard for business.