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Crestwood Industries, a custom molder based in Mundelein, Illinois, has recently expanded its operations with the purchase of four new LS Mtron injection molding machines. The company is in the midst of a $1.2 million expansion that includes the LS Mtron machines, robotics, an automated screen printing line and customized software.

“We are growing and developing new business, especially in the medical industry,” said Des Paden, President of Crestwood.

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When deciding on what machines to purchase, Crestwood interviewed numerous suppliers and decided on LS Mtron for the company’s expertise in all-electric machines, and their fast delivery times. “We are moving towards using allelectric molding machines in our plant, and LS Mtron had a very strong value proposition,” said Paden. “We like the fact that they have local parts and service. Plus, we have older LG machines from 1995 and 1996 that are still running that we recently upgraded. We’ve always been happy with their performance, and the company’s service.”

The four new WIZ-E series all-electric LS Mtron machines are 120, 190, 240 and 310 tons.

LS Mtron was founded by South Korean tech giant LG, for use in their own global molding operations. Its US headquarters are in Duluth, GA, and the company has its Tech Center in Wood Dale, IL.

Recent Growth
After purchasing Crestwood in 2017, Des Paden has overseen significant growth at the company. In addition to the four new LS Mtron molding brings their current total to 22 machines ranging from 30 to 340 tons, Crestwood has stocked over 50 new tools over the past three years and has grown its business to include medical molding.

“We are looking to grow the business, and to do this we needed to increase our capacity and upgrade our technology,” he said. “We are hiring, adding a second shift, and will be running 16 hours a day, 5 days a week very soon. Our next move will be to double our footprint.” Crestwood currently operates out of a 15,000 square foot facility.

Crestwood molds parts for various industries including commercial lighting, automotive, healthcare, and material handling. Typical materials used are polycarbonates and glass-filled nylons.

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The first project for Crestwood’s new medical business is for a leading US supplier based in the Chicago area. The part is a canister with a lid; the lid is molded from HDPE, while the canister body is Polystyrene. Crestwood uses its new LS Mtron 240 ton machine for this application. A new 310 ton LS Mtron machine with a robot is coming soon for yet another medical part application.

Electric Benefits
Tom Kent, General Manager of Manufacturing at Crestwood, has been with the company 21 years. He says the company has already seen significant benefits from using the new LS Mtron all-electric machines.
“We’ve already seen 15% better efficiency overall from these new machines,” he said. “We’re getting much faster cycle times than with our older hydraulic machines. Plus, once our operators were trained to use them, they have proven to be a lot easier to operate and maintain.”

John Finn, Crestwood’s VP of Business Development, said that moving to electric machines has helped Crestwood win new molding business. “When we promote our efficiencies to potential customers, having electric machines is a big help,” he said. “This is especially true for medical business.”

Another hot topic with virtually all customers these days is recycling and the use of regrind. “We recycle all of our scrap materials,” said Dave Cameron, Operations Manager at Crestwood. “We’ve worked hard to create completely closed-loop processes. For our virgin resin projects we use hot runner systems for zero scrap.”

The Latest Technology
Jose Villanueva, Sales/Service Engineer for LS Mtron, said that the new LS Mtron all-electric machines are the most reliable yet from the company. “These machines are not only designed for superior performance, but they are also designed to be as easy as possible to operate,” he said.

Tom Kent said that operators have mentioned that the new LS Mtron machines are easy to stop and reset whenever there is an issue. In addition, they have commented on the ease of using the machine’s touchscreen. Next, he said that Crestwood will be looking into networking capabilities for remote monitoring and troubleshooting.

“We have been impressed with LS Mtron’s products, service plan and expertise, which led to our decision to purchase these new machines,” said Des Paden.

“We consider LS Mtron as one of our top strategic partners and look forward to their newest AI technology as we continue to deliver the finest products our customers deserve.”

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