Growing our Silicone Capabilities
We are proud to announce the 10th anniversary of our subsidiary, GW Silicones! Founded in 2008 in our Royalton, Vermont technology campus, GW Silicones has grown into one of North America’s largest and most respected silicone providers offering highly-automated Class 8 cleanroom molding and assembly with in-house tooling.
When we made the decision in 2008 to open GW Silicones and offer Liquid Injection Molding (LIM), we knew we needed to be completely committed. We invested in the critical expertise and technology that a successful LIM business requires in order to extend our industry-leading design and manufacturing capabilities and seamlessly integrate GW Silicones into our robust technical portfolio of comprehensive process capabilities. We hired two highly-experienced LIM industry veterans, Mark Hammond and Jeff Hazen, to launch GW Silicones and ensure that the new division would meet the high standard of expertise and service our customers expect.
Starting with just one molding machine in our Process Development Center, Mark and Jeff quickly grew GW Silicones into a stand-alone, state-of-the-art facility supplying market-leading OEMs with precision silicone solutions. Since its inception 10 years ago, GW Silicones has completed three expansions, including a Class 8 ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 certified cleanroom. The cleanroom is equipped with all-electric, hybrid and hydraulic machines, giving GW Silicones the ability to match the best machine to each prototype and production molding application. Multiple screw and barrel assemblies for each press allow for the molding of parts from fractions of a gram to larger pound shots, providing an extremely wide range of molding capabilities. In keeping with our highly-automated manufacturing platform, GW Silicones has incorporated 6-axis robots that operate within the machine envelope, enabling both insert-loading and molded-part extraction.
The ability to mold multi-material (thermoplastics and LSR) components such as two-shot, insert, or overmolded parts has become a specific skill of GW Silicones, and one that gives us a particular niche in the molding marketplace. LSR can be used to create complex molded parts with finer detail and tighter tolerances than are often possible with other materials. When molded onto thermoplastic substrates, the resulting multi-material performance options are numerous. Our familiarity with the demands of LSR processing and knowledge of material properties allows GW Silicones to assist our customers in ways most LSR molders cannot. One such application is a surgical suture pen, for which GW Plastics and GW Silicones worked together with a leading OEM to redesign and manufacture a multi-material device that performed better for surgeons.
In-House LSR Tooling
Building upon our already successful tooling business, GW Silicones launched in-house Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) tooling capabilities to maximize efficiency and component quality, as well as improve responsiveness to our customers. Understanding the differences and complexities of silicone versus thermoplastic tooling, Mark and Jeff have developed a robust LSR tooling standard to ensure that very fine details and tight tolerances are maintained for years of trouble-free production.
Because of our in-house LSR tool design-and-build expertise, GW Silicones has been able to continuously offer our customers the option of building high cavitation, fully-automated, tight tolerance LSR molds designed for manufacturing at a lower cost with world-class lead times. We have invested millions of dollars into our Tooling Division during the past few years to include more automation and improved technologies, providing additional resources to expand into LSR tooling.