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Sodick EDM aids vital medical work at Crossen Engineering

Crossen Engineering, a leading specialist in both tool-making and parts production for injection moulding and pressing/ stamping operations, recently bought a new Sodick AD35L spark-erosion machine from Warwick-based Sodi-Tech EMD Ltd. The machine, which was installed in December 2020, is now busy producing mould and press tools for a range of medical projects.

Founded in 1978, Belfast-based Crossen Engineering Ltd. offers a range of services, from component design and prototyping to high-volume production.

However, an upturn in medical work over the past 12 months saw the BS EN ISO9001-accredited manufacturer begin the search for a new die-sink EDM; and although Crossen Engineering Ltd. already had a modern Sodick wire-cut EDM machine on site, its Sodick spark-erosion was 15 years old.

Managing Director Paul Crossen said: “Medical work has high demands in terms of accuracy, complexity and turnaround time, which we know from experience are achieved by Sodick machines. Our new machine was always going to be a Sodick as we want consistency throughout the business in terms of learning and training.”

“During the pandemic, the demand for PPE has been strong. For instance, we have already made three injection mould tools for face shields, producing the finished parts on site. We received an order near the beginning of the pandemic to supply 70,000 face shields a week to our local NHS facilities as part of the HeroShield project, which is still running, albeit now at a reduced level. In addition, we have machined a prototype mould for another face covering solution as well as mouldings for sanitising stations.

“Since installation, the Sodick AD35L – an ex-demo model – has been busy producing mainly medical moulds, both prototype and production in aluminium and tool steel. The level of surface finish we require, along with mould complexity, means the AD35L, is a great solution. In Northern Ireland we are well aware of our competitors, but we differentiate ourselves from others by designing and manufacturing all tooling on site, as well as offering the capability to undertake both small-batch and high-volume production runs, be it injection moulding or pressing”.