Category Archives: Cleanroom Molding

Delivering Value to the Toughest Customers Requires Trust, Ingenuity, and Teamwork

The aerospace/defense and medical industries have very discerning requirements. Customers in these sectors value precision engineering, and manufacturing. With that comes adherence to very tight part tolerances, superior performance, speed, agility, efficiency, and for many, 100% inspection. HARBEC has manufactured precision parts for customers in these fields, meeting the most stringent customer requirements and demanding applications.

In the medical sector HARBEC manufactures parts for:

  • spinal implantsblood-pressure
  • MRI and imaging components
  • surgical robots
  • dialysis and IV components
  • medication disbursement devices
  • reagent closures
  • blood pressure
  • surgical head lamps
  • blood and DNA collection and analysis devices
  • a diverse array of other components used in surgical, emergency, laboratory or clinical office applications

In the aerospace/defense sector HARBEC manufactures components such as:24589505473_74c0268b7e_o

  • electronic and battery housings
  • measurement devices
  • lenses
  • precision poppets
  • valve housings and covers
  • heat sinks, display modules
  • robotics, engineered solutions for thermal management
  • additional applications spanning space, sea, terrestrial, and soldier-readiness applications

These examples represent a small sample of the hundreds of critical end-uses that HARBEC’s parts have been entrusted to support. Although the application demands and part features between the aerospace/defense and medical sectors are different, there are some similarities with regard to the attention to detail they demand of manufacturers.

Often, customers in medical and aerospace/defense specify difficult to mold or machine materials including engineered polymers, titanium and magnesium. They also request full traceability for our parts, requiring us to have a disciplined project management and documentation process. Commitment and adherence to production and quality processes have been instrumental in keeping HARBEC a trusted partner for all customers, including aerospace/defense and medical customers.

As our customers have come to trust in HARBEC’s core competencies (quality, speed, performance, and value?) and capabilities (customer injection molding, prototypes, 3D printing, CNC machining) they’ve also realized they can obtain better results by extending their relationship with us. Here are two examples, one in medical and the other in aerospace/defense, where customers are realizing the full potential of HARBEC.

Aerospace/Defense Customer Example

For an aerospace/defense customerHARBEC is providing 3D printed components that are part of a valve assembly. The components, grown in HARBEC’s ESO 290 machine,are made out of stainless steel andwill be used in space-flight applications.3D printing provides tremendous design and manufacturing flexibility that simply is not available from other traditional manufacturing processes. But, as this particular customer has realized, 3D printing is not the be-all end-all solution for every part. In many cases, 3D printed parts need further processing, whether it’s precision machining, cleaning, over molding, heat treating, and so on.

While many customers (this one included) are attracted to HARBEC for one solution (in this case 3D printing), they are typically very pleased to discover that HARBEC’s expertise in CNC Machining, Custom Injection Molding, and Prototyping can complement and provide additional value to their part and the relationship they have with HARBEC.

Once completed, the component that was 3D printing for this aerospace/defense customer was inspected and shipped. The customer would then open the shipped part, conduct their own in-house inspection, and then proceed to a series of additional manufacturing steps including machining, cleaning, and assembly. This was adding expense and prolonging the completion of their final component. Once we were aware that these operations were occurring after we shipped the parts, it was proposed that we could reduce valuable time, cost, and materials from the process.

Medical Customer Example

A longstanding medical customer of HARBEC had a need for cleanroom molding of custom prototype parts. HARBEC worked with the customer on a design for manufacturing strategy that included mold making, implementation of a self-contained cleanroom manufacturing cell, integration of an automated labeling fixture, and hourly air monitoring to ensure particle count was well within the desired threshold.Achieving project delivery success for this multifaceted project required collaboration, coordination, and commitment from a multi-faceted team comprised of representative from project management, sales, engineering, plastics, models, quality, and maintenance.

In manufacturing it’s easy to get fixated on “the part.” The final and physical form of the “part” after all, is the culmination of hours of engineering time, creativity, teamwork and focus. The part is the embodiment of value. But the value does not end with the part. Where the part goes next, whether it has additional manufacturing operations, how it will be assembled and integrated into a system, and what happens in-service and at end-of-life, these are each critical points of value-creation for manufacturers. As cutting edge additive manufacturing technologies like 3D printing continue to expand, other capabilities like machining will not go away. Rather, a complement of manufacturing tools, capabilities and integrated processes are increasingly necessary to meet the stringent needs of aerospace/defense and medical customers. By focusing on the total solution, and not just the part, manufacturers can assess and determine how best to derive the greatest value for win-win supplier relationships.

clean room molding

Clean, Green, and Lean: Medical Device Component Manufacturing at Harbec

The medical device industry designs, develops and uses the most advanced technology and novel materials available. The industry represents a diversity of market segments which have very high standards for quality and precision products including orthopedics, surgical instruments, diagnostic apparatus, cardiovascular devices, dental instruments, blood transfusion and IV equipment, spinal devices, among others. As a result, the manufacturing capabilities required to produce innovative medical devices must also be world-class.

Harbec has made and continues to make, significant investments to earn the right to be a preferred medical device manufacturer for some of the world’s leading medical device companies. Harbec’s investment in state-of-the-art CNC milling machines, production-capable 3D printing, and cleanroom molding have provided medical device customers with the speed, accuracy, quality, and tolerance they need to produce high-value medical products.

Whether it is a 3D model, a precision cut mold out of aluminum or steel, tiny titanium parts milled at incredibly tight tolerances, or mid-to-high volume injection molded parts from a cleanroom environment, Harbec has a solution for your need.

In the past six months Harbec has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in new equipment, process improvements, and production capability upgrades to remain at the leading-edge of performance, quality, speed, and efficiency in medical device component manufacturing.  These solutions enable Harbec to rapidly evaluate and integrate a range of manufacturing opportunities including materials and equipment which can help its medical device customers differentiate their products in the marketplace.


Medical device manufacturing has very strict requirements for production cleanliness, product quality, packaging, and labeling. Harbec maintains stringent quality standards and practices so that it continuously earns the trust of some of the most discerning medical device customers.  To further strengthen our commitment to operational excellence and continuous improvement, Harbec is actively pursuing ISO 13485 certification. The use of management systems is, in the experience of Harbec, critical to maintaining quality, performance, and competitiveness. Harbec has certifications for ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 50,001/SEP. Harbec’s commitment to quality, environmental, and energy also drives manufacturing operations to provide a long-term sustainable value to customers.

In 2013 Harbec became a carbon-neutral company. This was accomplished through perseverance, innovation, and with a focus on continuous improvement. It is this commitment to excellence that Harbec brings to medical device component manufacturing. Contact Harbec to learn more about their solutions for medical device manufacturing. Don’t forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter for more “Solutions!”