mHUB member, Crestwood Industries, is a full service injection molder based in the suburbs just north of Chicago. "We help our customers navigate product launches, help them design and maintain effective molds, mass produce parts and manage inventory based on each of our customers' unique needs," explains John Finn, VP of Business Development at Crestwood Industries.
Where did your idea and value proposition start?
"Crestwood has been around since 1991, but new ownership has changed the projection of the company within the past 5 years. We are ISO 9001:2015 as well as an FDA registered facility. This alignment is allowing us to work with a more complex customer base."
What led you to mHUB?
"I became familiar with mHUB early on in the pandemic and ultimately established membership late last year. Within the ecosystem of mHUB, it was a logical place to position us as a resource for conversations within domestic production as well as economies of scale."
What have been your biggest opportunities since launch?
"We have built a solid foundation in the lighting and electrical supply category. We are in the process of launching a large medical supply program with a local company. This is a result of both proper registrations (FDA/ISO) as well as partnership surrounding investment and outward expansion."
If / How has your industry / market landscape changed since you first launched / went into business?
"There have definitely been discussions surrounding re-shoring as the supply chain has experienced definite hiccups in the wake of the pandemic, but our ability to pivot within our international relationships and produce a quality part domestically have been very beneficial."
Are there any big milestones that you want to touch on from the beginning to where you are now?
"We are very focused on sustainability. Within both our processes and reinvestment into our business we are seeing our closed loop practices and transfer from hydraulic machines to electric machines as being very positive."
Where have you grown? How has mHUB supported your product development, startup, or you professionally / economically?
"mHUB certainly has the pulse to where innovation and investment are taking place. That visibility and our position as a resource to the community have been great pillars since we became involved in the community."
Is there a story that comes to mind about how your company has pivoted to find success?
"I touched on this earlier, but we have a great partnership with a tool maker/mold builder. We have been able to flourish together on many projects as a result of collaboration both from an engineering standpoint as well as a product knowledge standpoint."
How have you taken advantage of the mHUB’s resources?
"Looking to certainly use more of in the future, especially the 3D printing lab and keeping up to date with all things additive as injection molding and additive have very much interrelated. Essentially, both are based on 3D geometry using similar, if not exact, raw materials. Injection requires a tool/mold to liquefy and harden molten plastic by way of injecting that material into a mold and cooling said part. Whereas additive (depending on the process) requires no tooling, but produces a part similarly made out of plastic. The differences come from processing, cycle time, capital expense and overall quality relative to mass production."
What’s on the horizon?
"As we continue to grow and launch this major medical program, we are looking to continue to operate within this facility in Mundelein until we outgrow this facility. The plan is to move beyond these walls within the next 5 years as a result of added visibility within not just the MedSupply world, but also diversification into the many different categories that use injection molded components for their various assemblies. Injection molded parts are all around us. They can come from many different original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) within varying categories including automotive, agriculture, aerospace, industrial, plumbing, electrical, medical, and consumer products."
If you are interested in injection molding and manufacturing processes, take a tour at mHUB to learn more about the hardtech ecosystem and how aspiring product development entrepreneurs can get involved.