During March 2020, at the start of Covid, automotive plants were shutting down indefinitely and KFI wanted to quickly develop a new revenue stream. Management sent a note to the engineering group, challenging them to think about what the company could make to serve the medical industry and asking them to bring ideas in within a weekend’s time, considering capability, time to market, efficient price point and scalability. Hospital beds became the company’s focus as they already made fold-down beds for the Class A truck industry, providing them with existing FEA modeling regarding the stress and deflection points for when people sleep in thermoformed beds.
Once this manufacturing decision was made, KFI turned to Tooling Technology in Ft. Loramie, Ohio, a Tooling Tech Group (TTG) company and long-time supplier of thermoforming tools to both Penda and TriEnda for assistance on this critical project.
Emergency & Disaster Relief Bed back support
Emergency & Disaster Relief Bed base
Producing molds of this size normally takes a five-to-six-week turnaround. By pulling together its resources and leveraging its vertical integration, TTG was able to go from design to finished tool in less than the customer-requested two-week delivery actually supplying four sets of tools (two beds and two backrests molds) within 10 days.
In addition to the original tool set, TTG produced three additional bed base tools and two more back rest tools for thermoforming the beds. All of this was accomplished without compromising delivery schedules of other customer projects at the facility.
TTG’s vertical integration allowed four (4) sets of tooling to be produced within 10 days.
Since 2020, much business has returned to something close to ‘normal’. But, as quoted by KFI personnel: