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ITW Filtration : CAE Services

The Illinois Tool Works (ITW) ITW Filtration, a Lake Geneva, WI manufacturer, improves costs and quality of filtration and venting products. It is comprised of four plants located in Elk Grove Village, IL, Tinley Park, IL, and Mazon, IL. Its primary customer is the automotive industry. To serve its customers, it offers advanced manufacturing techniques to control costs. The company uses state of the art materials and real-time process monitoring systems to generate anti-lock braking systems, vent filter applications, air conditioning systems and other commercial products.

Charles Schwab is the company's manufacturing manager. Chris Beaver and Ron Lavin are manufacturing floor technicians who oversee molding production and Mold-VAC air and gas evacuation systems attached to injection molding machines. Nearly two years ago, ITW Filtration contacted CAE Services, supplier of Mold-Vac systems, to implement its gas and air evacuation machines. Schwab's team processes polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), trade name: Fortron.

Prior to installing Mold-Vac, Beaver and Lavin witnessed burns in parts and trapped gas, and voids inside the wall of a particular automotive part. "The Mold-Vac systems definitely helped eliminate those issues," says Schwab. Beaver adds, "If we do not turn the Mold-Vac system on when processing a job, there is an obvious difference in part quality." There are currently using four Mold-Vac systems at the Lake Geneva site.

For one particular job involving a valve in an anti-lock breaking system, there was added to the mold an O-ring pocket on a parting line. Channels were required to evacuate the molding area. To make that modification, it cost a couple thousand dollars and a few days of downtime. Notes Schwab, "I can safely say that the Mold-Vac system is an essential part of manufacturing this part. We wouldn't be able to generate quality parts without it."

He says the Mold-Vac units perform particularly well when they process PPS-based products, as well as when there is a lot of out-gassing work. "In addition, Mold-Vac machines work well when an application involves a hard to fill part," says Schwab.

Beaver and Lavin say that they clean the molds once per day. "If we didn't have the systems, we would have to clean the tool after each shift," Beaver adds. The Mold-Vac machines save time and reduce maintenance costs. Both technicians agree that Mold-Vac systems are extremely user-friendly and easy to install and operate. "Everything fits well together. We plugged them in and we were off and running," adds Lavin.

"When we originally realized that we needed an air/gas evacuation system, CAE Services had what we were looking for and responded quickly to our request. The first unit was installed immediately," Schwab adds. "Their customer service has been excellent."

For more information about ITW Filtration, visit Visit for more information about Mold-Vac products and CAE Services. The author can be reached at

Author: Laura Carrabine

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Page last modified on December 10, 2004
Copyright 2004 by John Stark