(April 27, 2017) – While many New England Factory Tours are likely to lead you into an industrial campus just outside of Nowhere, Suburbia, our group of 11 factory tourists were in for a pleasant surprise this late April morning. Pulling off exit 2 of the Mass Pike we were lead through a picturesque Berkshirian maze of rolling green hills, small town general stores, and newly bloomed spring flowers at the bed of white picket fences in route to Pittsfield’s Modern Mold and Tool, Inc. Surrounded by the green peaks of October Mountain State Forest, the spring sun peeped through the trees just enough to shine a bright morning light on a row of dusty pick-up trucks in the Modern Mold parking lot. It made me wonder if this picture may be the one reflection of America that Rockwell missed in his collection?
Only about 15 miles from the Norman Rockwell Museum, in fact, Modern Mold and Tool, Inc. was founded in 1957 by a local General Electric toolmaker, Rodozio Pedrotti. What started as a small six employee operation located in a refurbished barn and chicken coop, today employs 55 in a 40,000-square foot, state of the art facility located on the same property. Dave Pedrotti, son of Rodozio and current President of Modern Mold shows us an old picture hung in the board room from the 1960’s. It is a black and white photo of a playset outside of an old barn with a little girl on the swing. “That little girl is my sister and that playset used to be right outside that door,” laughs Pedrotti, “we’ve made a few renovations since then.”
Modern Mold manufactures precision quality molds and provides a full suite of plastic injection molding services across multiple industries including Medical, Electronics, Aerospace & Defense, Security, Automotive and Recreation. Most of the production happening on our visit this day were medical related devices. The tourist watched closely as one of the 26 hydraulic presses, ranging from 15 – 300 tons capability, went through the motions of producing an intricate 3” green vessel tipped device used for heart catheterization. “These little vessels are filled with bismuth to prevent an x-ray beam from entering,” explains Pedrotti.
Modern Mold is a third-generation business. Dave Pedrotti took over ownership in 1983 from his father. Dave is now President and his son, Matt Pedrotti, is currently the Lead Product Engineer. Dave recently sold the company to local entrepreneur and manufacturing expert Steve Graham of East Longmeadow.
Modern Mold will be Graham’s fifth company after his latest acquisition of a mold facility in the Bronx, NY. By acquiring this NY company, Modern Mold will inherit new equipment including a press with capabilities of up to 1,000 tons. “This is an exciting time for Modern Mold. We will need to expand our manufacturing operation which will create 15-20 new jobs,” said Pedrotti.
It was clear that Pedrotti and all the other employees we met that day took a great deal of pride in Modern Mold. I asked one employee what the “coolest” part they ever made was and he said, “we created a 52” long complex needle that was used to treat cancer nodes. This product saves lives. Nothing cooler than that.” I was impressed that Dave took his time to explain the manufacturing process, the applications of the products being made, and the history of the company. The factory tourist seemed to enjoy the tour as well. Factory tourist Paul Critchley, President of New England Lean Consulting and author of The Whole Professional, said that Modern Mold is “a local gem of a manufacturer.” Tourist Christophe Mandy, Manufacturing Lead at Formlabs, along with 3 other Formlab employees, made the trip in all the way from Somerville, MA. Mandy said of the New England Factory Tours, “these are great, I am learning a lot. I look forward to seeing more and meeting with other manufacturing-minded people.”
Modern Mold and Tool, Inc.is located at 1995 East Street in Pittsfield, MA. For more information about Modern Mold, Dave Pedrotti, and Steve Graham, please visit http://www.modernmoldandtool.com/. For more information about me and the Greentown Labs Springfield Manufacturing Initiative, please visit www.greentownlabs.com or call/email Adam Rodrigues, Greentown Manufacturing Fellow, at 413-262-7107, email@example.com.