Teel Plastics buys extruders, ramps up swab production

Feb. 11, 2021
Two extruders are dedicated to producing swabs, with a third creating profiles used in respirators to help combat COVID-19.

By Bruce Geiselman

Teel Plastics, Baraboo, Wis., recently purchased three Davis-Standard extrusion lines, with two dedicated to boosting capacity for manufacturing diagnostic swabs as the U.S. ramps up testing for coronavirus infections.

Teel, an injection molder and custom profile and tubing manufacturer, has produced more than 500 million swab sticks for U.S. customers since March 2020 and is one of the nation’s largest suppliers of the sticks. The U.S. Department of Defense recently awarded Teel Plastics a contract that will boost its production by 66 million extruded swab sticks and 50 million injection molded swab sticks per month.

“Before the pandemic began, we were the only U.S. company to make diagnostic swabs needed for coronavirus testing,” Christian Herrild, director of growth strategies for Teel Plastics, said. “This required us to react quickly to support the surge in test kits. Our development style, product repeatability, and ability to navigate highly regulated markets have been a key to our response.”

Teel Plastics is a longtime Davis-Standard customer, with more than 30 extrusion lines from that company – some dating back to the 1980s. So when Teel was looking to boost production quickly, it obtained a demo line from Davis-Standard almost immediately and purchased two new lines that were delivered within 10 weeks from the date of order. The newly installed profile lines include application-specific controls, feed screws and machinery customized for Teel’s swab stick manufacturing process.

In addition to producing swab sticks, Teel Plastics is now manufacturing profiles for a respirator device used to treat patients in critical care for COVID-19. It is also being manufactured on Davis-Standard extrusion lines, including its third new custom line.

Teel also manufactures tight-tolerance tubing and profiles used in the medical, cosmetics, industrial piping, film and water treatment industries.

Bruce Geiselman, senior staff reporter

[email protected]

Davis-Standard LLC, Pawcatuck, Conn., 860-599-1010, www.davis-standard.com

Teel Plastics, Baraboo, Wis., 608-355-3080, www.teel.com

About the Author

Bruce Geiselman | Senior Staff Reporter

Senior Staff Reporter Bruce Geiselman covers extrusion, blow molding, additive manufacturing, automation and end markets including automotive and packaging. He also writes features, including In Other Words and Problem Solved, for Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing, Plastics Recycling and The Journal of Blow Molding. He has extensive experience in daily and magazine journalism.