The McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute (MMRI) has a wide range of industry scale manufacturing equipment, specialized instrumentation, and extensive experience in advanced materials and manufacturing. This is deployed to support Ontario companies as they work to solve problems, realize opportunities, and implement new technologies in their operations. The focus is on improving quality, productivity, and timeliness while reducing cost and facilitating the development of innovative products and services.


A global shortage of the tweezers needed to remove swabs from transport tubes was putting the COVID-19 testing lab here in Hamilton at risk of shutting down. To address this, they needed to develop an alternative and get it into use quickly.


  • Worked with CorePrint to design an easy-to-use replacement that could be injection molded quickly.
  • Developed a solution that made it easier to extract the swab from the transport tube.


  • Kept the COVID-19 testing centres in Hamilton open.
  • Reduced the time taken to extract samples saving about 2 hours in the day over the use of tweezers.
  • Improved laboratory staff satisfaction through change in hand posture in a manual repetitive task
  • Reduced environmental impact through use of less plastic and reduced waste