EX-BEALL FIRM EXPANDS, GETS NEW NAME

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Glenn Beall Engineering Inc., a full-service injection molder and toolmaker, is undergoing a corporate makeover that includes a name change and expanded capabilities.

The Gurnee, Ill.-based company, titled for former owner and 1997 Plastics Hall of Fame inductee Glenn Beall, has changed its name to GBE LLC and will complete a move by the end of April to a new plant in Gurnee, said Vice President Scott Giles.

The company, which was owned for the past four years by Robert Giles, was sold Jan. 1 to a group of outside investors. The group plans to inject more capital into the business for production and technological growth, Scott Giles said. The sale price was not disclosed.

Among the group's first decisions was to move the 28-year-old company to a new Gurnee facility double the size of its current, 10,000-square-foot location. Giles did not reveal the cost of the expansion.

The move includes the purchase of six injection presses and a Millennium computer numerically controlled milling machine, as well as two Pro/Engineer computer-aided-design systems and a new AutoCad system for tool design.

The six presses include two Mitsubishi presses, one with a clamping force of 120 tons and the other at 90 tons; two Arburg 28-ton presses; and two Battenfeld presses with clamping forces of 100 and 75 tons. The company now has 17 presses.

GBE specializes in tooling, prototyping and short-run injection and insert molding of parts less than 12 inches long, Giles said. The company does molding and mold making in the automotive, aerospace, medical and marine industries.

The equipment will help GBE increase its production volume from a current maximum of 15,000 pieces per year to as much as 50,000 pieces, Giles said. The company also may purchase other equipment to increase capacity, Giles said.

GBE, which recorded 1996 sales of $4 million, hopes to double revenues within five years, he added.

Company founder Glenn Beall now is president of Glenn Beall Plastics Inc., a product design and consulting firm in Libertyville, Ill.

Current management remained in place after the January buyout.