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American Technical Molding Inc. is buying more presses and adding advanced measurement equipment, mainly for custom medical products, which make up about 95 percent of its sales.

Founded in 1988, the privately owned firm buys its injection molding equipment exclusively from Sandretto srl's subsidiary in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. Cannon Group of Trezzano, Italy, acquired Sandretto on March 19.

ATM expects to be operating a new, 85-ton press by mid-April and a 120-ton model a few months later. The firm currently has 19 Sandretto presses and one Battenfeld.

``All our molding machines are in a Class 100,000 clean room that is wired and plumbed for 24 machines,'' Walter Gacek, sales and marketing manager, said in a telephone interview from the company's Upland, Calif., headquarters.

Depending on business developments, ATM could reach that capacity next year and would consider increasing its current round-the-clock five-day operation to seven days, he said.

ATM is machining an extra set of clamp slots in platens for smaller molds on the 85-ton machine, but for the 120-ton press, it convinced Sandretto of Turin, Italy, to add the clamp slot at the factory, along with a special-order 24-millimeter screw and barrel and a 16-inch tie-bar spacing, Gacek said.

``A lot of molds we run are smaller shot size but may be larger molds for medical parts,'' he said.

Optical Gaging Products Inc. of Rochester, N.Y., supplied ATM with an automated Smart Scope camera-based inspection system that does repetitive measurements swiftly.

For the year ended Sept. 30, ATM reported sales of $6.5 million, including $5.5 million in injection molded parts. Horizontal insert molding makes up less than 5 percent of that figure.

The operation received ISO 9002 certification in May. It employs 50 at its 50,000-square-foot Upland plant, and plans to hire five to 10 more workers once its press count reaches 24, Gacek said.