Heise beefs up long-stroke machinery business

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Blow molding tool manufacturer Heise Industries Inc., based in East Berlin, Conn., is changing its focus, investing $1.25 million in machinery and planning to boost its European business.

``Basically we are focusing our efforts on the long-stroke type of machinery,'' President Tad Heise said in an interview.

Heise operates a 25,000-square-foot facility with 55 employees in East Berlin.

It also produces tooling at EB y Heise SA de CV in Mexico City through a joint venture with Eduardo Barberena SA de CV of Mexico City.

The long-stroke molds, according to Heise, are aimed at higher-cavitation work up to 60 inches in length and produces consumer-product containers such shampoo bottles.

In recent months, Heise has added a large computer numerically controlled milling station and large surface grinders.

In May, the company added a $300,000 sampling machine that can handle bottles as large as 5 liters.

``We do the sampling before we ship. We verify that all the bottle dimensions come up,'' Heise said.

``We supply the tooling design and the machine parameters so they run in the same manner [at the customer's facility],'' he added.

The company also is adding a $500,000 horizontal machining center.

``The [European Union] countries right now are a developing market for us,'' said Heise.

He noted that the company has customers headquartered in Russia, as well as in European Union members France and Germany.

The EU accounts for 25-30 percent of Heise's business, he said, and total sales are up about 20 percent from last year. He did not provide sales figures.

The push for lean manufacturing also has helped business. Long-stroke molds and a patented quick-change mold system help customers save money, Heise said.

Brooks Heise Sr. formed the company in 1965.