logo

Plastikos invests in new Arburg presses

By: Robert Grace

April 5, 2012

ORLANDO, FLA. (April 5, 6:55 p.m. ET) — Custom injection molder Plastikos Inc. agreed at NPE2012 to invest nearly $500,000 in three new Arburg presses that will replace three aging Demag machines in its Erie, Pa., headquarters facility later this year.

Plastikos manufacturing manager Robert Cooney said in an interview at the show that his firm on April 3 purchased one 220-ton, hybrid 570A model press and a pair of 88-ton, all-electric 470A models. This continues a trend toward Arburg for Plastikos, which with this deal will now count 11 Arburgs among its 30 total injection molding machines. The larger press should be delivered by June, with the two smaller machines due to arrive this fall.

“The level of engineering and technical support that Arburg provides us is very much like what we provide to our own customers,” Cooney said, noting that there is good synergy between the firms. That said, Plastikos does not intend to buy all of its equipment from any single source, and so will continue to look at other options, going forward.

Plastikos intends to make further capital investments this year, for inspection and auxiliary equipment, and to expand and upgrade its current RJG Inc. process monitoring equipment.

While the new replacement presses will not increase the molder’s capacity, Cooney said their higher levels of precision and accuracy are important to meet the demanding applications they see in their end markets of military, aerospace, electronic connectors and medical devices.

Plastikos’ fledgling medical business continues to grow, said Cooney. At present, the company has just two presses in a Class 10,000 clean room in Erie, but they are running at full capacity now on a project for a San Diego-based medical device original equipment manufacturer. He said they have finished building all six high-cavitation, hot-runner-equipped molds for the project, and that those tools are in various stages of approval.

Plastikos’ efforts to penetrate the medical market, in fact, got a boost from an unexpected source. After the company won Plastics News’ 2010 Processor of the Year Award 13 months ago, Cooney said this medical device OEM contacted them, saying they had heard about them winning the award. An audit ensued, leading to Plastikos winning its first big medical contract.

“They read the article and actually came to us,” he said. That doesn’t happen often, but it worked out well in the end, Cooney said.