logo

AMA Plastics adds more equipment in Riverside, Calif.

By: Roger Renstrom

August 29, 2012

RIVERSIDE, CALIF. (Aug. 29, 10:30 a.m. ET) — AMA Plastics Inc. invested another $1.4 million over 12 months for equipment at its Riverside facility, said CEO Mark Atchison.

Previously, the custom injection molder spent about $3 million for infrastructure, improvements and equipment to transform a 150,000-square-foot high-ceiling distribution-type warehouse into a modern plastics processing plant.

With the latest additions, in August AMA began operating four state-of-the-art 150-ton 4.9-ounce-shot full-servo electric Toyo presses in the 6,000-square-foot clean room. The room, which has capacity for 18 machines, now has 15.

Other new presses include a second two-shot 240-ton multibarrel Arburg and three other Toyo machines of 110, 90 and 55 tons.

Including 75 Toyos, AMA operates 86 injection molding presses ranging from 35-720 tons of clamping force. Maruka USA Inc. of Cerritos, Calif., represents Toyo.

In other new equipment purchases, AMA added a 1,600-cubic-foot-per-minute Novatec NovaWheel central dryer and a 100-horsepower air compressor with variable drive from Quincy Compressor.

A third SmartScope measuring device from a Quality Vision International Inc. unit was added to the quality laboratory, and AMA installed a fourth resin silo. Each silo is equipped with a surge bin.

“We have redundancy for all central systems’ dryer, tower, chiller and material loading” requirements, said AMA President Cheryl Buhler.

AMA installed four post-molding-operation work centers to handle more secondary functions such as cosmetic finishing, ultrasonic welding, pad printing and assembly.

Recently, RJG Inc. granted Ken Pravitz, AMA general manager, his fourth recertification as a Master Molder III. RJG of Traverse City, Mich., initially certified him in 2003. Pravitz has trained five AMA employees for Master Molder I certifications.

With more room in the building, “we are implementing lean practices to help promote structure within the company,” Pravitz said.

AMA projects sales growth of 15 percent for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31. AMA reported sales of about $50 million for the fiscal year ended in August 2011.

During 2011, AMA obtained medical certifications under ISO 13485 and TS 16949 and, after the move, recertification under ISO 9001 and QS 9000.

AMA moved operations about 18 miles from Corona, Calif., in March 2011. A developer built the warehouse in 2008 and sold it to AMA in September 2010. As modified, the facility has 15,000 square feet of office space.

AMA began implementing an employee stock ownership plan in December 2008. At present, the ESOP enabling regular workers to obtain an equity interest involves ownership of one-third of company including the building. AMA employs about 400 persons including those working through an onsite temporary employment agency.