Auto suppliers beefing up technology

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: February 25, 2013 1:34 pm ET
Updated: February 25, 2013 2:02 pm ET

Image By: KraussMaffei Corp. KraussMaffei's 400-tonne GX press

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Injection Molding, Machinery, Molds/Tooling, Injection molds
Companies & Associations KraussMaffei AG

WARREN, MICH. — North American automotive plastics plants are investing in new injection presses and are more open than ever to brand-new technologies such as spinning cube molds and multishot molding, according to executives at KraussMaffei Corp. and Proper Group International Inc.

About 90 people attended a TechDay event Feb. 1 at the Warren headquarters of Proper Group, an automotive toolmaker and molder. The crowd got the first look at KM's GX machine in the U.S.

"The reason they're looking to the next wave of technology is to help reduce costs, for the overall production," said Paul Caprio, CEO of KraussMaffei Corp., the U.S. unit of Munich-based KraussMaffei AG.

Automotive is one of the most important markets for the plastics machinery sector. Caprio said automotive generates about 50 percent of business at KraussMaffei AG. The German company generates order income of about $1.5 billion.

KraussMaffei Corp. is based in Florence, Ky. The machinery maker created a joint venture with Proper Group in 2010 to get greater visibility in Detroit. Proper Group gets access to new machinery technology at its mold-making operations and its Proper Polymers molding plant in Anderson, S.C., and at a new, smaller molding facility in Warren. Proper runs six injection presses in Warren — five of them KraussMaffeis — in clamping forces of 85-3,000 metric tons. The company's Anderson molding plant has 24 presses, from 55-1,500 tonnes; five of them are new KM machines.

Joe Grippe, Proper Group vice president, said the Anderson site is getting an 850-tonne KraussMaffei SpinForm press with a cube mold mounted on a rotary table. He said Proper wants to show how the technology can be used to mold automotive lighting and other multicomponent parts.

Proper Group plans to manufacture molds for the spinning-cube machines, Grippe said.

Caprio said SpinForm presses are molding automotive parts in other parts of the world. "It's time that gets to North America," he said.

Grippe also said Proper Group is looking to open molding plants in the Tennessee/Alabama area and in Mexico.

TechDay centered on the molding demonstration area in Warren. "This facility across the street is going to be a specialty facility for two-shot," said Joe Grippe, Proper vice president, speaking at the headquarters building. "We're running lenses in there, and really capitalizing on the technology that KraussMaffei brings to the table."

At the event, a 1,600-tonne MXZ multicomponent machine was running a two-color taillight, in clear and red acrylic.

KM used TechDay for the U.S. premier of its GX line of injection molding machines, which the company first showed at the Fakuma show in Germany last fall. A 400-tonne GX was molding parts in Warren. The complete line ranges from 400-650 tonnes

Caprio said KraussMaffei engineers wanted to develop a durable two-platen press for the middle price range. Features include a GearX clamping unit that uses a set of locking nuts, and a GuideX guide shoe that stabilizes the moving platen. GuideX uses a new type of fixed bearing joint that the company said greatly reduces friction.

KM and Proper also showed off a 180-tonne, all-electric AX press.

"We're an engineering-oriented company and always looking to go to the next technology, and be the differentiator," Grippe said.


Comments

Auto suppliers beefing up technology

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: February 25, 2013 1:34 pm ET
Updated: February 25, 2013 2:02 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Negri Bossi's new owners may 'bring significant manufacturing' to US

April 16, 2014 1:09 pm ET

Italian plastics equipment major Negri Bossi may “bring significant manufacturing of injection molding machines back to the United...    More

Image

Polyair rebuilds from Sandy with help from Process Control

April 16, 2014 4:11 pm ET

Hurricane Sandy gutted Polyair Inter Pack Inc.'s Carlstadt, N.J., plant more than a year ago, and Brian Clawson won't soon forget the devastation.    More

Image

Adding flavor to capture sales

April 16, 2014 4:03 pm ET

Water bottles increasingly are designed and molded with filters and infusers to hold fruit, vegetables or herbs to give water a different taste.    More

Huntingdon Fiberglass launching second line

April 16, 2014 2:18 pm ET

Huntingdon Fiberglass Products LLC is getting set to start up a second production line later this year and hire 15-20 new employees as it sees demand ...    More

New Tigre, ADS JV aims to open more doors for Tigre in US

April 16, 2014 12:15 pm ET

A new joint venture between Tigre S.A. Brazil, a leading PVC pipe maker, and Advanced Drainage Systems Inc., the world's largest high-density polyethy...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events