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

Image

Delphi CEO O'Neal stepping down

September 15, 2014 12:05 pm ET

Delphi Automotive plc announced that Rodney O'Neal will retire as CEO and president on March 1, 2015, ending his 43-year career at the global...    More

Image

Bud Frye may be retiring, but his molds and products continue

September 12, 2014 1:11 pm ET

After 35 years in the plastics industry, Bud Frye thinks it is time for someone else to sell his food storage and housewares products. That's why...    More

Image

Faurecia Seating grows in Kentucky

September 12, 2014 12:00 pm ET

Faurecia Seating LLC, a division of French-based Faurecia SA, will build a new manufacturing facility in Simpsonville, Ky.    More

Image

Behr-Hella set to open Bulgarian auto parts plant

September 12, 2014 10:20 am ET

German automotive components manufacturer Behr-Hella Thermocontrol (BHTC) is set to launch a new 22 million euro ($28.4 million) vehicle air...    More

Image

ATS goes global with acquisition of M+W Process Automation

September 10, 2014 2:49 pm ET

ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc., a maker of factory automation systems in Cambridge, Ontario, has agreed to buy a German company M+W Process Autom...    More

Market Reports

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events