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MMI invests in 3 new injection presses

By: Roger Renstrom

June 21, 2013

Custom injection molder MMI Engineered Solutions Inc. of Saline, Mich., is acquiring three new injection molding machines in a $2 million technology investment.

By October, MMI plans to begin operating a Bi-Power VH2000-22500, two-platen, hydro-mechanical machine from Negri Bossi.

The 2,250-ton press will have integrated hot-runner controls, statistical process control and quality-control software, and an eDart interfacing system from RJG Inc. In addition, Negri Bossi’s Amico-brand wireless remote service system will log processes for complete quality traceability.

A Negri Bossi 400-ton and a Nissei 85-ton unit should be operating in mid-August. Currently, MMI runs 13 presses from 85-1,500 tons and robots on three machines. One press will be retired, said Doug Callahan, president and chief operating officer.

All three new presses will have fully integrated robotic systems, including Negri Bossi’s Flash Sy Cartesian robots for the Negri Bossi units and a Yushin robot for the Nissei machine. In addition, MMI is retrofitting three other presses with Yushin robots.

MMI employs 75 at an 80,000-square-foot facility and anticipates 2013 sales of about $20 million — about 25 percent higher than in 2012. As for hiring, “In the past year, we added technical and sales folks,” Callahan said.

He expects the plant to reach capacity in the next year.

Recent sales growth has come mostly from manufacturing custom materials-handling products such as trays and totes, but he said future growth will take place in metal-to-plastic part-handling projects for proprietary, mission-critical needs of OEMs, including makers of heavy-duty trucks.

Among its capabilities, MMI combines steel and high-performance polymer matrix composites for transporting high-value engines, transmissions and glass.

“We are all about cost, quality and throughput,” Callahan said.

The partnership has helped both companies, Callahan said.

“Negri Bossi does not have big presses in the Midwest,” Callahan said. “They will use our facility as showcase to show their capabilities to customers.”

MMI has an engineering and sales office in Troy, Mich.