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Asyst Technologies growing with new press purchases

By: Michael Lauzon

August 29, 2013

Custom injection molder Asyst Technologies LLC has expanded to keep up with growth.

"New presses were purchased to meet increased customer demand," said Andy Santos, plant manager for the Kenosha, Wis., company, in an email. "We had a 47 percent increase in production volume from 2010 to 2012 and could no longer keep up with equipment we had."

Asyst spent about $550,000 for new Engel presses, auxiliaries and infrastructure, Santos said. The firm began running the presses in early July. Engel announced the expansion Aug. 28.

Asyst spokeswoman Joann Cathcart said the purchased presses were 55- and 85-tonners. The machines boosted Asyst's press count to 15 fully automated Engel horizontal, hydraulic, tie-barless presses with clamps ranging from 25-330 tons and a 90-ton vertical press. The presses are tied to downstream automation equipment such as camera inspectors, ultrasonic welding and functional testing. Automation systems were provided by sister company Asyst Automation of Kenosha.

"The ability to assign a tool based on the required clamping force rather than tie bar spacing is one of the main reasons we have built our business using Engel tie-barless machines," Santos said. "We have run molds in our 150 ton press that other companies have had to put in 250-300 ton presses because of tie-bar constraints."

Asyst chose for the expansion Engel's Victory Spex presses equipped with the York, Pa., firm's ER-USP sprue pickers. Engel claims its presses with Ecodrive provide energy savings of up to 70 percent compared with standard hydraulic presses.

Asyst specializes in supplying Tier 1 automotive companies but is expanding into other markets such as consumer products, medical and electronics. To support its growth it plans to add new capabilities like multicomponent molding and over-molding. A sister company in Germany will help through technology transfer.

In its 42,000-square-foot plant Asyst employs 58 on three shifts, five days a week. It molds glass-filled nylon, acetal, thermoplastic elastomers, polypropylene, polybutylene terephthalate and polyetherimide.

Asyst, established in 1996, is a joint venture between Ejot Holding GmbH & Co. KG of Bad Berleburg, Germany, and ATF Inc. of Chicago. Ejot is an injection molder and fastener specialist. ATF makes threaded fasteners.

"This combination gives us a network capable of manufacturing and supporting customers almost anywhere in the world," Santos said.