AKRON, OHIO — Cincinnati Process Technologies, started four years ago by ex-Milacron veterans Dane Bales and Jim O'Bryan to focus on retrofitting machine controllers, has branched out into selling new injection molding presses and robots, from suppliers based in Taiwan.
CPT handles sales and service of Asian Plastic Machinery Co. Ltd., the export presses from Chen Hsong Group, as well as WETEC-brand robots from WE-Technology Automation Co. Ltd.
CPT wants to be a single-source provider of injection molding machines and robots, with a full line of support services, said Bales. He visited Plastics News offices in Akron to talk about strategy at the Cincinnati-based company, which employs 10 people and is building a network of sales representatives. Six of the 10 employees are field service engineers, he said.
CPT is owned by Recto Molded Products Inc., a custom molder in Cincinnati. It is run by separate management at its own recently expanded facility.
Bales had 31 years of sales experience at Milacron, LLC ending up as national sales manager. He left Milacron in 2009, and after a short stint at Wittmann Battenfeld, teamed with O'Bryan to start Cincinnati Process Technologies.
O'Bryan worked in controls development at Milacron for 25 years.
Controls retrofits was the original business model — and remains a core business today. Bales said the timing, right in the teeth of a major recession, made starting a new business even more of a challenge. Bales said the two partners make a good team.
"He had the technology background. I had the sales and industry contacts," Bales said. "Our idea was to go out and sell all these control retrofits. But [in 2009] people weren't even spending money on control retrofits! Se we ended up focusing on parts and service. And that's where people were interested — they had to keep their machines running."
Bales had a lot of contacts at plastics processors. The controls retrofit sales "helped us survive in 2009," he said. CPT also began selling the Energy Spy, a plantwide energy monitoring device, and SyncroSpeed, a retrofit motor speed control.
CPT also sells screws and barrels, cylinders, and components such as valves, pumps and motors.
Bales said the CPT partners wanted to add a line of new machinery, as the industry began to rebound. About three years ago, they started selling presses from Asian Plastic Machinery Co., based in Taoyuan, Taiwan. Chen Hsong targets the Taiwan-built Asian Plastic line as a higher-end press for export. The machines range in clamping force from 50 tons to 3,200 tons. That includes the SM-TSV toggle-press series from 55-1,150 tons, and the two-platen, TP series of presses from 700-3,200 tons.
Bales said Asian Plastic Machinery also makes a fully hydraulic clamp press from 30-500 tons, with smart hydraulics driven by a Daikin servo motor
"The facility in Taiwan builds machines for everywhere but China. What they're building for, in essence, is the international markets," he said. "So they recognize that Europe, North America, South America have specific requirements in terms of how the machines are build. In terms of the safety requirements, different specifications, different knock-out holes. So they're set up to be able to accommodate those various requirements."
Chen Hsong has tried to target the U.S. market in the past, without much success. But Bales said CPT's knowledge of the U.S. market, technical expertise, and parts and service abilities are valuable to the company. "We've spec-ed out a machine to our specifications," he said.
And the Asian Plastic press they are bringing over as standard equipment has the servo-driven hydraulic package. And now, at CPT's suggestion, the Asian Plastic machines for U.S. customers have a Bernecker + Rainer controller. B&R controllers are used in many mainstream plastics machinery brands.
CPT is taking a long-term approach to the Asian Plastic Machinery presses, Bales said: "We're starting it up. We're serving it up. We're providing documentation."
Now Cincinnati Process Technologies offers robots, as well. CPT leaders met officials from the WETEC robot company at the NPE2012 in Orlando, where they demonstrated an automated in-mold-labeling system. The company also offers a PET perform extraction robot and cooling station.
"They've got a nice line of robotics and automation," Bales said.
The WETEC line includes sprue pickers, beam robots and servo robots. A side-entry robot has an unusual design, mounted on top of the press like a beam robot, with an arm that drops down and shoots into the mold from the side.
Given the Ohio roots of Bales and O'Bryan, it makes sense that the tended to focus on the Midwest. But the partners are expanding to make CPT, Asian Plastic Machinery and WETEC robots better known nationwide. CPT added a full-time position of Midwest account manager, hiring Scott Drake in Chicago. He covers Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Bales said CPT is looking to add manufacturers representatives in the Southeast, Northeast and other Midwestern states.