California molder adds equipment, pursuing medical market

By Roger Renstrom
Correspondent

Published: December 10, 2013 4:00 pm ET
Updated: December 10, 2013 4:01 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Aerospace, Medical, Injection Molding, Molds/Tooling

A&S Mold and Die Corp. of Chatsworth, Calif., is installing its 47th injection molding machine — a hybrid-servo 950-ton Toshiba with a 250-ounce shot size — in December.

The custom injection molder and mold maker is moving into the market for disposable medical applications.

“We are thinking about building a formal clean room in the near future,” said President Arno Adlhoch. “I still have faith and hope in manufacturing in southern California.”

Adlhoch and his sister, Karen Adlhoch, co-own the business that their late father, Hugo, developed and operated. Arno deals with operations, and Karen handles human resource, legal and accounting functions.

Equipped with a Wittmann robot, the new Toshiba ISGT950WII-S has a special wide platen that is usually used on a 1,450-ton machine.

“We were turning away some business needing a larger press size,” Arno Adlhoch said. “To turn away business is very hard.”

Principally, A&S molds telecommunications racking systems, aircraft armrests, consumer housewares and drip irrigation components.

For an important aircraft program, “we started out machining blank shells for the armrests,” he said. “Our customer does the entire interior of the aircraft. Eventually, we added functions” including the molding of components of high-impact flame-resistant polycarbonate.

A&S gained the capability to process the required traceability paperwork for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration certification. For that aspect, “we needed to upgrade our systems” in material requirements planning capabilities, Adlhoch said.

The A&S mold shop’s computer numerical control capabilities include a three-axis vertical machining center and a sinker electric discharge machine.

Depending on work load, A&S employs70-100 including four mold makers, and the firm occupies 50,000 square feet.

A&S operates Arburg vertical-capable presses for close-tolerance, insert-molding and smaller requirements starting at a clamping force of 22 tons. The firm has a rotary vertical Engel, numerous Toyos in the 500-ton range and another 950-ton Toshiba that was acquired about a decade ago.

“We have the first large Toyo sold in the States,” he said. Large, in this case, is relative at 145 tons.

Adlhoch projects 2013 sales being 15 percent higher than those in 2012. A&S withholds sales figures.

Hugo Adlhoch was born in Speyer, Germany, and trained as a mold maker apprentice at BASF SE before immigrating to Montreal at age 19. He moved his family to Santa Monica, Calif., and, in 1969 with short-time partner Fred Shapstau, founded a mold shop in Burbank, Calif. The business moved to Chatsworth in the mid-1970s and started injection molding for sampling with the smallest available Arburg. He died in August 2012 at the age of 74.

His son recalls that Hugo Adlhoch used lights-out injection molding before the advent of remote monitoring alerts and fixes. Before leaving the shop for dinner with his family, he would call home and set the phone next to the molding machine. His wife, Brigitte, would place the home phone receiver so the “ka-chunk” sound during each molding cycle was audible. If the ka-chunks stopped, Adlhoch would rush back to the plant to fix the problem.

 


Comments

California molder adds equipment, pursuing medical market

By Roger Renstrom
Correspondent

Published: December 10, 2013 4:00 pm ET
Updated: December 10, 2013 4:01 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Auto suppliers announce expansion plans in Slovakia

December 24, 2014 9:11 am ET

Three auto suppliers in Slovakia have announced plans to expand in the country.    More

Image

Cretex buys California toolmaker

December 23, 2014 11:34 am ET

Medical device manufacturer JunoPacific Inc. has added tooling capabilities through the acquisition of Lawrence Tool and Engineering in California.    More

Image

Yizumi finally gets green light for IPO

December 23, 2014 10:16 am ET

Press maker Guangdong Yizumi Precision Machinery Co. Ltd. has at last received the green light from Chinese securities regulator for an IPO on the...    More

Image

Weak China demand hurts Chen Hsong, delays Shenzhen plant

December 23, 2014 10:03 am ET

A slump in investment in China's plastics industry and a general slowdown in the country's manufacturing industry pushed sales and profits down...    More

Image

The Technology House moves to larger Ohio location

December 22, 2014 1:22 pm ET

A need for more space is leading industrial manufacturing firm the Technology House Ltd. to move from Solon, Ohio, to nearby Streetsboro.    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events