Press maker Athena expanding in Ontario

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: June 2, 2014 6:14 pm ET
Updated: June 3, 2014 9:29 am ET

Image By: Athena Automation Robert Schad

Related to this story

Topics Packaging, Machinery

Robert Schad’s injection molding machinery company is growing to a new level.

Athena Automation Ltd. broke ground in early May on a new systems center next to its existing plant in Vaughan, Ontario, on Toronto’s northwest edge. The 155,000-square-foot facility, due to open in the second quarter of 2016, is nearly four times the size of its first facility.

The $40 million center will boost injection press assembly and integration and open the door for production of larger presses.

Athena spokesman Aron Szasz Gabor said in an email that Athena will start making presses with up to 450 tons of clamping force in 2016. The company now makes 150- and 300-tonners, mainly for PET preform production, although the machines can be customized for other markets.

The center will showcase Athena’s trademarked lightsout plant automation technology. The facility will be packed with environmental features, echoing Schad’s green philosophy developed at his former company, Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. in nearby Bolton, Ontario.

Athena claims its new center will be 41 percent more energy-efficient than conventional new buildings. A rooftop solar array will deliver 300 kilowatts of electricity. A geothermal system will provide 300 kW of heating in winter and 350 kW of cooling in summer. A 125-seat cafeteria, fitness center and medical office will help employees pursue healthy living.

The center will have a dedicated area for mold trials and extended runs, a quality-control laboratory, automated high-density part storage, high-efficiency resin conveying and drying systems, and dedicated chillers for each machine testing station.

Athena has been improving its injection press technology since Schad started it in 2008. Recent additions are a 300-ton press that can run up to 96 cavities and a new stack mold carrier that hikes mold weight by 70 percent to 9.5 metric tons.

Athena is streamlining its current plant to increase capacity to four to six presses a month. Over the next year it will add more options for customized features, such as rotary cube, in-mold assembly, higher speed injection, roundtables for multi-material molding and high-speed robots with specialized tooling.

Vic de Zen, owner of ZZen Group, attended Athena’s groundbreaking ceremony. Athena has retained ZZen for construction and engineering of the new center.

De Zen also owns Vision Group, which has vinyl profile extrusion operations in Vaughan. De Zen was founder and majority owner of vinyl extrusion major Royal Group Technologies Ltd., now owned by Axiall Corp. of Atlanta.


Comments

Press maker Athena expanding in Ontario

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: June 2, 2014 6:14 pm ET
Updated: June 3, 2014 9:29 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

PrimaPak targets younger consumers

December 24, 2014 10:22 am ET

PrimaPak, which combines attributes of both rigid and flexible packaging, is being aimed squarely at younger folks — including millennials and...    More

Image

Motion Controls Robotics expands

December 24, 2014 10:05 am ET

Motion Controls Robotics Inc. is expanding its Fremont, Ohio, facility to keep pace with a surge in demand for automation.    More

Image

French investment firm buys Vienna-based Constantia Flexibles

December 23, 2014 3:03 pm ET

Constantia Flexibles GmbH, one of Europe's largest flexible packaging companies, has a new owner.    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 sharpl...    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