Siemens Automotive has made injection molding its key plastics process following the sale of its blow molding assets to Carlisle Geauga Co. of Chardon, Ohio. Original equipment manufacturers ``lately require more precise molding and cosmetic appearance, which is easier to do with injection molding,'' said Siemens Automotive spokesman David Ladd.
The automotive parts producer sold its blow molding assets in Tilbury, Ontario, to Carlisle Geauga late last year for undisclosed terms. During the next seven months the Chardon firm will transfer the equipment, including seven blow molding machines, to its existing blow molding plants in Canton, Ohio, and Trenton, S.C., said Allen Hofmann, Carlisle Geauga president.
Siemens Automotive is completing an expansion of its Tilbury injection molding operation that Ladd said will cost $15 million to $20 million.
Carlisle Geauga agreed to supply Siemens for five years with blow molded parts for automotive induction components such as air cleaners and resonators. Hofmann said the purchased equipment has enough capacity to be used for other Carlisle Geauga programs as well, ``depending on Siemens' growth.''
Ladd said Siemens Automotive will continue to respond to customer needs for blow molding through its agreement with Carlisle Geauga.
``There will always be a market for blow molding,'' Ladd said.
Ladd estimates that blow molding accounted for about 20 percent of Tilbury's annual sales of about $70 million. The op-eration is a subdivision of Siemens Automotive's Induction and Emission Controls Products Division in nearby Chatham, Ontario.
Ladd said in a telephone interview from Siemens Automotive's head office in Auburn Hills, Mich., that the firm was faced with deciding whether to invest in both injection and blow molding and determined ``injection molding is our growth area.'' Chrysler Corp. and Ford Motor Corp. are Tilbury's largest customers.
Hofmann said the deal establishes an important relationship with a Tier 1 automotive supplier that also will help Carlisle Geauga expand its engineering capabilities. The automotive industry is also his firm's largest market.
Carlisle also supplies truck, furniture, construction, lawn and garden and industrial markets. Its other plants are an injection molding and extrusion operation in Crestline, Ohio, a rubber processing facility in Middlefield, Ohio, and a thermoset and thermoplastic injection molding plant in Lake City, Pa.
Hofmann would not reveal Carlisle Geauga's annual sales. It is a subsidiary of Carlisle Cos. Inc., a publicly held firm that had sales of about $700 million last year. Other Carlisle subsidiaries make construction materials, transportation products and general industrial goods, all of which have plastic or rubber in them.
Siemens Automotive announced last summer that it had begun an expansion of its Tilbury injection molding operation.
The firm completed a new, 110,000-square-foot facility in the fall, moved 12 existing presses into the plant, installed 11 new Cincinnati Milacron presses and has five more on order.
Ladd said all presses will have Mattec production monitoring and control systems, and four have robots.