``Have molding press, will travel,'' could be the slogan for Snap Up Products, an injection molding company that operates in a 44-foot trailer in San Jose, Calif. Most of the time, the trailer sits on the property of a construction company that Lars Martin, Snap Up's owner, once co-owned. He sold his share several years ago to begin designing and manufacturing hardware for perimeter security systems used in military bases and nuclear facilities.
Business has slowed because of military base closures, Martin said. However, he said he is willing to get a friend's tractor and pull his mobile injection molding plant to wherever he can find work.
Inside the trailer is a Toyo press with 90 tons of clamping force, a 3-ton chiller and a grinder operated by a diesel generator. An overhead electric crane and hoist make it easy for one person to set a mold.
``My operating costs are tremendously low, about $10 an hour,'' Martin said.
Besides low costs, Martin said another advantage to having a portable molding facility is the ability to pull into a company's parking lot and run high-volume parts around the clock. No packaging and no shipping are involved.
``I do about 95 percent of all my jobs in this one machine,'' he said.
For other jobs, Martin owns three more presses he leases to a custom molder in the area, then subcontracts the work.
Besides his contract to mold products for Perimeter Products in Mountain View, Calif., Martin's company makes medical and electronic parts.