The following items were reported by correspondent Clare Goldsberry from the rotational molders' spring meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Lakeland Mold invests $1 million to expand
Lakeland Mold Co. in Brainerd, Minn., responded to increased demand for its cast aluminum tooling for the rotational molding industry by investing $1 million to expand its facility and capabilities.
President Dan Schulist said the company recently completed the addition of 13,000 square feet to the building, bringing the total square footage to 38,000.
Lakeland also added capacity for electronic transfer of information by installing Pro/Engineer mold-build software and hiring an operator to run it.
Schulist, in an interview at the Association of Rotational Molders meeting in Scottsdale, said the company started seven years ago with three employees in a 4,000-square-foot rented space.
A building constructed in 1989 has seen three additions to accommodate growth. Lakeland now has 50 employees.
Lakeland has a model shop, machine shop and casting department. The company builds rotational molds, and molds for the vacuum forming and blow molding industries.
Container line spurs Clawson expansion
Clawson Container Co. recently expanded its Clarkston, Mich., manufacturing facility by adding 30,000 square feet and a new Ferry 430 rotomolding machine to accommodate production of a new proprietary line of intermediate bulk containers.
Called Enviro-Clean Gold, the 300-gallon, limited-use containers are designed for shipping chemicals. Enviro-Clean comes in three models, each made of blow molded high density polyethylene or rotationally molded medium density PE.
Clawson makes both rotationally molded and blow molded chemical tanks. It had been getting its rotationally molded bottles from an outside vendor.
The firm employs about 100, and operates from three buildings with a total of 60,000 square feet of manufacturing space.
``Bringing the production of our poly bottles in-house will allow us to gain control over the quality, plus meet our customers' requests for new product in a timely fashion,'' said Dick Harding, Clawson general manager.
PDM molding adds lines at two plants
Responding to rapid growth in the rotational molding industry, PDM Molding Inc. completed expansions at both its Littleton, Colo., facility and at PDM Molding NW Inc. in Vancouver, Wash.
PDM President Jeff Giacchino said each plant added one rotational molding line, bringing to four the total at each facility.
The Vancouver plant added 20,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Each facility now operates in 50,000 square feet.
Both plants added computer numerically controlled trimming equipment. PDM also offers urethane foaming and assembly.
``We're seeing real growth in the rotational molding industry and we're preparing for that growth by taking advantage of the latest technology,'' he said.
Advances in materials, tooling and equipment, along with growth in product conversions from other processes to rotational molding is driving industry growth, said Giacchino, who serves as the materials committee chairman for the Association of Rotational Molders.
PDM serves the recreational, military, marine and agricultural industries and employs 100 companywide.
Today's Kids adds blow molding ability
Today's Kids, a rotational molder of children's play centers and large, ride-on toys, expanded its capabilities with the addition of three new blow molding machines to its plant in Boone-ville, Ark.
General manager Clyde Parks said the plant has five rotational molding machines. The plant has been producing plastic toys for infants and preschool-age children since 1985. Before that, the firm was called Wolverine Toy Co. and produced metal toys.
Since completing a 330,000-square-foot addition in 1993, Today's Kids operates in a 1.2 million-square-foot plant. It has about 300 production employees and 70 office staff at Booneville. It also has a sales, marketing and new-product development office in Dallas that employs 30, and an office in New York.
Remcon expanding, buys nearby building
Remcon Plastics Inc. recently purchased a 60,000-square-foot building across the street from its headquarters plant in Reading, Pa., to allow for expanded manufacturing capabilities.
Don L. Bruce, vice president of operations, said Remcon also installed two additional rotational molding machines, Ferry 400 models with 160-inch arm swings. This brings to nine the total number of machines Remcon operates.
The company's main facility contains 78,000 square feet.
The company also hired Paul Nugent as technology director.
Remcon manufactures bulk bins for food storage, materials-handling containers, cylindrical tanks and flotation devices for a variety of industrial applications. The company employs 75.