DETROIT - Custom molder and toolmaker TransNav Inc. is nearing completion of a $2 million expansion that will more than double the number of injection presses it now operates. TransNav, based in Clinton Township, Mich., near Detroit, is scheduled to consolidate all molding and toolmaking operations by August in a new 45,000-square-foot facility in New Baltimore, Mich.
Its current 18,000-square-foot plant in Clinton Township will be retained as a warehouse, said General Manager Percy Vreeken. He was interviewed at the Automotive & Transportation Interiors Show, which ran May 16-18 at Cobo Center in Detroit.
TransNav has seven Kawaguchi presses, with clamping forces of 88-396 tons. He said the firm was planning to add as many as nine new Van Dorn presses in the same tonnage range by the end of this year. It also is adding automated parts-handling and conveyor systems at the new facility.
TransNav specializes in high-speed, close-tolerance molding for the automotive, appliance, medical and toy markets. In automotive, its largest market, the firm has developed a specialty business molding speaker grilles. The plastic grilles, Vreeken said, offer an advantage in cost, weight, ease of assembly and recyclability compared with conventional metal grilles.
The company also has developed a technique for molding a cloth scrim between two layers of plastic.
``The audio components and speakers products markets have pushed our company beyond current capacity,'' Vreeken said.
TransNav's joint venture partner, Feinwerktechnik GmbH of Austria, developed the speaker grille technology. Most new product and tooling work for speaker grille business is sourced through the ;joint venture plant in Tribuswinkel, Austria.