CLEVELAND-Plastics Fair Cleveland marked the first trade show appearance of Molding & Coating Technologies, a 3-year-old dip molding equipment maker. Dip molding, sometimes also called dip coating, is used to make products such as grips, bellows, hand tools and vinyl and rubber gloves. Some companies specialize in dip molding, but George Heath Jr., vice president of marketing, said Plastics Fair Cleveland offered a much broader market: injection molding firms.
``We have turned around and gone from marketing to dip molders exclusively to marketing to custom injection molders as well,'' Heath said.
Molding & Coating Technologies recently sold three dip molding lines to custom molders, Heath said, declining to identify the companies. Firms that make injection molded grips and knobs want to diversify to make soft, squeezable grips and end caps, products well-suited to dip molding, Heath said. Those foamed grips are a hot market thanks to their popularity on exercise equipment, hand tools and appliances.
Molding & Coating Technologies is a joint venture between Cleveland-based Thermovation Engineering Inc., which makes ovens used in dip molding lines, and Plastic Dip Mouldings International Ltd., a dip molder in Irvine, Scotland. Molding & Coating, which employs 15, is based at Thermovation.
Heath said sales have grown from $400,000 in 1994 to $1.5 million for the first five months of 1995. The company's specialty is highly accurate, flexible machinery that is automated and uses advanced controls.
``There's a basic set of principles that apply to every machine, but each machine is unique,'' he said.
The custom-made dip molding lines cost $100,000-$500,000.