Nitrojection Corp. has licensed a North Canton, Ohio, maker of security systems and automatic teller machines to use its gas-assist technology. In January, Diebold Inc. took delivery of Nitrojection's portable nitrogen injection unit and technology to do research and development at its North Canton facility, said Tom Johnson, Nitrojection's co-owner and president.
His company is focused on building new business, Johnson said. With that goal in mind, last August he teamed up with Joe Teague, majority owner of Crown Mold & Machine Inc., a tool shop in Streetsboro, Ohio. Crown, another Nitrojection gas-assist licensee, now offers engineering support and mold tryouts for firms interested in the process.
Diebold will use Nitrojection, also the trademark for the firm's gas-assist technology, to mold fascia and other parts for such products as ATMs, said Philip M. Laier, Diebold's director of manufacturing and development logistics. The company had been using structural foam molding to make the parts, he said.
Traditional injection molding had produced weak parts, Laier said in a recent telephone interview. Reinforcing the parts, by putting in a thick section, left sink marks, he said. Structural foam molding gave the company stiffer parts without sink marks. But the parts needed a lot of body work, because gas got into the plastic and collapsed on its surface, he said.
The fascia parts use almost half as much plastic with gas-assist as with structural foam, he said.
Diebold makes security products and ATMs for banks and other organizations worldwide. The company conducts injection molding R&D in North Canton on presses ranging from 55-1,000 tons, but outsources production to molders in Ohio, Indiana and Minnesota.
Diebold researched both the patents and costs for other companies' gas-assist systems, Laier said. He called Nitrojection's costs very competitive.
The Nitrojection license covers both gas-assisted molding through the nozzle or in the mold, Johnson said.
In 1987, Johnson and his brother formed Nitrojection Corp. as a patent holding company to develop gas-assist injection molding. At the time, the Johnsons also owned Sajar Plastics Inc., a custom molder in Middlefield, Ohio, and were developing the gas-assist process for in-house use.
In 1987, the Johnsons sold both Sajar and Nitrojection to American Plastics Technology Inc., a British-owned holding firm. But APT encountered problems in selling Nitrojection's gas-assist technology to Sajar competitors, Johnson said. The gas-assist business also conflicted with building Sajar's custom molding base, he said.
In January 1993, Johnson bought back Nitrojection from APT, for an undisclosed sum. As part of the deal, Sajar was licensed to continue using Nitrojection's gas-assist process to make parts for computers and business machines among other products.
Last summer, Nitrojection stepped up marketing efforts, and Johnson brought on Teague as a partner and chief executive officer. The Crown relationship drove the deal, Johnson said.
Another licensee, Build-A-Mold Ltd. of Windsor, Ontario, also offers technical support in Nitrojection gas-assist molding, Johnson said.
He said he sees his molding experience at Sajar as an asset in developing and selling the technology. He would not disclose sales for Nitrojection, based in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.