RJG Technologies Inc., a maker of process control equipment for the injection molding industry, and sister company RJG Associates Inc., a consulting and training firm, are preparing to move into a new 10,000-square-foot building in Traverse City, Mich., where both companies are based. The new building, situated on a 10-acre parcel, is expected to be completed by September at an estimated cost of $500,000. RJG Technologies has been growing at an average annual rate of about 50 percent in the last three years and needs more room, said Matthew Groleau, operations manager.
``We continue to outgrow the facilities we've been in,'' he said.
RJG Technologies, with 25 employees, makes a range of instrumentation used in process control and monitoring of injection molding machines. The company, founded in 1989, expects revenues of $4 million this year, nearly double last year's total.
RJG Technologies and RJG Associates are both owned by Groleau's father, Rodney J. Groleau.
RJG Associates, founded in 1985 and now with eight employees, is principally a consulting and training business. But this month the company also announced it is starting a metal injection manufacturing joint venture with Krupp Engineering Inc. of Dexter, Mich.
Metal injection, as practiced by RJG, involves the use of a metal powder mixed with an additive or binder that can be melted and molded using a standard plastic injection molding machine. After molding, the metal part is treated with chemicals or heated to remove the binder. Finally, the metal part is sintered, or placed in a high-temperature vacuum oven, to remove porosities left after the binder is removed.
The joint venture is currently molding metal fasteners for an automotive customer. RJG acquired four used injection presses with clamping forces of less than 100 tons each to handle the molding. Krupp finishes the parts.
RJG Associates views the entire metal injection business as a high-growth market, said Karol Vanderhoff, business manager.
``There's more and more need to produce tight-tolerance metal parts and it's more economical to mold them,'' she said.
The chief raw material supplier to the joint venture is the BASF Product Application Division in Wyandotte, Mich.