Production began Aug. 2 at ProMold, a U.S.-British joint venture housed at American Household Products Inc. in Leeds, Ala., that injection molds promotional and custom products. The company joins American Household Products, a 17-year-old plastics molder, with ProMould Ltd. of Banbury, England, a mold maker and molder running 45 small-tonnage Boy machines. Gian Pearson, managing director of ProMould in England, said his company plans to buy more injection molding machines to reach 60 machines this year.
ProMold, the joint venture in Alabama, also plans to reach 60 machines by the end of 1996 or sometime in 1997, said Burns Roensch, president of American Household Products.
The joint venture, a limited liability company, already has started to mold on its first two machines, 24-ton and 55-ton Boy presses. Two more Boy machines have been ordered, with clamping forces of 55 and 88 tons. Molds will be made by ProMould in England initially, but Roensch said he wants to open a small mold shop at the Alabama location in 1996.
American Household already molds promotional products.
``We're a broad-based promotional item manufacturer,'' said Roensch. The same goes for custom molding. ``It's really Plastics 'R' Us,'' he said.
American Household was founded in 1978 with five Van Dorn presses. Today it has 13 Van Dorns, with clamping forces of 75-500 tons, in a 75,000-square-foot plant, and runs five pad printers, eight silk screening machines and two hot stampers.
``Our plan is to build a stand-alone plant'' for the joint venture, Roensch said.
Roensch and Pearson have known each other for 10 years. Pearson said he used to run Bunzl Plastics Inc., the U.S. arm of Bunzl Plastics plc of London. He left Bunzl in 1989.
ProMould's specialty is building modular molds and doing molding for small parts that can be molded automatically. According to Pearson, the company splits the cost of the mold, and ownership, with the customer. That assures a more stable customer base, he said.