Port Erie Plastics Inc. is entering blow molded pallet production and expanding assembly space for its custom injection molding business. Port Erie will take delivery this month of a Cincinnati Milacron blow molding machine with a 60-pound head, marketing manager Jon Connole said. The unit will make proprietary pallets weighing less than 20 pounds and also will be used for custom blow molding. He did not reveal the cost of the machine.
Vice President Cheryl Fahey said the firm will spend about $1.5 million to add 75,000 square feet of space at its Harbor-creek, Pa., facility. The addition will boost capability to do complex assemblies and to package and ship products, she said.
Port Erie assembles a range of consumer products for Little Tikes Co. and other customers. It now has about 200,000 square feet of manufacturing, distribution and office space. Fahey said Port Erie also ordered eight new injection presses with clamping forces of 60-550 tons to replace some HPMs that are about 20 years old.
Connole expects blow molded pallets to perform and look like twin-sheet thermoformed pallets but to be more cost-effective because of the one-step processing method. The new version will supplement Port Erie's injection molded pallet, which it touts as a cost-effective, cleaner alternative to wood pallets. The blow molded product is geared to food, grocery and industrial uses. Port Erie will introduce it at the North American Material Handling Show,set for April 15-18 in Detroit.
Port Erie bought five Engel and three Toshiba presses and plans to install them all by early summer. Fahey could not estimate the replacement program cost because the firm hopes to sell several older presses to help offset the cost. It will continue to have about 45 presses.