MCMINNVILLE, TENN. - Entrepre-neur Rick Northcutt is altogether discreet when it comes to talking about his customers. After all, his customers are his business, and business is good at McMinnville Molding Co. Inc. Good enough that Northcutt brought on three new Van Dorn injection presses last year and a 150-ton Larose compression molding machine in February.
Good enough that he plans to expand his 15,000-square-foot plant in McMinnville by 8,000 feet next spring, to add more presses.
And good enough that in August he opened another shop in nearby Woodbury, a joint venture that he and partner Rick Cooke call Southern Mold & Engineering.
In 1980 Northcutt started up MMC with one injection molding machine. Now his company is equipped with 13 Van Dorns, with clamping forces of 75-350 tons, all fitted with Conair dryers and IMS grinders, he said. The firm serves a broad customer base, selling to original equipment manufacturers - communications equipment and consumer goods are two of its biggest markets - and exporting to Australia, Switzer-land and Canada.
The Larose is the firm's second compression machine, for molding phenolics. It also does pad printing, sonic welding and subassembly, and employs 32.
At an 8,000-square-foot plant in Woodbury, SM&E has two Van Dorn injection presses and one blow molding machine, and offers tool building and repair.
Cascade die Mold plans renovation
MONTICELLO, IOWA - In the next year, Cascade Die Mold Inc. plans to renovate its Monticello facility and add 40,000 square feet.
The addition, to be completed in May, will serve as a warehouse. The original plant will remain operational while undergoing a major face lift.
General manager Donald Fischer said the $1.5 million upgrade will help modernize Cascade's operations.
``Because the company was a family business, it grew in pieces,'' Fischer said.
``We'll be installing a new cooling system, electrical system and bridge cranes over the machines.''
Cascade has 25 injection molder machines and plans to add five. As a result, 15 employees will be added to the current 200.
Cascade serves markets ranging from hand-held computers, toys and appliances to office products. Its sales last year were $14.5 million.
Fabricator enters molded PU market
SHEBOYGAN, WIS. - American Excelsior Co. has added $1 million of equipment to enter the molded polyurethane business.
A custom fabricator of PU and plastic foams, American Excelsior in March installed a high-pressure PU liquid injection molding machine at its Sheboygan facility, said marketing director Ken Starrett. The equipment will custom mold seating products, a new line for the firm.
American Excelsior will not expand the 120,000-square-foot Sheboygan plant, but has added six employees to the unit's roster of about 60. Information on the unit's capacity was unavailable.
The fabricating firm decided to enter the molded PU business after being approached by customers interested in molded products, Starrett said. The She-boygan factory also operates flame laminating, foam fabrication and foam converting units.
American Excelsior employs more than 750 at 30 fabricating facilities, and posts annual sales of about $100 million, he said.