Auttocom LLC of Manchester, N.H., is installing its third lost-core molding production line with some help from recently formed CoreTech Associates Inc. of Providence, R.I. Former employees of Electrovert USA Corp. formed CoreTech in November to provide engineering and marketing of lost-core technology, according to Mark Battista, CoreTech's director of operations. It has an exclusive agreement with Electrovert's Metal Dispensing Division for Electrovert's metal core technology process used to make automotive manifolds and other parts. Electrovert will continue to manufacture lost-core machinery.
Battista said CoreTech will promote lost-core technology to a range of industries.
``Everyone knows about auto applications already,'' he said in a telephone interview. CoreTech also is targeting aerospace, medical, recreational and other industries as candidates for the ``value-added'' process, even for short production runs.
He said CoreTech also will promote the technology for other plastics processes, such as resin transfer molding. Injection molding of a thermoplastic such as nylon around a metal core has been the most common technique. The metal is then melted out to give a part with precise internal dimensions, a property required for auto intake manifolds and similar parts.
Auttocom technical manager Jim Morin said his firm plans to begin commercial production on the third lost-core line this month. He did not disclose cost of the machinery or identify which General Motors Corp. program the new line will supply. Autto-com is a joint venture formed in late 1994 between Freudenberg NOK of Plymouth, Mich., and Mecaplast of Monaco.
Electrovert USA personnel are doing the bulk of installation work at Manchester since the Grand Prairie, Texas, firm sold the line to Auttocom last year before CoreTech was formed.
Battista said CoreTech is negotiating with undisclosed companies for the sale of five more lost-core lines.
Alan Roberts, Electrovert's vice president of research and development, said his firm decided to exit lost-core part engineering and marketing last year because customers ``expect endless engineering at no charge.''
Roberts said Electrovert supports CoreTech's approach to charge for its services, something ``smaller firms can do more realistically.'' Electrovert's Metal Dispensing Division will continue with its main business of making lost-core equipment. It also is a major supplier of wave soldering equipment. Electrovert is a subsidiary of Cookson plc of London.
CoreTech has set up engineering offices in Toledo, Ohio, and Novi, Mich., the firm announced May 29.