NEW YORK - GW Plastics Inc. will start with three injection molding presses to test molds at its new Process Development Center, a business incubator it will begin building later this year in Royalton, Vt. Center manager Tim Holmes said that when the center becomes operational, molds will be tested on presses with 55, 110 and 300 tons of clamping force. The center's operations could be expanded to accommodate another three presses as large as 500 tons.
Linda D. Richardson, GW Plastics' health-care industry manager, said the cost of the development center has not been determined, as concept drawings have not been finalized. GW officials were interviewed at Medical Design & Manufacturing East, held June 4-6 in New York.
GW Plastics reported molding sales of $40 million in 1995.
Besides mold and process qualification, the center will evaluate and commercialize new technologies and provide an immediate increase in manufacturing capability and productivity for the headquarters plant in nearby Bethel. The Bethel plant has 50 presses with clamping forces of 35-500 tons, handling shot sizes of 1.8-48 ounces.
Earlier this year, six injection molding machines went into service at the company's new-est plant, in Tucson, Ariz.
The San Antonio facility employs 15 and has 19 presses with clamping forces of 25-230 tons, with shot sizes of 0.8-20 ounces. It could be expanded to hold 30 machines with 500 tons of clamping force.
Richardson said the Tucson facility means the company ``is going after every medical industry customer we can, and we'll see what sticks to the wall.''
The added Tucson capacity is designed to provide one-day shipping to health-care, consumer products and automotive customers in Southern California, Texas and Arizona, and the maquiladora industry, said Arthur Bennert, who will oversee GW's Southwest operations.