An Illinois toolmaker specializing in injection molds is expanding into extrusion blow molds after hiring three employees from another firm in its local market. Industrial Molds Inc. of Rock-ford, Ill., is hoping to book sales of $2.5 million to $3 million from extrusion blow molds in the next five years after entering that market only this spring. The company is projecting total sales of $8.2 million for 1996.
Earlier this year, Industrial Molds hired a sales executive and two toolmakers with experience in extrusion blow molds who formerly were employed by Airo Tool & Manufacturing Inc. of Marengo, Ill. Airo, which still builds extrusion blow molds for a few select customers, has shifted its focus to the manufacture of precision tooling and components for the extrusion blow molds market.
The former Airo employees were grouped with some Indus-trial Molds workers who had experience in extrusion blow molds to launch a new department, said Tom Peck, vice president of sales and marketing at Industrial Molds.
``It just gave us an opportunity to pick up some talent in the mold-making end and the design and engineering end,'' Peck said. ``It looks like it's going to be a pretty nice piece of growth for us.''
Industrial Molds, with 80 employees, expects to focus its extrusion blow mold business on the bottle and container markets. That should dovetail nicely with its injection mold business in the closures markets, according to Peck. In injection molds, the company's key end markets are automotive, electronics and appliances. The molds generally require a clamping force of less than 750 tons.
Industrial Molds has invested in computer numerically controlled metalworking equipment and computer design and engineering tools, an area it views as a strength.
The company is owned by founder Jack Peterson and partner Bim Brandel. Brandel also owns a Sweden-based injection molding business called Ferbe, which specializes in two-material and multicolor work.
Industrial Molds and Ferbe share technology and design services, Peck said.
Industrial Molds is not affiliated with Industrial Mold Inc. of Twinsburg, Ohio, a toolmaker that builds extrusion blow molds, injection stretch molds, injection blow molds and injection molds. Containers for automotive products and cosmetics is the largest market for the Ohio company, said President David Kuhary. He said his company has 22 employees and sales of $2 million.
Airo Tool & Manufacturing has seen an upturn in its business since shifting its focus to mold tooling and components, said Roy Abramat, one of the company's owners. Companies that once viewed it as a competitor in the extrusion blow mold business are now turning to Airo as a supplier, he said.