Unitherm Insulation Systems of Lewisville, Texas, and AIC Iso Covers and Fire Protection Ltd. of Staffordshire, England, formed their second joint venture. Unitherm makes heat and sound insulating blankets for injection molding machines, extrusion barrels and blow molding machines. The blanket is designed to contain heat generated in industrial-heating elements, thereby conserving both the energy needed to generate the heat and to cool the surrounding environment, said Dan Sherrill, Unitherm's president.
AIC's product protects machines from fire. AIC insulates to keep fire out while Unitherm insulates to keep heat in.
``[The two companies] are mirror images of each other. We have the same equipment and technology but have different applications,'' Sherrill said. ``We just swapped markets.''
The joint venture, formed early this spring, serves plastic manufacturers worldwide, according to Sherrill. The insulating blankets are manufactured and marketed in AIC's 16,000-square-foot plant in Staffordshire.
In the companies' first joint venture last year, the applications were combined to make an insulating blanket that protects machinery from fire. These blankets, manufactured at the Lewis-ville plant, are directed toward gas and oil companies for use on land-based and offshore oil rigs.
To accommodate the products, 10,000 square feet and 17 employees were added to the Lewisville plant. It now has 16,000 square feet and a staff of 27. The blankets are sold to companies in the United States, Norway and South America.
The firms' joint sales exceeded $4 million last year, Sherrill said.