Correspondent Roger Renstrom gathered these items at the Mexport trade show, held Sept. 11 in San Diego. International business for precision-converter Plitek LLC has grown in five years ``from almost nothing to 25 percent,'' Dave Carroll, sales manager, said at Mexport.
``We sell specialty components in the Pacific Rim for 31/2-inch micro floppy disks, and we also sell into Mexico through Tijuana and Mexico City,'' Carroll said.
Plitek makes lifters, wiper springs or wear buttons of thin film for customers that manufacture magnetic media products involving data storage.
Business development may take six months to a year because potential customers often have difficult-to-solve converting applications that require extensive engineering.
Tolerances can range from zero to plus-or-minus 5 thousands of an inch.
Plitek which employs 70, has sales approaching $10 million and occupies a 55,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing facility in Des Plaines, Ill.
Volume in units has increased as the limited liability company has reduced prices for slitting, extruding, hot-melt coating, die-cutting and laminating.Rechargeable battery manufacturer Power-Sonic Corp. operates a captive injection molding facility in Mexico using nine Niigata and three Chen Hsong presses with clamping forces of 55-1,250 tons.
``Our sealed lead-acid batteries range in size from 0.5-100 amps and support security alarm, wheelchair and medical applications,'' Javad Aliabadi, quality control manager, said in an interview at Mexport.
Power-Sonic employs 800 at three Baja California facilities with 60,000 and 24,000 square feet in Tijuana and 100,000 square feet in Mexicali.
Bill Markus, manufacturing support director, manages the mold-making and injection molding operations, which employ 75 in Tijuana.
Power-Sonic has sales and marketing offices in Redwood City, Calif., operations and warehouse in San Diego, a European operation in Wickford, England, and a worldwide distribution system.
Plastic former and fabricator Specialty Manufacturing Inc. is developing sheets of fiber-reinforced, random-fiber-oriented ther-moplastic as an ``inevitable replacement of FRP,'' sales manager Steven Meyers said at Mexport.
The research gets more promising all the time, Meyers said, particularly as environmental-protection and air-quality regulators place additional restraints on fiberglass operations. He noted that large resin companies are developing materials in this niche also.
Specialty Manufacturing employs 40, generates annual sales of about $6 million and occupies a 24,000-square-foot facility in San Diego. The firm fabricates a range of materials from five-thousandths-inch film to half-inch rigid sheet and uses injection-type support equipment for high-temperature thermoplastics such as polysulfones, polyetherimides and polyetheretherketones.