Continental Southern Indus-tries Inc. has boosted industrial blow molding capacity at its Greenville, S.C., plant. CSI's second extrusion blow molding machine, a Cincinnati Milacron T2000 Eclipse, will be used for custom work and to make large proprietary containers for the solid waste industry. The firm spent nearly $1 million on the machine, which can handle 60 pound parisons, said Rob McGowan, president.
Until three years ago, when CSI began blow molding, its only market was textiles. Since 1970, it has fabricated vulcanized-fiber materials-handling containers called sliver cans, used in the process of making yarn.
In 1986, the company installed a Ferry carousel rotational molding machine to switch some sliver cans to linear low density polyethylene.
With the purchase of a Hartig extrusion blow molding machine in 1993, CSI also broke into new markets, ``opening new avenues for growth,'' McGowan said. Now blow molding makes up half its sales - with about 70 percent of that business being proprietary, and 30 percent custom. Rotomolding accounts for 30 percent of the total, and textiles, once the whole pie, is now a much smaller piece at just 20 percent. He would not disclose sales figures.
``Historically we've been a supplier to the textile industry,'' McGowan said. ``A lot of modernization took place [in that industry] in the late '80s. But each year the market seems to dry up a little bit more.
``We're not turning our backs on it. We're still committed to that, but in order for the company to grow we have to find new business,'' he said.
Of CSI's 50 employees, about 25 work in plastics at its 75,000-square-foot Greenville plant. The company hired eight workers since installing the Eclipse machine Sept. 13, and probably will add a couple of more as business grows, he said.
Besides boosting capacity, the machine can mold larger high density PE containers than the 40-pound Hartig, making the company more competitive in the custom arena, he said.