BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - U.S. power tool manufacturer Black & Decker Corp. plans to spend around 1 million ($1.66 million) on nine new injection presses from Krauss-Maffei AG for its giant United Kingdom production plant. The purchase is part of a $3 million cost-cutting project to bring selected custom molding business in-house at the group's biggest plant worldwide in Spennymoor, England.
In phase one of its program, Black & Decker Power Tools expects to receive by April 1 the first of the new Krauss-Maffei machines, with clamping forces of 165-880 tons.
The rest will be installed by August. Six of the presses will be fitted with Sepro robots.
In a second phase, Black & Decker plans to buy another three injection presses with clamping forces of 275-385 tons, probably from Krauss-Maffei, according to plant manufacturing engineering manager George Eldrington, the project leader.
Black & Decker Power Tools also has ordered a range of ancillary equipment for its new molding plant from PL Plastics Machinery Ltd. of Luton, England. Black & Decker announced the equipment purchases at Interplas '96 in Birmingham.
The new unit will process about 3.3 million pounds a year of polypropylene and ABS to form a variety of product parts, chiefly for outdoor equipment such as lawn mowers and trimmers, Eldrington said in a telephone interview from the 550,000-square-foot Spennymoor plant.
The plant, which grew substantially two years ago with the transfer of six production lines and 48 machining centers from a closed German factory, manufactures 12 million units a year. That compares with the 3 million units turned out at the firm's Italian plant.
Black & Decker has emphasized that it is only taking back about 15 percent of some $50 million worth of custom molding business provided by the plant. But the move means the manufacturer will be recalling 60 molds from outside processors.
Work coming in-house is not being recalled from any one supplier, according to Eldrington. The effect should be felt across the board, he said. Eldrington did not rule out the possibility of recalling other outsourced business when ``sensible'' savings could be made.
About 70 percent of production at Spennymoor is destined for export to Europe, the Far East and the Americas.
The order for Krauss-Maffei represents a second big success in England this year. Earlier, the firm sold two 2,200-ton presses to Toyota for its Swindon, England, facility.