Alliance Plastics plans to continue expanding its Erie, Pa., vinyl dip molding operation to capitalize on new protective masking applications.
Alliance added more dip molding equipment in April to increase flexibility in production and to allow quick tooling changeovers and color changes. It did not disclose the cost of the program, but Alliance said it will expand the department again within a year.
Gregg Yeager, manager of business development, said Erie's dip molding business has grown to a million-dollar operation in the past few years. Dip molding protects threaded surfaces and mating parts for hydraulic, fluid power, automotive and other industries while the parts are being shipped and handled.
Alliance's main business is stock and custom injection molded protective parts such as caps, plugs, washers and grips for pipe, flanges, auto parts and other components. It has about 60 presses in Erie making such parts, generating sales of $21 million to $23 million a year, Yeager said in a telephone interview.
Alliance recently diversified into plastic fasteners, fittings and inserts used in furniture, lawn and garden products and sports equipment, when it bought Thinking Plastics of Santa Fe Springs, Calif. Three years ago it boosted its business in the oil and gas industry when it bought Moulding Specialists Inc., a Houston molder of thread protectors for that sector.
Alliance is a division of Bunzl Plastics Inc. of Kidlington, England.