CHICAGO — Ryka Blow Molds Ltd. has started a $3 million expansion of its Missisauga, Ontario, headquarters that will allow the company to conduct blow molding tryouts on site.
The expansion comes little more than a year after the company completed construction of a new plant next to its existing facility. The plant, which was completed in February 1996, gave Ryka a total of 50,000 square feet on its suburban Toronto site.
Now, the maker of blow molds plans to connect the two buildings with an adjoining, 10,000-square-foot structure. The firm expects to complete the addition and install equipment by fall 1998, Ryka President Michael Ryan said at NPE 1997 in Chicago.
Spurring the expansion is a new modular, quick-change mold insert the firm developed primarily for the plastic bottling industry. The horizontal slices, introduced at NPE, fit into a standard blow mold.
The inserts allow soft drink bottle makers to shift production quickly from a container with a smooth surface to one with an old-fashioned, ribbed design, said Ryka senior technical account manager Scott Covey. The bottles typically are made from a PET material, Covey said.
The inserts give bottle manufacturers the flexibility to change production molds in less than an hour instead of several days.
``A lot of the expansion is due to our increased capacity because of the modular mold system,'' Ryan said. ``This will give us the opportunity to test molds for the ribbed PET bottles and other designs on site. We have to keep finding new ways to help our customers, in order to keep growing.''
Ryka will add two blow molding machines to conduct mold tryouts and verification. The equipment includes a press with an accumulator head and a machine capable of testing two-stage PET bottles.
The company also is purchasing a computer numerically controlled lathe and boring mill for use at the combined 60,000-square-foot facility, Covey said. The equipment will be added during 1998.
Besides the packaging industry, Ryka also serves customers in automotive and industrial markets. The firm also has a sales office in Leicester, England. Annual sales were not disclosed.