CHICAGO — Mold-Masters Ltd., a mold systems supplier in Georgetown, Ontario, is making a major capital investment to expand its German plant, build a new facility in Georgetown and form alliances with two outside manufacturers.
The moves were made to accommodate the company's rapid growth and develop new technology, Mold-Masters marketing manager Dario Vettor said June 17 at NPE 1997 in Chicago.
Although Vettor would not reveal sales figures for the family-owned firm, he said that the supplier of hot runners and mold components has stepped up sales considerably in the past three years. Those figures include a doubling in sales volume for the company's European operations.
Now, the manufacturer wants to continue that trend with new product lines and expanded capacity that significantly could increase the size of the company. Mold-Masters did not disclose how much it intends to invest in growth.
Its plans include constructing a second Georgetown plant close to its existing headquarters, which is near Toronto. The 35,000-square-foot facility will give Mold-Masters a manufacturing plant devoted to making electronic die- and mold-control systems for the North American market.
The plant is expected to be completed by the end of the year, Vettor said.
Mold-Masters also is in the midst of a major expansion at Baden Baden, Germany, that will more than double the size of its plant there — to 40,000 square feet, Vettor said. The expansion will include adding fully automated manufacturing technology.
In addition to making hot-runner systems, the firm is adding a hot-half-plate mold line and increasing the German plant's capacity for nozzle manufacturing.
The plant also will house a customer-support facility for Mold-Masters Europa, the company's European division. The plant makes hot-runner systems and mold components for the automotive, electronics, packaging and pharmaceutical markets.
The Baden Baden plant expansion is expected to be completed by September, Vettor said. Square-footage figures for the plant were unavailable.
Mold-Masters also has entered into alliances with two software manufacturers to develop analytical, design, engineering and manufacturing technology for injection molding.
The company is collaborating with Plastics & Computer International of Milan, Italy, to develop enhanced software capability, to improve flow and thermal analysis of mold-cooling layouts.
In addition, Mold-Masters has formed an alliance with Weber Systems Inc. of Elm Grove, Wis., to develop computer-aided-design and manufacturing systems that give users an opportunity to automate proprietary work processes.
``A clear focus of ours is to develop analytical software for our customers,'' Vettor said. ``Use of the software helps expand our product line quite a bit and offer more service to our customers.''
Mold-Masters and Plastics & Computer teamed on the development of Mold-Masters Fillplus hot-runner selection and flow analysis software program. Mold-Masters has a library of software packages for analyzing filling, packing and shaping of mold parts.
In the product area, the mold systems manufacturer is launching a major endeavor to increase its penetration in the plastic bottle industry. The company is offering a new line of cooled gated inserts and thread splits specially designed for molders of PET preformed bottles and caps. The stainless-steel components provide faster cooling to expand cycle times, Vettor said.
In October, the company opened its first U.S. plant, based in Spartanburg, S.C. The 40,000-square-foot plant, called Mold-Masters Injectioneering LLC, makes manifolds and hot-half-mold plates for the U.S. market. Eventually, plans are for the facility to expand to produce hot-runner system components.
The company, owned by Jobst and Waltraud Gellert, also has a plant in Kawasaki, Japan, and sales offices in North America, Austria, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Japan.