ND Industries Inc. has opened a new manufacturing and development center in Romeo, Mich., to support three fledgling elastomer product lines.
The Troy, Mich.-based company has invested more than $300,000 in the 11,000-square-foot center — the new home to the ND Formed Products Division. The segment, headed by Andy Lewis, makes plastisol custom molded products and launched two rubber product lines this year.
The materials provide sealing, anti-fluttering and vibration dampening between metal surfaces. About 85-90 percent of the division's products are shipped to the auto industry for original equipment applications, Lewis said. The Romeo center employs five.
Lewis founded the company four years ago. At ND in Troy, Lewis started with plastisol, a moldable PVC with rubberlike qualities.
Since then, the Formed Products Division has developed linear belt machines that pre-apply plastisol to fasteners such as bolts and rivets. ND kept one of the machines in Romeo and sent the rest to facilities in Arlington, Texas; Northbrook, Ill.; Santa Fe Springs, Calif.; and Twinsburg, Ohio. It soon will deliver one to its Wyckoff, N.J., plant.
ND also uses an open molding method at its Romeo plant to manufacture plastisol parts such as gaskets, washers and bezels.
Most companies that use plastisol use a dip method, according to Lewis. Less-expensive tooling and faster turnaround makes open molding a more attractive option than rubber injection molding for many automotive applications. ND on average can take a molded plastisol component from concept to production in about two weeks, he said.
ND posts annual sales of about $30 million and has 18 facilities in the United States.