SAN JOSE, CALIF. — Customer demand for more assembly work and secondary operations is driving growth at MOS Plastics Inc.
``A lot of customers want us to give them turnkey parts, lower level parts and subassemblies or complete assemblies,'' Paul Hoefler, general manager, said during an interview in his San Jose office.
MOS, which does not have an outside sales force, reported 1996 sales of $16.8 million, and ``we project 1997 will be close to $21 million,'' he said.
By mid-October, the injection molding company will relocate warehousing and shipping to a 26,500-square-foot building that is one block away from the main 60,000-square-foot plant.
Those functions occupy 10,000 square feet. MOS will convert 8,000 square feet by year-end ``to a secondary operations area,'' principally for ultrasonic inserts, assembly and pad printing, Hoefler said. Now, about 1,000 square feet are devoted to secondary operations.
The firm acquired three Tampo Print machines and has ordered a Trans Tech America Combi 90 pad printing machine.
The firm is considering adding a prototype tooling operation. Richard Ellis, tool and engineering manager, said rapid prototyping would require heavy investment in computer numerically controlled systems and is driven by industry wanting ``faster and faster'' product introductions.
In addition, MOS will accept delivery of an Arburg 110-ton two-material injection molding machine in October and plans by year-end to buy an Arburg 110-ton stand-alone machine. MOS now operates 35 molding machines with clamping forces of 28-550 tons. Brands include Engel, Husky, Reed, Netstal, and Newbury in addition to Arburg.
MOS started in 1974 in Sunnyvale, Calif., with Boy 15- and 50-ton machines, and operated in Santa Clara until July 1995.
The firm then moved to San Jose and integrated its June 1995 acquisition of the injection molding portion of Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Palo Alto, Calif., fabrication center. ``We needed a larger facility,'' Hoefler said.
In the divestiture, Hewlett-Packard qualified firms to take over the center's business lines. MOS got the plastics work, and others acquired die cast, painting, sheet metal, wire, cable and harness assembly operations.
MOS purchased and relocated 13 molding machines, leaving seven behind, and hired 15 Hewlett-Packard employees. MOS plans soon to upgrade and ``eventually sell and replace about seven'' of the 13 units, Hoefler said. A 200-ton Reed is one of the keepers.
Hewlett-Packard accounts for about 20 percent of MOS' sales. ``We do work for 38 divisions'' of Hewlett-Packard worldwide, he said.
MOS supplies worldwide operations of Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple Computer Inc. and Mountain View, Calif.-based Silicon Graphics Inc. Other major customers include Kimberly-Clark Corp. in Neenah, Wis.; Johnson & Johnson's Lifescan Inc. unit in Milpitas, Calif.; Trimble Navigation Ltd. in Sunnyvale; Rockshox Inc. in San Jose; and Boehringer Mannheim's advanced technology operations in Fremont, Calif.
On most machines, MOS uses TG Brand's Shotscope monitors to schedule production and monitor process variables and parameters. ``We want to update all machines to new Shotscope software,'' Hoefler said.
MOS acquires molds in Germany, from El Dorado Molds Inc. in Rancho Cordova, Calif., and Caco Pacific Corp. in Covina, Calif.
Software programs include Control Data, ProE, HP, ME10 and ME30. ``Some are better for certain things,'' Ellis said. It ``depends on complexity of the parts.''
Customers instruct MOS via data files and e-mail but often omit text, which means ``the tolerances don't show up,'' Ellis said. ``The so-called paperless environment is close, but it is not there yet.'' For now, MOS runs both print and data files, particularly because not all outside vendors have the electronic capability.
MOS, which has 205 employees, was ISO 9001 certified in mid-July.