Mack Molding Co. has entered the front-end design arena with the formation of a wholly owned subsidiary in Rochester, N.Y. The goal is to design assemblies and parts that Mack builds and manufactures.
Customers are asking for full-service suppliers to become involved in the earliest stages of a program life.
``The full-service concept is in response to the industry movement toward lower part costs, shorter time to market and smaller engineering staffs,'' Bruce Ginder, president of the new subsidiary, Mack Design, said in a telephone interview. ``Customers want specialized engineering outside their core competencies.''
Mack Design has a contract with a large business machine customer to handle design and engineering work for a program.
Usually, original equipment manufacturers conceptualize a part and bring a molder such as Mack into the process during the final design stage. Mack Design, as a departure from this concept, will enter the process in the earliest stages.
The design capability represents more growth in the company's project development chain, said Jeff Somple, Mack Molding vice president of sales and engineering. Recently, Mack has added more capability to make integrated electronic subassemblies.
Mack Design employs 10 designers and uses nine seats of Parametric Technology Corp.'s Pro/Engineer software and nine Octane work stations from Silicon Graphics Inc. in a 2,500-square-foot facility. Soon, Mack Design will add SDRC's Ideas software and, over six months, add 10 employees. The subsidiary was formed in November.
Mack's focus on the business machine market led to location of the design operation in Rochester. The city advertises itself as ``the imaging capital of world'' with Eastman Kodak Co. and Xerox Corp. as main players.
In addition to Mack Design, the company's operating groups include Mack North in Vermont, Mack South in South Carolina and Mack Technology in Massachusetts and Scotland.
Arlington, Vt.-based Mack Molding placed fifth in Plastics News' most recent ranking of North America's largest injection molders with sales of $417 million.