Proto Plastics Inc. is setting up a second injection mold test site at a cost of $12 million to $14 million.
The Troy, Mich., private firm chose to locate its new facility in Oldcastle, Ontario, south of Windsor, because it is in the midst of a large concentration of mold builders, said Proto President Joe Bianco.
Bianco said Proto is building a 37,000-square-foot plant expandable to 98,000 square feet on a 5-acre site. When the building is finished in mid-March Proto will install eight Van Dorn Demag presses with clamping forces of 170-3,000 tons, he said.
At Troy, Proto recently started running a 4,440-ton Van Dorn Demag HP press, the largest the Strongsville, Ohio, firm has built in its HP series. Its previous biggest HP was 3,000 tons.
Proto only tests molds, the vast majority of which are for auto parts. Bianco said the weak value of Canada's dollar has attracted more mold-building business to the Oldcastle area and his new plant will find it more convenient to do testing there.
``It's an aggravation to move molds across the border,'' he said.
The 85,000-square-foot Troy plant runs 13 presses, including 12 Van Dorn Demags from 150 tons to the newest HP size. Bianco, Proto's founder and sole owner, did not provide sales figures.
Van Dorn Demag Corp. said it developed the 4,400-tonner because parts consolidation is boosting mold and platen sizes. The press uses independently controlled twin injection units to allow two-component and overmolding operations. It is based on a fully hydraulic clamp design. Its platen is 129 inches on a side.