YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO — A growing market for plastic construction products, including composite front doors, has fueled business at Mold-Tech's Youngstown factory, where the firm chemically engraves steel molds and rolls.
Mold-Tech's biggest market is automotive. Automotive suppliers send molds to the Youngstown factory. Mold-Tech employees emboss the molds, to create a textured surface on the final plastic part, such as a dashboard.
A few years ago, Mold-Tech stepped up efforts to serve the construction market. Its first move was to increase the number of wood grain patterns it has in stock for composite doors, sales engineer Tim Shamrock said in a recent interview at the Youngstown plant, which is one of 25 Mold-Tech plants in 14 countries.
Composite doors have skins that are compression molded from sheet molding compound.
Mold-Tech also engraves molds for injection molded shutters and other construction products. And it engraves large steel rolls. For the construction market, Mold-Tech engraves rolls used to emboss patterns onto vinyl siding.
Mold-Tech's customers use the molds and rolls to emboss textures into plastic, steel, pressed wood, fiber and paper.
``Probably 95 percent of what we do is for the plastics industry,'' said Joseph Grigas, product manager for plastic rolls.
To better serve the plastic mold market, Mold-Tech recently opened an electroless plating operation at its Youngstown facility, called Tribocoat. The process imparts lubrication and a low degree of friction into the mold, allowing for easier removal of molded parts, the firm said.
Mold-Tech is a division of Roehlen Industries N.A., a unit of Standex International Corp. of Salem, N.H.