The following items were gathered by staff reporter Steve Toloken and West Coast correspondent Roger Renstrom at the Western Plastics Expo, held Jan. 6-8 in Long Beach, Calif.
Kurz restructures, forms plastics unit
Charlotte, N.C., decorating firm Kurz Hastings Inc. restructured Jan. 1, creating a unit that will focus on the plastics, graphics and securities industries and another that will handle the furniture and automotive markets.
The plastics unit, Kurz Transfer Products LP, will have more autonomy and will report directly to a newly created board of directors for North American operations for its German parent company, Leonhard Kurz GmbH & Co.
The transfer products unit will continue to be managed by Russ Lacoste, vice president of sales and marketing, and will be based in the company's Charlotte operations, said Roy Bomberger, an in-mold engineer. The company made the announcement Jan. 8 at WPE.
Previously, plastics sales for the maker of hot-stamping foils and equipment had been handled out of Kurz Hastings' Philadelphia offices, but the realignment will bring a sales force down to Charlotte, company officials said.
Kurz also plans to finish a 15,000-square-foot expansion of its Lexington, N.C., factory by March, and will be going to a seven-day work week at its Charlotte plant in January, officials said.
Boy Machine offers small hydraulic press
Exton, Pa.-based Boy Machines Inc. introduced a 14 1/5-ton fully hydraulic injection molding machine to the U.S. market.
Boy said the new model, the 12M, is designed for accurate metering and injection of very small shot volumes.
The two-platen press has an 86-by-32-inch footprint and costs $34,250.
Millutensil shows mold testing machine
Italian auxiliary equipment manufacturer Millutensil srl unveiled a mold-testing machine to the West Coast.
The equipment allows mold makers to test molds without the more-expensive alternative of putting it into a production quality machine, said Fabrizio Burroni, general manager for Millutensil N.A. Inc., a Toronto-based distributor for the Milan, Italy, company.
The machines, which sell for between $60,000 and $1 million, test molds of 20-500 tons, he said.
Nissei outlook high for U.S. deliveries
During 1998, Nissei America Inc. anticipates U.S. deliveries will increase to more than 60 injection molding machines per month, said Hiroski Tsukada.
The range was 55-60 per month in 1997, and 50-55 in 1996.
Tsukada is vice president of Nissei America of Anaheim, Calif., which is the U.S. sales, service and engineering design office of Japan's largest maker of injection molding presses, Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd. of Nagano.
Tsukada said Nissei America plans to add technical talent this year.
Recently, Nissei America has been conducting about three mold tests per month for customers. Nissei machines have clamping forces of 7-1,000 tons; in Japan, its largest press exerts 6,500 tons.
American Aerostar develops minilatch
American Aerostar Corp. has introduced a minilatch as an addition to its line of quick connect/ disconnect knock-out-bar systems.
Originally, the minilatch was developed for Nissei injection molding machines, said Paul Sloane, vice president of marketing.
The system is adaptable to any machine using a 7-by-7-inch or 4-by-16-inch pattern between KO rods.
American Aerostar or a molder can mount minilatch components on the rear or front of KO plates or integrate them into the plate.
``We have an exchange program for molders wishing to integrate the minilatch,'' Sloan said.
The minilatch costs $2,000-$3,500 per machine.
The company has experience in quick-mold-change systems. Its Hydra Jaws line allows the addition of a platen plate that incorporates mold guidance, leveling and T-slots for clamping.
``Our system makes quick mold change possible without expensive mold modifications,'' Sloan said.
American Aerostar is in Valencia, Calif.