New equipment has opened doors and boosted sales at Champion Injection Molding Inc., a Warren, Ohio-based firm specializing in decorative frame overlays for door windows.
The firm, formerly known as Carrie Plastics Industries Inc., has installed a 990-ton Engel press, an ERC Engel robot and a 15-ton-capacity P&H bridge crane since September in an effort to improve its ability to handle large molds. It also added a pair of Toshiba presses, with clamping forces of 500 tons and 720 tons, in 1996.
These moves have put Champion on track to post sales of $3.7 million for the fiscal year ending in March. That total represents an increase of almost 40 percent from its sales for the year before.
Champion, with 30 employees and 11 presses, is owned by Ron Lewkowitz, who also is half-owner of RSL Inc. of Egg Harbor Township, N.J., near McKee City. About 90 percent of Champion's output goes into high-impact polystyrene overlays used by RSL.
Champion's most-common frame size is 22 inches by 36 inches, but it can make frames as large as 22 inches by 64 inches. Plant manager Milan Campbell III said business at Champion and RSL has grown as overlays with simulated wood grain have replaced wood.
Materials other than steel, aluminum and wood will make up 14 percent of the U.S. market for nonresidential entry doors by 2000, according to the American Architectural Manufacturers Association. That number was 9 percent in a market of 3.2 million units in 1996.
The remainder of Champion's production is devoted to outside contracts for nondoor products from companies such as ASK Plastics of Philadelphia. Champion recently made a polypropylene utility tub for that company.
The addition of new presses and more press time may allow the firm to take on more outside work in the future, Campbell said.
Champion changed its name in July 1997 from Carrie Plastics after Lewkowitz bought out his business partner.