DETROIT — West Branch, Iowa-based Purethane Inc., a plastics molder, installed its first rotational molding line in February and plans to install a second this summer.
``We're moving big into rotocasting,'' Purethane sales representative Leon Zielinski said at SAE '98, held last week in Detroit. ``We were getting requests from our customers for products with no seam lines, and this equipment will allow us to do that.''
Zielinski presented a PVC armrest with an ABS insert and a PVC headrest with a urethane insert as examples of Purethane products made by rotomolding. Purethane plans to make agricutural tanks, large outdoor toys and balls.
The 16-year-old firm's business has been split among several production methods. Injection molding holds the biggest piece of the action, but Purethane also offers blow molding, vacuum forming and integral foam processes for a wide range of plastics.
Purethane's biggest market is its foam-in-place, self-skinning urethane foam products, used in auto interior components, personal watercraft handlebar pads, appliance handles and shock-absorbing covers, Zielinski said.
About a third of the firm's business is in automotive, recently including a console lid for Ford's Navigator. Zielinski said the company hopes automotive sales will help compensate for business it lost when appliance makers switched from soft-feel to hard-feel handles. The firm employs 150 and posted 1997 sales of $30 million.